Many WordPress management plugins are available for handling numerous clients’ WordPress sites all from one place, each offering distinct features and advantages. It’s crucial to determine which one best suits your needs.
Performing regular backups, updating plugins, and monitoring site uptime manually can be labor-intensive. WordPress automation tools like ManageWP and MainWP make these tasks easier, simplifying your life.
This article compares the unique features of MainWP and ManageWP to help you choose the best one for your needs.
If you don’t have time to read the entire article, you can simply jump to the quick comparison table.
Table of Contents
Overview of MainWP and ManageWP
With the assistance of the free and open-source MainWP plugin, you can manage all your WordPress sites from a single dashboard, making tasks like updating WordPress versions, plugins, themes, performing security checks, backups, and managing posts, comments, and users a breeze. With just a single click, you can update all your WordPress sites, install your preferred plugins on all your managed sites, and even modify user roles with ease.
Moreover, you can install the site management system and dashboard for MainWP through the MainWP Dashboard. So overall, you will be able to manage all of your WordPress sites from there, independent of the hosting server they are hosted on, making it your virtual headquarters.
MainWP Child should be installed on all the WordPress sites you intend to manage using this. It enables you to connect your child’s websites to your dashboard, which serves as the MainWP Dashboard’s parent website.
ManageWP serves as a website management tool that enables enterprises to monitor and administer multiple WordPress websites from a single platform. With the aid of this application, businesses can manage mass upgrades, automate backups, conduct security checks, and create real-time processes.
Managers can generate customized reports based on customer activity, link multiple websites to a single dashboard, and ensure automatic updates of website plugins with this tool. Additionally, it offers a range of features including search engine optimization (SEO), security management, collaboration, customer tracking, and more.
With ManageWP, you can customize white-labeling features, incorporating unique logos, colors, and themes. Additionally, it provides a template construction module, allowing users to design distinctive website templates for future use.
Installation and Setup
Both ManageWP and MainWP feature user-friendly interfaces, making interaction and navigation intuitive and straightforward. The installation processes are also simple. Below, you will find instructions on how to download and install both plugins.
MainWP Installation and Setup
Navigate to “Plugins” on your WordPress website and click “Add New.” At this point, you will need to search for the MainWP plugin. Install the MainWP Dashboard plugin on the WordPress site you intend to use as the self-hosted dashboard for managing other sites. For all other sites you wish to manage from this centralized dashboard, install the MainWP Child plugin.
While it is possible to install the MainWP Dashboard plugin on an existing WordPress site, it is strongly recommended to use a clean, dedicated WordPress site for the MainWP Dashboard. This helps in avoiding potential conflicts and complexities. Once the MainWP Dashboard plugin is activated, a Quick Setup Wizard will appear, guiding you through the initial configuration process.
Please proceed with the plugin installation and activation just like any other WordPress Plugin. There are no specific recommended settings; as soon as you activate the MainWP Dashboard Plugin you will see a quick setup wizard page like the one in the image below:
If you proceed with the wizard you will be prompted to connect your first “Child site” at the third step. Also you will be able to enable the MainWP Uptime Monitoring to monitor your site’s uptime and health at the 5th step.
Alternatively, you can just quit the Wizard by clicking on the Quit MainWP Quick Setup Wizard on the bottom of the Wizard box to go directly to the MainWP dashboard. You can also click on Enable Demo Mode to start the MainWP with demo sites.
To add a site directly from the MainWP dashboard you can proceed with the following steps:
- Go to your “MainWP Dashboard” site, click on “Sites” and press “Add New“.
- Enter the URL of the site you have installed the MainWP Child plugin on and wish to connect to your MainWP Dashboard.
- Then Click on the Test Connection or just turn on the radio button that says “Select to confirm that the MainWP Child plugin is active on the child site.
- After that you can enter the site title, administrator username and click on “Add Site.”
You will get a notification stating that the site has been added successfully. Every time you wish to add a new site, repeat the same procedure.
ManageWP Installation and Setup
ManageWP is a highly user-friendly WordPress management tool, unlike MainWP, it comes with its own hosted dashboard. For this reason, you need to create an account first, which you can do right from the front page of the ManageWP website by simply entering your email address and the CAPTCHA verification code and clicking on the “Sign up” button.
On the next step, you will be required to provide your first and last names. After that, you will encounter a setup wizard that will guide you through the process of connecting to your first website.
By selecting the “Skip to Dashboard” option, you can carry out the action of connecting your websites later on from the ManageWP dashboard itself. I will use this method for the purpose of this tutorial.
To add a website to your ManageWP dashboard, you’ll first need to install and activate the “ManageWP Worker” plugin for that website. This step is required to establish the connection between your WordPress website and ManageWP. This Worker plugin functions as a bridge between the WordPress site and the ManageWP services.
After the installation of the ManageWP Worker on the website you want to connect, return to the ManageWP dashboard and click on “Add website” and input your homepage’s URL and your WordPress login information (username and password).
After that, you are done with connecting your WordPress site to ManageWP.
Features and Functionality
Although both ManageWP and MainWP perform the same task, their methods of operation differ in important ways. You can link your WordPress sites to ManageWP, a hosted platform operated by GoDaddy, and start managing them. In contrast, MainWP Dashboard itself is a plugin. You use it to manage other child sites after installing the dashboard plugin on a brand-new WordPress website for example. Below are the key features of ManageWP and MainWP.
- Easy Website Management: MainWP makes managing numerous sites easier by indicating which tasks need to be completed on which Child Site.
- Quick Plugin Updates: Update specific plugins on chosen Child Sites using the Easy Plugin Manager functionality. The same procedure can be used for updating WordPress and all themes.
- Client Management: Add contact information to your clients’ profiles, link websites to individual clients, add tags, suspend clients, and more with the MainWP Client Management tool.
- One Click Login: Quickly and securely log in to a child site’s wp-admin and start working with just one click. No need to remember usernames and passwords.
- Content Management: Publish content to Child Sites easily. Select from a list without having to log into each website, create content, and publish. Use mass publish and delete features for link management, comments, and spam.
- Multiple Backup Options: Access popular backup plugins right from your MainWP Dashboard with Free Backup Extensions.
- User Management: MainWP offers robust user management capabilities. You can easily create new users, edit existing profiles, change user roles, and even update administrator passwords. Whether you’re managing users individually or in bulk, MainWP streamlines the process, ensuring you have full control over user access and roles.
- Built-in Theme Options: MainWP comes with a variety of built-in themes, including Default, Classic, Dark, WP Admin, and Minimalistic. These themes enhance the look and feel of your dashboard. Additionally, if you have specific branding or design preferences, there’s an option to create and integrate your own custom theme.
|MainWP Free Features
|MainWP Premium Features
|Manage Unlimited Websites
|Critical Security & Performance Updates
|1-click Passwordless Login
|Perform Pressable-hosting specific tasks
|Lock Your Dashboard
|Automatically Generate and send Reports to Your Clients
|Expert Support via Ticket, Community, & WP forum
|Data Privacy & GDPR Compliant for your Client’s Sites
|Collaborate with Clients
|Self-hosted & Open Source
|Create a Team with custom Roles & Privileges
|Create Client Profiles
|Mark ‘Favorites’ to frequently used Plugins
|Secure Sites using Sucuri, & Security Ninja
|Adjust Child Site settings for WordPress, Plugins, and themes
|Manage Settings for Wordfence, & iThemes Security
|Manage Settings for WPvivid, UpdraftPlus, Time Capsule, BackWPup, & BuddyBackup
|Malware & Vulnerability Scanner
|Track the number of updates
|Backup Respective Child Site(s)
|Monitor Website’s Uptime
|Create Staging and clone of your Child Sites
|Manage WP Activity Log Settings
|Monitor SSL Certificates
|Track Changes made Outside MainWP
|Check Google Analytics
|Manage settings for WP Compress-installed sites
|Check Google Lighthouse Stats
|Manage settings for SEOPress, & Termageddon
|Manage settings for WP Rocket-installed sites
|Easily update the Elementor database directly from the Dashboard
|Clean Site(s) Database & Purge Cache
|Control Yoast SEO settings
|Bulk Upload Files
|Quick Insights for Sales & Orders Status
|Easily update WooCommerce database
|Bulk Add Code Snippets
- Performance Check: The Performance Check feature offers insights into how your website is performing, ensuring optimal website speed and user experience.
- Client Reports: Keep your clients informed with the fully editable and professional Client Reports feature.
- Maintenance Mode: Notify your visitors of ongoing updates or fixes with the Maintenance Mode feature.
- Two-factor Authentication: Enhance security with the 2-factor Authentication feature, protecting against unauthorized access.
- One-click Admin Access: Connect all your websites to a single dashboard and access each of them with just one click.
- Content Management: ManageWP allows streamlined content management across multiple sites from one dashboard. Use bulk actions for editing and publishing, and effortlessly add or update posts on various sites simultaneously.
- Add Unlimited Sites: With ManageWP, you can add an unlimited number of websites, streamlining your management process.
- Manage Plugins & Themes: Easily update, ignore, bulk install, deactivate, or even install older versions of plugins and themes.
- Backup: ManageWP offers a Free Monthly Backup ideal for smaller websites and Incremental Cloud Backups for more frequent and comprehensive backups.
- Safe Updates: This feature automatically creates a restore point before updates, allowing you to compare the website before and after the update. If anything goes wrong, you can easily roll back to the previous version.
- Link Monitoring: The Link Monitor tool ($1/month) examines your website’s pages and articles for broken links that could harm your SEO. Limited to 10,000 links per site, it runs daily.
- Security Check: A thorough security plugin like iThemes Security can defend your website from various attacks, including brute force. The Security Check premium add-on ($1/month) allows automatic security checks at your chosen time, with issue notifications via email or Slack.
- Uptime Monitor: The Uptime Monitor add-on ($1/month) tracks site uptime every 60 seconds and alerts you via text, email, or Slack when a site goes down, enabling rapid response and issue resolution, particularly important for high-traffic or e-commerce websites.
- SEO Ranking: The SEO Ranking add-on ($1 per month) provides an overview of keyword ranking changes for you and your competitors. While simpler than services like Allintitle.co, Semrush, Ahrefs, or Ubersuggest, it offers valuable insights.
- White Label: Use White Label ($1/month) to hide or rename ManageWP’s features, such as the ManageWP Worker plugin, which you enable on each of your sites.
Pricing and Plans
|ManageWP Free Features
|ManageWP Premium Features
|Monthly Cloud Backups
|Advanced Client Report
|Automated Security Check
|Automated Performance Check
|Collaborate With Team & Client
Both ManageWP and MainWP offer base versions at no cost. While these free versions are feature-rich, unlocking the full potential of these plugins requires premium add-ons. In the following section, I have summarized all the pricing details for both of these WordPress management solutions and the additional features you can get through their premium offerings.
Free Add-ons: ManageWP offers a free tier that is available on unlimited websites forever. This free tier includes a variety of features such as:
- Managing updates, plugins, and themes.
- Monthly cloud backup.
- 1-click login.
- Performance and security checks.
- Collaboration tools for teams and clients.
- Analytics, comment management, code snippets, maintenance mode, client reports, and vulnerability updates. Some features, like cloning and safe updates, require a premium backup add-on.
Premium Add-ons: For those who need more advanced features, ManageWP offers premium upgrades. These can be purchased on a per-website, per-add-on basis. The pricing for individual add-ons varies, but some of the available premium add-ons include:
- Backup: $2 per website.
- White Label, SEO Ranking, Uptime Monitor, Advanced Client Report, Automated Security Check, Automated Performance Check, and Link Monitor: $1 per website each.
For freelancers and small agencies managing up to 25 websites, the per-website pricing model is recommended. For larger agencies with over 25 websites, ManageWP offers bundle pricing. The all-in-one package, which combines all bundles, is priced at $75 for up to 100 websites. Additional bundles can be stacked for more websites.
- Pay Only What You Use: ManageWP’s pricing is flexible. You only pay for the add-ons you use, ensuring cost-effectiveness.
- Pay After Use: You can use the service first and then pay for it on the 1st of the following month.
- Transparent Pricing: There are no hidden fees, setup costs, or long-term contracts. The pricing is clear and straightforward.
Free Version: MainWP offers a free version that allows users to manage an unlimited number of websites. This version is perfect for essential management tasks and includes features such as:
- 1-click passwordless login to all connected sites.
- Management of websites, users, plugins, themes, and updates.
- Customization of the dashboard.
- Data privacy & GDPR compliance for your client sites.
- Self-hosted & open-source solution.
- And many other features.
Pro Version: The Pro version of MainWP unleashes the full power of your dashboard with 33+ premium extensions. This version is designed to help users manage their sites more efficiently and effectively. Some of the exclusive features of the Pro version include:
- Access to all 33+ existing and new premium extensions with priority support.
- Critical security & performance updates for premium extensions.
- Advanced client management tools.
- Enhanced security features, including vulnerability scanning and malware detection.
- Advanced backup options.
- Monitoring tools like uptime monitoring and SSL certificate tracking.
- Performance tools for site optimization.
- Advanced content management tools.
- WooCommerce management tools.
- Monthly Subscription: The monthly subscription for MainWP Pro is priced at $29.
- Yearly Subscription: A yearly subscription is available at $199, which effectively reduces the monthly cost to $16.58.
- Lifetime Subscription: For those looking for a long-term solution, MainWP offers a lifetime subscription for $499. This can be split into two payments for added flexibility.
Special Offer: MainWP offers a unique 90-day pro upgrade guarantee. If you start with the MainWP Pro Monthly plan and decide to upgrade within the first three months, MainWP will credit up to 3 months of payments towards the Yearly or Lifetime Plan.
Support and Guarantees: MainWP provides multi-channel support and a 30-day money-back guarantee. If users are not satisfied within the first 30 days, they can request a full refund.
Which One To Choose?
Both MainWP and ManageWP offer all the essential functionality for managing numerous websites from one dashboard. But there are many more factors to take into account before making the ultimate choice. In the following table we have compared some of the main features, premium add-ons and pricing of these two WordPress management solutions:
Quick Comparison Table
|Easy Website Management
|Yes but premium add-ons are charged per-site or in bundles for up to 100 sites.
|Quick Plugin/Themes/WordPress Updates
|Dashboard Theme Options
|Built-in and Custom Themes are available too
|Yes (Basic Management)
|Yes (Per-Website Pricing)
|Pro Version (Monthly, Yearly, Lifetime)
|$2 per website
|Limited Free Backup, Premium available
|$1 per website
|$1 per website
|$1 per website
|Advanced Client Report
|$1 per website
|Automated Security Check
|$1 per website
|Free Basic Extension and Pro Advanced Extensions
|Automated Performance Check
|$1 per website
|$1 per website (Limited)
|Flexible (Pay for what you use)
|Monthly, Yearly, Lifetime Subscriptions
|Support & Guarantees
|Multi-Channel Support, 30-day Money-Back
The main benefit of MainWP is its straightforward pricing scheme. Mid-sized to large agencies can purchase a lifetime membership for $499 and manage an infinite number of child sites.
For ManageWP, while the base functionality is free for an unlimited number of sites, the premium add-ons or extensions are priced on a per-site basis. This means that if you want to use a specific premium feature on multiple sites, you’ll need to pay for that feature for each site individually or buy bundle plans for up to 100 sites.
If you only have a few sites or only manage a few sites for your clients, ManageWP may still be more affordable. You can buy the premium features in ManageWP separately if you don’t require all of them.
In my opinion, MainWP is better than ManageWP because it offers more features and the price is worth it. However, this article has explained each feature precisely and now it is up to you to decide which one is suitable for you.