Topher’s Testing: WP Remote Plugin for WordPress
This plugin review is part of a series we call “Topher’s Testing”.
Topher is our WordPress teacher, and he’s testing some really useful new WordPress plugins.
This week Topher introduces us to the WP Remote plugin which can monitor and update all of your WordPress sites.
WP Remote is one plugin amongst a crowded set of alternatives that includes ManageWP and InfiniteWP.
Does WP Remote stand out? Let’s see what Topher says …
WP Remote is the simplest, no-nonsense way to handle remote updates apart from or in addition to plugins that will run those updates automatically. It’s great for a relatively small number of sites — even if you have just one — but the interface will get cluttered with a large number of WP installs. Your only organizational option is to stack them up alphabetically in groups.
InfiniteWP and especially ManageWP can do a *lot* more, so they are not always the greatest tools for a small number of simple sites that have more limited needs. I find the ManageWP and InfiniteWP interfaces non-intuitive and cluttered, but ManageWP has been improving in this area. All three are the type of service you’ll want to keep open all the time in your browser tabs, but ManageWP seems intended to act as an alternative interface for multiple WP sites and therefore an alternative way to have multisite features whether you are using WP’s core multisite capabilities or not. That can be really powerful, but if you’re worried about dependence and lock-in, InfiniteWP is the unique alternative as a self-hosted remote management system.
How much they are actually competing with each other is a question that has puzzled me for a while; they all have unique qualities that target very specific types of use-cases. This is not very well communicated in their marketing, but I think the choice between them for most prospective users should have litle to do with price and not that much to do with their features either. It would make the most sense to make the choice based on how many sites you need to manage and what level of in/dependence you want to have. Between good hosting and a mix of other free and commercial plugins and services, it’s possible to do everything these three services do but not necessarily at a lower cost especially in terms of time and convenience.
The pricing models for all three products are all totally different and not easy to compare in terms of cost/value. WPremote is pay as you go but free for any number of sites at a basic level. ManageWP is free at a basic level for three sites with subscription tiers based on the number of sites you add above three. The basic core version of InfiniteWP is a free, downloadable product with add-ons you pay for by annual subscription.
What a great addition to the review, thanks Dan!