Update multiple WordPress sites at once

If, like me, you have a large number of WordPress sites, and maybe even a large collection of WordPress development projects running on a local web server, you will appreciate how painful a WordPress core update can be.

Sure, WordPress now has Multisite capabilities, but if your sites are spread across a number of hosting servers, you can’t use a single Multisite installation, so you’re still stuck with performing the core update time after time, once for each site. And don’t even get me started on plugin updates…

The Options

I had heard that there was an online service or piece of software that could automate this process (i.e. update multiple WordPress installations and plugins with a single click), so I sat down in front of Google and fairly quickly found the three current options:

All are online web applications; however, ManageWP and WP Remote Manager are hosted applications, whereas InfiniteWP is self-hosted (you download it, then install it on a spare domain or folder of a website).

Getting Started

Being the tightwad that I am, I decided to try out InfiniteWP. On their front page there is a short video giving a fairly useful overview:

This definitely whetted my appetite, and I download the installer and then settled down to watch another of their videos – the “how to install it” one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eF6FTJVZ9tg

After that, installing and configuring the application was quick and trouble-free.

Adding Websites

The process to add a website is very easy; you install and activate the “IWP Client” plugin on the website you’re adding, then you add the site to InfiniteWP by clicking a button and pasting in a code given to you by the IPW Client plugin. That’s basically it, however there is one “gotcha” which is worth mentioning here:

If your WordPress site asks you for FTP details whenever you update WordPress or a plugin, you will also need to give InfiniteWP those details. You do this just once for each site by adding a tiny code block to the wp-config file and then forgetting about it. Details about this are given in the InfiniteWP knowledge base here.

Updating Websites

Obviously this is the core feature of InfiniteWP. You can update 1 or multiple websites, you can update 1 or multiple plugins across certain websites, you can exclude certain plugins from the automatic processes, etc etc – there are enough options to keep even a detail freak like me happy.

And processes are asynchronous, so you can select more activities while a process is under way.

In Summary

This web application, within 24 hours of installing it, has revolutionised the way I maintain my WordPress sites. Doing a core and plugin update across all my sites now takes approximately 2 minutes instead of 4 hours. And time is money, folks.

I also like the authors’ business model. The core InfiniteWP web application is free, and they aim to make money by selling add-ons that provide optional features. And because they’ve instantly built up a huge reservoir of goodwill by giving me the core software free, it’s quite likely that I’ll pay for an add-on or two in the future. Updates are also frequent and you can suggest new features via a Google moderation page.

Please note that I have no connection whatsoever with this software or its authors; I’m just really impressed with it and would recommend it to all WordPress developers.

24 Comments

  1. InfiniteWP sounds cool. Might as well give it a try.

  2. Hi,

    That is a brilliant idea. InfiniteWP looks like is going to rock. Will see how it goes. Thanks for the update.

  3. Didn’t even realize this was possible. Mind blower!

  4. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this blog. I’m hoping the same high-grade website post from you in the future too. Actually your creative writing skills has inspired me to get my own website going now. Actually blogging is spreading its wings and growing fast. Your write up is a great example.

  5. I have used Manage WP before. It’s fantastic but quite pricy. Never try Infinity WP though, might give it a go

  6. That would be called WordPressMulti site..all the installs under one roof.

  7. @Rabia – Multisite only works if you’re hosting every site on the same server. InfiniteWP works with an infinite number of separate sites on separate servers.

  8. I did even stop using most of my wordpress sites entirely because of the inability to manage multiple domains on multiple servers. I am without a doubt going to give it a try, and who knows I may just switch back to WP again. 🙂

  9. I’m gonna be giving this a try, thanks for recommending it. I’ll let you know how it goes!

    Joe L!

  10. I have a ton of Wordpress Sites that can be a pain. This sounds good.

    Rick

  11. Thanks for the article and the video, it looks great. I own a couple of WP sites, yes, the WordPress core update is one of the most crucial things to experience. I know about InfiniteWP, but I think I’ll check out ManageWP for now. Thanks again for the article.

  12. This sounds like a really easy alternative for WP updates. According to the video’s it is a simple procedure and a time saver. I am going to get this to update all my sites. Thanks.

  13. WOW! What a nifty tool to update your sites. I had not known about this type of service. That is why I read articles such as yours to keep up – too many acronyms, techniques, software’s, etc. Thx.

  14. I’ll try Infinite WP. Love anything free.

  15. Cant wait to try this! I feel like I am always getting behind on updating my lesser used sites. Thanks for taking the time to share!

  16. Found this article in my search, exactly what I was looking for. Thank you for explaining in great detail along with videos how to make this work. I am still mastering word press, but tutorials like this are helpful. Going to give it a try.

  17. Thanks a lot for this post, you are a real king! Now i have more time to do some useful things rather than updating 50+ wordpress blogs.

  18. i will give it a try and see how it works and if it works well then i will switch to word press again.

  19. I will have to try that out sometime and see how it works. It sounds like it will make adding and updating websites an easy job.

  20. With WP updates becoming more and more frequent any advice on automation is much appreciated. Thanks a lot. I will most certainly try it out.

  21. ManageWP is best!

  22. Thanks for this, I had not thought of searching for such a tool, but will be very useful as I have 8 sites at present.

  23. Who knew that such a handy little tool existed? Thank you for sharing this. I too am financially savvy (sounds better than tightwad or penny pincher) and am always eager to try a free application before a commerical one. I’m glad that the InfiniteWP web application worked so well for you. It seems pretty user friendly, and I look forward to trying it out.

  24. Thank you for this helpful information. I have dental care WordPress websites that need updates. I will try InfiniteWP plugin and hopefully this can help boost rankings to my sites. Yah, I agree it too. WordPress is very clean and user friendly. And I have known this a very long time ago.