in Web Development

Managing multiple WordPress Installations

If you have multiple blogs or work for a company that is using WordPress as their base for developing sites, you’ve probably groaned when you hear there’s a new WordPress that’s been released or one of your favorite plugins has been updated.  Never fear this will soon be a thing of the past.  There are two that I’ve ran across and have used.  If there are others I’d love to know about them.

WPRemote

WPRemote

WPRemote.com was the first service I was introduced to, but due to some problems at that time (late 2012) I moved onto the solution I talk about below.  However I’ve just moved my companies WordPress sites back there and I’ve added an account for my personal sites as well.  It’s not going to blow your socks off with features and whiz bangs, but in my opinion simple is better and this service hits the nail on the head with that.  I should also mention that it’s FREE!!

Setup is pretty easy and straight forward.

  1. Add your site to WPRemote.com
  2. Download the WPRemote plugin and install it on your blog and activate it. 
  3. Once the plugin is activated it will ask you for an API key.  You get the API Key from the WPRemote.com site
  4. Put your API key in and save it.  
  5. Go back to the WPRemote site and do a refresh of the site and it should tell you what needs to be updated (or not!). 

A couple of things that I’ve found that are more annoying than anything else, but may help you out.

  • Once you create a site in the WPRemote.com admin it does not take you to that site to get the API key.  So you have to click on the site on the left hand navigation to ‘activate’ that site and get your key.  Very minor. 
  • WPRemote does backups which is awesome.  What I’ve experienced is that it backs up to your site.  It creates a directory inside of your wp-content folder that you can get your backups.  I’ve been talking to Tom Willmot about this a bit and he’s telling me it should prompt me, in a pop-up I believe, to download that backup. For me that is not the case as of this writing (both in Chrome and Firefox)

Other information on WP Remote can be found at wpdaily.com/wpremote

InfiniteWP

InfiniteWP

InfiniteWP is what I found after my first try of WPRemote.  InfiniteWP is a free download that you get and install on a server or host of your choice. There are a few requirements for having it installed (cURL being the one I had to install), but other than that it’s pretty easy to get up and running.  Once it’s up and running it’s much like installing WPRemote.

  1. Add your site to your InfiniteWP installation
  2. Download the InfiniteWP plugin and install it on your blog and activate it.
  3. Once the plugin is activated it will give you an API key that you copy and paste into your InfiniteWP install site setup.  (this is reverse of what WPRemote does..FWIW).  The site setup in Infinite asks for the Site URL, Site Admin account and the API Key.  There are some more advanced features in this site setup that I never did anything with.  Basic install worked great for me.
  4. Save your site and your good to go.

A couple of things to keep in mind.

  • This is a separate site that you’ll have to maintain.  This can be good and it can be bad.  Good from the aspect that you can install it behind a firewall or on a local desktop if you choose (however it can cause issues with updating).  Bad that you have another site to maintain, but it appears that there’s an update procedure built in that might save you some time.
  • Backups are saved to wherever you installed the software, so make sure you have enough disk space.
  • A really nice feature I liked that WPRemote doesn’t have is that it will e-mail you when there are new updates for your sites (requires setting up a crontab however).
    • Anytime John! Love what you guys are doing over there and especially the behind the scenes.

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