Contemplating utilizing MainWP to handle your WordPress websites? In our hands-on MainWP evaluate, we’ll enable you to resolve if it’s the proper software on your wants.
You probably have a whole lot of WordPress websites, logging into all of these separate dashboards to maintain up with day-to-day duties and common upkeep generally is a large ache.
MainWP helps you handle all the pieces from one central dashboard – and you are able to do it whereas nonetheless protecting all the pieces self-hosted.
That can assist you resolve if MainWP is best for you, I went hands-on with the plugin. Under, I’m going to cowl seven areas on this evaluate:
MainWP Overview: A Have a look at the Options
To kick off our MainWP evaluate, let’s take a hands-on have a look at a few of the most notable options.
In the event you’re studying a evaluate of MainWP, you most likely have already got at the very least a fundamental understanding of what it does.
If not, the essential thought is that MainWP provides you one unified dashboard the place you may handle your entire web sites together with their updates, plugins/themes, content material, feedback, customers, backups, safety, uptime, and so forth.
As I dig into a few of the greatest options, it is best to get a reasonably good understanding of what MainWP does.
One Dashboard to Rule Them All
With MainWP, you’ll get one unified dashboard the place you may see a hen’s eye view of all of your linked websites.
The primary dashboard provides you a high-level have a look at what’s occurring in terms of updates and lately revealed content material:
To dig into sure areas in additional element, you should use the sidebar.
MainWP makes it straightforward to handle and apply core, theme, and plugin updates for your entire websites from one spot.
To shortly see the updates for every web site, you may go to the Website checklist. You’ll see the general quantity in addition to a breakdown by the kind of extension:
For extra particulars, you may choose the positioning. You can too select to replace an extension with out leaving MainWP or ignore the replace:
Theme and Plugin Administration
You get bulk administration for themes and plugins so to simply set up, deactivate, or delete extensions throughout a number of websites:
Content material Administration
You can too simply handle content material throughout your entire websites, together with posts, pages, and customized publish varieties.
You may seek for present content material and get a hyperlink that takes you straight to the editor on that web site. Or, you may bulk create content material and publish it on a number of websites:
Equally, you can too handle customers throughout a number of websites, together with creating or importing new customers on as many websites as wanted:
Backups By way of Your Favourite Backup Plugin
MainWP doesn’t embody its personal backup performance. As a substitute, it offers a bunch of official extensions to combine together with your favourite WordPress backup plugins.
You’ll nonetheless be capable of handle the backups for all of your websites out of your one MainWP dashboard. However the precise backups themselves will likely be powered by your chosen plugin.
At present, MainWP has extensions for the next backup plugins:
For instance, with UpdraftPlus, you get an space to handle backups for particular person websites in addition to a worldwide dashboard that exhibits all present and scheduled backups throughout your entire websites:
You can too bulk change UpdraftPlus settings, comparable to configuring off-site storage.
Personally, I like this strategy. I’ve already constructed my very own backup workflows round UpdraftPlus, so I like that I’m in a position to proceed utilizing UpdraftPlus whereas getting a centralized dashboard in MainWP to handle all my completely different websites.
Safety By way of Your Favourite Safety Plugin
MainWP largely handles safety similar to backups in that it helps you hook up with your favourite safety plugin. It does even have a couple of devoted security measures, although.
By way of integrating with safety plugins, it helps the next:
It additionally has two different helpful extensions:
- Virusdie – scan your websites with Virusdie.
- Vulnerability Checker – mechanically scan plugins towards varied vulnerability checkers, together with WPVulnDB.
Uptime and Efficiency Monitoring
To observe uptime and efficiency, I like to recommend utilizing third-party providers, which MainWP makes straightforward to do.
For uptime monitoring, you may hook up with the next providers:
These providers will be capable of detect if a web site goes down and you then’ll be capable of monitor that info from MainWP.
For efficiency monitoring, you may combine with the PageSpeed Insights plugin. Or, there’s additionally a Lighthouse integration that permits you to run stories over the Google PageSpeed Insights API.
To create and handle staging websites, MainWP integrates with the WP Staging plugin. From the MainWP dashboard, you’ll be capable of simply create and handle staging websites for each youngster web site that has the WP Staging plugin put in.
There’s Heaps Extra
There’s no method I can present you each single characteristic in MainWP, so right here’s a fast rundown of all the pieces else that you simply get…
- Database upkeep – clear your websites’ databases of junk revisions, spam, and many others.
- Yoast search engine optimisation integration – handle Yoast search engine optimisation particulars from MainWP.
- Feedback – reasonable and handle feedback on all of your websites from MainWP.
- WooCommerce – get WooCommerce standing updates and shortcuts to streamline managing shops.
- Group management – give different customers entry to the MainWP dashboard and management what features and web sites they’re in a position to work together with.
- Analytics integration – join with Google Analytics or Matomo (Piwik) to view internet analytics for all of your websites.
- Shopper stories – generate easy or superior stories to ship to shoppers, together with white-labeled branding.
- Code snippets – simply handle customized code snippets and apply them to some/your entire websites.
- Bulk settings updates – simply replace settings for the core, themes, and plugins throughout as many websites as wanted.
What’s Distinctive About MainWP vs Different Comparable Instruments
As a result of managing a number of WordPress websites from one dashboard is such a preferred want, there are a variety of providers that supply this performance.
The preferred title might be ManageWP, which was acquired by GoDaddy again in 2016.
So – what’s distinctive about MainWP, and why would possibly you need to use MainWP over the competitors?
100% Self-Hosted and GPL Licensed
One of many greatest variations between MainWP vs ManageWP (and different comparable instruments) is that MainWP is 100% self-hosted as an alternative of a SaaS software like ManageWP.
Every bit of knowledge and element stays completely by yourself servers, whereas ManageWP has you handle your websites from ManageWP’s cloud dashboard.
To perform this, you’ll create a devoted WordPress set up to behave as your web site supervisor. Then, you’ll set up the MainWP guardian plugin on that set up and do all the pieces from that WordPress dashboard. Extra on this later.
MainWP can also be 100% GPL licensed, which suggests, partly, that it’s open-source and also you get full entry to the underlying code.
Free Core Model / Limitless Utilization
I’ll speak about MainWP pricing in a while, however one notable element is that the core MainWP plugin is 100% free and obtainable at WordPress.org.
With simply the core plugin, you get a extremely helpful multiple-site administration software. Then, there are additionally 13+ free extensions that add much more performance.
You’ll solely must pay when you want the performance from a few of the 28+ premium extensions.
Even when you do want the Professional extensions, you’ll pay one flat payment for limitless utilization. This presents significantly better worth than a SaaS software that may usually cost you per web site and/or per characteristic.
For instance, whereas I believe ManageWP is a superb software, its billing mannequin will make it considerably costlier than MainWP you probably have a whole lot of websites and want the premium upgrades:
Use Your Present Plugins/Instruments
One other notable element of MainWP is that it permits you to proceed utilizing a few of the present instruments that you simply may be acquainted with.
The large instance right here is backups. As a substitute of attempting to construct its personal customized backup software, MainWP simply has you employ one of many devoted backup plugins, which generally provides you much more flexibility than you’d most likely get with a customized software.
Equally, there are different integrations to attach with the next:
- WP Rocket for efficiency optimization.
- Numerous safety plugins together with Wordfence, iThemes Safety, and Sucuri.
- Yoast search engine optimisation for search engine optimisation optimization.
Another plugins additionally supply their very own devoted third-party integrations. For instance:
- WP Exercise Log for exercise logging.
- WP Compress for picture optimization.
- Termageddon for authorized pages (e.g. privateness coverage).
Relying in your private preferences, I believe this may very well be both a professional or a con of MainWP. In the event you don’t need to use a bunch of separate instruments, you would possibly really desire ManageWP.
The way to Use MainWP to Handle Your WordPress Websites From One Dashboard
Now that we’ve lined the principle options in MainWP, let’s take our MainWP evaluate much more hands-on and go into what it’s wish to arrange MainWP in your websites.
The fundamental course of works like this…
- Create a devoted WordPress set up to behave as your MainWP dashboard. That is the dashboard from which you’ll handle your entire websites.
- Set up the MainWP Baby plugin on every web site that you simply need to management and join it to the guardian dashboard web site.
Let’s have a look at it in additional element…
1. Create a Recent WordPress set up
To get began, you’ll need to create a contemporary WordPress set up that you simply’ll use as your MainWP dashboard.
When you can technically set up the MainWP dashboard on an present WordPress web site, I believe one of the best strategy is to create a brand new set up that’s 100% devoted to only MainWP.
That method, your web site administration dashboard will likely be utterly separate out of your precise web sites.
If you wish to make it much more personal, you may think about including an additional username/password with .htaccess or different methods to lock down the set up.
2. Set up the MainWP Dashboard Plugin
When you’ve arrange your contemporary WordPress set up, you’ll set up and activate the free MainWP Dashboard plugin from WordPress.org. Make certain to put in the “dashboard” model of the plugin and not the “youngster” model.
Activating the plugin ought to mechanically launch the MainWP Fast Setup Wizard. Click on the Let’s Go button to get began:
On the primary display screen, MainWP will run some fundamental checks to verify your web site is able to operating the software program.
Simply click on Proceed to advance (so long as you go all of the checks):
3. Add Your First Baby Website
You’ll subsequent be prompted to attach your first youngster web site:
Maintain this tab open since you’ll want it. Then, open a brand new tab and go to the dashboard for one of many dwell WordPress websites that you simply need to handle with MainWP.
On that web site, set up and activate the MainWP Child plugin from WordPress.org. Be sure you’re putting in the “youngster” model and not the “dashboard” model.
When you’ve activated the MainWP Baby plugin, return to the setup wizard (there’s no must configure something within the youngster plugin’s settings):
- Choose the toggle to verify the plugin is energetic.
- Enter the positioning’s URL and your admin username.
- Click on Join Website.
You must then see successful message. You may repeat the method so as to add extra websites or click on Proceed to advance within the wizard:
On the following display screen, you may arrange some fundamental monitoring options. Then, you’re completed with the setup wizard and able to begin managing your websites.
The way to Entry the MainWP Dashboard
To entry your MainWP dashboard, you simply must log in to your devoted WordPress set up and click on the MainWP possibility:
The way to Add Extra Websites
So as to add extra websites to MainWP sooner or later, you may click on the Add New button within the top-right nook:
You simply want to put in the kid plugin on these websites after which confirm the connection such as you did within the setup wizard.
As I discussed earlier, the core MainWP plugin is 100% free and GPL licensed.
If you wish to additional lengthen the core plugin, there are 13+ free extensions and 28+ premium extensions on the time that I’m writing our MainWP evaluate.
You will get entry to all premium extensions by buying MainWP Professional. There’s no choice to buy particular person extensions.
There are three completely different pricing plans to entry MainWP Professional. All of them have the very same options and assist managing limitless websites – the one distinction is the billing time period.
- Month-to-month – $29 monthly.
- Yearly – $249 per 12 months (which works out to $20.75 monthly)
- Lifetime – $399 one-time payment.
You’ll get entry to assist, updates, and new extensions so long as your license is energetic. With the lifetime deal, you’ll clearly get lifetime entry to assist, updates, and any new extensions that MainWP publishes.
One good factor is that there’s a 90-day improve coverage for transferring from month-to-month to lifetime.
That’s, you can begin by signing up for the month-to-month plan to see the way it goes. If it’s working properly, you may then improve to lifetime and MainWP will credit score you as much as three months of funds in direction of the lifetime plan.
That can assist you get monetary savings, we additionally negotiated an unique MainWP coupon code that may get you 15% off the lifetime package deal.
MainWP Overview: Professionals and Cons
Let’s recap a few of the execs and cons of utilizing MainWP to handle a number of WordPress websites from one dashboard.
- Self-hosted. MainWP is 100% self-hosted and your entire knowledge stays by yourself servers, which a whole lot of WordPress customers will admire.
- Free. The MainWP free model and free extensions are already fairly purposeful.
- Maintain utilizing your present plugin workflows. If you have already got constructed your workflows on sure plugins (e.g. backups and safety), you may maintain utilizing these instruments whereas simply managing all the pieces from MainWP.
- Lifetime plan. In the event you do want the premium extensions, there’s a lifetime pricing plan. This presents large worth for businesses or freelancers (or simply common customers with a whole lot of websites).
- No per-site billing. Even when you want the Professional extensions, you’ll solely pay a flat payment for limitless utilization. That is completely different than a software like ManageWP, which has per-website billing for its premium upgrades.
- MainWP depends on different plugins. Whereas I personally like this (which is why it’s additionally within the professional part), I believe some folks may simply view this as a con as a result of a few of MainWP’s key options are reliant on third-party plugins. With one thing like ManageWP, all of those options are constructed into the SaaS providing.
- Not a SaaS. That is one other “con” that can be a professional relying in your preferences. Personally, I just like the self-hosted strategy, however I do know some customers desire the simplicity and hands-off nature of a SaaS software like ManageWP.
- The person interface may very well be improved. The MainWP interface is completely purposeful, however there are a couple of UX quirks and the design isn’t as slick as a SaaS software. For instance, I don’t like that all the extensions are hidden in an “Extensions” sub-menu though a few of the extension options are extra necessary than the high-level menu objects (e.g. backups).
MainWP Overview: FAQs
To complete out our MainWP evaluate, let’s speak about some frequent questions you may need about MainWP.
Is MainWP safe?
Sure, MainWP is safe. It encrypts your entire knowledge utilizing OpenSSL and also you by no means must enter or retailer passwords. Your actual websites will solely ever reply to requests from the one MainWP dashboard that you simply’ve linked them to.
MainWP additionally has a bug bounty program via HackerOne and, to my information, MainWP hasn’t had any main safety points within the 8+ years that it’s been in enterprise.
How dependable is MainWP?
MainWP has been in enterprise for 8+ years (since 2014). Collectively, MainWP customers handle over 500,000 websites and there are 10,000+ folks utilizing the MainWP Dashboard plugin.
The MainWP Dashboard plugin has a near-perfect 4.9-star ranking on over 2,150 critiques.
So yeah…MainWP is fairly dependable on this house.
Is MainWP free?
The core MainWP dashboard plugin is 100% free and obtainable at WordPress.org. The free plugin alone already provides you a whole lot of performance, however there are additionally 28+ premium extensions to present you entry to sure options or enable you to combine with sure plugins.
How does MainWP work?
You create a contemporary WordPress set up and add the MainWP Dashboard plugin to behave as your web site administration dashboard. Then, you put in the MainWP Baby plugin on every dwell web site to attach that web site to your MainWP dashboard.
Remaining Ideas on MainWP
Now for crucial query of our MainWP evaluate – do you have to use MainWP to handle your entire WordPress websites?
So far as plugin choices go, that is most likely one of many greater ones, so that you’ll need to get issues proper.
Total, going with the self-hosted strategy (MainWP) has each execs and cons over the SaaS strategy (e.g. ManageWP), which I attempted to spotlight within the execs and cons part above.
Nevertheless, I believe lots of people within the WordPress house desire the self-hosted, open-source possibility over the proprietary software. In spite of everything, we’re all utilizing WordPress and never Wix or Squarespace.
In relation to self-hosted instruments to handle a number of WordPress websites, MainWP is undoubtedly the largest title within the recreation.
The core free model by itself is fairly purposeful. And with the free and paid extensions, you may add tons of helpful options and integrations.
One factor to notice is that MainWP is reliant on third-party plugins or providers for options like backups and staging. Once more, I believe that may be each a professional or a con relying in your private preferences.
I personally prefer it as a result of I can stick to my present workflows, however you would possibly desire the simplicity of a extra all-in-one SaaS software like ManageWP (although you’ll most likely pay extra due to the per-website/characteristic billing mannequin).
Total, if you wish to handle a number of WordPress websites from one dashboard and also you need to maintain your setup self-hosted and/or you need to maintain your prices down, I believe MainWP is unquestionably the best choice within the house, which is backed up by the stellar critiques and recognition.
If you wish to get began, you may click on the button under. And ensure to make use of our unique MainWP coupon code to save lots of 15% in your buy when you want the Professional model:
Go to MainWP
In the event you’re focused on different choices, try our publish on one of the best instruments to handle a number of WordPress websites from one dashboard.
Nonetheless have any questions on MainWP or our MainWP evaluate? Tell us within the feedback!
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