How To Manage Multiple WordPress Sites: 6 Great Tools To Help You
Published on October 29, 2022 by Simon Wright
Have you ever wondered how to manage multiple WordPress sites? Handling several can be challenging, as you need to do backups, updates, and other administrative tasks for each one individually.
However, there is an easier way. This article explains how a WordPress management tool can help you handle several websites from one central location. Moreover, we will show you what features to look out for when searching for such a tool, plus we will suggest some of the best ones currently available.
Why Do You Need a WordPress Management Tool?
If you only have a single WordPress website, managing passwords, security, software updates, maintenance, backups, and passwords is generally quite simple.
On the other hand, managing those aspects when you have many websites can be a real challenge, particularly if you handle sites for several clients. In such cases, WordPress management tools can make your life considerably easier.
WordPress management tools help you handle lots of websites from one unified dashboard. From that, you can quickly access each site’s admin panel, run security scans, check and implement core, plugins, and theme updates, run backups and restores, and more. As a result, you save considerable time, and your sites will be kept in prime condition and constantly updated.
Key WordPress Management Tool Features
Many ready-made solutions are available with everything necessary to manage multiple WordPress sites. However, only decent solutions will possess the following features as a minimum:
- One-click login and access to any of your sites from a central location
- WordPress core updates for all sites
- Bulk plugin and theme updates for all sites
- Backup and restore facilities
Naturally, there are other non-essential but desirable features, such as:
- Automatic updates and scheduled backups
- User, comment, and content management
- Security and uptime monitoring
- Audits and optimization for SEO and performance
- Domain and web hosting management
While having a robust set of WordPress management tools will make your life easier, it also pays to have your sites sitting on the best possible host servers. In that respect, you can’t go wrong with the high-performance WordPress VPS hosting from WP Bolt.
WP Bolt hosts your websites on virtual private servers. As such, they effectively have no direct ‘neighbors’ to slow things down or compromise security. Click here to learn more about cloud vs VPS hosting.
Six of the Best Solutions To Manage Multiple WordPress Sites
While creating a network of your websites using the WordPress multisite feature is possible, it is much simpler to use a third-party solution that does most of the donkey work for you. Therefore, we’ll now show you six that are currently available to help you manage multiple WordPress sites from one dashboard:
ManageWP is an excellent free solution for managing multiple WordPress sites that can be enhanced using a range of reasonably priced add-ons. The great advantage of such a pricing structure is you only pay for what you need, leaving you in complete control of the costs.
With ManageWP, you can manage security, maintenance, monitoring, etc., for all your WordPress sites from a central cloud-based dashboard. The free version has a ton of features, including:
- Easy login via a single click
- Manage themes and plugins, including one-click updates
- Manage comments
- Security and performance checks and vulnerability updates
- Cloud backups (monthly)
- Maintenance mode
- Client reports
- Team and client collaboration
The premium add-ons cost $1-$2 each per month per website, although if you have more than 25 websites – for example, if you are an agency – bundles are available, offering significant savings. Available premium add-ons include:
- Extra backup features
- Link and uptime monitoring
- Advanced client and white-label reports
- Automated performance and security checks
- SEO ranking
- Site migration and cloning
ManageWP is worth considering when looking for a way to help manage multiple WordPress sites, particularly as it has plenty of features for free. Moreover, you won’t break the bank by purchasing the premium add-ons.
MainWP is a freemium, self-hosted solution that will help you manage multiple WordPress sites from a central dashboard. The free version has an excellent feature set and is ideal for website portfolio owners who love having many tools available. With that, expect to find the following (please note some of these features require a free extension):
- One-click access
- Dashboard customizer and lock
- Content management, including bulk posting
- Plugin and theme management, including updates (one-click and automated)
- Uptime monitor, security scans, and vulnerability checker
- Shortcuts for WooCommerce
Adding even more features to MainWP is possible via a range of premium extensions. Moreover, a ‘Pro’ version is available, giving you all those in a single bundle. That covers unlimited websites and costs $29 per month, $199 per year, or $499 lifetime. Typical premium extensions include:
- Custom post types
- Maintenance tools
- Analytics, including Google, Lighthouse, etc.
- Article uploader and drip feeder
- Comment management
- Enhanced monitoring and security features
- Enhanced backup and restore
- Bulk settings manager
- Site staging
The extensive features set of the free version and the wide range of sensibly priced extensions means MainWP offers something for everyone. Moreover, all Pro or individual extensions purchases come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you have nothing to lose by trying them out.
Incidentally, to use MainWP, it is necessary to create a blank WordPress installation. That will host the MainWP Dashboard plugin and provides the central point for managing the ‘child’ sites. It is then necessary to install the MainWP Child plugin on each child website.
Another freemium option is InfiniteWP. Although the free version of this solution does not have as many features as its ManageWP counterpart, it does give you enough to start helping you manage multiple WordPress sites.
A self-hosted dashboard (as opposed to ManageWP’s cloud hosting) makes InfiniteWP an excellent choice if you are concerned about privacy. To use it, you need to install the admin dashboard (using FTP or a plugin,) after which you must install the InfiniteWP Client plugin on every WordPress site you need to manage. While that may seem like lots of work, it is a quick, one-time process.
As already mentioned, the free version of InfinteWP comes with a reasonably limited feature set, namely:
- One-click login and updates
- Manual backups and restores
Concerning the premium version, several plans are available, beginning with ‘Starter’ at $147 per year for ten websites, up to the most expensive plan, ‘Enterprise,’ which costs $647 per year for unlimited domains. The premium plans include features like:
- User, comment, and content management
- Website installation, migration, cloning, and staging
- More backup and restore features (backup to the cloud, scheduled backups, etc.)
- Google Analytics, Safe Browsing, PageSpeed, and Webmaster tools
- Security features (two-factor authentication, malware scans, etc.) and uptime monitoring
- Broken link checker
- Detailed client reports
- Bulk file upload
- WordPress security plugins integration
- Email support (varies depending on the plan purchased)
- 14-day moneyback guarantee
Despite the free version of InfiniteWP having a limited feature set, it is ideal for managing smaller site portfolios. In contrast, the premium versions offer good value for people with more websites to deal with and some budget to spend.
iThemes Sync is a premium tool for helping manage multiple WordPress sites. However, despite being premium only, this solution is competitively priced compared to the paid versions of some freemium solutions. And, of course, being a premium product, it includes an impressive feature list, including:
- One-click access
- Client dashboard (customizable) and client care features, e.g., monthly maintenance reports, etc.
- Comment and user management
- Uptime monitoring and email alerts if any site malfunctions
- Core, plugin, and theme management, with one-click updates, changelogs, and email notifications
- iThemes Security integration for security management
- Integrations for Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Yoast SEO, and BackupBuddy
iThemes Sync pricing depends on the number of websites you need to manage. For example, five domains cost $6.99 per month or $69 per year. The cost rises to $69.99 per month or $699 annually for up to one hundred sites. For more than one hundred, prices are available upon request.
Unfortunately, the developer of iThemes Sync does not offer a money-back guarantee. However, a thirty-day free trial is available for the five-site plan.
Like iThemes Sync, CMA Commander is a premium third-party cloud-based solution offering all the features you need to manage multiple WordPress sites from a single focal point. Moreover, it includes features that allow you to bulk post and spin (rewrite) content on several websites while monitoring and analytics tools ensure you have a tight grip on everything.
Other notable features of CMA Commander include:
- Comment, user account, and content management
- Copy blog and plugin settings between sites
- One-click access
- Advanced backup and restore features, such as cloning, multiple backup destinations, etc.
- Monitoring of page speed and uptime
- One-click core, theme, and plugin updates
- Install and activate plugins across multiple sites in bulk
- Google Analytics with backlink tracking
- Maintenance mode
- Advanced security features, such as malware scanning, SSL, etc.
- Optimize databases with one-click
CMS Commander pricing is based on the number of users (administrators) and site domains that need to be covered. For example, the cost is $8 per month for five websites with no users. Similarly, thirty websites and three users will set you back $20 per month. Finally, for large portfolios of up to 200 domains and twenty users, the price is $75 per month.
Unfortunately, no money-back guarantee is available for CMS Commander. However, a thirty-day free trial is available, allowing you to try it out risk-free.
WP Remote is another freemium solution for managing multiple WordPress sites.
Features of the free version of WP Remote are somewhat limited, as it only allows you to manage the WordPress core software and all plugins and themes, albeit over any number of websites. However, greater functionality is available with the premium versions, which include goodies like monitoring, analytics, backups, and security.
The key features included with the free plan are:
- One-click login
- WordPress core software, plugins, and themes management
- Bulk plugin and theme installation and activation
- Two-factor authentication
There are three WP Remote premium plans: ‘Basic,’ ‘Plus,’ and ‘Pro.’ Features vary depending on which version you choose, but can include:
- Daily automatic backups
- Active staging sites
- Activity log
- Backup snapshots of up to one year
- Team management
- Uptime monitoring with performance checks
- Advanced security features, including firewall, malware scans, login protection, etc.
- Integrates with Slack
- Google Analytics and white-label client reports
Each plan’s pricing depends on the number of domains you need to manage. Here are some typical examples:
- Basic: $29 per month for five sites or $99 per month for 100 sites
- Plus: $49 per month for five sites or $199 per month for 100 sites
- Pro: $99 per month for five sites or $999 per month for 100 sites
Furthermore, five paid add-ons are also available. These can enhance any plan with extra functionality, such as additional staging sites, more frequent backups, and visual regression tests. These add-ons costs between $5 and $50 per site per month. Moreover, all paid plans and add-ons come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Some Final Words
Regardless of how many websites you have, using a proprietary WordPress management tool like those suggested in this article will make your life so much easier. However, which you choose will depend on your requirements.
For example, if you cannot afford a premium solution, cloud-hosted ManageWP is ideal as it is free and has many features. However, if you are worried about cloud security, one of the self-hosted solutions, such as MainWP or InfiniteWP, might suit you better.
Either way, each of the six suggested solutions will do a great job of helping you manage multiple WordPress sites.
I’m a former construction industry professional who came out of the writer’s closet and am now totally comfortable with my creative side. My pronouns are smart, creative, witty, and dependable. I have written content in a number of niches including WordPress, plus I’m a blogger and affiliate marketer. If you’d like to know more about how I can help you, please head over to my website.