If you’ve already installed a handful of WordPress websites you’re probably well aware of how much of a pain it can be to manage those websites. Every time you want to install a new plugin, check for updates or update posts you have to sign into various different accounts and then log out of those accounts, not the most efficient way to spend your time. Thankfully the team at ManageWP has made it far easier to manage multiple sites from one WordPress administration area.
Found at ManageWp.com the WordPress plugin is currently free to use (paid versions will arrive once the program leaves beta testing).
Users begin using the program by installing it on the main blog where they will access all of their other websites. The website chosen to control the others doesn’t matter. After the plugin is installed users then simply install the program on the other blogs they plan to use with the program.
Clicking on the “Add Websites” option on the left side of the WP administrator area then allows users to enter the website URL and administrator username for the website they want to add. It should be noted that anyone can claim your blog URL until you add it to your account, if you aren’t ready to claim a website be sure to deactivate the ManageWP plugin on that website.
You’ll also notice in the screenshot above that you can choose site colors for each website you choose to include, allowing for better “branding” of your administrator pages for each website.
Once a website is added users then have the ability to add and update plugins and WordPress themes. The Bulk Upload Files option allows users to choose which websites they would like to add a new plugin or theme to. Users can also choose to “Activate plugins after upload” a great option if the plugin doesn’t require extra “tweaking” to make work.
You’ll also notice that on the mass file uploads option you can choose where files will be uploads from such as the “WordPress Repository” and through an internet location in .ZIP file format which will be unarchived upon upload.
One of my favorite features included with ManageWP is the ability to schedule backups. I was able to choose between daily, weekly and monthly backups and those options could be given a task name for easy access. I personally liked the ability to choose a full backup with site and database files or a simple database backup as required. Because the program allows for tasks to be setup I could easily create a full site backup weekly and a daily dump for my websites MySql files.
As you’ll notice on the screenshot shown above you can also choose which websites each backup should occur for and under the “Alternative backup destination” you can choose to backup to Amazon S3, Dropbox and FTP.
Along with the ability to backup files and add themes+plugins I also found the “bulk create new post, bulk create new pages and bulk create links” to be of interesting use. Under each of those options I had the ability to send specific posts, pages and links to multiple websites. While typically a website owner won’t post all of their content to each of their sites (duplicate content) the option for a blog network can come in handy when blog network news is made available and when certain breaking news information needs to be reported across various websites quickly by a single author.
Here’s a quick look at the bulk create post screenshot:
As you’ll notice on the bulk upload option it’s simple to publish to multiple websites by simply using the checkboxes to the right of the content area, publish a post as you normally would using the WordPress editor and the post appears on the websites you have selected.
Another unique feature for ManageWP is the ability to clone/migrate a website. If you are creating a network in which the same themes and plugins will be used this feature makes it simple to setup a new website without worrying about installing every plugin or wordpress theme individually.
I highly recommend checking out ManageWP if you manage more than one WordPress based website. If you aren’t convinced yet that it’s right for you, here’s an official ManageWP demonstration video: