Automating WordPress Management using ManageWP

managewp dashboard

It’s very important to keep your plugins and themes up to date when using WordPress. Millions of websites on the internet use WordPress and hackers are constantly looking for ways to hack into them. WordPress Management can be eased by using ManageWP, it can help you with many of the routine tasks you have to do to maintain your site.

If you don’t keep up to date with security patches your home page could end up looking like this:

isis-hack

The best way to keep up to date with security updates is to automate the process as much as possible. In this article I will be showing you how to use ManageWP, this is a WordPress plugin that can help you manage your WordPress installations.

Create a ManageWP account

If you don’t have a ManageWP account already you can get one by clicking the link below. They have a free tier which allows you to manage up to 5 websites:

Install ManageWP on your WordPress site

Once you have an account you need to install the ManageWP plugin on your WordPress site. Go to the Plugins menu and click the ‘Add New’ button. Search for managewp and you should see the managewp plugin in the results page:

install_managewp_plugin

Add your site to the ManageWP Dashboard

Once you have the ManageWP installed on your WordPress site then you need to add your site to the ManageWP dashboard. Log in to your ManageWP account and click the ‘Add Website’ button, it’s the large green button in the bottom left of the dashboard. Fill in the website url press ‘Add to ManageWP’.

add existing site to managewp

ManageWP will contact your site and if the ManageWP plugin is installed correctly and active then you should then see the following notification.

site added to managewp

You can run a security check at this point. I will talk about Security later on in the article.

Uptime Monitoring

ManageWP can monitor your site to check if it is up. If not it can send you an SMS message. You have to be careful with this feature though. It’s perfectly possible for your website to be functioning but the database to have died. If you are just monitoring whether you get a HTTP response you will not be aware that your site is dead since the web server will return a response. It is better to set Monitor Type to ‘Keyword Checking’ and then check for text you expect to see on the home page or check you do not see ‘Error establishing a database connection’.

setup uptime monitoring

Once you have set up monitoring you can see the uptime status of your sites on the dashboard. It may take some time before you can see the uptime status for your site.

uptime monitoring with managewp

Security Check

ManageWP can run a security check on your site. Select the site you want to check from the sidebar. One of the options in the sidebar is ‘Security Check’. Click the link and ManageWP will start the security check.

managewp security check

Performance Scan

ManageWP can do a performance scan of your sites, it gives you two grades, the first from Page Speed and the second from YSlow. It grades you on many different aspects of your site and you can drill down to the more details for each section.

managewp performance scan

Set up Traffic Alerts

You can configure ManageWP to send you an email when there is a change in traffic on your site. Any value from 5 to 100% in increments of 5% can be selected. You can compare the traffic change to the previous day or a one week average.

setup traffic alerts for managewp

Backup your WordPress Installation

You can configure ManageWP to backup your site at regular intervals and depending on your plan store the files in S3.

managewp backup task

In the second page of the dialog form, I configure storing the backup on Amazon S3. You will need your Amazon S3 Access Key and Secret Key. You will need to create a bucket and a folder in the bucket to store all your backups in. E.g. Create a bucket called ManageWP and a folder in the bucket called backups. If you check the ‘Create subfolder by website name’ box then the location of your backups will be: /ManageWP/backups/mark-kay.net/mark-kay.net_weekly_full_yyyy-mm-dd_xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.zip format.

backup to s3

You can run a backup task whenever you want.

run backup to S3

Client Report

ManageWP can generate a report of all work done on a specific set of sites. Client Reports are available on the Professional Plan. Here is the config screen for creating a report:

managewp client report config

You can configure the header and footer text and upload a logo. Reports can be saved as pdf, send as a pdf to an email address or make public. If you click on make public then a html report is generate with a url of the format managewp.com/clientreport/xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

Mobile App

There is a mobile app for ManageWP so you can keep track of your sites even when you are not in front of your computer! Here is a screenshot of the app:

managewp mobile app

Conclusion

ManageWP can be a massive timer saver if you have to maintain WordPress websites. It seems like almost every day there are stories of sites being hacked the consequences of which can be very damaging. ManageWP is an affordable service that can make managing WordPress sites much easier.