I will Share with you my experience In this article about third time lucky how i conquered wordpress but I will divide into some parts this is first part and very soon second part is coming and in this part I will tell about Using WordPress Multi-Site Management
STOP! Making Life Difficult – Using WordPress Multi-Site Management
I think we all agree that if you’re a WordPress user updated and managing and maintaining a site can be a little bit of a pain but totally manageable when you only have a single or two or three sites but once you start to scale things up and you have multiple sites this is where things get a little bit time consuming and not necessarily the most fun thing to do so there’s got to be a better way and there absolutely is and in this article i’m gonna give you some options on how you may want to start managing multiple sites moving forward streamline in your process so why would you want to use tools like I’m
going to cover in this article.
key reasons why you may want to start considering using tools:
Let me just give you a selection of key reasons why you may want to start considering using tools like I’m going to cover for example you’ve got one simple centralized location for all of yours and or clients websites you’ve also got one option to allow you to sign into any of those sites without having to remember passwords and usernames and so on it can all be done from one centralized location you’ve also got update management making the whole process super simple you can find out what plugins themes and core files need to be updated and do that from one place you can send reports to clients should you need to great if you want to keep them in the loop with what you’re doing you’ve also got the ability to easily manage Backup Services then you can do this inside this one dashboard the same thing goes for uptime monitoring you can manage all your size monitoring in one simple location you can Harden security by a range of different ways of dealing with this you can have multi-user accounts for example you may have multiple people inside your business and you want to give them access to be able to manage and maintain updates monitor things you can do that here as well you can also do things like rollout content and updates or install plugins across multiple sites with one simple operation without having to log into all those different sites there’s a multitude of other reasons why you may want to be taking a look into using these tools that’s just some of the key ones that I think you should be aware of so now.
why you may want to use it
we’ve seen why you may want to use it let’s take a look at a handful of options of tools that allow you to do all these kind of things and an awful lot more I’m going to cover some free options as well as some paid options so first of all let’s take a look at Main WP now main WP is the one that I actually use one of the key reasons I use this is because it’s self-managed I can host this wherever I want to and I
can manage everything from my own custom domain the free option which is what I use for the most part has more than enough for most use cases but if you want more there are additional add-ons some of these are free some of these are pro or paid options I’m only going to take a look at three things in this article so at the heart of any or all of these different tools you’re going to have this one centralized dashboard this is main WP and we’ll take a look at some of the others so you can see the similarities as well as some of the differences but you’ll see when you log in you’re going to get this dashboard that gives you an overview of all the sites you have installed that you’re managing now.
how easy it is to manage things
so which take a quick look you can find the button that just says update everything so if you have backups in place and you feel comfortable doing that you can update everything but you can drill down and get a lot more granular on a side by side or plug-in theme basis so for example if you see we’ve got no WordPress updates no core file updates we have some plug-in updates no theme or translation updates but if we do they’ll be listed inside you for any or all of the sites that we have we’ve also got things like abandoned plugins and themes the number of sites that are connected any security issues and so on and this is a plain old vanilla install of main WP no plugins no add-ons installed on this at all.
so let’s go ahead and take a look at the plugin
let’s go say and say deep sea details. this will now show us what Plugin or plugins need to be updated whether they’re trusted plugins how many updates are there and so on and if you have multiple sites all using the same plugin you can expand this out it’ll show you all the different sites that have that plugin that need to be updated the versions and so on so all we need to do is go ahead and say either ignore the update which is not recommended but if you’re waiting for a sort of interim release you know using synthetic elements or woocommerce you don’t necessarily want to roll things out on the first release of a major update you may want to wait a little bit but you could say you want to ignore this update for now and then you can monitor it and update later when you’re ready or you can just go ahead and say update now and you can update on a side-by-side basis or you can update all of those plug-in instances across all of your sites.
let’s just choose update
Now that will go ahead and say Yes proceed that’s now going to go ahead and make an update of that plugin so that will then carry out the update and we’ll all be good to go and there we go that’s now been done so if we go back into our overview dashboard you can see with no updates available however we scroll down let’s take a look we’ve got some security issues detected let’s go and take a look and see in the details and this will show us the site or sites that have issues the number of issues they have and so on we can then go and take a look at the details and we can see what needs
to be updated so things like you know you may have folders that they don’t recommend still being writable you could have files that are accessible different things that you don’t want to have to have you know from a security issue point of view and then we can do we can go through and fix any of these one at a time or we can just simply come back out and say fix all of these in one.
Fell Swoop for this
let’s take a look at going back to our overview come down to our security issues and say fix all issues and then that will go ahead and fix all the issues on any site that we see so there’s lots of ways in which you can approach this and like I said this is just a really simple kind of basic update now you can see if you go down no security issues detected but there is one more plugin update so we can see the details on there and you can see Elementor Pro now needs an update so you can update selected ignore globally or update all if we have multiple instances let’s choose update all and say yes we want to proceed and that will then update Elemental Pro on any of my sites that are connected to main WP so this is a really simple starter example but as you can see that’s now really simple like I said if you’ve got multiple different sites all with the same plugins on you can just roll those updates out across the board and you’ve also got options inside here for the plugins the themes users posts pages and so on on so for example you may want to push out a post to all of the sites you may want to have at terms and conditions and you want to apply that to every single site or you could run that inside your create your page or your post push that out to whatever site or sites that you want to and it’s all done in one simple location and you can handle things like the publish status.
what sites the tags clients
The tags clients all those kinds of good things it’s an abundance of options of how you can handle content whether it’s managing or updating or adding new content let me take a look at things like the extensions we can manage our extensions if we go to browse all extensions this will take us over to mainwp and we can take a look and as you can see there’s a lot of different plugins available here things like Advanced lab time monitoring is free if you have the pro account you’ll have access to multiple different options if you’re an atom user you can also connect that up to your account with mainwp there’s a lot of different options code Snippets there’s comments custom dashboard you know domain monitoring there’s tons and tons and tons of options inside you and you can use this to handle backups by using updraft plus and so on you know check it out take a look for yourself and that’s really the basics of something like main WP but what other options are there out there both again like I say free and paid versions another one I would recommend you take a look at is wpmudev.com the Hub platform this is hosted on their servers and it connects to your site in a very similar fashion to what we’ve seen using mainwp but all of the controls I think is on the wpmu dev site so once you’ve gone ahead and you connect your site up you’ll see we have a very similar kind of setup it looks different but all the same kind of options are here.
what I will say about wpmudab.com hub
I will say about wpmudab.com hub this gives you more for zero cost for example we’ve got backups we have an amount of storage we have available to us for backups before we have to pay anything we’ve got the ability to connect things up and check security performance a broken link Checker we can handle backups uptime margin analytics inside you so for example if go and take a look at backups so go to your dashboard you’ll see that you got one site connected up you got one backup you set this to be a monthly schedule if you want more than that more regular you’re going to have to upgrade to the pro version but this gives you a second line of defense you should always have some other sort of backing up service.
want to make a manual backup
if I want to make a manual backup I can simply go ahead click on create backup that will now go ahead and start to do a backup and store that on the wpm udem servers and I’m good to go same thing
goes for uptime monitoring if I want to check that I can come into my dashboard and I can monitor my uptime.
how often is checking and so on I can check broken links
the number of links that have been found on this particular website the unique links and so on I can check out performance on here so I can make sure my site isn’t slowing down for whatever reason which point I can go ahead and I can find out why but you can see this has now giving me an overview of my desktop and my mobile performance for this particular site you can have image optimization options and you can configure all manner of different optimization sort of services again a lot of this is totally and utterly free yes there’s going to be limitations but if you’re just getting started getting your hands dirty with handling multiple sites this is probably more than enough.
Want a hosted solution?
if you want a hosted solution with all these extra options that are included inside the package we’ve also got security and this will then go ahead and check out the security for my particular site or site so I can run a scan on the site if I want to any recommended options any malware that’s been detected you can see exactly what’s going on you can block certain IP addresses you see a firewalls you know this firewalls everything on here there’s all the things you would want you can if you want to also connect this up to wpm udem’s hosting options I’m not doing that on here I’m not recommending you do not because it’s good or bad I’ve got no experience of it so I can’t say whether it’s good or bad but again this is another one of those options that I would recommend you check out
installing or set a free account like.
A couple of test sites
add a couple of test sites to it run it and see what you think of it now when only downside when I’m using this is when you actually go ahead and you enable things like the performance or the broken link check and so on it does add plugins to that particular site now also you can handle the update and maintenance inside this particular Hub but just bear in mind it is adding extra plugins whereas main WP generally doesn’t tend to do that it’s all kind of handled on your account with other than the main WP sort of child plug-in that connects the two things together everything has pretty simple and straightforward so bear that in mind now another option which doesn’t really give you anywhere near as much as what I’ve covered in the first two is manage WP again this is very similar to The Hub this is handled on the manage WP servers and you connect that up to your site and then you Monitor and you maintain a new update and do all those kinds of things on you but lots of the services are paid for the not only expensive you know they can start at a couple of dollars per website but if you’ve got lots and lots of websites that can really Mount up very quickly obviously you pass that cost on to the client if you’re doing this for client work but if it’s your own websites that you’re monitoring maintaining just bear in mind that that cost can ramp up relatively quickly when you start to enable things like backup security performance link monitoring uptime monitoring and any other services that require you to pay for them but again it is a good way for you to test out.
how these kind of dashboards all work
these kind of dashboards all work so this has given us the overview and you got plugins and themes and things need to be updated these are old sites that are just test sites that have been left up just so I can sort of see and show you how it all works but then you’ve got your websites you can see all your websites you can have clients you can have additional add-ons inside you so if you want to you can activate and deactivate add-ons there’s a lot of different options available to you using this now another option very similar to what we’ve just seen with manage WP is umbrella WP this is a new one to me I haven’t actually used this in the fast so I’ve set up a free 14-day trial account but I believe to all of these options as opposed to being you pay for the individual component pieces that you want but again much like we’ve just seen you can see we’ve got updates available the backup is turned off we’ve got four things we need to deal with with the site Health we can log in directly into the admin for this particular site or we can go ahead open the site up itself we can also come in and click on things like what updates are available you can see this now gives us the ability to see what updates there are whether it’s a theme update a WordPress core update and you can see we’ve also got backups so we can run a backup we can set that sort of hourly two hourly weekly monthly daily whatever backups you want you’ve got Security Options inside here as well so you can check the security of site and if you need to do anything you can see that you can flag that there’s a problem with it and so on and it also reports a great thing if you’re sort of working with clients you can send them report sets and so on so again it’s.