5 Tools for Managing Multiple WordPress Sites from One Location

Oct 2 2012 by Joe Foley | 14 Comments

5 Tools for Managing Multiple WordPress Sites from One Location

If you run more than one WordPress install, or if you have clients that run WordPress sites that you’re responsible for, then you know how much of a pain it can be to log in to each site every time you need to do things like update plugins, themes, or WordPress core itself.

With the release of WordPress 3.0, we now have the ability to create a network of WordPress sites with one installation through the multisite feature. However, your needs may go beyond what multisite allows you to do, and so you may need to explore other options.

Fortunately, there are a number of solutions out there that will let you manage multiple WordPress websites from one central location. In this article, I’ll share some options with you and give you a brief overview of each.

1. WP Remote

WP Remote

WP Remote is a simple and free solution that will allow you to do a few basic tasks related to managing multiple WordPress sites.

While you do need to install the WP Remote plugin for each WordPress installation, your administration panel for managing your sites is in one central location on the WP Remote site.

Here’s a look at the simple control panel on the WP Remote site:

WP Remote Features

  • Bulk update all WordPress installations
  • Create off-site backups
  • Update plugins that can be updated via the WordPress plugin page
  • Update themes that can be updated via the WordPress themes page

2. InfiniteWP

InfiniteWP

InfiniteWP is on a freemium model. (In other words, basic features are free, but you’ll need to pay for other feature upgrades such as auto-scheduling of WordPress site backups.)

Below is a video by the creators of InfiniteWP that will give you an idea of what the tool looks like:

InfiniteWP Free Features

The basic features of InfiniteWP are basic indeed, but they’re also pretty handy, and so many of us may not need the premium/paid features this plugin has. The basic features include the following:

  • One-click updates for the latest version of WordPress
  • Install and manage themes
  • Install and manage plugins
  • The ability to restore, download, and delete backups

InfiniteWP Premium Features

There are currently six available premium features available (with three more in the works). These are the currently available addons:

  • Install WordPress
  • Clone a WordPress installation
  • Schedule automated backups
  • Back up to repositories
  • Manage WordPress users
  • Save and run custom PHP code on multiple sites
  • Brand the InfiniteWP plugin with your company name or hide the plugin altogether

The premium addons currently in the works are the following:

  • Integration with Google Analytics
  • Manage posts and comments on multiple sites
  • Bulk create Posts, Pages, and Links

3. ManageWP

ManageWP

ManageWP has an array of free features (e.g. one-click updates and a centralized admin dashboard). This tool allows you to manage up to five websites for free. There are also three premium plans that start at $4.00 (for up to five websites) that give you access to ManageWP’s premium features.

Here’s a video from ManageWP to help give you an overview of the tool:

ManageWP Free Features

  • One-click updates
  • All sites in one dashboard
  • One-click automatic login to your WordPress sites
  • Install and manage plugins and themes
  • Remove spam comments, post revisions, optimize databases
  • Pageview site traffic statistics
  • Email notifications for available updates
  • IP address access restriction
  • Two-factor login authentication via email

ManageWP Premium Features

There are three paid plans above the free plan. With each paid subscription plan, you can have as many sites as you like. The difference comes in the features available. Check out ManageWP’s plans and pricing web page to see the difference between subscription plans. (By the way, you can try all the features for free for thirty days.)

Below are a few of the more important premium features available.

  • Manage users
  • Bulk add new posts and pages
  • SEO analysis
  • Integration with Google Analytics
  • Uptime monitoring
  • Scheduled backups

4. Worpit

Worpit

Worpit allows you to manage a network of WordPress sites in one central location. A couple of Wordpit features are instant backup and recovery and bulk updating of WordPress plugins and themes.

You can manage one site for free with Worpit. There are six different paid subscriptions, ranging from five sites for $1.60/month, up to 500 sites for $160/month.

Below is a video of at Worpit in action:

Worpit Features

  • One-click login for each site under a single admin dashboard
  • Update your installations with the latest WordPress versions
  • Automatic daily backups
  • On-demand backup and restore
  • Built-in WordPress installer (install new sites in 60 seconds)
  • Auto-install your preferred plugins and themes to new sites

5. CMS Commander

CMS Commander

CMS Commander, in addition to letting you manage multiple WordPress sites, also lets you manage multiple Drupal, Joomla, and phpBB sites as well.

You can use CMS Commander free for up to five sites. After that, prices go from $9.90/month for 10 sites, all the way up to $64.90/month for 200 sites.

Here’s a video tutorial on how to add WordPress sites to your CMS Commander account:

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CMS Commander Features

  • Plugin management (update, activate and deactivate)
  • Theme management (update, activate and deactivate)
  • Automatically create site backups
  • Clone a site
  • Automatically insert affiliate links
  • Post management (view recent posts, approve/delete drafts, etc.)
  • Comment management (review, approve or put comments in spam)
  • User management
  • WP Settings management
  • Categories management
  • Autoblogging and bulk posting (not available for free accounts)

Conclusion

All of the solutions above have some type of free version available, which makes for easy testing.

It should be noted, however, that many of these tools aren’t simply plugins (even though you may need to install a plugin as part of the set-up process).

And so if you decide to test them out, it may take a little more time to get them going than a regular WordPress plugin would. In the long run, however, you’ll save time by being able to manage multiple WordPress sites easier and better.

Related Content

About the Author

Joe Foley is a writer for WPMU WordPress tutorials. He enjoys checking out WordPress plugins and themes, as well as providing how-to’s and tutorials for WordPress users. If you’d like to connect with him, you can do so via Google+.

14 Comments

peter

October 2nd, 2012

So far, ManageWp is far more beyond with its support and features.

Gary

October 2nd, 2012

I haven’t used the others, but have used Manage WP for some time and find it excellent for efficiently managing multiple Sites.

Jim Ferguson

October 2nd, 2012

Quite the timely post. With over a hundred WP installs, I’ve been looking for a better way of managing plugin and core updates. I’ll definitely have to check these options out – thanks for posting!

James

October 3rd, 2012

have always used cms commander but having my eyes opened to the other Wp installs out there will have to have a good look.

Geraldine

October 4th, 2012

So far, I’ve tried ManageWP. So I’ll check out the other four. I didn’t know there are other WP managing tools until I read this post. :D One thing I like ManageWP is the feature called “website performance”; it checks what areas are making your site loads slow.

Mark

October 8th, 2012

Would Google not see an element of Duplicate content if using data feeds into a number of WordPress Sites?

Great Video!!

Paul G.

October 18th, 2012

Hi Joe,

Just wanted to say many thanks for including Worpit in your round-up.

We’ve actually updated the Worpit interface since this article with more features and we’re about to release WorpDrive for WordPress backup in a few days :) Very exciting!

Anyways, many thanks for including us.
Cheers,
Paul.

Ali

October 21st, 2012

Hello Joe
How are you?
I want a free plug for backup ( for transfer WP of old server in to new server)

I have wordprss and want transfer to new server
Can u help me?

Mind Blossom Creations

March 5th, 2013

Found this very timely as well. I’m hoping to pick one of the wordpress services above, but would like to know which of them have been established the longest….as I wouldn’t want to roll all my sites into one service for it to go away. thanks for posting

Morgan Feldon

June 17th, 2013

5 “tools” and they’re all Third party services through their own website. Why?

Why can this not be done in a Plugin? I don’t want to use someone else’s control panel. I want to use my WordPress site control panel, but just have an extra setting to push an article to more than 1 site. Seems so simple, I’m not sure why nobody has written it yet.

Karlo

September 17th, 2013

I have used Manage WP and I don’t have any complaints. I didn’t know about this other services but I will take a look.

James Mowery

September 20th, 2013

Thanks, Joe, for writing this article.

@Mind Blossom Creations

Hi there. I’m James Mowery, CEO of ManageWP. I just wanted to let you know that we over at ManageWP launched publicly in January of 2012, and we were the one to create the WordPress management market as it is today. We currently have over 50,000 very happy customers, and we have a business model that allows us to be sustainable for years to come, while also providing the highest levels of support possible with our nearly two dozen full-time staff.

We’re also active contributors to the WordPress community, and we also push the limits in innovation.

So I hope that answers your question, and if ever have any additional questions, please visit ManageWP’s website, let us know, and we will take care of you! :)

James Mowery

September 20th, 2013

@Morgan Feldon

ManageWP is, in part, a plugin. The ManageWP worker plugs into your WordPress sites via the OpenSSL protocol — which we integrated personally, as XML-RPC, which WordPress uses natively, has potential downsides — and that allows the ManageWP dashboard to securely communicate with all your sites. As for posting on multiple sites at once, this is one of the things that ManageWP was built for.

TH

December 24th, 2013

Thanks for this article. I am with managewp but I find it insanely expensive given what I need for. Also, to schedule backups, you need a professional account, so while it seems to be very cost-effective, you’ll notice some of the handy features come at a steep price.

Don’t get me wrong, managewp.com and cmscommander.com support are both great and I think they are equal in terms of general rating, however I agree with one of the previous posters, that you shouldn’t have to pay to update plugins across multiple sites and run a backup…

I’ll try out infinitewp as I am curious. If I need to pay a 50 bucks one-time fee to have a backup functionality for all my sites, that’s fine….

I think the model of managewp.com and cmscommander works well for people with hundreds of sites as they can potentially afford that price… If you have 10 sites or so, this service starts costing you as much as the hosting itself!

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