Manage Multiple WordPress or Joomla Sites with Watchful

How to manage joomla and wordpress sites using watchful

If you’re a web designer that manages multiple WordPress or Joomla sites, you know the hassle it is when an update comes out. Whether it be core, or an extension/plug-in, it can be a challenge to make the updates. So, let’s dive in and learn how to manage multiple WordPress or Joomla sites with Watchful!

I’m going to introduce you to a service called Watchful and give you an overview of its features. It is going to make managing multiple sites so much easier and at a minimal cost.

Watchful is a service that allows you to manage both WordPress and Joomla websites by running automatic updates, scheduled backups, virus checks, extension checks, and a lot more that can save you precious time.

Let me start by saying that I have been using this product for years, this blog is not sponsored by Watchful, and is 100% my honest opinion. Now let’s dive in.

Watchful Overview

Watchful is a full-featured maintenance tool that allows you to manage both your Joomla and WordPress websites using either or both commercial and free add-ons.

Manage Multiple WordPress or Joomla Sites with Watchful

Key Features of Watchful

  • Backup schedule and monitor
  • Bulk software updater
  • Intrusion scanner
  • White-label report builder
  • Vulnerability scanner
  • Plugin updater
  • Extension updater
  • SEO analyzer
  • Site activity tracker

What is really great is that you can use it for FREE for up to 5 accounts! Yet another reason why using Watchful to manage multiple WordPress or Joomla sites is a good idea!

Sites Dashboard Overview

When you create an account, login, and then setup your sites, you will have a Sites Dashboard that is completely customizable. This dashboard gives you a clear picture of all of your sites, which allows you to prioritize maintenance tasks.

On your Sites Dashboard you will see the Site name, the CMS that you’re using, the the Core version, how many plugin or extension Updates there might be, any Tags you’ve added, and the date of your Last backup. There is also an indicator letting you know if your backup is stale or not. Being able to schedule your backups in one place, and you knowing they ran is really helpful.

Manage Multiple WordPress or Joomla Sites: Customizable Watchful dashboard

You also have the option to select multiple sites in your Sites Dashboard and run bulk actions.

Manage Multiple WordPress or Joomla Sites

In your Sites Dashboard you can customize your table settings. To do this, you will need to select the icon in the upper right corner of your Sites Dashboard.

Manage Multiple WordPress or Joomla Sites

You can then use the drag-n-drop table customizer to be sure the most important information to you is being displayed.

Watchful Feature: Commercial Extension Updater Overview

One of the things I really love is commercial extension updaters. You can input your license keys for either WordPress plugins or Joomla extensions, and they will update automatically. This will save you time, as they only need to be updated once with Watchful.

Watchful Feature: Bulk Updater Overview

It is important, as a site manager, to be sure each new release is working properly before allowing updates in WordPress or Joomla. WordPress does have an automatic updater, however, that can come with risks.

In your Sites Dashboard you will see a feature labeled Bulk Updater.

Let’s take a closer look.

Once you are ready to do so, this is a great feature that allows you to bulk update entire packages of WordPress or Joomla sites by using the Bulk Updater menu item.

Additional Watchful Features

In the left-hand column, you will also notice that Watchful offers a single sign-on (SSO), white labeled Reports, and even gives insight into the Log files, such as when I updated from PHP 7.3 to 7.4.16.

Watchful Blog

As with any good software, Watchful has extensive documentation, as well as a really great “How to” blog. You can see that the Watchful blogs date back to 2012, providing you substantial reading and resources. This blog will help you get the most out of your subscription and learn how to manage multiple WordPress or Joomla sites with Watchful.

Watchful Costs

As I mentioned, you can use Watchful for free for up to 5 websites. For every site that you add over the initial 5 free sites, it will cost US$1.83 per site, per month. As an example, if you are going to manage 50 sites, your plan would cost you US$91.50 a month.

If you are managing 50 websites for clients, spending about US$100 per month would be worth it for what Watchful gives you. This is a great deal to manage multiple WordPress or Joomla sites with Watchful.

In Conclusion

Watchful offers a comprehensive package at a cost effective rate. If you are managing a large number of websites (for example, 20 or more), this service could prove to be invaluable. Imagine the time you would spend going into each site to make do an update, a backup, a scan, and more! Now you can manage multiple WordPress or Joomla sites with Watchful!

For a more in depth and personal look at how to manage multiple WordPress or Joomla sites with Watchful be sure to watch the video version below! 


  • Rod Martin

    Rod holds two masters degrees and has been training people how to do "things" for over 25 years. Originally from Australia, he grew up in Canada and now resides just outside Cincinnati, Ohio. He has worked in both the non-profit and for-profit worlds, in small companies and large corporations. His extensive open source experience includes WordPress, Joomla and Drupal and he really knows how to help you get the most out of the system you chose. Rod plays ice hockey a couple of times a week and rides his Goldwing motorcycle pretty much everywhere he can.

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