Anyone who’s running more than a single WordPress website should consider streamlining the process of managing their WordPress websites. So, in this post – we’ll cover the leading WordPress management tools to help keep your whole portfolio of sites up-to-date, fast & secure without spending hours every single day checking up on sites.
Why Should You Use WordPress Management Tools?
Even though WordPress is pretty simple in terms of maintenance, this can be an extremely time-consuming task when it comes to managing multiple websites. It has an in-built feature of managing websites called WordPress Multisite, through which you can build a whole network of WP sites and manage them from a single dashboard.
WordPress Multisite is a good tool, but it has some limitations in managing multiple sites of different clients that share different server resources. If you want to manage multiple WordPress installations properly, then you should opt for WordPress management tools.
With WordPress management tools, you can:
- Update all of your WordPress sites with one click.
- Install themes and plugins easily.
- Create and manage users, comments, and other WordPress options.
- Set up automatic updates of your websites.
With WordPress management tools, you can easily manage all of your WordPress sites without logging in to each one separately.
What Features Should You Look For In A WordPress Management Tools?
WordPress management tools offer different features to accommodate your needs. The two important features that a good management tool should have:
- Automatic backups
- Doing bulk updates of the site
Other features range from:
- WordPress updates — themes, plugins, and cores
- Installations for entire sites
- Create Offsite backups
- Manage users/comments
- Manage WordPress sites from a single dashboard
- Virus scan, filter spam, monitor uptime
- Integrate Google Analytics
WordPress Multisite vs WordPress Management Tools?
When we talk about WordPress multiple sites management, you might think of WordPress Multisite, a WordPress core feature that allows you to have a network of different websites sharing the same WordPress installation core files.
WordPress Multisite is free and you can manage all the websites in the network within a single dashboard. The installed plugins and themes are shared across the network. This option can be good if you are managing a single user’s multiple websites that share many of the same resources. But it goes without saying that it isn’t always the right choice – especially with client sites that differ and require completely different setups.
So – in this guide, we’ll walk through some of the best software and tools available to manage individual WordPress
The WordPress management tools are the solution if you are managing multiple WordPress websites for multiple clients that have sites of various different types, as WordPress Multisite has a lot of limitations in this segment.
Hosted or Self-hosted?
The WordPress management tool has two different hosting options: hosted and self-hosted. Regardless of whether you choose a hosted or self-hosted tool, you will need to install the plugin on each WordPress site that you want to manage.
Hosted: you do not need a hosting account for the web tool. The tool’s hosting and security are all handled by the service provider. The management tool dashboard is on the service provider’s server. It is a SaaS (Software as a Service). The main benefit of the hosted solution is that you have one less thing to worry about. However, some people may be concerned about their website data security & privacy.
- WP Umbrella
- WP Remote
- iThemes Sync
Self-hosted: You need to maintain a hosting account for the web tool. The tool’s hosting and security are your own responsibility. All data remains on your server. No 3rd party has access to your management tool and websites.
What Are The Best WordPress Management Tools?
Let’s take a look at some of the best WordPress management tools:
MainWP is a popular self-hosted WordPress management tool through which multiple WordPress sites can be managed easily. It is an open-source tool that provides an intuitive interface where you can do all the work, like updating everything across your WordPress sites, such as plugins, themes, and cores.
The real power of MainWP is its large set of MainWP extensions which adds additional features for administrative tasks, content backup, performance, security, and visitor data.
- By just clicking a button, you can update all of your WordPress sites to their latest version of WordPress
- The plugins and themes can be updated automatically. If any new update is available, then MainWP will send you email notifications before automatically updating them
- It helps in improving your website security by checking out the listed sites and sending you an email alert of any abandoned updates
- Managing and setting up configurations takes up a lot of time
Pricing: It’s free to use, and the pro version starts at $29/month
InfiniteWP lets you manage numerous WordPress sites through a single dashboard. The free plan offers limited core updates, backups and themes, and plugins, while the premium version provides more advanced features. It’s a self-host WordPress management tool that does not require a WordPress installation
- Themes, cores, and plugins can be updated with just a click
- In the premium version, you can create and manage different users
- The premium version also offers WordPress deployment, malware scan, client reporting, and different other features
- With all the premium add-ons to use, it may become pretty expensive
InfiniteWP recommends NOT to install it on the same server as your WordPress sites. You have three options to install InfiniteWP on your server:
- WordPress plugin: Install InfiniteWP admin panel as a WordPress plugin
- cPanel: Enter your cPanel hosting login credentials and InfiniteWP will be installed for you
- Manual: Manually download & upload InfiniteWP installer via FTP, create database then run the online installer
Pricing: Offers a free plan, and the basic plan starts at $147/year
You’ll need a WordPress.com account through which you’ll be managing all your websites. JetPack acts as a connector between WordPress.com servers and your websites, and it has multiple WordPress site management systems which allow you to manage websites. You can also manage any private or local websites with JetPack, and only you have to enable JetPack’s development mode.
- The free version offers downtime monitoring and helps in managing all the core updates of your website
- It protects your website from basic brute force attacks
- The paid version provides more features such as automated backups, security fixes, malware scanning, site activity logs, etc.
- It doesn’t have any features of a dedicated management plugin, such as theme switching and cloning
Pricing: It has a free plan, and paid plans start at $39/year
ManageWP is another popular WordPress management tool that saves your time by automating your workflow.
They are one of the earliest WordPress management platforms on the market which was founded in 2010. GoDaddy acquired it in 2016 and they offer some ManageWP premium features for free to GoDaddy Pro members.
ManageWP offers generously free features for unlimited websites:
- Monthly off-site backup
- Manual Sucuri Security Check for malware
- Manual site performance check
- Manual client reports
- Google Analytics integration
- Remotely turn on Maintenance mode for sites
- Manage comments of all sites in one place
- Manage plugins & themes. Options to ignore a plugin update, install an older plugin version
- Vulnerability check for installed plugins
- Grant ManageWP dashboard access to client/team member without revealing your password
- Create WordPress site templates (blueprints) for quick new WordPress site setup
Premium add-ons to unlock the automation feature are available for the security check, performance check, and client report.
Other premium add-ons are:
- On-demand and scheduled backup with cloning/migration tool (unlock safe updates feature)
- Website uptime monitor
- A white label allows you to re-brand the ManageWP plugin or hide it entirely
- SEO keyword tracking
- Link monitor to check website broken links
- ManageWP can be a bit complicated to use
Pricing: It’s free to use and provides premium add-ons at affordable prices
5. WP Umbrella
WP Umbrella is the newest WordPress Management tool and it’s super easy to use.
Just like with other WordPress management tools, all of your websites can be managed through a single dashboard, but not all features that others have (like backing up websites) are available.
The reason for this, but also something that separates WP Umbrella from is that their vision is providing services they are able to manage, that is super stable, and that users can rely on.
Founders of WP Umbrella quit their well-paid jobs with a vision to create the best WordPress management tool ever. They believe that transparency of their work is something everyone will appreciate and they even have a public Trello board where everyone can see what are they currently developing and what’s next ahead.
Seems like 2022 is going to get broken links monitor and backups, which will most certainly be super useful to their users!
- Super lean platform and functionalities
- Themes and plugins can be easily updated
- It offers uptime & performance monitoring of one to ten minutes
- Monitoring PHP errors from plugins and themes
- Health checks & security monitoring
- It offers limited features, and some of them are still in the beta phase.
Pricing: It offers a 14-day free trial
6. WP Remote
WP Remote offers many advanced features and they are ultimately one of the most popular solutions when it comes to WordPress management tools.
WP Remote was taken over by maekit in 2017 and despite the thanks to maekit that WP Remote development will continue, subsequent to which there were no updates for over a year. That caused a lot of users to switch to other solutions in order to avoid potential security threats but in 2019, WP Remote has been acquired by BlogVault.
After our latest check out (November 2021), the WP Remote plugin is fully safe and it receives updates properly, making it safe to use but also a very good option for managing multiple websites!
- It offers a one-click option feature to update all the plugins, cores, and themes
- The premium version provides WordPress backups on-demand and off-site to download them on your computer or store them elsewhere via SFTP or AWS
- Other features offered by paid version are Website Security and Customer Support
- All the updates are done automatically, but it doesn’t send any notifications, making it difficult to track the updates
Pricing: It offers both free and paid plans. The basic plan starts from $49/month for up to 20 websites
7. iThemes Sync
iThemes Sync WordPress Management Tools is maintained by the BackupBuddy plugin. Managing sites is easy through its intuitive interface while offering several features.
- The paid plan offers different features such as security, user management, Google search console, uptime monitoring, etc.
- It provides integration with BackupBuddy cloud storage,
- All the sites can be managed from a single dashboard,
- Generate and email client WordPress maintenance reports,
- Configure client dashboard,
- Monitor site’s uptime and performance,
- SEO checker,
- Track and view Google Analytics data from the dashboard,
- Automatically share posts to Twitter.
- It doesn’t offer any free plans.
Pricing: Paid plan starts at $6.99/month with a one-month free trial.
Not the most popular option, but since Glow showed up in 2020, they are taking over the world of WordPress management tools by storm.
Glow offers a variety of features and is growing very fast as its founders are determined to set a new industry standard and provide the most efficient WordPress management tool ever.
- Support ticketing system for customer support
- One-click access to all WordPress sites you’re managing from one dashboard
- Bulk updates of WordPress version, plugins, and themes
- Stopwatch for measuring how much custom development time has been spent on the client’s website
- Timeline reporting
- Various custom reports
- WordPress, Stripe, and Active Campaign integrations
- Not many known cons as the software is pretty new, but possibly might still have some minor bugs as developers are actively working on improving it
Pricing: They have a 7-day free plan with no credit card needed, and they have a free plan on their pricing. The most basic plan starts at $31 per month and you can manage up to 10 websites.
iControlWP is a hosted management solution for WordPress. You can use the tool by logging in to the website and don’t need any software to download.
The iControlWP backup is powered by the WordDrive WordPress backup system. It does daily automated backups and support automatic restores. You can also create a test site on their hosting server with your backup data.
- It provides one central dashboard to manage WordPress updates, backups, security, and more
- It is lightweight to use
- Dashboard access supports multi-factor authentication and IP address restriction.
- Configure WordPress security options such as:
- Malware scan
- Database table prefix
- Authentication keys/salt
- Disable file editing
- Set certain plugins to automatic updates
- Lock plugins to prevent automated updates
- iControlWP becomes expensive when you have to manage lots of sites
Pricing: The pricing plan starts at $15/month.
10. WP Central
Softaculous, the leading software auto-installer for web hosting panels (cPanel, Plesk, DirectAdmin, etc), has a WordPress management service named WPCentral. It offers a free basic plan for unlimited WordPress sites to manage plugins & themes and do local backups/restore.
WPCentral paid plan supports automated remote backup & restore. The highlight feature is the Plugins/Themes Sets. It allows you to create sets of WordPress plugins and themes which you can directly install on the websites. Saving your time on installing them one-by-one.
Pricing: Free basic plan for unlimited sites. Paid plan starts from $2.50 for 1 site.
After Action Report – Choosing The Best WordPress Management Software For Your Business
Now you know it is easy to manage multiple WordPress sites in a single place. The WordPress management tools are available for all user levels and needs.
Many tools offer a free basic plan to manage your sites. Professional users have options to buy selected add-ons or subscribe paid plan for all advanced features.
For those just looking for a simple, hosted solution that’s easy to get up & running – we’d recommend looking into ManageWP – it offers generous free features, you will have a decent learning curve, and if you find yourself in need of additional features, you can always get some of many premium features they offer.
For self-hosted WordPress management tools, MainWP is the most affordable tool (nothing beats free). It offers many features via extensions, supports many popular WordPress plugins, and has good community support. The MainWP lifetime membership is a steal.
Which WordPress management tool are you using now & how many sites do you manage? Let us know & join the conversation by leaving a comment below. 💬