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How to Manage Multiple WordPress Sites

WordPress manage multiple websites

  • reading duration: 7 minutes

Building a website with WordPress is pretty easy.

But managing a multitude of WP websites can become quite tedious: Imagine managing 10 different sites and having to log in 10 times, just to make a quick backup of everything!

Fortunately, there is a solution for managing multiple WordPress sites at the same time. We’ll teach you how to set up a network of WordPress websites, and show you some handy tools to manage multiple websites.

Setting up a WordPress Multisite

At some point you might ask yourself if you can manage multiple websites on WordPress?

And the answer is yes, of course.

There are many tools to help you manage multiple WordPress websites at once – we listed them below for you.

But some of these tools only work if you’ve already installed a network that consists of multiple WP sites.

Here’s your quick guide.

Before you get started, make sure that…

  • You have at least one WordPress installation (goes without saying)

  • You’ve deactivated all of your plugins

  • You have FTP access to the WordPress website

  • You’ve backed up your site
  • Step 1: Edit the wp-config.php file

    To create a WordPress network of multiple sites, you must first allow multisite.

    This works by connecting to your website’s webspace via an FTP client (e.g. FileZilla). There you can access the file wp-config.php in the main directory and enter the following code:

    define(‘WPundefinedMULTISITE’, true);

    You can go on to save the wp-config.php file, and voilà: You’ve enabled your WordPress installation to add a network of multiple websites.

    Set up the Network in your WordPress Backend

    In the left column in your WordPress backend, you should now see a new item in the Tools tab called Network Setup.

    You can choose between subdomains or subfolders here.

    This decision is final for the network and cannot be changed later!

    Note: In terms of search engine optimization we recommend choosing subdirectories. Google could lose track when there are too many different subdomains, which makes crawling more difficult.

    After you’ve chosen, you can set the network title and email address of the administrator and click Install.

    Step 3: Add Code to wp-config.php and .htaccess

    After installation, WordPress should show you two code snippets that you need to add to the wp-config.php and .htaccess file.

    As in step 1, you will need to connect to your WordPress installation using an FTP client.

    In the wp-config.php and the .htaccess file, you add the respective code.

    After adding the code to the files, you can save and upload them to the server.

    Step 4: Add New Websites

    You can now log back into the WordPress backend, and you should notice a few changes in the menu bar. At the top left, just below My sites, you can manage your various WordPress sites via Network Admin.

    Under Sites, you can add as many new pages as you like.

    You can add a new URL (website address), set the website title and language – and bingo, you can add a new website to the WordPress network.

    That’s about it – the technical steps necessary to set up a WordPress Multisite.

    Of course, you can now re-enable the plugins that were disabled before the first step, so that your site can continue to run normally.

    5 Tools to Manage Multiple WordPress Websites

    Of course, there are tools to make your life easier when it comes to managing multiple WordPress sites from one central location.

    Setting up a multisite is only half the battle. Once the WP network is set up, you’ll want to manage and maintain your websites.

    The following tools should make it easier for you.

    GREYD.Hub – WordPress Management made Easy

    Yes, we admit it… this article is also intended to draw attention to our own product. A cornerstone of our GREYD.SUITE is the so-called GREYD.Hub.

    GREYD.Hub makes managing multiple WordPress sites a breeze. You can import, export, backup, or update multiple WordPress sites at once with just a few clicks.

    There are no limits in GREYD.Hub. It doesn’t matter if you only want to manage two WordPress domains or if you need to manage hundreds of WordPress websites. You can even post to multiple WordPress sites at once.

    We’re especially proud of the fact that with GREYD.Hub you can migrate websites in just 60 seconds! (Yep, you read that right)

    If you are just as convinced about GREYD.Hub as we are, we have good news for you.

    You can test GREYD.SUITE, with all its other great features, for free!

    Give it a try and you’ll see that managing multiple WordPress sites has never been easier.

    ManageWP

    The second tool in this list is ManageWP. A tool that allows you to manage multiple WordPress sites from one dashboard.

    With ManageWP, you can update all themes and plugins across all your managed domains with just one click.

    Unlike the previously mentioned GREYD.Hub, with ManageWP you can’t manage your WordPress installations directly in the WordPress backend, but in ManageWP’s in-house backend.

    This doesn’t necessarily have to be a disadvantage or advantage. But it’s worth noting, in case multisite management right within WordPress is particularly important to you.

    Good news for small businesses or agencies: ManageWP is free in its basic version. Basic features, such as plugin updates, are free of charge.

    But as soon as you want to use the service as a professional web agency, the premium version with all its features – including cloning and migrating pages – will be much more attractive.

    MainWP

    MainWP is very similar to the way ManageWP works. This is another tool that helps you manage multiple WordPress websites more easily.

    Some of MainWP’s free features are only available in ManageWP’s premium version, and vice versa.

    A bigger difference with MainWP is that you can install it directly in the WordPress backend using various plugins. This is a plus if you don’t want to leave the familiar WordPress environment.

    With over 400,000 installations and mostly very positive reviews, MainWP seems to be doing something right.

    WP Remote

    If the tools we’ve mentioned so far for managing multiple WordPress websites haven’t convinced you, then WP Remote might be the right solution for you.

    WP Remote calls itself the “Swiss army knife of WordPress website management”.

    Updates for themes or plugins are included in the free plan with WP Remote, but fully automated backups or migrations are only included in the premium versions.

    With a cost of $499 per year for the cheapest package, WP Remote is priced slightly higher than the other tools mentioned.

    CMS Commander

    CMS Commander offers a variety of different features that make it easy for you to manage multiple WordPress sites.

    CMS Commander stands out from this list because there is no free version (except for the trial period). If you want to use the tool, you have to pay for it, but in return, you get its full range of features.

    CMS Commander’s user interface is not the prettiest, so that’s a small disadvantage.

    All in all, the tool is not inferior to the other management tools we’ve mentioned.

    How to Choose the Right Tool to Manage Multiple WordPress Sites

    No matter which tool you choose to manage multiple WordPress websites, it should meet a few minimum requirements.

    Here’s a checklist with the most important features to look for when choosing the right tool:

    • <strong>1. A centralized staging environment</strong><br>For agencies or web freelancers, it’s common to build multiple websites at once. Even if they end up on different WordPress installations later on. The right tool will allow you to build different pages from your multisite and import or export them as needed.

    • <strong>2. Customize multiple landing pages at once</strong><br>Professional performance marketers usually work with multiple landing pages at the same time. A multisite in combination with a tool that allows you to quickly transfer design settings or even content can work wonders.<br>

    • <strong>3. Easy backups of multiple sites</strong><br>When one or more websites go down the drain, having an up-to-date backup is vital. A management tool for multiple WordPress websites should make it easy for you to back up your sites so that you can immediately fall back on the last backup in case of an emergency.

    • <strong>4. One-click updates </strong><br>Going into every single WordPress installation and updating plugins or themes takes more time the more sites you have to manage. A management tool should allow updates with just one click – and directly from the dashboard.

    • <strong>5. Change settings across the board</strong><br>Database adjustments such as new domain names, admin emails or SSL settings are common tasks for an administrator. If you use a tool to manage different WordPress sites, it should simplify these tasks for you.<br>

    Bottom Line: WP Multisites Have Some Advantages

    Of course, the benefits of a WordPress Multisite only really come into play when you need to manage many websites at the same time.

    In our experience, large companies with several company locations (and several websites for these locations), as well as agencies that manage many websites benefit from this the most.

    In that case, a tool that allows you to manage many WP pages in the backend can massively reduce your workload. Updating all pages with a few clicks at the same time, downloading multiple backups and imports can all be done from a central location.

    In addition, you don’t have to deal with an endless number of logins and different passwords for the individual pages.

    Some tools, such as ManageWP and MainWP, specialize exclusively in managing multiple WordPress sites from one dashboard. They have also implemented this solution very well.

    However, they are just isolated solutions in the WordPress universe.

    With GREYD.SUITE, you can manage all of your WP installations from one place. But you can also use this tool to customize the design and content of your multiple WordPress websites from one central location!

    Do you have multiple websites that are similar in structure, but have different logos or contact information?

    You can manage them with GREYD.SUITE from the same dashboard without having to log into different WordPress backends.

    About the author
    Patrick Mitter
    Patrick Mitter

    Patrick loves good texts. Preferably about topics concerning online marketing and WordPress. Having built websites by using well-known page builders on his own and being very experienced in the SEO industry, he is very familiar with any kind of problems regarding those plugins. This is the reason why he adopted GREYD's mission to simplify work for web designers as well as agencies.

    1. You have at least one WordPress installation (goes without saying)
    2. You’ve deactivated all of your plugins
    3. You have FTP access to the WordPress website
    4. You’ve backed up your site

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