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For a kickoff we’ve prepared a review of a really neat and useful service some of you guys will be keen on. Those of you who manage more than one WordPress blog will be more or less familiar with the management problems multiple blogs can create. Installing new plugins, updating platforms, keeping an eye on the posts – it’s getting pretty inconvenient if you’ve got couple of active blogs.
Yes, some of you might have already figured out what kind of service we’re writing about here. ManageWP is a service that allows you to manage all your WordPress websites from one single dashboard. What does it mean?
Lets quickly run over the main features:
How does it work? Do you have to provide them with all your passwords? The answer is no. Access to your site is governed by the ManageWP Worker plugin that you install directly onto your blog. That means that the only password ManageWP stores is the one needed for their central dashboard. So lets get started and take a deeper look into this service.
Once you’ve installed the plugin and linked your website with ManageWP you can access all the features it offers. The dashboard is clean and easy to use. Plus it looks just like your casual WordPress dashboard so you don’t have to worry about adapting to a new and unfamiliar platform.
In the main view you can see which plugins or themes have an update available, below there are post revisions aka post autosaves and spam comments. You can also view the recent comments and posts. In the top right there is a pageview statistics graph and scheduled backups below it.
Manage Plugins & Themes
ManageWP dashboard allows you to instantly and simultaneously install themes or plugins for all of your websites. You can also opt to Activate plugins after upload. Looking through all the plugins is also made easy. In my opinion, the only drawback is the plugin horizontal layout so you have to scroll the window quite far if you’ve got a lot of plugins installed.
With ManageWP, you can set up scheduled backups to Amazon S3, Dropbox, your own server, any external FTP or an email address for all of your blogs with just a few clicks. You can choose between daily, weekly or monthly backups. Note – this feature is only available for the professional and business pricing plan.
This feature comes in handy if you need to setup a new network of identically modified websites. The theme and all plugins are installed automatically so you don’t have to spend time setting up every blog manually.
ManageWP allows you to bulk add/export websites, create new pages, posts and links for all of your websites.
It’s pretty clear with the pages and posts – although I don’t see a good reason why one would like to publish the same post on several blogs, the function does it’s job. Again you’re given the default WordPress text editor so there’s nothing unfamiliar to master.
The Bulk add users feature is bloody useful if you’re willing to add a writer for a set of blogs. You can find this feature under the Users section.
Note – all the bulk features are only available for professional and business pricing plan.
ManageWP also offers self-hosted version which allows you to run the service on your own dashboard. Self hosted allows you to have an unlimited number of blogs, host everything on your server and add your own features. It’s created for companies and organizations managing hundreds or even thousands of websites and is currently available only as Enterprise license.
ManageWP will be offering three pricing plans where the price then depends on the number of websites you’ll manage (you can choose from a range between 10 and 500). The pre-order is launching on December 6th. All users that sign up now will receive a 30% life-time discount on any hosted service plan that they pre-order for as long as they maintain their service.
Below you can see the pricing plans for 10, 100 and 500 websites.
Since this series focuses on the startups we wanted to ask a couple of questions to the founder of ManageWP Vladimir Prelovac.Vladimir Prelovac is the the CEO of Prelovac Media, an internet company located in Belgrade, Serbia. Besides ManageWP he’s also written a book on WordPress plugin development and created other stunning services and plugins.
1. There aren’t many alternatives who can compete with ManageWP. How did you come up with the idea of ManageWP?
As with most good ideas, it was a stroke of luck and a hint of opportunity. A friend of mine was rambling about how he had trouble managing his blogs, and I suddenly realized there is nothing like that available for WordPress, which is, after all, the world’s biggest internet publishing platform. The world needed something like ManageWP, so I decided it was time to make it.
2. As far as I understand ManageWP began in 2010. Why did it take so long to finish beta testing and establish a fully functional service?
ManageWP is an extremely complex piece of software. What makes it unique is that we really tried to make it run smoothly on literally thousands of different server configurations that WordPress would run on. That was our biggest challenge. Scalability was also an important focus for us — some of our users are managing thousands of blogs. But knowing that ManageWP can load data from 1800 websites in less than two minutes… it makes it all worth it.
There is also a list of spectacular features that we are pushing to integrate into ManageWP. Some startups, for example, are satisfied with only offering backup solutions for WordPress. But that functionality is only a tiny piece of the overall picture. Backup features are critical — and something we pride ourselves in offering — but it is only one piece of the 23 major features currently offered by ManageWP, with many more on the way. And with all the great ideas coming in from our beta users, we know that the value we can provide will continue to grow.
Another thing is that we had to ensure that ManageWP would work with services that WordPress users already deeply value. That’s why ManageWP now integrates with Google Analytics and AdSense. And that’s why we already have plans in place to integrate with SEO and uptime monitoring tools in the near future.
And then there is the fact that WordPress is constantly evolving. Adjusting to all the changes is a challenge unless you are willing to work hard to adjust to those changes. Thankfully, our team put in the effort to adapt. So that’s why it all took almost a year and a half to arrive at this point. (And the ride is not over yet!)
Ultimately, our goal is to create a dashboard so useful, so powerful that people will no longer need to log into their WordPress websites or other services. They will be able to log into ManageWP, and everything that the user needs to effectively manage their WordPress sites will be all right there at the user’s fingertips.
Above you can see a screenshot from Wayback Machine with the ManageWP website in 2010.
3. You’ve established a flexible and nice scheme where instead of following a strict milestone schedule the users themselves suggest the ideas you then consider. How did you come up with this method and has it brought the desired results?
Yes! I believe this is one of our strengths at ManageWP. Many of our features were suggested by our users, and that makes it a much more personalized experience for them and for us. After all, nobody could ever have a perfect vision of a product (except maybe Steve Jobs), so it was very important that we listened to our users early on in the development process. We already have around six or seven different ways for users to send us feedback, and I read all of it. The best ideas are sent off to the team for development.
Above you can see a screenshot from ManageWP Google group where users can suggest ideas which then are sent for consideration.
4. Since our series is about successful and fresh startups could you comment on ManageWP from this perspective? How has it grown as a project?
There are different ways to measure the success of a startup. At ManageWP, and from the feedback we have received, it would seem that we created a truly useful service that solves a problem that many people share. Some of our users were excited to learn when we intended to charge for ManageWP, but for the past 12 months, all we wanted to do was focus on creating a genuinely useful product.
And I think that is the most important thing — in order to keep the team passionate and the users interested, you need to have a great product.
5. Your blog says that the number of websites managed by ManageWP has hit 50 000. How do you feel about these results and what are predictions for the future?
Well, looking at numbers like these is always exciting. We hit 50,000 websites near the end of September, but we now manage over 80,000 WordPress blogs. So, when you put it into that perspective, you get really excited as you can see that your product is making a small but measurable change in how the internet works.
Somebody once said that the best way to predict the future is to invent it.
By having a clear vision of where we want to go and by keeping our customers happy, inventing the future is exactly what we are doing. It also helps when we are working with a strong and thriving publishing platform in WordPress. So, all things considered, I am very positive about our future.
Above you can see a screenshot with the exciting announcement.
6. Could you share some of your tips/business principles for others out there willing to make a successful startup?
There are couple of principles that I believe will make any startup’s journey easier:
First is that you need to have a cool product, one that you strongly believe in and you will want to use on your own. This also makes it so much easier to justify putting most, if not all, of your own time, money, and heart into it. You have to realize that there will be many hurdles along the way, as with all things in life, so you better have an idea of what you are doing and why you are doing it.
Second is to launch the beta as soon as possible. This allows you to start listening to your users and getting feedback. They will give great ideas on how to improve your product… for free!
Third is to not create a startup that relies on external funding to succeed. We are completely bootstrapped, which most likely forced us to create a significantly better product than we might have if we were basking in investment money. It motivates you to perform.
Fourth is the speed — making efforts to optimize your application and interface like crazy. Users have never been as impatient as they are today. Also, intuitiveness: the less the users needs to think, the better. You really need to watch other people use your product. You will be surprised by what you will discover.
Do the above things, and people will be drawn to your efforts and will help you to succeed.
7. Additional information
We are launching the pre-order on December the 6th. All users that sign up now will receive a 30% life-time discount on any hosted service plan that they pre-order for as long as they maintain their service, so come check us out! Finally, ManageWP is set to launch in early January.
ManageWP indeed is an amazing and one of the most useful services for WordPress. It’s also a great example of a fresh startup success story. You should definitely check out the free trial if you are running multiple WordPress websites. We’d be glad to hear your feedback and personal experiences. Stay tuned and wait for the next hot startup story.
This is something new we are trying out here at 1WD. We are searching for new startups, services we really enjoy and want to share with our readership! The idea is to give better visibility to some outstanding startups and give you a good understanding of what they do and why we think they deserve your attention. Also – we don’t earn anything from these reviews, we just find what we love and review it honestly in detail. When we can, we will always interview the people behind the startup, so you can learn from them, and they can share their passion and story.
I think this new idea and a little shift in focus here at 1WD will be really beneficial for You and feel free to critique what you didn’t enjoy in this article, what you want us to review next and tell us what we did right and if you want more articles like this!
We are very open and if you know about a cool service we could review – just write us in our contact form!
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