Maintain All Your WordPress Websites From A Central Location
When you build that first WordPress website, a few weeks later (maybe just a few days later) you learn about updates (plugins, WordPress core, or themes). Oh, that’s easy, just login, update whatever has an update available, and log out.
All good, right?
A few weeks later, you have five WordPress websites. Ten. Twenty. Now, how easy it is to login to all those websites, check for updates, perform the updates, and then log out? Pretty soon, it becomes extremely painful.
So what do you do?
This is why so many WordPress websites are not up to date. It’s just too much of a hassle once you have lots of websites that you need to login to, so most people just don’t bother.
It would be so much easier if we could do this from one place.
One option is to use Infinite WP as Joseph Foley wrote about a few months back. While Joeseph’s description is very straightforward and detailed, after reading through the process, I was exhausted. I determined that it was just too much work. Yes, I’m a bit lazy.
Another option is to use WP Remote – another free service. This one is pretty easy to get started with. Simply sign up for a free account, install the WP Remote plugin from the WordPress repository, copy the API key to the remote websites, and WP Remote should be able to access the information about your websites bringing it into the control panel for you. WP Remote provides the basic information (WP Version, Plugins, and Themes), so if you want to do more remotely, this is probably not the solution for you.
You could subscribe to a service such as ManageWP and pay a monthly cost starting at $6.30. Of course, the more websites you manage, the higher your cost.
An even more expensive option (in my opinion), is InfiniteWP. For $199, you can have all their addons which really make this a powerful suite of multiple WordPress website management tools. But, if you’re like me, that’s a bit of a steep price to pay when there are potentially other options.
Enter The Commander
Currently in Beta, CMS Commander is a website that can:
- Manage all your websites from one location
- Perform one click plugin updates
- Perform one click theme updates
- Plugin installation to any number of websites at the same time
- Theme installation to any number of websites at the same time
- Fetch articles from legal sources and post to any number of your websites
- Post images, videos, or affiliate products to any number of your websites
- Consolidate your Google Analytics to a single dashboard
- Schedule and create backups of your WordPress websites
When you sign up for a FREE Beta account, you can add up to 50 WordPress websites into your dashboard that you can manage from this one location. However, if you are like me, and are responsible for more websites, you can increase your limit by performing a few simple tasks.
- Follow @CMSCommander on Twitter – you will receive an additional 10 websites
- Tweet about CMSCommander – you will then receive an extra 15 WordPress websites
- If you will “Like” CMSCommander on Facebook and also write a review of CMS Commander or link to CMS Comander you can increase your limit up to 150 websites
I’ve been working with CMS Commander most of this week in preparation for this article. I must say that it is easy to use, very powerful, and full featured. You can even potentially clone one WordPress website to a new one if your server is configured to allow it. This is the only feature that I was unable to use as my current server is not configured properly to allow the clone and assign proper ownership to the files. But, my new server should not have these issues.
I have been using another solution that is hosted on one of my domains so I have full control over the program. This solution – which is currently not available while the developer is enhancing the features – is WP Internet Management Center. I have been using this for about a year and it has saved me so much time that the initial cost for it is negligible. But, if I did not have this already, I would make CMS Commander my solution of choice – partly because of it’s features and partly because of its cost.
Managing a few WordPress websites is a pretty simple process because it doesn’t take too much work to login and update the WordPress core, themes, and plugins. But, when you add a few more websites, it begins to get harder. When you are managing tens of WordPress websites, or even hundreds of websites, it can quickly become a painful process occupying more time than you can afford. By using a centralized dashboard, you can greatly reduce the time spent logging in and taking care of these updates.
Do you use some other type of centralized WordPress management system? If so, please share your solution in the comments so others can learn from your experience.
If you have any experience with any of these mentioned, we’d love to hear about those experienced – good or bad. Be sure to post them here in the comments section so everyone can benefit from that experience.