If you have more than one website with WordPress installed, you may find that a fair amount of time is spent checking each one for updates. Each website can take from several minutes to half an hour to check, update and test to ensure nothing goes wrong.
Having been asked to take over the maintenance of several WordPress based websites, I recently found that I was spending almost 2 hours a day just checking in to each one and making sure that they were up to date with the plugin, theme and core WordPress updates. This is on top of all the other tasks I find myself doing when I get home from my day job and takes away from the time I can spend trying to increase my income streams.
I have tried a couple of centralised WordPress administration programs, with varying degrees of success. I’m going to summarise the ones I have used in this post, and will dedicate further posts to each of them. I narrowed down the list to two to start with – mainly because they are “free”, or at least have a free option to test. The two WordPress administration programs are:
They both offer a centralised way of administering multiple WordPress based websites, but with a slightly different approach. InfiniteWP is a self-hosted solution – this means that you download and install the program onto your own webserver. WP Remote is a hosted solution, although you can upgrade to a self-hosted version if required. What both offer is a way of seeing which of your websites are in need of attention update wise without having to log in to each one individually. You can update some or all of your websites with a click of a button or two.
While this is a very Good Thing™ when you are looking at it in a purely time oriented manner, you do have to approach with a bit of caution. Until you are happy that you know what you are doing and can deal with the potential issues, I would suggest ensuring that each site has a current, complete backup in place before running a remote update. A couple of times I have needed to undo an update because of an issue that was introduced in the new version.
However once you are comfortable with your WordPress administration skills and knowledge, the idea of updating 25+ WordPress installs and the associated plugins at the click of a button is very, very tempting!
Keep an eye out for the next part in the series, where I will be looking at the first in the list – Infinite WP.