All About Managing Domain Names in Plesk

Managing Domain Names in Plesk

Your domain name is essential to your online presence because it’s the first thing visitors interact with. A domain name is your address – the one visitors use to find you out there in the vast internet. Many choose to rely on a managed domain service to have a few responsibilities carried off their busy shoulders – like setting up or changing domain names.

However, you may find yourself left in the dark if your IT admin is ever unavailable. What if they are out of office when you need a quick domain edit? Luckily, setting up and editing domain names in Plesk is easy business that you can swiftly take care of by yourself. Considering the importance of domains, it’s definitely a great addition to add to your skill set.

How to Change a Domain Name

No need to worry about changing a domain name in Plesk, since this is super simple.

  • First, login to your Plesk account and head over to Domains in the Navigation menu.
  • Then, click on example.com > Hosting settings to change your domain name as below:
managing domain names add domain - Plesk

The red box shows where you can input your domain name, and you’re all done. It really can’t be simpler than that.

And to Add or Remove?

If you manage more than one website, you’ll need to add an additional domain name to the server. You can add your domain name right from the Plesk panel. So, to host a new website, with a second-level domain name:

  1. Head over to Websites & Domains and click Add Domain
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions as you can see from the screenshot below.
  3. Select OK. Your new domain name will now appear in the list at the bottom of the screen.
  4. If changing the hosting settings is available for your account, then you can simply click on the domain name of your new website to view or change the hosting settings. And you’re ready to go!
managing domain names 2 - Plesk

What if you need to remove a domain name for good? Then Plesk has you sorted, because once you delete a domain, all the site’s corresponding data is deleted from the server. If that’s what you want, the following 3 steps are here to show you how:

  1. Click on Websites & Domains and find the domain name you want to remove.
  2. Click on Remove Website or Remove Subdomain.
  3. Confirm removal and select OK.

Working with Plesk, there are also plenty of other services you can access as a user in order to have full reign over your domains. From accessing email services, to setting up mailboxes on the website domain, and managing mailing lists. This can all be done from the Plesk interface. Thus, giving you full control over your domains, without having to rely on, possibly unreliable, third-parties.

Next, learn how to set up a Domain Name Server (DNS).

How to Change Default Horde Settings (Webmail)

Horde Webmail Settings

Horde is a free web-based groupware. All components of this groupware are based on the Horde framework, which is programmed in PHP. Plesk uses the Horde-Webmailer to receive, organize, and send email in a web-based interface instead of a mail client. So it may be useful to learn how to change default Horde Webmail settings.

There is an extensive repertoire of applications available to use with Horde, including Address Book, Calendar, Task Scheduler, and Virtual Sticky Notes. In this guide, we’re going to take a brief look at the Horde webmail application and explore some of the customizations you can make with it.

Why Can it Be Useful to Change Default Horde Webmail Settings?

Unlike some Webmail applications, the Horde project has set itself the task of providing the widest possible support for backends. This wide support makes Horde an optimal email product in the web hosting area. It also means you can use the program code to tailor pretty much everything to your needs.

For example, you can adjust the appearance of the Horde interface (logo, colors, etc.) to the corresponding user/customer. You can also use its open code to make certain functions available to users or to conceal certain applications/functions by default. Of course, thanks to features such as filter rules for marking mail as spam or virus, Horde Webmail ensures the safety of users from the beginning.

How to Change/Edit Default Values for Horde Webmail

The first thing to note is whether you want to change settings for existing or future accounts. Accordingly, one or two filters or both must be edited. For new Mailboxes, create the following file:

/usr/share/psa-horde/config/prefs.local.php

To edit the Mailbox and configure the following preferences, paste the code into the new file you created. The file starts with:

 <?php

All existing Mailboxes can be modified by editing the Horde configuration file:

/etc/psa-webmail/horde/imp/prefs.local.php

Below are the instructions for changing several parameters along with what effect they have. To setup the default language, for example German:

$_prefs[‘language']['value'] = ‘de_DE';

To change the time zone, for example to US/Central. You can find a list of other time zones here.

$_prefs[‘timezone’][‘value’] = ‘US/Central’;

To lock a preference. Preferences (or ‘Prefs’ for short) is Horde’s name for user settings, therefore, any settings that can be changed by users individually. They are organized into preference groups that are again divided into columns in the preference interface. All preferences, their descriptions, default values, groups, and columns are defined in the applications config/prefs.php file. The file contains two sections:

$_prefs['prefname']['value'] = ‘somedefault';

$_prefs['prefname']['locked'] = true;

As an administrator, you may want to manage all SPAM controls at the server level so as not to confuse or frustrate users. To do so, remove the following menu items:

$_prefs['whitelist']['locked'] = true;

 $_prefs['spam']['locked'] = true;

If you want mail as one of your default applications after logging into Horde, use this:

$_prefs['initial_application']['value'] = 'imp';

To move deleted messages directly to Trash:

 $_prefs['use_trash']['value'] = 1;

 $_prefs['trash_folder']['value'] = 'Trash';

To enable the option to display the “Empty Trash” link in the menu bar:

$_prefs[‘empty_trash_menu']['value'] = 1;[/CODE]

To redirect mail that is tagged as SPAM or virus (virus removed naturally) into their respective folders, add the following default rules:

// filter rules

 $_prefs['rules'] = array(

 'value' => ‘a:6:{i:0;a:2:{s:4:"name";s:9:"Whitelist";s:6:"action";i:9;}i:1;a:3:{s:4:"name";s:8:"Vacation";s:6:"action";i:8;s:7:"disable";b:1;}i:2;a:2:

 {s:4:"name";s:9:"Blacklist";s:6:"action";i:7;}i:3;a:2:{s:4:"name";s:7:"Forward";s:6:"action";i:10;}i:4;a:7:{s:4:"name";s:9:"SPAM Flag”;s:7:"combine";s:1:"1";s:10:"conditions";a:1:{i:0;a:4:{s:5:"field";s:11:"X-Spam-

 FLAG”;s:4:"type";i:1;s:5:"match";s:8:"contains";s:5:"value";s:3:"YES";}}s:12:"action-

 value”;s:13:"INBOX.SPAMBOX";s:6:"action";s:1:"2";s:4:"stop";s:1:"1";s:5:"flags";i:0;}i:5;a:7:{s:4:"name";s:10:"VIRUS

 Flag”;s:7:"combine";s:1:"1";s:10:"conditions";a:1:{i:0;a:4:{s:5:"field";s:12:"X-Virus-

 FLAG”;s:4:"type";i:1;s:5:"match";s:8:"contains";s:5:"value";s:3:"YES";}}s:12:"action-

 value";s:14:"INBOX.VIRUSBOX";s:6:"action";s:1:"2";s:4:"stop";s:1:"1";s:5:"flags";i:0;}}', 'locked' => false,

 'shared' => false, 'type'

 => ‘implicit'

 );

Horde is one of the leading Webmail applications because you can adjust everything in it using simple config settings. That being said, it’s important to know the right preferences and to edit them correctly. Use our Horde guide to get more from the powerful browser-based Webmail application and you’ll soon realise just why it’s so popular.

Top 3 user-friendly Multi-Server Management Tools

Top 4 user-friendly Multi-Server Management Tools - Plesk

System administrators probably all agree that a web hosting control panel is more or less essential to their jobs. Because it eliminates the need to manually manage disparate servers – a time-consuming task. Control panels make multi-server management less of a chore because they handle site launches, security, and updates automatically. Here we’re looking at which multi-server management solutions are the most user-friendly.

Server Control Panels Guide How Multi-Server Management Works

DirectAdmin

DirectAdmin

DirectAdmin does not offer single-dashboard for multi-server management. It does support DNS Clustering though. Plus, it can automate the transfer of DNS data to and from other DirectAdmin machines. And finally, it can look out for instances of domains that have been duplicated on a DA network.

InterWorx

Interworx

This web hosting control panel divides itself into NodeWorx for admins and SiteWorx for website owners. Unfortunately, it doesn’t feature the convenience of multi-server management from one dashboard.

For clustering, one box acts as the Cluster Manager, meanwhile, other machines are Nodes.  They mount the CM /home partition in order to balance the load between all servers. And the CM server retains all data.

ISPManager

ISPManager

ISPmanager 5 Business is a multi-server management solution that can manage server clusters and handle data based both locally and remotely. They installed the node on each of the remote machines on the network, managing the nodes using remote calls. Hence, each local node is managed just like every other one, apart from when adding a new cluster node.

Getting the Best WordPress Hosting Performance Today

WordPress Hosting Performance Today

Fast, performant, and close to home? It sounds like a line from an ad. But it’s not. It’s about what a hosting provider should offer a WordPress business. So let’s dive into the behind-the-stage attributes that will give you ultimate WordPress Hosting Performance.   

To have great WordPress performance, you should look for the following magic features: CDNs and your server location. A data center that’s geographically-close to its users guarantees low latency. While CDN ensures excellent response times to users worldwide. Let’s call them the salt and pepper of the WordPress hosting performance dish. Read on to discover the rest of the equally important ingredients.

The WordPress Community on WordPress Performance

We asked the WordPress Community for a top tip to boost WordPress Performance. Here’s what we got. 

Must-Have Hosting Performance Features

WordPress needs hosting. Which WordPress performance attributes would make the latter one the best match?

Optimizing Speed and Performance - Ruby on Rails vs PHP

Server-level Caching and CDNs

Server level caching is a great way to provide a significant performance boost to most websites with a lot of static content (images, CSS, HTML). While CDNs also perform caching, it’s good to have a server-level caching by default.

Speaking of Content Delivery Networks, the providers who offer a CDN with the selected WordPress plan score higher in the attractiveness top. Even upper on this list are the providers who offer a CDN that’s integrated into a control panel.

HTTP/2 and DNS

Also, the hosting provider or CDN one must enable the HTTP/2, the latest major revision of the HTTP Protocol. Moreover, to make a good impression and provide the best possible performance for the users, Gzip compressing should be part of the offering.

A performant hosting experience includes offering a fully-featured DNS service. The providers which offer restricted DNS or domain features (like adding a parked domain, add-on domain or subdomain) don’t make the best impression.

First Byte 300ms or Less

Can it make it in under 300 milliseconds? Then, it’s a keeper. For the end-users, it means their browser will receive the first byte of response within this time-frame. Apparently, 300 milliseconds or less is the golden number – according to numerous e-commerce studies.

Detailed WordPress Performance Benchmarks

stats - NGINX vs Apache - Plesk

“We want it all and we want it now”. These are the expectations we hear from customers browsing online platforms. This is why speed and performance play a major role in the success of any online business. Website performance is about retaining users, improving conversions, making customers happy – and ultimately, growing your business.

Studies say you have just 27 seconds to make a first good impression. When you have an e-commerce website, you have even fewer seconds at your disposal. Neil Patel, digital marketing guru, states that 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. Moreover, Google penalizes slow and poorly performing websites from an SEO perspective and downgrades search engine rankings.

Therefore, other than the managed WordPress hosting plans, how a provider handles various levels of traffic in real-time is also very important.

What Makes the Difference?

  • Concurrency is the number of multiple simultaneous users that are connected to your application, requesting content as quickly as possible. But not all at once.
  • Meanwhile, Requests Per Second (RPS) represents the number of requests the web server can respond to within 1 second. Sites with higher RPS will be able to handle more traffic.
  • As for the latency, it represents the response time observed for 95% of the requests sent during a time frame.

Why Geography Impacts Performance

location - CDN - globe

How do you feel about long-distance connections? They may work, but with some struggle. This also applies to your WordPress hosting, so that you can get the bets WordPress Hosting Performance.

Your website may not perform at its best if the location of the data center that hosts it is not close to your audience. Picking a data center in the same city as your audience will provide much lower latency.

An ideal scenario would be to have two data center locations in the same region to deliver at full speed dynamic content. In particular, PHP generated content dynamically, which can’t be cached easily. And even all your users are in the same area as your data center, you don’t want to lose points for high latency.

This is why using a CDN comes handy. As a Content Delivery network helps you to deliver excellent response times to users worldwide.

Top WordPress Hosting Performers and Why

So, now you know what to look for in a WordPress hosting provider. But do such ideal hosting providers exist? Well, yes. According to Cloud Spectator Report, the best ones, in terms of performance features, are:

  • FlyWheel
  • Kinsta
  • Pantheon

All three of them are A-class hosting performers because they have in place: server-level caching, HTTP/2, gzip compression, premium DNS, First Byte at or under 300ms in at least 1 location, CDN available and CDN management.

WordPress Hosting Performance Features

FlyWheel and Kinsta are top performers also in regards to Global Reach. Pantheon got maximum points for Backup and Restore features, too. For Staging & Cloning, both Pantheon and Kinsta got gold medals. Kinsta received a two more on WordPress Support, respectively Onboarding chapter.

Nevertheless, on Developer Friendly, General Support, respectively Security Features aspects, other providers got into the spotlight. However, none of the 17 providers included in the international benchmark study achieved top scores across all nine listed categories.

Important takeaway: as a WordPress owner you need to determine which feature sets are vital for your needs before selecting a WordPress Hosting provider.

How Plesk Impacts Your WordPress Performance

Speed Up WordPress Website

Lots of points to consider when choosing the best-performing WordPress hosting provider for you, right? Fortunately, there is another way to get the same perks, but without any headache. While using Plesk Hosting Platform for your virtual or dedicated server, you can also use the WordPress Toolkit extension on top of it.

Instant benefits? Everything becomes simpler regarding configuration, routine management or overall performance of all your WordPress projects. Remember that Google likes performant websites and ranks them higher in the search results.

Discover more ways to turbocharge your WordPress Performance here.

To keep it short and simple: a fast and well-optimized WordPress website will do the work. And happy visitors can become satisfied customers later on.

How to Install Plesk On Linux?

If you need enterprise-level web hosting control, then Plesk has to be near to the top of your list. It’s certainly near the top of everyone else’s, thanks to its straightforward tolls for managing websites and servers. It’s a versatile beast too, as it works on both Linux and Windows operating systems. You get a web server suite, mail server, ftp server, dns management tools and 100+ extensions that you can use in order to improve performance of your server. You’ll need to buy a license to get the most out of the platform, but Plesk offers a free trial license so you can take it for a test drive and see if it does everything that you hoped for.

To install Plesk you will need “clean” Linux server with an access to the Internet and compliant with Plesk requirements.  Just in case you have already used your Linux server for hosting purposes – please uninstall any existing instances of Apache, MySQL, Cyrus, SELinux and PHP. There are 5 different ways on how to install Plesk:

Install Plesk in One Click

In order to install Plesk Onyx with a basic list of components you need to run the following command:

# sh <(curl https://autoinstall.plesk.com/one-click-installer || wget -O - https://autoinstall.plesk.com/one-click-installer)

The installation will proceed in automatic way. The average time of the whole installation process will be between 30 minutes and 1 hour. The command will initiate the download of the latest stable Plesk release.

Install Plesk Using Browser

Just in case your host or IP address is resolvable and the port 8447 is open, you have an opportunity to launch Plesk Onyx installer via browser.

  • Download installer: wget https://autoinstall.plesk.com/plesk-installer
  • Add permissions for execution to downloaded Plesk installer: chmod +x plesk-installer
  • Initiate Plesk installer with the command below: ./plesk-installer --web-interface
  • Access Plesk installer via browser under port 8447 using IP address https://your-ip-address:8447 or host https://your-host-name:8447
  • Access the web interface, use “root” user and password
  • Select and click “Install or upgrade product”
  • Choose latest stable version of the product and press “Continue”
  • Select one of the installation types, which will identify the packages list. Or you may just enable “Preview components selection” and choose all the components you like. Click “Continue” to proceed with installation.
  • You will see the console output inside the web interface. Wait until installation process is over.

Installing Plesk via CLI

  • Download Plesk installer: wget https://autoinstall.plesk.com/plesk-installer
  • Add proper permissions to Plesk installer: chmod +x plesk-installer
  • Run Plesk installer via command line and follow instructions: ./plesk-installer or ./plesk-installer --all-versions
  • First you will need to confirm your decision by choosing “Go forward” and in case of –all-versions there will be option to choose the certain version of Plesk
  • Wait until installation process is done

Installing Plesk using ISO-images

There are special Plesk ISO-images for Ubuntu and CentOS Linux distros configured to install Plesk automatically.
Installation process is a matter of the following scope of steps:

  • Virtual server parameters are configured and installation from ISO-image is launched
  • Usual input is provided for OS installation
  • OS installed on the server and upon finalization of the process the server is rebooted
  • Plesk platform installation is performed as a background process

Install Plesk via Web Installer

  • To install Plesk using Web Installer please open your browser and go to the following URL: https://get.plesk.com/
  • Provide your server’s IP address or hostname, enter your root password or just add a private key.
  • Accept the terms of End-User License Agreement and click Install button
  • Relax and wait for some time to let the installation be finalized.
  • Click on the Login link. No worries about “secure connection warnings”, just make an exception.

Plesk Initial Configuration After Installation on Linux

As soon as Plesk installation is over, it is necessary to make tiny post-install configuration. You need to open in your browser the following url – https://your-host:8443 or https://your-ip:8443  Access system using “root” username and its password.

  • Enter contact information ( name and e-mail ) of the administrator
  • Change administrator’s account password. Next time you log into the system please use “admin” username and your new password
  • Select full trial or paid license. In case you’ve already purchased paid license – please paste an activation code. In opposite case you may still purchase it here or use temporary trial license
  • Accept end user agreement and enjoy the power of Plesk!

‘Coderex’ Doubles Productivity While Using Plesk

‘Coderex’ Doubles Productivity While Using Plesk

Lincoln Islam, Coderex Founder, enterpreneur and visionary reveals how working with Plesk sped up development and eased multiple processes. This is a case study will tell their story with us from the start. Plus, a peek into how Coderex operates today, with our services and support in tandem.  

Coderex Before Plesk

Coderex before Plesk

We were always in search of a hosting service that could give us the flexibility that most hosting providers don’t provide. We wanted to have some control of our servers in our hands. We tried using a few VPS servers but it was difficult to figure out how to manipulate those unmanaged blank slate servers. We weren’t too satisfied with the hosting we had because we had almost no control over it.

One pain point was managing the sites from the terminal. But it was not possible to give access to everyone from our team. So every time we had to make a new configuration, we would run the command line – something only experts could do. If the experts were not available, then we had to wait until they were – thus, halting production.

Managing the entire server was time-consuming. We always try to focus on things we’re good at and aim to do better than others. Hence, we knew it was best to just find a good hosting platform. One that was secure, gives lots of flexibility, and saves time from manually managing the server via the command line.

Finding Plesk and Starting off

Coderex finds Plesk

For a few months we tested multiple control panels including free and paid versions of cPanel. But I was never satisfied with cPanel or any other control panels we tried using at the time. While testing one control panel after another, we came across Plesk. We decided to go with the one-month free trial.

We were amazed with Plesk right from the get-go. The interface was simple and easy to use, and it offered more than all the flexibility we needed. We knew right away that Plesk was what we had been seeking for a long time.

Yes, There Were Results With Plesk

coderex results with plesk

First we installed it to our primary server that hosts our product site – And it made things so much easier. We no longer had to wait for a command line expert to allow users access.

“Over time, our productivity went double.”

With Plesk, we created multiple users and defined their roles. Due to the friendly UI, it became easy for anyone in the team to understand and manage our sites. No more confusions with configurations. Most importantly, we were relieved about the fact that we will no longer be spooked by unknown security issues.

How Coderex Runs With Plesk Today

How Coderex runs with Pleks today

Right now, Plesk helps us speed up our process for development work. Because it offers one-click installation for WordPress (our most used CMS) which gives our team that cutting edge.

We use it when creating new sites or migrating existing sites. So, we get that boost when deploying sites in a fast, efficient and secure manner. Plesk even has a brilliant toolkit for WordPress. We specifically love its friendly user interface that allows us to work with ease. Would definitely recommend.

Progressive Web Apps – The Future of The Web?

Progressive Web Apps

Progressive Web Apps, or PWAs, may sound like some techy fringe movement that’s only supported/adopted by a small minority. And in many ways, that’s exactly what they are. But what you really need to know about PWAs is that they’re:

  • Based on a model that turns conventional practice on its head.
  • At the forefront of a new era of mobile technology.
  • Not owned by any one person or organisation.

However, they are also unlike many small fringe movements who try implement radical, widespread change and ultimately fail. Because PWAs are starting to make a significant impact on how millions of people use the web.

PWAs: A Symptom of an Evolving Landscape?

Progressive Web Apps

Progressive Web Apps most likely came about because our world is becoming more mobile and digital. And despite much confusion about how to define them, PWAs are becoming a core part of how many brands and companies connect with their audiences. From Twitter, the Guardian, and Uber, to Forbes, Wired, and Spotify – PWAs are everywhere.

Even major browsers and platforms like Google and Apple are implementing support for PWAs into their ecosystem. Since their experience is so slick, there’s almost a 100% chance you have or will soon use one soon. However, they’ve evolved so gradually over the years that you may already be using one regularly, without realising it!

So, what exactly is a PWA?

PWA

One of the simplest descriptions of PWAs is by Alex Russell, the originator of the term. He suggests that PWAs are “just websites that took all the right vitamins.” What this essentially means is that progressive web apps are not some off-the-shelf product you go out and purchase.

They’re the culmination of recent advancements both in the browser and in the Cache. Such as the availability of service workers and Push APIs. That all come together to create a kind of ultra-enhanced, Super Website.

In this way, PWAs are often talked about as in-browser apps — possessing all the good things about an app. Only without being packaged and deployed through a store.

How to turn your website into a PWA

How to turn your website into a Progressive Web App

According to a few progressives in the PWA space, in order to turn your website into a PWA, all you need is a few basic technical ingredients:

  • Switch over to HTTPS
  • Add a JSON manifest file with your metadata
  • Add a service worker

These three staples are what create a PWA from an operational standpoint. However, they don’t say much about how this souped up website functions and what a PWA actually means for you and your users.

This is where Google can help. According to Google Developers, PWAs are any website experiences that are:

  • Reliable: Load instantly and never show “the downasaur”, even in uncertain network conditions.
  • Fast: Respond quickly to user interactions with silky-smooth animations and no scrolling.
  • Engaging: Feel like a natural app on the device, with an immersive user experience.

Such attributes are the inevitable outcomes of adopting the three advancements above. And you could also add to that list safety. Because your site will be served via TLS (a Service Worker requirement), responsiveness to fit any form factor, and a freshness thanks to the Service Worker update process.

Progressive Features of Progressive Web Apps

You can start to see why PWAs are so hard to define and yet at the same time so desirable. So with that being the case, let’s now look at the actual everyday experience of a PWA and dive into a few of the features that make them so great.

PWA - offline access to your site - Plesk

Offline Access to Your Site

By taking advantage of service workers and caching data, progressive web apps allow offline access to your website. Or even access while on low-quality networks.

When a user first visits your website, its data downloads in the background. Therefore, on subsequent visits, whether they’re connected or not, they can, at the very least, experience a basic version of your site.

Build a loyal following - Progressive Web Apps - PWA - Plesk

Build a Loyal Following

A unique thing about PWAs is that they allow businesses to turn users into repeat visitors and even build a regular following. One way they do this is by allowing users to install web apps on their home screens. They also enable businesses to keep in touch via push messages.

When used together, such strategies can help you stay connected to visitors whilst they’re away from your site. And ultimately, build better relationships in the long-term.

App-like experience in browser - Progressive Web apps - PWA - Plesk

App-like Experience in the Browser

Most businesses at some point weigh up the idea of creating a mobile app. As PWAs provide an app-like experience without investing lots of money – or needing users to first find and download it, they pretty much solve this issue.

In doing so, PWAs also offer users the many benefits of the app experience. Such as a full-screen interface, super quick-loading, responsive design. All while by taking up minimal storage space.

Improve search vsiibility SEO - Progressive Web apps - PWA - Plesk

Improve Your Search Visibility

Google is a big advocate of PWAs as they bring the experience of an app out of their closed-off environments. And hence, into the search landscape of the browser. Not only do PWAs offer greater user experience, but they also help businesses improve their visibility in the search engine results.

SEO moguls suggest that PWAs are not a ranking factor in 2019. However, PWAs deliver upon many other ranking factors, like recurring traffic through home screen icons. So, it’s most likely going to be a key signal going forward.

 

It’s difficult to say definitively that – yes, progressive web apps are the future of the web. However, it’s easy to say for sure that the future web is mobile, offline, fast, convenient, and a pleasure to use. And PWAs just happen to be all of that and more.

How To Manage Multiple WordPress Sites

Manage Multiple Wordpress Sites

Trying to manage multiple WordPress sites can become a tall order pretty quick. First, you need to log into one site after another. Then, go through plugin updates and make sure they’re compatible with your chosen theme. Configuring plugins or customizing settings of active themes can be another routine challenge. Doing this over and over again can end up sucking all your time – an asset you can’t buy.

One Dashboard for Multiple WordPress Sites

The thought behind single-interface solutions is that they’d overcome this time-wasting process by allowing you to manage multiple WordPress sites from just one location / dashboard ( you may also read about WordPress multisite environment ). That’s why they provide the convenience of a single login. And one interface in one central location, letting you get in all your WordPress sites’ dashboards, without the big run-around.

Moreover, having a single login point helps you update plug-ins and themes. And this can be really useful if you’re managing clients’ WordPress websites. They aren’t always diligent about this kind of thing. So having overall control like this wins you back lots of precious hours.

Features of a Good WordPress Management Solution

Features of a good WordPress management solution - Plesk Multi Server Management

A good interface should be able to handle core updates as well as plug-ins – so always look for that. And you also want to be able to do offsite backups. Because hackers and malware scum are always keen to compromise your systems. Therefore, having the ability to safely back up offsite can be a lifesaver. Uptime monitoring is another useful feature because it’s a great way of showing whether your host is doing what they say they’re doing. And that your clients are getting their value for money.

Some WordPress platforms even include SEO monitoring & analysis ( read more about SEO Toolkit ) giving you access to analytics without the need to go hunting through Google Analytics. These are just a few of the essentials and extras on offer with the platforms listed below to manage multiple WordPress sites.

Reviews of Multiple WordPress Site Management Solutions

Reviews of Multiple WordPress Site Management Solutions - Plesk

1. Calypso

Calypso is Jetpack’s own offering to help you manage multiple WordPress sites. It’s for WordPress.com users, but self-hosted sites running Jetpack can also be looked after using the same dashboard.

But even more, Calypso is perfectly capable of editing a large number of WordPress.com websites from one central point. And with .com sites being such a sprawl of disparate applications, this platform offers a great way to keep them all under control. In the end, JS and the WP Rest API make it very quick – quick enough that you can watch changes you make in real-time.

Calypso Pros

  • Pages load straight away
  • Desktop UI
  • Real time working
  • Manage multiple WordPress sites
  • Take care of self-hosted and .com sites
  • Easy-to-use dashboard (some prefer it to the wp-admin panel)

Calypso Cons

  • Not yet fully-integrated with self-hosted websites
  • Not great for theme developers who build bulky panels

2. InfiniteWP

InfiniteWP has a lot to offer, which is perhaps why it’s so popular amongst those who manage multiple WordPress sites. The upgraded version gives users access to Utilities, Analytics, Maintenance, Managing, Reporting, and Security. There’s a risk-free 14-day moneyback policy. So it’s well worth taking for a test drive – no obligation to buy.

InfiniteWP Pros

  • One dashboard covers multiple WordPress sites
  • Simple staging and cloning
  • Site cloning using FTP authorizations
  • Plug-ins and core updates and management
  • Check broken links

InfiniteWP Con

It’s “freemium” so you have to pay extra for the good stuff.

3. ManageWP

When ManageWP first opened up shop in 2010 there weren’t many WordPress management tools out there, so it was quite new and exciting to have one tool that let you manage lots of different sites. By the end of their first month that tool was managing 100,000 websites, which is a pretty incredible achievement for a brand-new business. But how does it fare today? Let’s take a look.

ManageWP Pros

Reliability:

No ManageWP review is complete without considering reliability. And luckily, it remains at the top of the list of reliable multisite WordPress management tools. The free version backs up all your sites automatically once a month, but if for some weird reason you want to disable it, you can. ManageWP also lets you run performance and security checks.

The ManageWP dashboard shows you info that might help you optimize certain things. So you can see how many spam comments and site revisions you have (keeping your database manageable) and your database size. You can fix all these with one click.ManageWP also organizes your analytics, and can adequately count page views. However, you can also get more via your Google analytics account. All in all it’s pretty good, but it’s worth noting the few tantrums it’s thrown every now and then. Like breaking same demos, among other things.

Ease of use:

ManageWP is easy to use and the interfaces easy to navigate. It provides useful tooltips as you go, so every section you visit can provide explanations. In fact, everything is thoroughly documented, and we think that it’s enough to get any regular WordPress user up to speed on ManageWP pretty quickly.

Plugin management:

If a plugin needs to be updated you’ll see it on your ManageWP dashboard. If you want to tweak them individually, just head into the settings on each of your sites. This will let you activate, deactivate, and delete any plugin you choose.

A menu here lets you add new ones. It includes the WordPress.org repository, cloud storage, and ordinary URLs or ZIP files. As comprehensive as it is, ManageWP won’t let you alter each plug-in’s unique settings. But you still have your WordPress dashboard to take care of that.

Update management:

When you log in to your manage WP dashboard, you’ll receive WordPress core updates. And, you can see if your sites are running different versions on your Overview bar (left side of the screen).

ManageWP Cons

  • Add-ons: premium add-ons can get expensive (especially for enhanced backup features)
  • Not self-hosted: (some users prefer self-hosting for added security)
  • Lack of extension: not as many premium extensions as with MainWP

ManageWP gives you a lot of features considering its a freemium tool, and there’s no limit to the number of WordPress sites you can use. You’ll miss a few premium add-ons with the free version, but there’s nothing you can’t do without.

This ManageWP review commends the suite for its simplicity. Users still love the fact that its WordPress management tools are fairly easy to get to grips with.

4. MainWP

MainWP is a self-hosted solution lets you manage lots of WordPress sites. We’d recommend it because it’s easy to use and has really good support.

MainWP Pros

Comprehensive features:

As with ManageWP, MainWP gives you one-click updates, backups, cloning, uptime monitoring, SEO analysis, white labeling, and more. But, MainWP also has extensions that let you spin content across your sites – Useful if you’re looking after sites dealing with similar subjects. Plus, using and storing code snippets, and Piwik stats integration. New extensions appear all the time and MainWP also offers API hooks for developers who want to make their own extensions.

Control:

Because MainWP is installed on your server, you have full access to logs for troubleshooting any issues that might occur. You can also access MainWP on Github if you want to customize the plugins for your own use. MainWP’s clarity lets developers make the service better, which is great to know.

Costs:

This MainWP review finds that it’s great value, because you only pay for extensions that make it more functional. So say you were to buy 3 extensions at $18.99, that would still come to less than cost of running ManageWP for one month. You still get lifetime support and updates.

White labeling:

The entire WP dashboard can be white labelled, so you can easily rebrand a clients’ entire experience if you need to. The child plugin you install on client sites will retain that branding during updates. This is something that ManageWP has struggled with at times.

All in all, this part of MainWP has been great. Auto updates. With MainWP, you can configure “trusted” theme and plugin updates working across your client sites automatically. But it’s wise to do so with caution. If you just use this with the plugins you know, it won’t cause you problems. You can set it and forget it.

MainWP Cons

Installation process:

You can expect to install MainWP and a few purchased extensions in around 1 hour. And it does require some effort and some head scratching. The uptime monitoring extension was particularly tricky.

Server load:
At the moment you can’t specify a backup time, and the server load increases a lot when you do, slowing down your sites. This can be resolved by setting up separate backups for each site instead of specifying backup of every site every day, such a time-consuming job defeats the purpose.

No shared hosting: Please note that MainWP won’t work with shared hosting, or at least we haven’t found a shared host that will allow it to.

5. WordPress Toolkit by Plesk

Wordpress Toolkit

Then there’s the WordPress Toolkit, an alternative way on how to manage multiple WordPress sites.

It makes it easy to install, configure and manage multiple WordPress installations.

We must admit here that WordPress Toolkit is more suitable for experienced system administrators and developers who are passionate about having top-notch flexibility.

As well as absolute control over the infrastructure that they own.

WP Toolkit Pros

  • Easy Installation: The 1-click installer of WordPress Toolkit does all the job – WP download, database creation with a dedicated user, creation of admin account in WordPress and initializes WordPress so that it’s 100% ready for use out of the box.
  • Staging Environment: With WP Toolkit you may clone your site, create a staging environment for any experiments. As soon as all experiments are over – sync to production as soon as you polished everything.
  • Theme/Plugin Management: You may install/activate/deactivate a plugin/theme on one or several WordPress instances at the same time. Bulk removal of plugins and themes is also possible.
  • 1-Click security: It’s possible to scan multiple WordPress sites to identify and protect your core installations. Almost full absence of manual work. WP Toolkit security solution takes into consideration all latest WP Codex and WP security recommendations and practices.
  • Backup: If something goes wrong on your site because of any reason – restore points and backup will help you to restore your WordPress website(s) to previous stable state.
  • Debug Management: WP Toolkit gives ability to manage all important debug options on per-instance basis from a single interface.
  • Indexing for SEO: It is possible to control indexation of your website. Allow or disallow indexation on a per-instance basis.
  • Maintenance Mode: activate WordPress maintenance mode when updating WordPress, plugins, or themes with a single click.
  • Command Line Interface: WordPress Command line interface is easily accessible for all WordPress instances you have on board. Import a database, create a new user, update themes and plugins in a flash using WP-CLI.
  • Smart Updates: This feature for WordPress Toolkit analyzes updates and performs them without breaking the site. It also notifies you if the update is dangerous.

WP Toolkit Cons

  • Current and upcoming versions of WordPress Toolkit are fully dependent on Plesk.

WordPress Edition – a Multiple WordPress Sites Management Platform

Use Plesk WordPress Edition

Recently Plesk presented WordPress Edition, a bundle which includes all you need to run and manage WordPress-based hosting business – Plesk Onyx hosting platform, WordPress Toolkit and some other important extensions like Backup to Cloud Pro, Sucuri Security Scanner, Speed Kit , Uptime Robot and SEO Toolkit.

The Time for Multiple WordPress Site Management

The process of management multiple WordPress sites is not necessarily sophisticated, however time-consuming and requires a lot of time resources. As soon as you realize that taking care of your WordPress sites occupies significant part of your working time – it is the right moment to start using one of the solutions described above.

Every solution reviewed previously let you manage multiple WordPress sites using one central location. Each of them comes with list of extra tools that can simplify and improve your workflow. Before making a choice you need to remember that it is not only about functionality, but also about usage experience and other factors related to certain solution’s performance in perspective of  defined technical environment.