Discover how web agencies manage dozens of clients with a single all-purpose dashboard.
As your agency grows, the maintenance and updates need to face will grow as well.
Managing a single WordPress site for a client is not an especially time-consuming task. WordPress’s intuitive, easy-to-use interface makes updating plugins and themes a simple process.
However, all of those tasks add up. If you have twenty clients with WordPress websites that need regular management, maintenance tasks will take up a large amount of your time.
All the time you spend managing and updating WordPress sites for your clients is time you don’t get to spend doing strategic, high-value work. Streamlining this process is one of the fastest ways to earn yourself healthier profits without increasing work hours.
Even the simple act of logging out of one WordPress site and into another takes time. Managing plugin compatibility and ensuring your clients’ sites run smoothly is something that can – and should – be done en masse.
When Should I Start Using a WordPress Management Tool?
Most web agency owners are aware of the fact that they can use WordPress management tools to streamline their most time-consuming update and maintenance tasks. However, there are still plenty of agencies out there who don’t use these tools.
Small agencies with less than ten clients probably do not need to use a purpose-built management tool just yet. However, once you are regularly updating more than ten websites every month, there are significant advantages to using a capable management platform for the purpose.
This is especially true if you serve clients with a broad variety of plugins, themes, and content. As your agency grows, you will want to identify a small group of core plugins and themes you regularly go to. The smaller the number of different technologies you implement in your WordPress websites, the more efficient your WordPress management tasks will be.
WordPress Management Tools: Features You Need
It’s easy to see the main benefits that comprehensive WordPress management offers to web agency owners. Anything that helps you finish time-consuming tasks in a faster, more efficient manner is a valuable business tool. Some of the features that growing agencies need include:
- Secure Login Management. The ability to securely store login details from multiple websites and access them quickly is incredibly important. Ineffective password management is practically a gift to any opportunistic hacker out there.
- Update Rollout Management. Instead of updating individual WordPress instances, then updating plugins and themes, a fully-featured WordPress Management tool will let you roll out.
- User Management. You probably don’t want to perform every WordPress management and maintenance task yourself in the long run. You will need to be able to outsource WordPress maintenance to new users, assigned to specific tasks across your entire catalog.
- Installation. If you can install, enable, and disable plugins, themes, or entire sites directly from a single dashboard, you can significantly reduce the amount of time WordPress website management tasks take on a regular basis.
Which WordPress Management Tool Should I Use?
There are dozens of different tools out there, and many well-written guides about what makes them unique. In our experience, any platform that offers the core functionality described above will do a great job improving the efficiency and reliability of your maintenance and update tasks.
There are plenty of tools to choose from. Some of the most reputable vendors on the market include:
- ManageWP. The first, and biggest WordPress management service.
- MainWP. An excellent open-source management service.
- WP Remote. A free, easy-to-use tool for managing unlimited websites.
- Jetpack Manage. A fully-featured plugin bundle that includes WordPress management solutions for multiple sites.
- CMS Commander. A hosted solution with a no-nonsense interface and a wide range of integration options.
- iControlWP. A flexible, feature-filled option that offers site restore capabilities.
- InfiniteWP. A self-contained WordPress management solution that users install directly on their website server.
- WP Pipeline. A low-cost plugin that allows for easy WordPress management from a single dashboard.
Each one of these options can offer the functionality web agency owners need. Personally, we like ManageWP and MainWP, and regularly recommend them to our clients. This is important because WordPress management tools allow web agency owners to outsource routine maintenance very easily.
Three Ways WordPress Management Tools Enable Scalable Growth
Once you have a comprehensive WordPress management solution in place, you can begin optimizing your retainer agreements accordingly. There are multiple ways you can turn WordPress maintenance into a value-driving business service and use it to enable growth.
First, you can and should charge a retainer fee to clients who receive ongoing updates. This will allow you to schedule dedicated employee-hours solely for the purpose of handling WordPress management tasks.
Second, you can optimize the number of plugins and themes you use in order to make the maintenance process easier. It’s important to realize that although updating individual WordPress plugins and themes takes little time, resolving complex compatibility issues can become incredibly time-consuming.
When that happens, a small task that was supposed to take a few minutes can end up occupying the rest of your day. Reducing the risk of compatibility issues eating up your workday can significantly increase business value – because it happens to everyone.
Third, you can develop a robust set of standard operating procedures for WordPress management. This gives you the ability to delegate maintenance and updates to third-party partners, including white label WordPress maintenance providers.
If a white label WordPress agency handles your maintenance and update tasks through a single dashboard, you can focus more time and energy on developing valuable high-impact solutions for your customers. At the same time, you can easily verify your partner’s work directly through the interface – everyone wins.