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How To Manage Multiple WordPress Websites Effectively

Posted on February 3 by in Tips & Tricks | 116 comments

How To Manage Multiple WordPress Websites Effectively

Managing multiple WordPress websites can be a challenge. In addition to updating each website to the latest version of WordPress, you also have to update plugins and themes regularly.

Performing other tasks, such as moderating comments, can also be time-consuming because you have to constantly switch between websites and log in and log out.

Thankfully, there are a number of services available that help you manage multiple WordPress websites effectively. In this article, I would like to give you a quick look at seven of the best WordPress management solutions available online.

1. ManageWP

Owned by WordPress plugin developer Vladimir Prelovac, ManageWP is the most well-known WordPress management service online. The main interface is intuitive with all websites listed down the left hand side of the page and an overview section that lets you quickly update plugins and themes, delete post revisions and remove spam comments.

ManageWP

ManageWP is the most popular service for managing multiple WordPress websites.

All ManageWP plans allow you to manage up to five websites free of charge, with statistics and website scans being featured in free plans too. Premium plans start from only $0.80 per website per month and includes many additional features such as backup and restore functionality.

2. WP Remote

WP Remote lets you monitor an unlimited number of WordPress websites for free. Through the WP Remote dashboard you can update WordPress and update your plugins and themes. You can also download a snapshot (backup) of your websites.

WP Remote

WP Remote allows you to monitor and update all of your WordPress websites.

Premium plans cost around $5 per website per month. additional features include automatic backups to their servers (or S3 or Dropbox), daily notification emails and a complete record of all activity on your websites.

3. CMS Commander

In my opinion, CMS Commander has one of the most practical interfaces for managing multiple websites. From the main dashboard you can see a list of all of your websites, a stats overview and details of what needs to be updated. Updates can be performed for all of your websites by utilizing the “Update All” button.

CMS Commander

CMS Commander boasts an intelligent interface that cuts down management time significantly.

CMS Commander has a lot of unique features such as the ability to integrate affiliate networks into your website and the ability to clone your websites. You can also bulk edit posts across your whole portfolio and copy whole articles from one website to another. Automatic backups are available too.

Prices start from only $4.90 per month for up to five websites, however a free plan is available with limited features.

4. iControlWP

iControlWP has a lot of great features such as an automated update option, bulk actions for all websites, a malware scanner and automatic backups. The main dashboard also lets you performs manual updates and moderate comments.

iControlWP

iControlWP has a fair pricing plan that will appeal to many.

iControlWP charges $0.60 per website. The cheapest plan is $3 per month for five websites. Beyond that, you will only pay for what you use e.g. $3.60 for six websites, $4.20 for seven websites etc. This should work out cheaper for most WordPress users as other services use fixed pricing plans. They offer a 30 day free trial that lets you try out the service.

5. InfiniteWP

InfiniteWP is a free application that you can install on your server to manage all of your WordPress websites. It allows you to create a master login that accesses all of your websites. One click updates are available and you can bulk install favourite plugins with a single click. You can also use InfiniteWP to backup and restore your websites.

InfiniteWP

InfiniteWP is a self-hosted platform that is free to download.

Although InfiniteWP is free to download, the basic version lacks many features that can be found on other services such as managing users, uptime monitoring, website cloning and scheduled backups. All of these features can be purchased for a fee. Unfortunately, they are very expensive. For example, it will cost you $69 to purchase the addon that lets you manage posts and pages across your websites and $49 to manage comments. All addons can be purchased for $586; which is a discount from their full price of $837.

Whether InfiniteWP is good value for money depends on how many websites you own and what features you need. InfiniteWP does not charge a monthly fee and the application can be used on an infinite number of websites; therefore, those of you who would have to pay a high monthly fee on a comparative service for the same features may be better off. As InfiniteWP is free to download, I recommend testing the application before you buy.

6. WP Pipeline

WP Pipeline is a WordPress plugin that lets you manage multiple websites. It has some good features such as the ability to group certain websites into groups, user management, backups and easy updating.

WP Pipeline

In the long term, WP Pipeline may be a more cost effective solution for some WordPress users.

The basic option costs a one off fee of $27 and allows up to five websites to be controlled. The standard option offers more value; allowing up to one hundred websites to be controlled for a one off fee of $67.

Sadly, the look and feel of WP Pipeline leaves a lot to be desired, and there is no option to try the plugin before choosing to buy.

7. MainWP

MainWP is a WordPress management plugin that offers easy upgrading, backup scheduling and website cloning. Additional functionality can be added by purchasing extensions.

MainWP

Additional functionality can be added to MainWP by purchasing extensions.

MainWP lets you control up to five websites free of charge. Unlike other website management solutions, MainWP does not limit the free plugin in any way. It has all the same features as the premium premium plugin.

The standard option retails at $24 and allows up to twenty five websites. Up to one hundred websites can be managed for $49 and an unlimited number of websites for $79.

Final Thoughts

Managing a high number of WordPress websites individually is both time-consuming and impractical. A good WordPress management can streamline your administrative duties and potentially save you hours of work every week.

Except for WP Pipeline, all solutions noted in this article offer a free account or a free trial. I recommend taking advantage of this and trying each option out before you hand over any money. Be sure to pay attention to what functionality each solution offers and do not underestimate the power of a good user interface.

What is your favourite solution for managing WordPress websites? Please let us know in the comment area.

116 Comments

  1. Had just started looking into this topic and this post couldn’t have come at a better time. I’d only heard about ManageWP but want to look into some of the other options. I like the idea of having some free trial time and that MainWP has a free plan with 5 sites or less with no time limit!

  2. We’re pretty fond of Infinite WP, as we have several hundred websites that we manage using IWP.

    While the plugins may appear expensive, they are much cheaper than the monthly fees the other software vendors charge for their services.

    We’re especially fond of the backup & schedule backup plugin, optimize plugin, and the clone or install wordpress plugin.

    • Kevin Muldoon

      That’s good to hear Jack. It seems Infinite WP is a great option for many website owners as you can choose the add ons you need.

  3. I’m a big fan of InfiniteWP. I started off with ManageWP but it just started getting expensive as I took on managing client sites. Then I switched over to InfiniteWP and have been very happy. I got all the add-ons and I use it to clone demo sites I setup to have a basis when setting up a new site for clients, plus I have it automatically back up all of my my sites and client sites on a weekly basis. Could do it more often but weekly is enough for me and my clients.

    Thanks for this extensive review of all these though. It’s always good to know what is out there.

    • Kevin Muldoon

      Glad you found it useful Adam.

      Out of interest, are you using Infinite WP to backup to Amazon S3 or Dropbox (or something else)?

  4. Hello! I’m a happy customer of InfiniteWP and can say with confindence that it is a very robust and trustable piece of software. I use the free version with unlimited sites but without the paid plugins since I dont use them, and I can tell I’m very very happy with it. The only requirement is to have an unused domain or subdomain to install the php app. You can install it in a subfolder of one of your main sites if you prefer, too.

    To make backups, I’d rather prefer BackWPup in every website since it has the better config options in the market, and for free.

    • Kevin Muldoon

      Yeah I thought that if I was using it, I would just use a sub folder. But a sub domain perhaps makes more sense as it is treated as a separate website.

  5. Thanks, you just answer to one of my issues, I try to created a project for multiple website that i will have to manage, and i was at the point of thinking about a solution to manage them effectively, u just give me too many, ill take the time to try them and be back to told u what was my choise, thanks again for this usefull post.

  6. Very usefull post, thank you for share

  7. Great article…thx. InfiniteWP also gets our vote. We currently manage +/-80 sites and it works very well. We’ve added some plug modules and the ability to reset an acct pswd across all sites has been invaluable.

    • Kevin Muldoon

      Wow. 80 websites is impressive. I can understand why you use Infinite WP. With the professional plan, ManageWP would cost you $96 per month to manage 75 websites.

  8. I have used InfiniteWP since it first came out, got the ‘all plugins’ plan back when it was first offered. I manage about 40 sites, slightly less than half of them my own. IWP is very effective for keeping track of updates, scheduling backups, cloning sites, etc.

    However…it’s not possible to create an IWP dashboard for your clients that have multiple websites…unless you pay for a whole new account. In addition, although there is a cool ‘favorites’ feature for installing plugins or themes, you have to host the premium items on an ftp server and provide the ftp address for each one. And if you want to password protect that server it is a little tricky, so you can end up with premium addon links that get found by bots and your vendors will get mad at you.

    So when I ran across MainWP, and saw that it could solve these issues, I was very interested. Another feature of MWP is that it is built on a wordpress platform (preferably a dedicated one) and so it is a familiar interface.

    I created a test dashboard in MainWP, liked it enough to purchase the ‘favorites’ plugin, and have since gotten the unlimited plan. I am not replacing InfiniteWP; I am enhancing my overall capability by using both IWP and MWP.

    MainWP is supposed to go out of beta soon and the price will likely go way up, so I recommend jumping in quickly if you like the way it works.

    BTW: I tried ManageWP, it is ok but I don’t like their pricing structure. Of the others mentioned in the article, except for the two I have purchased, I have no direct experience.

    • Kevin Muldoon

      Thanks for the detailed review Chuck. I have not used MainWP extensively myself.

      ManageWP seems like a good option for a few websites, however their pricing plan seems to get very expensive when you have many websites (I didn’t realise just how much when I wrote this article – sorry, that’s something I should have noted).

    • Very big thanks for this article!! And much more for the comments!! That is really important topic for everyone who need to manage many wordpress sites. For now I tried to use IWP, and it seems to work fine for me (already added 17 websites and updated them trough IWP), but after reading all comments looking to icontrolwp as more friendly.

  9. Great tip, I’ll try with CMs commander, thank you

    • Kevin Muldoon

      Best of luck with it Pedro. I encourage you to try a few others too in order to see how it stands up against the competition :)

  10. Thanks . Great list you have here. I’ve been using a service with a membership site that I belong to but I never could reason out where the access point was for it or how secure it really is.

  11. I never knew any of these services or applications existed! Thanks a million for the info!!

  12. Thanks your info. Very useful for multi wordpress admin. forward good luck always elegant themes :)

  13. Another vote for InfiniteWP. We use several of their addons as well and it’s a solid platform with a good interface. I don’t like monthly plans or site limits myself so this was a great option for us.

  14. Thanks for this detailed post and the comments from others. Very helpful!

  15. Thanks for this, very useful.
    But I’m a bit confused here: does this automatically imply that we have to give admin access to third party websites?

    • Kevin Muldoon

      You would have to check the policy of each service, however most adhere to policies that ensure that they cannot read sensitive data.

      For example, at https://managewp.com/user-guide/security, ManageWP states that:

      “ManageWP was developed with security in mind. No sensitive information about your sites is stored on the ManageWP server and you are never required to enter a password for any of your blogs. All operations are performed on your blogs directly as if you were logged into them. This is possible due to the Worker plugin installed on your sites. The installation process requires special care to ensure your sites are secure.”

      • Excellent, thanks for this, will check out this further.

  16. I will be trying infinite WP based on all the praise here!… I’d also like to add a vote for the UpdraftPlus backup plugin. I use it with a Dreamhost / DreamObjects account for pushing my backups offsite to dreamhost. I don’t use dreamhost for hosting, just for the backup storage.

    • Hi Wes,

      I love UpdraftPlus, but use it to send my backups to my Dropbox account.

      How are you liking Dreamobjects? I’m thinking of using it in conjunction with their new CDN service, but I’m not all that clear on CDNs in general, just that they’re really recommended for WordPress sites.

      Deb

  17. Like many others I’ve been really impressed with IWP. At the moment I just run it locally (via Severpress) and it seems really easy to use and really solid.

    I might look at buying the scheduled backups and backup to dropbox duo at some point but for now the free version is doing great :-)

  18. I tried managing several WP installations manually, but eventually migrated all of them to a single WPMS installation. It’s less overhead on my server, only one admin back end area to need to worry about keeping updated and works with nearly everything.

    WPMS is the built-in multisite/multiuser part of WordPress that allows you to run multiple WP blogs from a single WP instance. Turning it on is pretty simple and maintaining it is even simpler.

    It’s what wordpress.com runs on, so yo know it’s going to handle your installation.

    • Kevin Muldoon

      I tried multi-site several years ago and found it to be lacking, though I am aware that it has come on leaps and bounds since then.

      Does it offer similar functionality to the services noted above like updating all plugins etc?

      • Yes it does manage plugin and core updates from one place. You can also set up domain mapping to map sub sites to appear at different domains, but not, apparently, if you’re on shared hosting.

        Multisite allows for network sites in subdomains and sub directories, by the way.

    • I thought WPMS is for sub-domains, didn’t know you may host different main domains from there…? Is that true???

      • The is a plugin for domain mapping tat u can use main domain in the wpmu sites

      • I got into WPMS from doing a tutorial course at lynda.com

        http://www.lynda.com/WordPress-3-0-tutorials/Creating-and-Managing-a-Blog-Network-with-WordPress/91001-2.html

        I run multiple domains and subdomains from this one installation – they all have different themes and plugins enabled and you can distribute users descretely across site instances – perfect when you have clients who have multiple sites they would like to administer with one login/password. Also WPMS provides some sandbox insulation for clients who want admin access.

        I think it would be non-trivial to set up without a decent tutorial. I’m really glad I put in the effort. I run several sites of my own, and I am considering putting clients into the same multi-site now that I am confident with it.

        Kevin, I really think no discussion about WP management is complete without a comparison to WPMS.

  19. Hallelujah!

    We have been managing HUNDREDS of WordPress websites for years, and have been doing so manually, with no solutions like this at all. I’ve always known that there had to be something like these options out there, but never had seen anything on any of them until today!

    Thanks for putting this out there!

    • Kevin Muldoon

      haha. I can only imagine how much time you guys are going to save :)

    • Hi Rick have you found a suitable product yet? Interested to hear.

    • Rick, What did you decide on? I can’t get past the fact that ManageWP pricing seems dirt cheap compared to the amount of time we are currently spending doing all of this manually. ARENT there pros and cons of Infinite and Manage besides price?
      …. I don’t mind paying for a good product… Cheers, mm

  20. Just what I needed. I manage three WordPress sites now and plan to have two more. I had read about ManageWP & a little on WP Remote. For someone on a slim budget these days, the best fit for me is MainWP. Thanks to you, I now know about it! :-)

    If I were managing a lot of sites, I’d go with InfiniteWP based on the comments above.

    Again, thanks for such a comprehensive post — and at a perfect time!

  21. After testing ManageWP a period I came over MainWP, read up, and descided to change. After about 2 months and managing 11 sites, I`m really satisfied. A lot of services for a nize price, a couple of good add-ons and my admin days have besome a whole lot of easier and more productive. Recomended!

    • Kevin Muldoon

      Glad to hear. It sounds like people are moving to either InfiniteWP and MainWP :)

  22. I’ve been using MainWP for a while now with close to 25 sites. I like the tool a lot, but since its self-hosted I’ve found my current VPS isn’t robust enough to run it effectively and many of its features just load-spin and won’t update.

    Most likely going to be switching hosts soon to something a little more powerful.

    • Adam, are you using one of the major providers? It would be interesting to know who to use and witch to avoid when it comes to multi site management

    • Kevin Muldoon

      It could be worth checking your WHM and seeing how much RAM and CPU time MainWP is using up. That will give you an idea of whether it is causing the load you are experiencing. It will also help you decide what plan to upgrade to.

  23. I am David, Founder at InfiniteWP

    Kevin, Thanks for the write up. It is always humbling to have the support of the community and it’s just with their support we are able to do what we are doing.

    We have more exciting stuff coming this year. We are actively working on lots of improvements and new features.

    Thanks again for all the love people :)

    • Kevin Muldoon

      Thanks for dropping by David. Yeah, it looks like you have a lot of Elegant Themes members using InfiniteWP.

      Looking forward to seeing what you add later this year. :)

  24. I have to tell you right now ‘that you are the greatest!” I’ve got 11 websites and was just wishing that there was an easier way to manage them, which didn’t take forever and ping! there was your email…. Thank you Thank you Thank you… I’m definitely giving Infinite WP a try.
    Cheers

    • Kevin Muldoon

      Finally….someone has realised that I am the greatest haha. :)

      You’re welcome. Glad you found the article useful.

  25. A colleague brought up a few concerns about Main WP. There is no obvious information on the fees after the first year of support and upgrades runs out. The group running the site might be off-shore, but there is a FL address. And most important to him, “if it is too good to be true, it probably is”. The fee for unlimited accounts is $80 a year.

    I am in the process of evaluating these tools myself, to manage 50 sites of my own (clients) and 80 sites for another agency.

    Manage WP looks wonderful but will break the bank at over $1,200/year. I think it might have the most features.

    I have been trying to uncover when these services started, how many are on the team and what else they offer as I compare the services.

    I note that Infinite WP has cPanel integration which doesn’t happen by itself. I respect the folks at cPanel, so that is a vote of confidence. Their domain name appears to be registered out of India, but I don’t know how many folks are on the team, when the service began or what else they offer. I have to remember that the add-ons have to be paid for each year.

    CMS Commander is out of Germany and may be operated by one man, not sure.

    If you just want to update Core, Plugins and Themes and run backups another option is iThemes Sync. For 100 sites it is $170 a year. You login to your iThemes account to manage your sites ( no install for the management console).

    Lots more for me to learn. Thanks for this article. I learned that a few of the systems that I was looking at are actually plugins themselves (MainWP, WP Pipeline). I didn’t know that.

    • Kevin Muldoon

      Thanks for leaving such a great comment Jim.

      I had never heard of iThemes Sync before. It’s worth remembering, however, that since WordPress 3.7, WordPress allows you to automatically update the core and themes and plugins automatically. Something which I am sure a lot of people are not taking advantage of.

      Looking back, I should have looked more at the prices of services from the point of view of someone who has over twenty, or even over fifty, websites. I have less than ten WordPress websites to update so I did not look into how much total yearly fees can increase for website owners who need to update dozens of websites.

      Kevin

  26. Hey guys!

    This is Paul from iControlWP. I just wanted to take a moment and thank you Kevin for including us in your round-up… we appreciate that.

    Jim makes a few great points – the “too good to be true” is something to look out for, as is “you get what you pay for”.

    Often we’re asked to lower prices and I’ll be honest, that’s not sustainable for clients that need an ongoing professional service to help them look after their sites. We personally support all our clients and don’t offer community based forum-support because we feel strongly that we’re the ones who should provide that to businesses.

    To give a bit of background on us, we’re 2 brothers from Ireland, living in Spain… we’re full time on iControlWP and WorpDrive as of 18 months ago, with a couple of part-time developers working alongside.

    All our design and technology is our own creation, and we’re much more than just WordPress site management – our goal is to provide full website protection, monitoring, and healing. This will become even more apparent in the coming months :)

    Anyway, if anyone has any questions for me and would like to hear more about where we’re taking WordPress management, you can grab me in our support centre, or on our integrated chat within the App.

    Many thanks!
    Paul.

    • Kevin Muldoon

      Hi Paul,

      Thanks for dropping by :)

      I appreciate you giving more information about you and your business. I hope Elegant Themes readers take advantage of this opportunity to ask you some questions.

      Where in Ireland are you from? :)

      Kevin

      • Hey Kevin,

        No problem… happy to share more about us to give people an idea of who we are.

        We’re from Belfast, Northern Ireland – it’s a bit chilly there which is why we opted for sunny Spain ;)

        Cheers!
        Paul.

        • Kevin Muldoon

          Nice. Belfast is a cool city.

          My brother has worked at Queens for several years now (he lives in Dunmurry). I’m over to see him at the start of May as I’m doing the Belfast marathon.

          It always reminds me of a small Glasgow :)

          Kevin

    • Hi, Paul.

      I kept wondering when iControlWP was going to pop in! I am very interested in going with your service as it seems to have exactly what I want and I think it’s a very fair price. I have a question before I sign up (look for KISS your Web, in case I sign up!):

      If I manage a lot of sites, but they are located on different servers and are not on multisites, can I handle all of these sites from the same account/dashboard, or do I have to set up different accounts/dashboards for each server/website?

      Thanks for your help on this.

      Sandi

      • Hi Sandi,

        Just to answer your question as well as on twitter, so that anyone else who sees it get the answer, iControlWP will work with whichever hosting provider you use, and wherever your sites are located.

        It doesn’t matter if you use many different hosting providers, or your sites are scattered throughout the world… so long as we can connect to your site, it should work just fine :)

        Thanks for the question, and of course, feel free to look me up on twitter or in our help desk if you have any other questions.

        Thanks!
        Paul.

  27. This post was very timely indeed for me, too, as we’re looking at ways to manage our 70+ WordPress sites efficiently.

    So far I’ve looked at CMS Commander and started a trial with a free MainWP account.

    A big, BIG factor in choosing a service like this is in the support, and MainWP haven’t been very good in fixing issues I’ve reported, or even very helpful. And this morning in their help forum I came across a pretty nasty comment from one of their support team towards a customer and that’s seriously made me think whether I should continue with it.

    Quality of support is massively important and before starting one of these services I would strongly recommend looking at support forums to see what kind of problems people are having and how they are dealt with.

    One factor that should also be considered is who these management tools are for. Some are clearly targeted at web companies/ designers/ developers but some, such as MainWP and CMS Commander, appear to be much more geared towards content marketers – take the Main WP’s content spinner extension, for example.

    Jim makes a really good point about finding out who the people behind the businesses running these services are, too. I like to know who I’m doing business with, after all.

    Anyway, thanks to this article (and also Paul’s comment above), I will also start a trial of iControlWP to see how that goes. Might take a look at iThemes Synch.

    And thanks, Kevin, for posting this just at the right time for us!

    • Kevin Muldoon

      You’re welcome Pat. Glad you found the article useful. Good to hear you are receiving good service from MainWP too :)

      • I’m not! Switching to iControlWP and very impressed so far!

    • Hey Pat,

      You’re right, support is top when it comes to a service like this. As I mentioned, we don’t offer public support forums as we don’t feel it’s an effective way to provide professional grade support. It’s worked so far for us and our clients and I guess the only way to know about ours is to try us out, or read our testimonials page.

      If you do sign up for the trial and you have any questions as you go, just drop me a line in the support centre and I’ll get right back.

      Cheers, and good luck in your search! :D
      Paul.

  28. Nice overview of the different services to manage multiple blogs. We have published a comparison on WPscoop as well, which makes it possible to search the different WP managers for different requirements (features and number of websites you want to manage). It then returns the different products by cheapest price and most amount of matching features.

    Maybe it proves useful for people still searching a management solution here: http://wpscoop.com/wordpress-management-software-comparison/

    We plan to do the same kind of comparison for other WordPress niches, e.g. e-commerce or form plugins, soon.

  29. Great article, didn’t know MainWP yet, keen to try it now. I hope it gives me a far better experience than InfiniteWP.

  30. I read this when it first came out on the FB page and I was scrambling to find something this week for the client to manage two of their sites on their own. I hit a dead end, then I remembered this post and it made my life so much easier with MainWP!

  31. I’ve been using ManageWP since it was in beta, and I’m still a happy customer.

    There’s one main reason I won’t switch to other alternative: if I want to have a system that offers me peace of mind, knowing that I don’t have to be on top of many configuration issues of the system itself, upgrades, etc, I prefer to use something that is sold as a service / platform by the vendor.

    I know they will be on top of securing their servers, keeping them up to date, running the scheduled backups… plus they will add new functionalities without me having to do anything.

    If I switched to a self-hosted solution, I would have to keep that one up-to-date, secured, create cron jobs, and many other maintenance tasks *of the central dashboard itself*, and that is precisely what I want to avoid when I use one of these solutions.

    Even if I have to pay a premium price (I use their “professional” plan), I’m more at ease relying on their ability to keep everything running smoothly and taking care of everything.

  32. MainWp is out of BETA, can’t enjoy the deta discount anymore, so sad

  33. After reading this article a few weeks ago and going through all the comments I took the plunge and tried out InfiniteWP and I have to say, I love it!
    It’s made managing multiple blogs a breeze and actually fun again.

    I think the addons (when I finally buy them) will bring a whole new level of productivity to my life.

    As a freelancer I hate the idea of paying out monthly bills when I don’t get regular monthly pay checks so the initial price point of free was very attractive and the pay as you go approach to the addons suits me down to the ground.
    I’ll be getting the schedule backups and remote backup addon ASAP and the clone site addon soon after.

    Also, after contacting InfiniteWP support to ask a few newb questions I can hand on heart say that the people behind InfiniteWP are friendly, helpful and a pleasure to do business with.

    I can’t wait to see what new addons come out next.

    • Kevin Muldoon

      Glad you enjoyed the post Ed. Sounds like a lot of people are fans of InfiniteWP :)

  34. Thanks for this review. I didn’t know there were that many options. I knew of ManageWP years ago but that was just too expensive. Now, I am using MainWP and while I haven’t used others, I think it’s probably the best value for money. It is cheap and it works well!

  35. Thanks for this review. iRemoteWp is new face of managing multiple WordPress sites.Free for 5 WP sites without limit. I think you should try it.

  36. Well presented – thanks much! Great job of sorting through the various options for us :)

  37. Many thanks for posting this article as it has made me focus my efforts.

    I am now using “InfiniteWP” to try and regain some control over the myriad of sites that I have.

    This is going to save me a lot of time and allow me at last to earn some more money from my sites.

    I think that “InfiniteWP” has potential to be great if it could add on something like a project management and invoicing system so that I can control my business (multi million £ NOT) from it.

    • Kevin Muldoon

      Glad you liked the post.

      Seems to be a lot of people liking InfiniteWP :)

  38. Hi guys,

    I just want to share my recent experienced with INFINITEWP… we are doing some debugging on our membership site.. then we need to restore a backup.. at first it was successful.. but for the second time, it was a DISASTER.. it says, the restoration was successful but when i tried to access the site i got error connecting to the database… but the database details were all correct.. then when i checked some of the tables, some of the data were lost.. We tried restoring the site manually, but we cant import their backed up sql files manually.. I contacted their support, and the reply from me is to use their INSTALL/CLONE add on.. but we dont have that addon… i dont expect that kind of solution to be given to me.. thats very bad.. and after i replied to the ticket.. they are not answering anymore.. and guess what?! they are not even closing it.. as what they did always to my previous tickets once you wont reply within 24 hrs… SO FOR THE OTHER USERS OF INFINITEWP… YOU CAN NOT RELY ON IT!!!!…

    • I recently had a nightmare with IWP too. The software would not update to the latest version which was becoming annoying as it constantly reminded me it needed updating. I sent them a support request and they went in and did the update for me, but afterwards the email notifications stopped. I contacted them and they blamed my host for the cron not working. I contacted my host who checked the server logs and said the cron had ran so the error must be with the script. The IWP support people just replied saying that this was not possible so i went back to my host, who changed the cron so that the output would be sent to a text file. Sure enough, there was the error, with the script. I sent this to IWP support who again blamed my host and said that they must have MySQL disabled, which sent my host into fits of laughter, but they very kindly created a text file of the server output showing both MySQL and MySQLi were running. No surprise, IWP support just blamed my host again. This went on for quite a while. I’m now looking for other options, hence finding this article. I was about to buy 3 of the add-ons mentioned by other people, I’m so glad that i didn’t. IWP might be free, and like most free scripts it is not supported by the developers if you have a problem.

      • Hi we are using Elegant Themes. Honestly we have a team of developers and system Admins, and we found that to install their free app (IWP) – you need to be either lucky or need to open a ticket so they can make changes to their coding which probably is coded so bad, to make it work. Its disappointing that fellow colleagues in India have made “free software” but dont know how to maintain or manage it. We ended up with an sql error that made no sense, did a recently session error solution (Which didnt work) and surprisingly its been a month since they suggested the fix but never updated the script to just support the error that has been in multiple forms since 2012-2013! Sad.

        • That being said, the sad thing is besides them there are no real good free self hosted solutions or options since we tried MainWP but it just feels boring and out of date. It’s a bit more complicated too in terms of being simple and sweet – and they removed the “Unlimited Premium” option all together and from the looks of it, support very few plugins or as they call it extensions.

  39. until now, I have 2 blog only and both using WordPress. And YES if we have multiple wordpress, it hard to manage it one by one. CMS Commander seem good enough to manage the multiple wordpress blog. It really recommend for those have many blog

  40. hi, i have a little issue a bit different from what u have discussed about… i have a blog on wordpress and decided to open another. The problem is they are both linked which i don’t actually want i need them to have different names as the author and different email addresses, so please how do i achieve that

  41. Kevin can you tell me what kind of plan I would need if I wanted one main website created with WP,, but then wanted to link 40 sub sites with the same ulr as the main site, but just altering the name slightly for groups I work with.. so for example I have an information site.. http://www.joeblogs.com … then I work with a group and there organisation name would be ex : childcareIreland.. is it possible to have them linked with the following addy, http://www.joeblogs.com/childcareIreland
    If this sounds confusing, you could drop me a mail and i can show you a live example of a site, but the Cms we are using is poor. so looking to maybe change how we manage sites for clients.
    Thanks in advance.

  42. Exactly what we were looking for.

    The cloning functionality is the main one for us as we have a huge amount of domains that need to be populated.

    Having previously used (and loved) Duplicator, I’m excited to give CMS Commander a spin. Would you recommend that I do?

    Thanks Kevin!

  43. I have changed to MainWP. They are really good. Support is quick (solving my problem in 1 day – creating a beta child plugin in advance) and the prices are low.
    I came from Infinite WP. They forgot my problem/bug and didn’t give me response 14 days!!! I had to open a new ticket to give me feedback again. They services don’t work (backup – main feature) for me but don’t give me support. I paid for something but never got it.
    ‘Of course’ they won’t refund my money becaus nobody else report bugs… pathetic…

  44. Thought I’d weigh in here. At OrgSpring, we manage over 200 wordpress websites for our clients – all nonprofits.

    I’ve used or demoed every management system on this list (with exception of wp pipeline), and a few not on this list.

    We used managewp for more than a year. System worked decently well, but i think it’s only as good as when you have problems and need help. Support was slow to get back and several support requests were listed as being bugs they needed to work on. I found it hard to believe that i had stumbled across that many bugs. Some support requests were left open for weeks.

    MainWP was tougher to setup and tougher to get running. After nearly 2 weeks of back and forth with support we never got it off the ground. Poor showing there.

    For the past year we’ve been using iControlWP and worpdrive. Its the only system that has been solid gold. Paul, who commented above, is super fast with support response and his responses are detailed enough to fix most issues in jst a few minutes. UI is clean and efficient, and his plugins handshake feature works well for security too. I partner that with his free firewall security plugin and the sites we manage are solid.

    Also, its important to note the backups with icontrolwp are icnremental – which means they dont take up huge amounts of cpu or bandwidth. Someof my client sites are quite large – managewp couldnt handle them, nor could backup buddy. icontrolwp was the only one that did it consistently, and without crashing the servers or getting timeouts.

    THe only issues i have currently with icontrolwp is over the UI, which is good, but it could use a few improvements. i’ve relayed them to paul via feature requests.

    I recommend them highly.

  45. Thank you Kevin for this great informational post. And a big thanks to all the people on the conversation and for great comments with lots of information.
    I have just started my research on finding the best solution for managing mine and my clients’ websites and I am grateful I came by your post.

    I think I will start my trials with IWP and CMSCommander (though the latest comments regarding IWP support and restore disaster have made me very sceptical and I find the addons very expensive since they are on a yearly basis.)..

  46. Great post, great comments!!!

    i’m waiting for a wp manage plugin integrated with software management (ERP, CRM, … )!!! so we can close the circle:)

  47. I have been managing over 30 sites in a multisite install. I love the ease of updating, installing plugins and themes in multisite. However, if you need to install SSL certificates on a multisite install with subdomain mapping it is an exercise in futility. That’s what brought me here to what is an incredibly long thread and great read. I am looking to have standalone sites (with SSL) with the ease of multisite management. Hopefully, one of these is the solution. I appreciate Craig’s detailed post above and going to start with iControlWP. Thanks for a great post Kevin and if you or anyone else can weigh in on similar situations with SSL please do.

    • Greetings Folks,

      I too have been using WP Multisite for years to manage all my websites. Multisite has empowered me, without doubt.

      However, as the site network grows I wonder if Multisite is still going to be my best option, so I will be researching all the management options mentioned in this topic.
      Craig’s support of iControlWP is interesting and I will take a look at that.

  48. Hi
    I manage over 400 wordpress sites and I am finding it harder and harder to keep them all updated.

    Does anyone know anyone that can actually set up my accounts for me on one of the options above?
    Thanks

    • Gabrielle,

      I can help you with that. I use IWP and love them. Click on my name to forward to my website and send an email if you get a moment.

      Thanks, Ben

  49. If you have more than 5 WordPress blogs, you need to manage them with a tool. It helps you manage the blogs easily. It help a lot especially for themes and plugins updates. Thank you for the list.

  50. Great article as always!

    I tried to install InfiniteWP and got CAN’T CONNECT TO LOCAL MYSQL SERVER THROUGH SOCKET ‘/TMP/MYSQL.SOCK’ .

    Their help was not much help…going to the next on the list of favorites.

  51. I have just looked for any tools which make my work many websites easier. Your article was like a bolt out of the blue :) I will try them! I have found the another similar tool come from my country. I have already signed up for beta test for Wpdash. I will be able to compare developers from Poland :) It looks very nice, I will see.

  52. Do you know the way to fix the following? My biggest stumbling block is having multiple accounts and wanting each one to be represented as I choose when I make comments or follow sites. I basically just set up a couple more sites recently but my first site dominates all when I try and follow or make comments.
    Thanks

  53. Hi,
    I recently started using Backup Buddy and their isync system. I also have storage in their cloud system. So far it’s bee really good which is why Im surprised it’s not mentioned here. Does anyone have some feedback to give me regarding backup buddy?

  54. There is some kind of reasoning in the comments that I don’t get.
    I am not being partial to Manage WP, but if some really do manage 100+ WP websites, the montlhy cost for a website is $1 at most, and down as you have more sites. How could it break the bank ?!
    If you’re serious about business, you should be able to bill this amount to your clients. If you really can’t, you’re not in business. Period.

    Sure it is nice to pay less. but managing your own self hosted solution does not necessarily seem like a sound move to me if it’s only to spare a few hundred bucks / year. Time spent on managing the self hosted solution will add up. How much is your time worth? That is the real bottom line.

    In my opinion, using a self hosted solution could be nice for those who are managing a few web sites – let’s say up to 50. But if you are actually managing a 100 and more, I would think twice. Can you beat spending less than $1 of your time each month for each of your clients, if you have to manage your self hosted solution?

    • Agreed! Makes no sense… “100 sites but can’t afford $1,200 a year” … I manage 10 sites and the fees I make from them could easily cover $1,200 if it saved a ton of time…

  55. This is very useful information. Thanks to everyone providing their insights from experience. Appreciated!

  56. Dreamy notion. Here are my concerns:

    LEGAL/SECURITY
    Keeping clients logins, data, and ecomm transactions secure is the responsibility of the developer/Wordpress Jockey. Even with a “non-crackable” password, it seems like putting all the keys to one’s tiny empire in one spot on the “cloud” is a risky move. If you knowingly took this risk and there were some kind of data leak or hacking that occurred, would the developer be responsible? Do you need to make your clients aware of this management technique in your service agreement/contract?

    SQUIRRELLINESS
    I have not had an update to WordPress/plug-ins/themes break a site in a very long time. Maybe it is because I rely on reputable Developers, but I do think the system has become way more stable. Despite this, I still live in terror of an update blowing a site up. In sites that are more critical, I do my backup and step by step, one at a time update plugins and themes, then QA. Not sure I like the idea of not having my hands on the actual panic button and instead on an intermediary. The idea of doing a blind mass update makes my incredibly uncomfortable.

    If there is anyone who had similar concerns and overcame them or managed them, I would be grateful if you shared.

    • I would love for this question to be answers… I am also leery of “mass updating” and I use IWP to keep an account of all websites I manage and then manually go into them to update.

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