Managing the lifecycle and day to day maintenance of a WordPress blog can be a very tedious job. It is really a technically challenging job for even bloggers with some technical background and you can imagine the plight of non-technical bloggers. And what if you have to manage several WordPress blogs that you own?
Well, the answer is ManageWP. It’s a service that provides ONE view of all your WordPress blog from a single admin console to make the management of all your WordPress blogs a lot easier. This is a short review of the ManageWP service based on my usage of the same over the past couple of weeks.
Well, there may be other services out there that already provide this feature. The big difference between ManageWP and other services is that ManageWP itself is built on the WordPress platform and hence authentication and management features use the familiar WordPress interface.
Though I signed up with ManageWP (still in Beta as of Feb ‘12 second week) a couple of months ago, I started using it only this week and I must say that I am impressed with what I see on my Professional package (upto 10 blogs managed). The following are some of the salient features of ManageWP.
- ONE login to ManageWP console gives access to all your blogs
- Enhanced security – SSL with 128-bit encrypted security for login and user/sub-user management
- You can do one click WordPress upgrade on your blogs
- Can apply themes, install plugins, upgrade plugins on all blogs in one shot
- Post to any of the blogs or multiple blogs together from one console – Same is the case with pages and links
- Moderate comments from all blogs at one place
- Google Analytics integration and hence see all traffic data in one place
- Scheduled backups
- Traffic alerts, uptime monitoring etc
- SEO Analysis of all blogs
The full set of ManageWP features based on the package that you choose can be found at this link.
How to get Started?
It’s as easy as 1-2-3. The following are the logical steps
– Sign up with ManageWP and choose your package (right now in beta stage you can sign up free for trial and manage up to 3 websites)
– Add your blogs one by one. ManageWP requires your hosting solution to be running on PHP 5.0 and on each of the blogs that you add, you need to install and activate a ManageWP Worker Plugin
– That’s it! You will be able to add 10 or 15 blogs in no time or even before you realize and you are ready to go!
The actual number of blogs added will depend on the selected ManageWP package. Yes, it is a paid service after the trial period!
ManageWP – Positives and Improvement areas
At the moment, I am still browsing around the features that ManageWP has to offer. In my Professional package, I have already added five blogs (ajithprasad.com and four niche blogs) and here are my immediate findings (I shall update this post with more inputs later)
Managing all blogs at one place makes things super easy. Usually, every morning I have to switch between several WordPress admin panels to carry out some of the repetitive activities such as comment moderation. And upgrading to latest version of the plugins is something that keeps happening every other week or so and may be WordPress upgrades every other month? This plugin makes life easier for all those recurring activities.
However, I am not sure how often I would want to update my theme for all blogs together. I doubt if I will ever use the same template for all my blogs so this feature may not be as useful. However, since we are managing all blogs at one place, we need this feature anyhow for single blog theme update.
The ManageWP site had some downtime yesterday probably they are upgrading something. I intended to post this article yesterday and when I was about to take my screenshots it was down. I hope it’s a temporary issue. Otherwise, the site is usually super fast.
If you ask me to pick three concerns that I have ManageWP it would be security, pricing and session expiry.
What I do not know is whether the worker plugin that they install on every blog that I manage is vulnerable to any kind of attack. Also, I noticed that my ManageWP session is not expiring even though I left it unused for more than an hour.
Also, I thought their pricing is a bit on the higher side if you want advanced features such as analytics, backup management, SEO, uptime monitoring etc. But you never know, with the simplicity it offers, it may be even worth what you spend.
Anyhow, I will be back with more update on this topic because it’s probably going to be a day to day thing for me.
- Free version available