If you have more than one website, maintenance can start taking a lot of your time. It becomes time-consuming to update the exact same themes and plugins over and over, and to mark the same or similar spam, scan your website’s security, etc. If you maintain websites for clients just logging in can take a large part of your day. That’s where ManageWP Orion excels.
ManageWP Orion is an update to ManageWP Classic. It’s a WordPress management service that simplifies management of multiple WordPress websites from a single dashboard. You don’t have to login to each website individually. You can perform all of the daily, weekly, and monthly tasks for multiple websites at the same time from the same location.
For this review I take this service for a spin, first using a demo login and then creating my own account and adding my own websites. Here are the results and my thoughts on using ManageWP Orion.
As an overview of the service here’s a quick look at the main features. Some of these features are premium addons.
Updates – This shows all of the available updates for the WordPress core, themes, and plugins for all of your websites on a simple list where you can select them. You can update every site or specific sites that you choose from the list.
Backups – You can back up all of your websites to the cloud. This starts at $2 per month.
Clone – The cloning feature is great for creating new sites without having to start from scratch or migrating a site to a new location.
Security Check – This tool scans and monitors your websites for malware. It will show you infected files and even show your website’s weaknesses. It shows if any of your sites have been blacklisted. It gives detailed reports about your security. One thing it doesn’t do is clean any of the malware, so you’ll need a separate tool for that.
Benchmark Performance – Easily check all of your website’s load times and get insights on solving issues. It checks YSlow and PageSpeed.
Track Uptime – Easily track your website’s uptime. They’ll send you a notification if any of your sites go down. This is $1 per month.
Collaborate – You can give your team or anyone you want to collaborate with access to your ManageWP dashboard. You can control what they have access to and the type of control they have (if any). Full history shows who did what and this information is shown in the client report.
SEO Tracking – For $1 per month you can track changes with your keywords’ rankings. It will also show who your competitors are and how you compare to them.
Google Analytics – You can see Google Analytics for all of your accounts within your ManageWP dashboard.
Maintenance Mode – This is a customizable maintenance mode that you control from the dashboard. This is handy if you want to place a website in maintenance mode while you’re performing updates. You can choose who sees maintenance mode and who sees the regular website. There are two different maintenance mode templates to choose from.
Comment Management – Manage comments for all of your websites at the same time. This is great for taking care of spam.
Code Snippets – This lets you run code snippets in bulk. This is great for those that want to make PHP changes.
Using ManageWP Orion
I jumped in head first to see how intuitive it is to use and how easy it was to find the features I wanted. Here’s a look at the tabs, what they do, and my experience with using them.
All of the sections of the Orion dashboard are labeled well and using them was intuitive. The main screen displayed plugins, optimization, services, and comments. Adding my own website was easy. I clicked to add, entered my URL, added my login credentials, and my site was connected. I was then able to update my own website. When I clicked on something to update a green horizontal bar appeared in the header to indicate the service was working.
The filters area shows your addons, status of the websites (such as security issues and available updates), tags, clients, WordPress version, and languages your websites are running. Selecting them filters what’s shown on screen. Each element shows the number of websites involved.
For example, if you have 20 websites but only 3 have an update, then it will show the number 3 next to Updates Available under the Status section. Each of these can be closed if you don’t want the information to show. Several of the tabs allow you to edit their content. You can hide the filters if you want.
This screen shows a list of the websites that are connected. Here you can star them, which places them in a special list. For each site you can open the website dashboard, open the WP dashboard, view backups, and view the site options. You can view the list of websites as thumbnails or in a list view.
Across the top you’ll see several tabs that include:
- Client Report
- Code Snippets
These let you perform tasks and see other lists. You can add plugins, themes, or code to all sites simultaneously. They also show how many sites the plugins and themes are activated and installed on. You can sort them by name, status, client, and WordPress version.
I selected the website dashboard and I could see all of the information that’s specific to that website. I was able to update all of my plugins without affecting any other websites on the list.
This section shows websites that you take care of for clients. I like the idea of this because you can run a website maintenance service using ManageWP to handle them all from one dashboard. Everything you can do for your own sites you can do for clients. You can even white label this service if you want to. White labeling costs $1 per month.
You can send your clients custom reports about their websites. You get to choose what to include and you can create your own messages, add a logo, and choose the date ranges for the reports. Enabling reports requires an addon.
This shows a list of addons that you own and which sites you own them for. Addons and their bundled monthly prices include:
- Backups ($75)
- Uptime monitor ($25)
- SEO ($25)
- White Label ($25)
- Client Reports ($25)
The All in One Package is $150. The bundled price covers 100 websites per month.
Creating an Account
After using the free demo account I decided to create my own account. Signup was fast and it didn’t even ask for a credit card. After asking for my email, name, and website it wanted to install a plugin on my site. I have the option to install it manually if I want. I allowed the installation and within a few seconds I was ready to use my account.
One of my sites requires a CAPTCHA for login. It detected this and informed me to install the plugin manually and gave me a link where I could download it from the WordPress depository. This was a painless process.
While adding a site there is a box that appears on the right side with installation instructions just in case you need it.
You can access the documentation within the account dropdown menu but I never felt like I needed it. Everything was intuitive. The website itself tells what the features are and you can click on each feature for more detail, including a video of how the feature works. It also includes step-by-step instructions shown in numbered steps. I found both types of instructions easy to follow.
I installed the Worker plugin manually and checked the website’s performance before and after the install. The plugin did not place an extra strain on load time or on the server. Any differences in speed was negligible.
Support is 24/7 and is even included with the free version of the service. You can contact them or create a support ticket through the account info drop-down menu. I sent a question and it was answered quickly in an email with the exact details I needed.
The basic service is free. The addons add lots of features at reasonable prices – most cost $1 per website per month and can also be bought in a bundle.
ManageWP Orion is a solid service that makes it easy to manage multiple WordPress websites from a single dashboard. It was easy to use and highly intuitive. The layout made sense. Everything I wanted to do was intuitive. I never felt overwhelmed and help was just a click away if I wanted it. The dashboard was fast and none of the pages had to load. They were just there when I clicked on them.
The addons provide features that are helpful and thanks to the pricing structure you can pick and choose the features you want. The prices don’t seem outrageous, making them within the reach of just about any budget. I highly recommend ManageWP Orion.