Managing a lot of different WordPress sites can be a daunting prospect. I don’t have nearly as many sites as lots of marketers and yet I still always used to struggle with keeping up to date with WordPress, Plugin and Theme updates.
InfiniteWP and ManageWP [affiliate link] are both applications that take away a lot of the hard work of managing your WordPress sites. You don’t have to log in to each admin to check for updates; with each service they’re all managed from central control panel.
In this article I’m going to discuss the similarities and differences between the 2 services and tell you why, while I’m signed up to both services, InfiniteWP is now my “go to” WordPress utility.
Both services offer a range of features for free. This table gives a summary of what each service offers.
|Number of sites||5||Infinite|
|Location||On ManageWP servers||Installed locally|
|Manage table overhead||Yes||No|
|Manage Post Revisions||Yes||No|
|Page View Stats||Yes||No|
As you can see, ManageWP has the greater range of features available on the free service, though InfiniteWP offer backups (a key feature) for free.
Both services have a wide range of premium features:
|Manage Comments||In free version||Yes|
|Create Backups||Standard||In free version|
|Manage table overhead||In free version||Yes|
|Manage Post Revisions||In free version||Yes|
|Malware / security Scanner||In free version||Yes|
|Mobile access||Standard||via mobile browser not app|
In general these two WordPress management systems offer similar features. So the pricing of the premium features becomes important in your decision.
You can manage as many sites as you want to for free using the basic free features.
When you need access to a premium function you purchase the plugin for between $49 and $99. It is then available for every site you manage. As examples, at the time of writing the following prices applied to some desirable plugins:
- WP Maintenance (remove spam comments, post revisions and table overheads) – £49
- Manage Comments (View, approve, trash, mark as spam) – $49
- Publish pages, posts and links – $69
With ManageWP you pay on a monthly or annual basis to use the premium features. The amount you pay depends on which features you use (there are Standard, Professional or Business packages offering different levels of service) and on the number of sites you wish to manage.
- Standard package, 10 websites costs $75.60 for 1 year
- Standard package, 25 websites costs $162.00 for 1 year
- Professional Package, 25 websites costs $486.00 for 1 year
- Business Package, 25 websites costs $972.00 for 1 year
As you go into the higher levels of service, or start adding more websites the costs go up and up.
I trust both are pretty secure. They use API keys to access your sites via a worker plugin.
But you have to bear in mind that both services are providing an alternative access point to your WordPress admin. This clearly introduces an extra security vulnerability to your websites. In fact by having a single access point to all of your websites covered by one password you have a security concern.
Certainly for this situation you must be wary of the risks and take steps to lower the chance of your sites being compromised.
In this, as in many online services I would recommend using a very secure password for your dashboard, containing 12 random characters including alphanumeric and symbols.
Having used both services, ManageWP probably just edges it in terms of style and usability. Their dashboard is pretty clear, and after a short while you get used to where to find the functions.
To be fair, InfiniteWP is also easy to use and reasonably intuitive. I just think ManageWP is a little bit ….nicer…. to use. But not so much to make it a factor in deciding which to choose.
Ingenuity/Credit where it’s due
As far as I understand, ManageWP came first and was responsible for a lot of the development of this type of program. For this they should be given a lot of credit.
They also seem to be at the forefront of developing new modules and features for multi-site WordPress management.
When it comes down to it, which of these great services is best for you depends on the number of sites you need to monitor and which of the premium services you will use.
It’s fair to say that everyone wants to get as much as possible for free and you can get a lot of what you need without paying for either service.
My current setup is that I use the free version of Infinite WP for all my sites. If I decide I need plugins upgrades they are cheap to install and will cover all my sites.
I also use the free version of ManageWP for my busier sites where there are more comments that I can handle direct from the ManageWP dashboard but I don’t really log in to ManageWP very often now.
And when I get to the stage I need to use this feature for more than 5 sites I will probably purchase the InfiniteWP plugin rather than pay for more sites in ManageWP.
But that’s just me. If you have any better insight into these great tools please comment below.
ManageWP have been hard at work at rebuilding their entire platform and it will be rolled out soon as the Orion platform. I’m really looking forward to seeing the differences and making a new comparison between these 2 pieces of software. One major consideration is that Orion will have a similar pricing model to InfiniteWP with infinite sites available on the free account, with limited functionality, and fees paid for extra functionality. It will be interesting to see how the free level compares to InfiniteWP and whether it makes me alter conclusions from this article.