Managing a single website is a tough gig; running several ones at once can be downright chaotic.
In this article, we’ll compare five of our favorite tools for managing multiple WordPress websites so nothing slips by you.
We’ll also show you how to use them to help you decide which one is the best fit for your needs.
Let’s jump in!
Five best solutions for managing multiple WordPress websites (IN A NUTSHELL)
The tool(s) you decide to use will depend on the features you need to simplify your workflow. Here’s a quick breakdown of what the services offer and the price of each:
|Tool||Free option?||Self-hosted or third-party platform||Price for premium plans **|
|* Both options offer free trial periods and BlogVault doesn’t require a credit card
** The cheapest plans that support multiple websites
*** You can use these solutions for free for unlimited websites, with access to limited functionality
|ManageWP||Third-party platform||Premium extensions start at $1 per site|
|MainWP||Self-hosted||$239.88 per year for unlimited sites and access to every extension ***|
|InfiniteWP||Self-hosted||$147 per year for up to 10 sites and access to every extension ***|
|CMS Commander||Third-party platform||$96 per year for up to 5 sites|
|BlogVault||Third-party platform||Starts at $16 for up to 5 sites, with access to limited features|
If you want the full breakdown of these services’ features, keep reading!
Five best solutions for managing multiple WordPress websites (IN FULL)
For each solution, we’ll show you exactly how it works and what it offers, so you can pick the best option for you. Let’s jump in!
ManageWP offers a broad range of tools that simplify managing multiple WordPress websites.
Using this service, you can link an almost unlimited number of WordPress websites, and also keep an eye on available updates, performance optimizations, security, comments, and more.
With ManageWP, you get access to a lot of free tools for all of your linked websites.
However, some features such as backups, search engine optimization (SEO), uptime monitoring, and automated security and performance checks are only available on a ‘pay-per-site’ basis.
Even so, ManageWP can drastically cut down on the time you spend updating all your site’s components straight out of the box. It also offers you one free backup per site per month, and you can log into any of your dashboards with a single click. The idea is to make ManageWP the central hub for every WordPress site under your management.
How to use ManageWP
First, sign up for a free ManageWP account. Once you have access to your dashboard, you’ll get a quick overview of all pending updates, comments, and available performance optimizations:
You can add more websites at any time by clicking on the Plus (+) icon in the top-left corner of your dashboard. To connect a website, you’ll have to set up and activate ManageWP’s Worker plugin.
Once the plugin is active, return to your ManageWP dashboard and click on the Plus icon in the top-left corner of the screen. The service will then ask you to enter your site’s URL and WordPress credentials:
If the Worker plugin is active, ManageWP will take care of the rest. Your website will then appear under your list of properties. You can check out individual sites by hovering the mouse over the Find a Website tab at the top of the screen:
Although you can handle many tasks from the main ManageWP screen, you’ll also want to spend some time on each website’s tab. From here, you can micromanage aspects of the site’s maintenance:
Getting started with ManageWP is downright simple, which makes it an easy recommendation if you value ease of use.
Price and details
ManageWP is free to use for an almost unlimited number of websites. However, many features are only available as paid add-ons on a per-site basis. You can find a full list of add-ons on the dedicated pricing page, but for example:
- On-demand backups ($2 per site)
- SEO monitoring ($1 per site)
- Uptime monitoring ($1 per site)
- Automated performance checks ($1 per site)
The service also offers bundle deals for users who manage over 25 websites.
MainWP is an open-source tool that enables you to manage multiple WordPress websites. To use it, you designate a site to act as your central hub. Using this service, you can connect your websites, manage any pending updates, monitor uptime, create backups, run security scans, and more.
However, MainWP relies on plugins to connect your websites. Although the primary plugin is free, there are some extensions you’ll have to pay for. We’ll get onto this aspect later.
How to use MainWP
As we noted, MainWP requires you to use one WordPress setup as your central hub. We recommend using a brand new WordPress install not used to host a live website.
To designate a WordPress site as your hub, you first need to install the MainWP Dashboard plugin:
Once the plugin is active, it’ll launch a configuration wizard – we’ll skip this for now – and connect a new site manually. Here’s how the MainWP dashboard looks:
Before you can connect a new site, you’ll need to install the MainWP Child plugin on it. Once the plugin is active, return to the MainWP dashboard and click on the New Site button at the top of the screen:
MainWP will ask for your site’s URL and credentials before you can click on the Add Site button. If successful, your website will appear on the MainWP hub:
Out of the gate, MainWP gives you a lot more information about your connected sites than other WordPress management tools. However, to access its full range of features, you’ll need to set up some extensions. Several key MainWP extensions are free, including uptime monitoring, backup, and security scanning tools, which helps to keep costs down.
Price and details
Although MainWP itself is free, several useful extensions are only available if you purchase a Pro license:
- Monthly Package: Practically unlimited sites for $19.99 per month.
- Lifetime Package: A $399 one-time fee again nets you an almost unlimited number of sites.
Overall, the free MainWP plugins and extensions offer enough functionality to rival standalone services such as ManageWP. Unless you need access to specific extensions, you might not need to purchase a premium license.
InfiniteWP is similar to MainWP in that you’ll need to designate one website as your central hub. You can then connect your WordPress websites as normal, and manage key aspects of your day-to-day operations.
With the free version of InfiniteWP, you can update all your site’s components at once, generate and restore backups, and access each dashboard with a single click.
Beyond this, InfiniteWP offers a broad range of additional features, only available for premium plans. This includes website migration, malware scans, uptime monitoring, and more.
How to use InfiniteWP
To use InfiniteWP, you need to download their installer plugin. Once you have the ZIP file, upload and install it on the site you want to use as your hub. When you activate the plugin, it’ll ask you where you want to install the InfiniteWP admin panel:
Note that unlike with MainWP, the InfiniteWP panel doesn’t ‘take over’ the entire website. You will still be able to use your central hub as a live site, which is a nice touch.
During the installation process, the plugin will prompt you to create a new database:
You’ll also have to set up new login credentials before getting access to the management panel. It should be empty, so your first task is to connect one of your websites. When you add a new website through your InfiniteWP panel, it’ll ask for its URL, login info, and activation key:
To connect a website, you need to install and set up the InfiniteWP Client plugin on it. Activating the plugin will yield a unique activation key:
Once you’ve added a website, you’ll be able to see if there are any available updates on the primary InfiniteWP dashboard. You can also mouse over each connected site to see its details, add new posts, or generate a new backup:
Although InfiniteWP offers a lot of options to manage multiple WordPress websites, its interface does leave a lot to be desired. If you focus on the functionality alone though, it’s not a bad option.
Price and details
The InfiniteWP plugin itself is free, and you can use it to connect all of the websites you manage. However, without a license, you’re limited to accessing update management, backup creation, and one-click login features. Here’s a quick break down of the premium licenses:
- Starter: Up to 10 sites for $147 a year
- Developer: Up to 20 sites for $247 a year
- Freelancer: Up to 50 sites for $347 a year
- Agency: Unlimited sites for $447 a year
Although the premium version of InfiniteWP offers similar functionality to MainWP, the latter is a considerably cheaper option with a better interface.
CMS Commander is highly unique among multiple WordPress websites management tools. On the surface, it’s a similar premium service that enables you to connect your sites and use a central dashboard to manage them.
However, CMS Commander offers plenty of features you don’t see with other solutions. For example, it supports multiple affiliate programs out of the box, enabling you to include affiliate links within your posts as you edit them. It also enables you to manage ads, track backlinks, and more.
What’s more, CMS Commander includes the basics you’d expect to find, such as backup management, bulk updates, user management, one-click login, and others.
How to use CMS Commander
CMS Commander is a third-party service that lets you create an account to manage your WordPress website. The first task is to choose a plan and enter your payment details.
Prices vary depending on how many websites you want support for, but they all offer free trials. Once you gain access to your CMS Commander dashboard, you can immediately add a new website:
As usual, you’ll need to set up a plugin on a target website for CMS Commander to establish a connection:
Once you connect a website, you’ll be able to monitor critical metrics from your CMS Commander dashboard. These include backlinks, your Google PageSpeed Insights score, available updates, and more:
All in all, CMS Commander offers one of the most easy-to-use interfaces we’ve tried so far. It feels just like using your native dashboard, only you get to manage multiple WordPress websites from a single panel.
Price and details
CMS Commander offers a broad range of plans depending on how many websites you want to manage and admin accounts you want to set up. Here are its starter plans to give you an idea of how much to budget:
- Up to five websites for $8 per month
- Up to ten websites for $12 per month
- Two extra users and up to 20 websites for $16 a month
Every plan includes a 14-day trial that gives you access to all of CMS Commander’s features.
At first glance, BlogVault seems like a supercharged backup solution. However, once you begin to dig into its features, it starts to look more like a full-fledged tool to manage multiple WordPress websites.
With BlogVault, you get backups of your site that go back a full year. However, you also get access to built-in staging functionality, daily malware scans, uptime and performance monitoring, two-factor authentication (2FA) for your sites, and more.
The security functionality is top-notch, and provides site hardening tools, a real-time firewall, and many other security-related elements. When it comes to more general site administration, you’ll want to look into the powerful reporting options – each can be automated and scheduled too.
In addition, BlogVault also offers one-click updating for your plugins and themes. Considering the general feature set, it’s clear that BlogVault has nothing to fear from other WordPress management platforms.
How to use BlogVault
To get started, sign up for a free seven-day BlogVault trial, which doesn’t require your payment details. Once you get access to your control panel, enter the URL for the website you want to connect, and BlogVault will ask you to set up the connection plugin. The service can even take care of the plugin setup if you give it your login credentials.
Now BlogVault will sync your website with its platform and perform the first backup:
You can monitor available backups at any time by selecting a site from your list. From this page, you can also migrate or restore any of your backups:
From this same screen, you also get access to all the rest of BlogVault’s features. Enabling the Security option you see above, for example, turns on daily malware scans for your website. As we noted, BlogVault has plenty of features that can help you manage and maintain your entire website, so we recommend working your way through to discover just what you can do.
Price and details
BlogVault offers a broad range of plans depending on how many websites you want to manage. Here are some of the plans, so you know what to expect:
- Personal plans: Support for one website, with prices ranging from $7.40 to $20 per month (depending on the features you want).
- Small Business plans: Support for up to five websites, with prices ranging from $16 to $45.
Although Small Business plans enable you to manage multiple websites, a lot of the service’s functionality is limited to more expensive options.
Which is the best tool to manage multiple WordPress websites?
To recap, here are our five top suggestions for managing multiple WordPress websites:
ManageWP and BlogVault are our top picks if you value user-friendly interfaces. However, the latter doesn’t offer a free option and their prices are only worth it if you want to manage a large number of websites.
Finally, CMS Commander is an interesting choice if you run multiple affiliate or content-heavy websites and you want to manage all your posts using a central hub.
Do you have any questions about how to manage multiple WordPress websites? Ask away in the comments section below!
Don’t forget to join our crash course on speeding up your WordPress site. With some simple fixes, you can reduce your loading time by even 50-80%: