How to Manage Multiple WordPress Sites Without Losing Your Sanity

Are you a busy WordPress admin struggling to keep up with the demands of managing multiple websites? You‘re not alone. With WordPress now powering over 43% of all websites, many professionals find themselves responsible for maintaining dozens or even hundreds of WordPress installations.

Managing multiple WordPress sites can quickly become a nightmare if you‘re relying on manual processes. Logging in to each site individually to perform updates, backups, security checks, and other routine tasks is a massive time sink. It‘s also error-prone and leaves your sites vulnerable to issues like outdated plugins, security breaches, and downtime.

Fortunately, there‘s a better way. Specialized WordPress website management tools have emerged to help you centrally manage and maintain your entire portfolio of sites from a single dashboard. These platforms offer powerful automation, monitoring, and optimization features that can dramatically simplify your workflow and save you hours of tedious work every week.

In this ultimate guide, we‘ll take a deep dive into the world of WordPress multisite management solutions. We‘ll explore:

  • The challenges of managing multiple WordPress sites and why you need a centralized tool
  • Detailed overviews of the top 5 WordPress management platforms, including their key features, pricing, and ideal use cases
  • Expert tips and best practices for optimizing your WordPress management workflow
  • Real-world case studies and success stories from users of these tools
  • The future of WordPress management and exciting trends on the horizon

Whether you‘re an agency managing client sites, a freelancer juggling multiple projects, or an in-house web team, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and tools you need to take control of your WordPress sites and scale your operations with ease.

The Case for WordPress Management Tools: Stats and Trends

Before we explore the top WordPress management platforms, let‘s take a step back and look at some eye-opening industry stats that highlight the need for these tools:

  • WordPress now powers 43.3% of all websites (W3Techs, 2023)
  • The average WordPress site has 25 plugins installed (WP Engine, 2022)
  • 47% of WordPress professionals manage 11 or more sites (GoDaddy, 2023)
  • Plugin vulnerabilities accounted for 91% of WordPress security issues (Patchstack, 2022)
  • 84% of WordPress administrators report that site maintenance takes up too much of their time (ManageWP, 2022)

These numbers paint a clear picture: WordPress is more popular than ever, but managing multiple sites is a significant challenge for many professionals. Keeping up with updates, security, and performance optimization can be a full-time job in itself.

The good news is that WordPress management tools can automate many of these tasks and make your life much easier. Let‘s take a closer look at some of the leading platforms:

1. GoDaddy Pro

Topping our list is GoDaddy Pro, a comprehensive suite of tools designed specifically for web professionals managing multiple WordPress sites. GoDaddy Pro offers a free base plan that includes:

  • Centralized dashboard for managing all your WordPress sites
  • One-click updates for WordPress core, themes, and plugins
  • Daily backups with one-click restore
  • Uptime and performance monitoring with email/SMS alerts
  • Bulk updates and task scheduling for efficient management
  • Client management features for handling billing and purchases

GoDaddy Pro is an excellent choice for agencies and freelancers who want an all-in-one solution for managing client sites. The platform integrates seamlessly with GoDaddy‘s hosting plans and offers exclusive perks like free SSL certificates and domain privacy.

Some standout features of GoDaddy Pro include:

  • Consolidated dashboard: Manage all your sites, clients, and projects from a single interface.
  • Real-time security alerts: Get notified immediately if any of your sites are compromised or have outdated software.
  • Team collaboration: Assign tasks and manage access for your team members.
  • Client reports: Generate professional-looking reports to show your clients the work you‘ve done.

GoDaddy Pro users have reported significant time savings and improved efficiency. In a recent survey, 78% of users said they save at least 3 hours per month for each site they manage with the platform.

Getting Started with GoDaddy Pro

  1. Sign up for a free GoDaddy Pro account at https://www.godaddy.com/pro.
  2. Connect your existing WordPress sites using the GoDaddy Pro connector plugin.
  3. Configure your backup and monitoring settings.
  4. Start managing updates, security, and performance for all your sites from the GoDaddy Pro dashboard.

2. ManageWP

ManageWP is another popular choice for WordPress professionals, with over 1 million sites under management. The platform offers a comprehensive suite of tools for site maintenance, security, and optimization.

Key features of ManageWP include:

  • Scheduled backups: Automated daily or real-time backups with easy restore.
  • One-click updates: Update WordPress core, themes, and plugins across all your sites with a single click.
  • Security scanning: Malware scans powered by Sucuri with automated alerts and cleanup.
  • Performance monitoring: Track site speed, uptime, and resource usage.
  • Client reporting: White-label client reports and custom maintenance tasks.
  • Staging and cloning: Create staging sites for testing and development.

ManageWP offers a free plan for basic management features, with premium plans starting at $2.40 per site per month. The platform is well-suited for freelancers and small agencies managing up to 25 WordPress sites.

Some notable ManageWP success stories:

  • Bluetrain Inc., a web design agency, saves over 40 hours per month by using ManageWP to manage 150+ client sites. Read the full case study →
  • Raincross, an IT consultancy, uses ManageWP to secure and optimize 40+ WordPress sites for their education clients. Read the full case study →

Getting Started with ManageWP

  1. Create a free ManageWP account at https://managewp.com/signup.
  2. Add your WordPress sites using the connection method of your choice (plugin, FTP, or cPanel).
  3. Configure your global settings for backups, updates, and security scans.
  4. Install the ManageWP Worker plugin on your sites to enable remote management.

3. MainWP

MainWP takes a unique self-hosted approach to WordPress management. Instead of a cloud-based service, you install the MainWP Dashboard plugin on your own WordPress site and manage your child sites from there.

Some key advantages of MainWP‘s self-hosted model:

  • Full control and ownership: All your site data stays on your own server.
  • Flexibility and customization: Extend MainWP with a library of free and paid add-ons.
  • Unlimited sites: No restrictions on the number of sites you can manage.
  • Lifetime pricing: Pay once for add-ons and use them forever.

MainWP offers a powerful set of management features, including:

  • Bulk updates: Update WordPress core, themes, and plugins on multiple sites at once.
  • Remote backups: Schedule and store backups on cloud services like Amazon S3 and Dropbox.
  • Security scans: Detect malware, vulnerabilities, and blacklisting.
  • Uptime monitoring: Get notified if your sites go down.
  • Client reports: Generate branded client reports with custom metrics.

The MainWP Dashboard plugin is free, with individual add-ons priced from $29 to $69. The platform is popular with WordPress developers and agencies who value flexibility and control.

Getting Started with MainWP

  1. Install the free MainWP Dashboard plugin on your WordPress site.
  2. Create a new MainWP admin user and log in.
  3. Install the MainWP Child plugin on the sites you want to manage.
  4. Configure your global settings and activate your desired add-ons.

4. InfiniteWP

InfiniteWP is another self-hosted WordPress management solution aimed at developers and agencies. Like MainWP, it consists of a central admin panel plugin and individual client plugins for the sites you manage.

InfiniteWP offers an impressive array of advanced management features, such as:

  • Bulk plugin and theme management: Install, activate, and update plugins and themes on multiple sites.
  • Bulk settings management: Edit WordPress settings and configurations across sites.
  • Automatic updates: Schedule automatic updates for WordPress core, plugins, and themes.
  • Malware scanning: Scan for malware and vulnerabilities with the Sucuri Site Check API.
  • Uptime monitoring: Monitor site uptime and get alerts for downtime.
  • Two-factor authentication: Enforce 2FA for all managed sites.

InfiniteWP has a free base version with paid add-ons starting at $69 per year for unlimited sites. The platform is best suited for developers and agencies who need granular control over a large number of sites.

Getting Started with InfiniteWP

  1. Download the free InfiniteWP Admin Panel plugin and install it on your WordPress site.
  2. Create a new admin user and log in to the InfiniteWP dashboard.
  3. Install the InfiniteWP Client plugin on your managed sites.
  4. Activate your desired add-ons and configure your global settings.

5. Jetpack Manage

Jetpack Manage is a site management solution from Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com. It‘s part of the popular Jetpack plugin suite and allows you to manage an unlimited number of sites from a centralized WordPress.com dashboard.

Key features of Jetpack Manage include:

  • One-click site updates: Update WordPress core, plugins, and themes across all your sites.
  • Automatic backups: Daily or real-time backups with one-click restores.
  • Security scanning: Automated malware scans and brute force attack protection.
  • Uptime monitoring: Monitor site uptime and get alerts for downtime.
  • Centralized dashboard: View site stats, updates, and security status from a single interface.

Jetpack Manage is free for basic features, with paid plans starting at $10.95 per month per site for additional features like real-time backups and security scanning.

Getting Started with Jetpack Manage

  1. Install the free Jetpack plugin on your WordPress sites.
  2. Connect your sites to WordPress.com using your Jetpack account.
  3. Access the Jetpack Manage dashboard at https://wordpress.com/manage/.
  4. Configure your global settings for backups, updates, and security scans.

Expert Tips for Managing Multiple WordPress Sites

Now that you‘re familiar with some of the top WordPress management tools, here are some expert tips to help you get the most out of them:

  1. Standardize your tech stack: Use a consistent set of hosting providers, themes, and plugins across your sites to simplify management.
  2. Invest in premium plugins: Don‘t skimp on essential plugins for security, backups, and performance. Premium plugins offer better reliability and support.
  3. Automate wherever possible: Take advantage of your management tool‘s automation features to schedule tasks like backups and updates.
  4. Use staging sites: Create staging versions of your sites to test updates and changes before pushing them to production.
  5. Implement version control: Use a version control system like Git to track changes and roll back if needed.
  6. Choose a reliable host: Select a managed WordPress hosting provider that offers good performance, security, and support.
  7. Have a standard onboarding process: Streamline your client onboarding with standardized requirements gathering, billing, and training.
  8. Keep your documentation updated: Maintain accurate documentation of your management processes, site configurations, and best practices.

The Future of WordPress Site Management

As WordPress continues to evolve, so do the tools and best practices for managing multiple sites. Here are some exciting trends and developments to watch:

  • AI-powered optimization: Expect to see more AI-assisted tools for performance optimization, security monitoring, and customer support.
  • Tighter hosting integrations: Hosting providers will offer more seamless integrations with management tools for easier deployment and maintenance.
  • No-code site building: The rise of no-code site builders like Elementor and Divi will make it easier to create and manage custom WordPress sites without deep technical knowledge.
  • Headless WordPress: More developers will use WordPress as a headless CMS with modern frontend frameworks like React and Vue for better performance and flexibility.
  • Automatic updates: With the introduction of automatic updates in WordPress 5.5, more sites will be kept secure and up-to-date without manual intervention.

Conclusion

Managing multiple WordPress sites doesn‘t have to be a headache. With the right tools and processes in place, you can streamline your workflow, save time, and scale your web development business with ease.

We‘ve covered some of the top WordPress management solutions on the market, from all-in-one platforms like GoDaddy Pro and ManageWP to self-hosted options like MainWP and InfiniteWP. Each tool has its own strengths and ideal use cases, so choose the one that best fits your needs and budget.

Remember, investing in a good management tool is just the start. To truly optimize your WordPress operations, you need to implement best practices like standardization, automation, staging, and documentation. Stay up-to-date with the latest trends and continuously refine your processes.

Now it‘s your turn to take action. If you‘re still managing your WordPress sites manually, give one of these tools a try and see how much time and hassle you can save. If you‘re already using a management platform, take a fresh look at your workflow and see where you can optimize further.

Here‘s to a future of more efficient, scalable, and stress-free WordPress site management!