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