Doesn’t it seem that updates for WordPress, plugins and themes are pushed out more often than they used to be? If you only have one or two blogs or websites, it’s no big deal to login and update your site. But what if you have several or if you are helping clients or family members? Then it’s a real pain in the “you know what!”
Why all the updates? WordPress continually has new features and bug fixes in beta. And now more developers are on the WordPress beta team meaning that testing and fixes are done more quickly. Then plugin and theme developers need to make sure they are compatible with the latest version of WordPress.
Then there’s the security issues. There are now more folks out there trying to break plugins and find the security holes in them. And because they publish their findings, plugin developers must get security patches out quickly.
So what is the answer if you have several websites to keep updated?
For me, it’s iThemes Sync…
iThemes is probably best known for the best backup plugin called Backup Buddy as well as their Builder themes. Recently they brought in Chris Weigman’s Better WP Security and renamed it to iThemes Security. I am a big fan of both plugins.
They now have a WordPress management tool called Sync that allows you to manage all your websites from one dashboard and I love it!
As of this writing here are the tools available in Sync (by the time you read this, they will probably have added more):
- Update WordPress core files, plugins and themes either for individual sites or all sites (I use this feature to update plugins all the time).
- Install plugins on multiple sites (although I’ve not tried this yet)
- Manage Comments and Users
- If you use Backup Buddy, you can run manual backups from the Sync dashboard
- If you use iThemes Security, you can manage lockouts from the Sync dashboard
- Manage your sites on mobile. There are apps for the iPhone and iPad to make it easy to stay up to date while on the go.
- Includes two-factor login capability where you get an SMS text message with a login code to complete the login process into the Sync dashboard.
- Best of all — You get 10 sites for free! So there really is no reason not to at least test it out.
Shortcomings? The only thing I would really like to see are links to the plugin/theme change logs. Sync lets you know what version you have on each site and what version is the most current, but you don’t know what has changed which can be important if it involves tweaking the settings.
Bottom Line — Get iThemes Sync if you have more than one WordPress site and keep your sites more secure by updating all your software.