How to Easily Manage Multiple WordPress Sites (20 Tasks and 5 Best Tools)

Trying to manage multiple WordPress sites? Are you looking for an easy solution? The process of monitoring multiple websites and keeping them updated takes a lot of time.

Indeed, to keep your WordPress site running smoothly, you need to perform daily, weekly and monthly tasks.

Hopefully, there are several WordPress management tools that make managing multiple WordPress sites a breeze. By doing this, you will save a lot of time and ensure that your WordPress installs are well-performing, and your plugins up-to-date.

In this article, i’ll share with you my checklist to help you manage WordPress sites and the best tools to manage multiple WordPress sites like a pro!

So let’s get started!

WordPress Site Management Tasks

1. Monitor your WordPress sites uptime and performance

Downtime happens and they are disastrous for your SEO and online reputation. That’s why need to constantly check your websites uptime and performance.

Your should also make sure to have a reliable alerting system (email, slack or SMS) for downtime, because the sooner you are aware of it, the quicker you can troubleshoot them.

2. Keep Your Plugins And Theme Updated

Updates to WordPress core, plugins, and themes often increase security by patching vulnerabilities and strengthening against attacks. Keep your site updated to reduce the risk of a hack or other compromise.

Source : WPBeginner

So regularly update your current theme and plugins to latest versions. You should also deactivate and delete unused theme and plugins.

Also make sure to check that your premium plugins have valide licenses.

3. Monitor WordPress Error Logs

Custom codes, plugins and theme can conflicts between themselves and generate WordPress Errors. Most of these error are not relevant but some of them can break your website, lead to downtime or worse.

That’s why a good WordPress management strategy should also include the monitoring of WordPress error logs.

If the error is related to a plugin or theme that you did not developed, knowing where this error is coming from, will also speed up the support.

4. Harden WordPress Security

Hardening your WordPress websites security should be at the core of your multisite management strategy.

This includes, among other things, getting a powerful security plugin, checking users permissions, disable the File Editor in WordPress Tweaks, reviewing WordPress files permissions, activate and set up WordPress two-factor authentication, etc.

It’s also important to make sure that you use a recent PHP version and have a SSL certificate on your WordPress sites.

5. Improve Load-Times And Performance

Optimizing website performance and load times is the key component to technology-enhanced website creation and it has a direct impact on the success of modern online businesses.

Indeed, in many research papers and benchmarks, optimizing your site’s speed has been shown to be the most lucrative and affordable investment available!

Without entering into much details, you can significantly speed up your websites with two very simple actions:

  1. Installing a cache plugin like WP Rocket, W3 Total or. Hyper Cache
  2. Compressing and adapting your images for the web with a plugin like ShortPixel, Smush or Imagify.

6. Back up WordPress

Last but no least, it’s critical to always have at least, one recent backup of your website. You risk losing all your documents if your database gets corrupted or erased.

There are many possible reasons for this, and not all of them are within your control. Backing up your WordPress database and files will allow you to quickly restore your site.

Most of the WordPress managed hosting providers, like Kinsta, offer daily backup. However, my personal advice on this is to have more than one backup system in place for your WordPress website.

So if one is corrupted – and this happens more often than you think – you will have another alternative.

The Checklist To Keep Your WordPress Sites Running Smoothly (20 Tasks)

  1. Implement an uptime monitoring solution
  2. Monitor your websites performance
  3. Enable notifications in case of issue
  4. Regularly update your theme
  5. Regularly update your plugins
  6. Deactivate and remove unused plugins and themes
  7. Monitor WordPress error logs
  8. Update WordPress core to latest version
  9. Get a SSL certificate
  10. Install a security plugin
  11. Check your logs from time to time
  12. Disable the File Editor in WordPress Tweaks
  13. Make sure that WP_DEBUG, WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY and WP_DEBUG_LOG are ‘FALSE’
  14. Review WordPress file permissions
  15. Review WordPress users permissions and accounts
  16. Check your serveur PHP version from time to time
  17. Activate and set up WordPress two-factor authentication
  18. Install a cache plugin
  19. Compress your images
  20. Make Daily Backup your website

The Best Solutions for Managing Multiple WordPress Websites

Multiple WordPress websites can be challenging to manage. Despite the ease and simplicity of managing WordPress as a CMS, managing multiple admin panels can become increasingly complicated and time-consuming

With multiple sites, you must manually update plugins and themes, and keep track of core updates and many other critical things.

The WordPress community offers a number of services to help you deal with this particular challenge easily and spend less time managing the whole process.

Here are the 5 best solutions we recommend:

  • WP Umbrella
  • ManageWP
  • iThem Sync
  • MainWP
  • InfiniteWP

We identify these plugins because they are reliable, have a comprehensive set of features, a faire pricing and enable scaling of the business.

Let’s take a closer look at each tool!

1. WP Umbrella – The Easiest Way To Manage WordPress Sites

WP Umbrella single dashboard

WP Umbrella is a new comer in the world of multiple sites management. The plugin was first released a few month ago but already offers all the must-have features you need to manage several site from a single dashboard, from uptime monitoring, to one-click updates and client reports.

WP Umbrella offers a clear pricing and amazing user experience. This plugin is light, easy to use, and offers some unique feature such as the PHP error monitoring.

This help you to troubleshoot PHP errors and identify conflicting plugins to make your site more safe and improve its performance.

Core features
  • Single dashboard to manage all your websites
  • Uptime monitoring (1-10 minutes)
  • Performance monitoring from all over the world
  • Easy plugins and theme update
  • PHP errors monitoring
  • Security warnings
  • Reliable alerting system (Slack/email)
  • External API
  • Premium support
  • White labeling
Pro about WP Umbrella
  • Probably the best dashboard for multiple sites.
  • The most comprehensive monitoring solution for WordPress.
  • Easy to set up and use.
  • Clear pricing.
  • Support with the greatest of care.
  • Dynamic product
Con about WP Umbrella
  • Early product (1 year old).
  • No free plan, only a 14 days trial.
  • Less than 10 000 active installs on Plugin WordPress directory.

2. ManageWP

ManageWP Dashboard

ManageWP is the most popular services out there for managing multiple websites. It was bought in 2016 by GoDaddy.

Its single dashboard allows webmasters to fully manage all their websites and makes updating, backing up, and carrying out security scans relatively easy.

ManageWP’s dashboard can be accessed from the ManageWP website, and all your websites can be linked through the Worker plugin.

ManageWP uptime monitoring

ManageWP’s core functionality is free for unlimited sites. They do, however, offer a number of monthly subscription features. For example, free automated backups and security scans are included but real-time back ups and automated security scans need to be purchased as an add-on. This can quickly make ManageWP pricing complex.

Core features
  • Manage updates, plugins & themes
  • Monthly backup 
  • 1-Click Login 
  • Performance checks
  • Security checks 
  • Collaborate with Team & Clients 
  • Google Analytics integration
  • Manage Comments remotely
  • Client Report 
Pro about Manage WP
  • Freemium features including monthly backup
  • Very well established solution
  • Integration with GoDaddy
  • Probably the most comprehensive set of features to manage multiple WordPress sites
Con about Manage WP
  • Unclear pricing.
  • Complex to use and sometime heavy.
  • Lack of reactivity from support.

3. iThem Sync

iThemes Sync is another excellent WordPress manager. The plugin was formerly named Better WP Security. You can use it for ten sites for free in the limited free version.

With the free version, you can manage WordPress updates from a single dashboard. Themes and plugins can also be installed from WordPress.org or manually, by uploading them.

The paid plans are where the real power lies. You’ll get access to uptime monitoring, client reports, user management, security, integration and much more.

The site’s management is simplified by an easy-to-use interface.

iTheme Sync Core features
  • One-click WordPress updates
  • WordPress Uptime Monitoring
  • Google Analytics integration
  • WordPress Theme and Plugin Manager
  • Remote WordPress backups
  • Customizable dashboard
Pro about iTheme Sync
  • Bulk Install Themes and Plugins From WordPress.org or Zip Upload
  • Show/Hide Sync From the WP Dashboard
  • Client Dashboard
  • Probably the most comprehensive set of features to manage multiple WordPress sites
Con about Manage WP
  • Complex to use and sometime heavy.
  • There is no free version.

4. MainWP

MainWP dashboard

This tool allows you to manage multiple WordPress websites through an open-source interface. This is possible by setting up a central hub on a website. You can then manage your other websites, perform pending updates, monitor your uptime, create backups, and perform security scans from the central hub.

Additionally, MainWP allow you configure .htaccess files, monitor SSL certificates, check error logs, manage users, tweak your site’s .htaccess files, plus perform dozens of other tasks.

Unlike InfiniteWP and ManageWP, MainWP is a standalone solution. It is possible to download a free version but you won’t be able to select just the extensions you need: the whole package must be purchased. Setting up MainWP took the longest of all the plugins in this list.

MainWP core features
  • Uptime Monitoring
  • Plugins and theme easy update
  • Posts and themes management
  • Backups
  • Article Uploader
  • File Uploader
  • Google Analytics integration
  • iThemes Security 
  • Page Speed checker
  • Staging 
Pro about MainWP
  • Users can customize MainWP because it is an open source project
  • Clear pricing with a lifetime access
Con about MainWP
  • Setting up and configuring extensions takes a lot of time;

5. InfiniteWP

Designed for agencies, developers, and freelancers, InfiniteWP provides powerful site management functionality.

You can manage as many websites as you want for free. This free version, however, is only capable of updating WordPress themes, plugins, and core files. On-demand site backups are also available, but you’ll need to purchase an add-on to store them remotely.

With InfiniteWP’s premium plan, you get all paid features like: staging website, malware scanning, uptime monitoring, client reports, managing comments, publishing posts and pages, two-factor authentication, broken link checker, etc.

You can also white label the plugin so your clients will see your logo instead of that of InfiniteWP.

InfiniteWP core features
  • Bulk update plugins & themes 
  • Install new plugins & themes 
  • On-demand backups 
  • Edit site details 
  • Maintenance mode 
  • Activity logs
  • PREMIUM ADD-ONS
  • Website cloning 
  • Google Analytics integration
  • Manage comments 
  • Multiple sites publication
  • Broken link checker 
  • Staging 
  • Two-Factor authentication 
Pro about InfiniteWP
  • A nice set of features is free for life
Con about InfiniteWP
  • In the past, this plugin has had security issues and people keep complaining about it.
  • It is very expensive to purchase all of the premium add-ons.

Managing Multiples WordPress Sites: Final Thoughts & Ultimate Tips

Managing several WordPress sites might be time-consuming. Fortunately, several WordPress management tools can empower you to easily manage multiple WordPress sites from a single dashboard

This will boost your productivity and give your peace of mind.

The plugins and application mentioned in the article will help you to:

  • Be alerted in case of issues on all of your websites;
  • Manage all your sites without logging into each separately.
  • Harden your WordPress sites security 
  • Keep your websites healthy and your customers happy!

Use one of these tools to make sure that all your sites are working properly and save time, regardless if you are a WordPress developer, or an agency.

If you like this guide, you might also be interested by our article about the Best Dev Tools for WordPress (And Must-Have Dev Tools)!