I have multiple websites, and I also manage a few sites for clients. “Managing” entails making sure plugin, theme, and core WordPress updates are implemented safely and quickly, that security scans are routinely run, that backups are routinely created, and various other tasks that ensures the sites are up and running smoothly.
No Need To Pay Forever And Ever And Ever
Site maintenance for more than a handful of sites is nearly impossible without some sort of site management tool. There are several tools in the space, but my choice is MainWP. There is both a free version as well as a premium version that enables a lot of extra functionality. I use the premium version, and I chose the Lifetime one-time-payment feature, because it is by far, the best price on the planet compared to the competition. Instead of paying high monthly fees FOREVER, I paid via credit card, and I’ll have paid off the purchase in a few months, instead of spending the same amount for years and years to come.
Ok, so let’s get to the good stuff.
What is MainWP good for?
Why does MainWP save my bacon* every day?
I currently manage 18 sites. That’s a small number compared to many people who manage hundreds of sites. But for me, 18 is significant enough that tackling maintenance tasks for each one individually would eat up my time, and make it impossible for me to charge my clients a reasonable fee. MainWP lets me manage all 18 sites every day, taking just a few minutes of my time.
Managing Core, Plugin, and Theme Updates
Most important to me is making sure core, plugin, and themes are updated regularly, so sites have some protection from hackers. But I don’t want full-on automation. I want to “be there” as it happens, so I can watch for problems. If an update goes bad, I want to know immediately, and solve the issue quickly. MainWP lets me do one-click updates, but I’m there and paying attention, so it’s a semi-automated process that ensures things don’t go unnoticed.
The MainWP dashboard makes it simple to check the sites for updates (click the green Sync Data With Child Sites button, or individually click Sync Now links next to each site if needed). Once the sites have been checked, the Update Overview section shows how many updates are available, and where.
If there are any plugin, core, or theme updates, one click will run the updates. I can then easily click through to each site to make sure all is well.
Quick Site Management
From the Sites screen, I can see a list of all the sites I’m managing, and hovering over each, lets me manage several aspects of a site: see an overview, edit or delete the site from MainWP, open wp-admin for the site, check updates, run a security scan, and run reports. I can quickly see when sites were last checked (synced), what it’s uptime has been, how many updates there are, and even what PHP version the site is running. Very useful stuff!
Extremely Useful Plugin Manager
One feature that has saved my bacon a few times is the Plugin manager. For example, there was a particular plugin that I knew was in use on several of the sites I manage, but I didn’t remember exactly which ones were using it. I discovered that the plugin had a severe security issue and there was no fix for it yet. So I jumped onto the Plugins section of MainWP, put in a keyword that would help me find the plugin in question, chose all the sites by clicking the Select All link above the list of sites on the right, and then clicked the Show Plugins button. It gave me a list similar to the screenshot above, which showed all the plugins containing that keyword and which sites they were running on. All I had to do next was check the boxes that matched the problematic plugin, choose the Deactivate option from the Choose Action dropdown, and click the Confirm button. Just like that, all the plugins were deactivated. (I also deleted them all just as easily).
Client Reports Emailed Automatically
The client report feature is essential to me in that it lets me clearly communicate what’s going on each month to every client. They don’t necessarily want to be bogged down in details, but they want to know that I’m actually doing what they are paying me for. The reports clearly show exactly what’s been managed.
There are many sections that can be included in a report. Here, I’ve just shown Uptime and Plugin Updates, but the report template is flexible, and you can customize it the way you want it.
Data Remains In Your Hands
Consider the fact that it runs on your own site, on your own server, and no other company has access to your critically important and private client data. This feature is extremely important to me. Maybe it is to you as well. SAAS is all well and good until a company goes bad and uses or sells all your client data (see the unroll.me story for one example of how this can happen).
Choose Which Features To Use
There are so many other features that make MainWP a “save my bacon” kind of tool, such as managing backups, and security, and themes, and content, but what you’ll need on a regular basis may be different than what I need. With so many built-in features, and the ability to extend the plugin with lots of available add-ons, everyone can include (or not include) whatever features they wish. I love being able to only load the pieces that I need, without loading unnecessary addons.
Take a look at everything MainWP has to offer. I think you’ll be amazed at the time you save. And your web clients will love you.
*What does “save my bacon” even mean? For those of you who might not know this phrase, it’s kind of like saying, “saved my ass”. Does that clear it up?
Note: You can assume any links might likely be an affiliate link. If you purchase a product I link to, I will make a small commission, though you will not pay any more for the product. K? Cool.Tags: maintenance, management, plugins, wordpress