The great folks at Automattic have been closely integrating centralized WordPress management through their Jetpack plugin. I've already run into one issue with it, though, losing all of my past Jetpack analytics when my site somehow got disconnected and a staging site was connected instead. It was quite a bummer – and I'm thankful that I have Google Analytics also installed.
If you don't want all your tools dependent on one massive platform like Jetpack, there are alternatives. Recently, an advanced WordPress user group discussed MainWP. As well, MainWP takes a different approach to how multiple sites are managed – like enabling you to cross publish content and add users across sites.
MainWP has over 100,000 installations and continues to maintain a robust set of free core features:
- Easy Management – The MainWP Dashboard takes the hassle out of managing your themes and plugins. You can instantly review which of your WordPress sites have available updates from one central location. Just one click will update everything for you.
- Abandoned Plugins – MainWP checks the last updated status of plugins and themes and alerts you if they have not been updated in a specific amount of time. This gives you insight on if a plugin or theme may have been abandoned by the author so that you can look for a more up to date plugin.
- One Click Access – With your MainWP Dashboard you can forget typing each URL, login and password to access your Child sites WP-Admin. We've made accessing all of your WordPress sites a breeze with our intuitive one-click access. Navigate to your sites sub-menu and click the admin link to open, and you’re instantly logged in and ready to manage. No more logins and passwords to lose!
- One Click Upgrades – With your MainWP Dashboard you can update all your sites with just a click of a button, there is no longer any reason to log into each and every one of your sites checking for available updates. You can also automate theme or plugin upgrades (or ignore them).
- Reliable Backups – Use your MainWP Dashboard backup feature and enjoy premium-quality backup services for all of your WordPress sites. You can even choose to exclude specific folders that aren’t mission critical. You can also automate your backups and have different settings for different sites depending on your needs.
- Content Management – publishing content to sites is now as easy as can be. Pick your site from a list, write content, and publish, without the hassles of logging into each and every site. It’s just as easy to manage links, comments, and spam too using our mass publish, delete and spam functions.
- User Management – Managing users on your child sites is now as easy as can be. You can manage all your users from all your sites directly from your MainWP Dashboard without the need to login to each of your WordPress sites.
- Self-hosted – Your main MainWP Dashboard is a plugin that is hosted on your own WordPress install and not on our private servers. We do not keep records of your actions, Child sites or how you are using the plugin.
Sign up for a membership and you can get access to The Bundle from MainWP, over 36 premium extensions that add robust capabilities that you simply won't find anywhere else. Broken link checking, page speed analysis, analytics integration, post scheduling, bulk settings management, uptime monitoring, and even Blogvault migration.