All WordPress Designers/Developers will agree that managing and maintaining multiple WordPress sites can be a bit of a pain. It becomes time-consuming and not necessarily the most enjoyable task. But there is a better way to WordPress Multi-Site Management! In this post, we are going to give you some options on how you can streamline your process and effectively manage multiple wordpress websites.
So why should you consider using tools to manage multiple sites? Here are a few key reasons:
Centralized location for all your websites
Single sign-on for all sites
Easy update management for plugins, themes, and core files
Ability to send reports to clients
Manage backup services
Effortlessly roll out content, updates, and install plugins across multiple sites
Now that we’ve seen why you may want to use these tools, let’s take a look at some options:
Main WP is the best tool for WordPress Multi-Site Management. It offers a self-managed solution, allowing you to host it wherever you want and manage everything from your own custom domain. The free version is usually sufficient for most use cases, but there are additional add-ons available if needed.
At the heart of these tools is a centralized dashboard. With Main WP, you can easily update everything or take a more granular approach by updating specific plugins or themes. The dashboard also provides information on abandoned plugins and themes, security issues, and more.
For example, you can see which plugins need to be updated, whether they’re trusted, and how many updates are available. You can update on a site-by-site basis or update all instances of a plugin across all sites.
Main WP also offers features for managing plugins, themes, users, and content across multiple sites. It’s a comprehensive tool that simplifies the management of multiple WordPress sites.
These are just a few options, both free and paid, that can help you effectively manage multiple sites. Explore them further to find the one that suits your needs best.
Getting Started For WordPress Multi-Site Management
- Log into your WordPress website using a secure method (not wp-admin).
- In your WordPress dashboard, go to Plugins > Add New, then click on “Upload Plugin”. Select the plugin file you just downloaded and click “Install Now”. After installation, click “Activate Plugin”.
- Open the MainWP Quick Setup Wizard and click on “Let’s Go”. Make sure all the requirements have green check marks. If not, make the necessary changes in your hosting settings.
To connect your first child site, go to the website you want to add to MainWP. Install and activate the MainWP Child plugin.
In the Quick Setup Wizard, click “Yes” when prompted to connect the child plugin. Enter your site URL, administrator username, and site title. Click “Connect Site”.
Wait for the connection to be established. Once connected, you can add more websites if desired.
Complete the Quick Setup Wizard, enabling basic uptime monitoring and site health threshold improvements.
Now, your dashboard is ready to be explored.
Customizing the Dashboard
The MainWP dashboard is highly customizable. You can drag and drop modules to arrange them according to your preference. Here’s an example of how you can customize your dashboard:
- Go to Settings > Screen Options and select “Show” for three columns. Click “Save Settings”.
- Drag the “Updates Overview” module to the center of the dashboard.
- Remove modules like “Recent Posts” and “Recent Pages” if not needed.
- Place the “Security Issues” module on the right side of the dashboard.
By customizing the dashboard, you can create a personalized workspace that suits your needs.
Exploring the MainWP Dashboard
Let’s take a look at the menu on the left side of the MainWP dashboard:
- Overview: Provides an overview of your connected websites.
- Updates: Shows available updates for plugins, themes, translations, etc.
- Sites: Allows you to manage all your websites, view updates, and customize the display.
- Google Analytics: Monitors the performance of your child sites (optional).
These are just a few of the main features MainWP offers. The dashboard provides a comprehensive overview of your websites and allows for efficient management.
Importing websites in bulk is a convenient feature of MainWP. You can easily switch from another managing tool to MainWP, which I highly recommend because they offer a lifetime deal. With MainWP, you can create different groups for your websites, such as websites, customers, web shops, and blocks. This allows you to send different emails to different customers. MainWP also offers monitoring to check if your website is still up. The monitoring system sends a CEO URL request to your child’s website from your main dashboard, so you can monitor multiple websites for free. However, keep in mind that this will increase server load. You can edit individual websites by clicking on “Site Overview” and then the URL of the website. From there, you can update various settings, including the username, site title, security ID, and groups.
MainWP also provides features such as backup options, core website auto updates, ignoring core/plugin/theme updates, and basic uptime monitoring. You can customize these settings per website or use global settings. Additionally, you can set a notification email for each website. The advanced settings allow you to enable a security scan and cache control, which hooks into your caching solution and caching plugin on your child website.
In the “Posts” section, you can manage and add new posts to your websites. Simply select the website(s) you want to work with, click on “Show Posts,” and you can view, edit, or unpublish posts directly from the MainWP dashboard. You can even add new posts that will be published on all selected websites simultaneously.
The “Themes” section allows you to manage themes on your websites. By clicking on “Show Themes,” you can see all the available themes. You can install multiple themes to multiple websites and even search for specific themes or upload a zip file. The “Advanced Auto Updates” feature shows if a theme is on the auto-update list.
In the “Plugins” section, you can manage and install plugins on your websites. Similar to themes, you can select all websites and view the active and inactive plugins. You have the option to deactivate, activate, or delete plugins. Additionally, you can install plugins on all websites at the same time by uploading a zip file or searching for a plugin on WordPress.org.
First, let’s talk about plugins. To install a plugin, simply go to the plugin directory, select the plugin you want, and click “Install.” You can choose which websites you want the plugin to be installed on, and then complete the installation process. Once installed, the plugin will be available on your websites.
Now, let’s move on to managing users. In the “Users” section, you can see all the users on your websites. You can select a specific website and view the users associated with it. From here, you can edit, delete, or go to the WP admin area for each user. You can also add new users and assign roles to them.
If you need to import users, you can do so by importing a CSV file. You can also reset passwords and update them if needed.
Next, let’s explore the settings of MainWP. You can customize the daily sync time, select your time zone, and choose the date format that suits your needs. You can also decide whether to display the sidebar on the right or left side, and hide or show widgets. Additionally, you can enable or disable favicon updates, trusted updates, language updates, and update confirmations. You can also set the abandoned tolerance for plugins and themes.
Under the basic uptime monitoring settings, you can set the frequency of checks to ensure your websites are still online. If you prefer, you can use third-party software like Uptime Robot for monitoring.
In the advanced settings, you can adjust the maximum simultaneous requests and minimum delay. You can also enable caching for updates and disable WP cron if needed. Other options include verifying SSL certificates, forcing IPv4 connections, and configuring email notifications.
The tools section allows you to force all connections to be reestablished, export child sites, disconnect from all sites, and delete extension activation data.
Lastly, you can configure the REST API to create your own API for connecting to external programs or devices.
In MainWP, you can manage cache control and easily purge cache with the Cache-Control feature. It works well with plugins like WP Rocket.
MainWP offers a wide range of extensions that are included in the lifetime deal. These extensions allow you to customize and enhance your website.
Some of the extensions I use daily include:
- Google Analytics: Easily view your analytics in your dashboard and create reports for your clients.
- Security Addon: Change security settings for all your websites from one dashboard.
- Page Speed Addon: Check the average speed score of each website and improve performance.
- Time Capsules: A backup plugin that works well with MainWP.
- WP Rocket: Control WP Rocket settings directly from your dashboard.
- Virus Die: Scan your websites for vulnerabilities and viruses.
- Wordfence Extension: Provides additional security features.
- SEO Extension: Improve your website’s search engine optimization.
- White Label Website: Hide the MainWP plugin or rebrand it with your own name.
MainWP offers a lifetime license for a one-time payment of $500, which includes all updates and extensions. This is a great value compared to other platforms that have monthly or yearly subscriptions.
If you have any questions feel free to Contact us or if want to share your thoughts on MainWP, feel free to leave a comment.