The Design Decisions Behind ManageWP Orion

Update: There have been some changes from the time the Orion idea has originated. I would highly suggest reading our newest edition of Developer Diary #8! 🙂ManageWP Orion logoHow will ManageWP Orion look and feel? Throughout 2014 we’ve dedicated ourselves to answering this question. In the first article of the Orion series I’ve covered some basic concepts of ManageWP Orion. Now it’s time to give you a glimpse of ManageWP Orion design; its development was done from scratch, which means that every single feature and detail you’ll see in Orion is built to accommodate you, our user, and your needs.

User Experience at its Best

Imagine what that means from user experience point of view. There were no excuses whatsoever to not create everything that suits you in the best possible way.

We did a ton of research: user session analysis, surveys, interviews, going through your feedback, talking to our Customer Happiness team, and more. We also included all of the people from our development team in the design process. Only together were we able to accomplish the task of making Orion all about you. Here’s a sneak peek:

ManageWP Orion loading screen

Once you open the Orion dashboard, take a deep breath and look at all the details we’ve paid attention to in the design stage. Every single detail, subtle animation, interaction and visually intuitive interface element counts, right? Hope you’ll like it as much as we do.

Design Matters as Much as the Feature Set

ManageWP has some great features which most of our users found very useful in their WordPress website management workflow. Unfortunately we lacked visual consistency across these features. My team was so busy improving the product itself that we needed to to take a step back and figure out in which direction we want to go with the style of our product. We didn’t want to do just a face-lift of the interface; with our experience and knowledge we wanted so much more.

So, overall visual design is changing beyond recognition. In addition to the revised user-flows, improved usability and resolved technical issues, we have a whole new visual style of the user interface; complete visual re-branding of our ManageWP product, which we will continue to nourish in the future.

However, design is much more than just pixels on the screen. There were a lot of design decisions behind the scene that we made to make your life easier, day in, day out. That’s why this is just the beginning of what we want to achieve and present to you in 2015. We’ll take managing of WordPress sites a few steps further and we already have plans for that in our roadmap for the 2015. So, don’t keep an eye just on the release date. There’s so much more coming in the upcoming months (and years).

ManageWP Orion dashboard notifications

What Do You Want to Do Today?

The whole experience of the ManageWP Orion has been simplified to its extreme. We are focusing on the single task you want to do in our tool, whether it’s a website’s backup, theme and plugin management, user password change, client report creation, SEO analysis or something else.

You may be good at multitasking, but you are presented with a bunch of tools, interactions and interface elements at once, it’s hard and frustrating to find what you are looking for. That was one of the main reasons that our customers weren’t able to discover all of the tools within ManageWP.

We are changing that now and focusing on the thing you want to do at the given time by simply asking “What do you want to accomplish (with this tool)?”. Most of the current features are still there, but they are logically organised much better than before.

ManageWP Orion Client Report feature

But we didn’t want to stop there. We improved the ability of our tool to learn and recognize your needs and behavior so that it can give you the best possible suggestions to help you with your task. For example, if you are updating the same plugin over and over again, we’ll ask you if you want to automate the update for you. Or, in case you are confused at any time – our Worker mascot will jump in and point out the things you are looking for, so you could effectively utilize your time with ManageWP.

There are a a couple of new interaction patterns we designed and introduced in the Orion release (e.g. notifications, queue…) of ManageWP as well, but we’ll talk a bit more about that in the upcoming Orion articles.

Tomorrow Is Today, Folks!

Research and analysis, including your feedback, is the fundamental basis behind design decisions for the new product. We consider ourselves the most experienced team in the WordPress website management market but it’s clear that we couldn’t do it without you, our users. So, thank you for using our product for the past three years and providing us with valuable feedback. We hope you will be pleased with ManageWP Orion, but more importantly, we are looking forward to discovering together all the new possibilities and directions in which we can go with our product.

The new era of ManageWP begins and our mission is to boldly go where no team has gone before. Stay tuned for more information and updates from our end.

Antun Debak

The ManageWP Orion design sneak-peek was brought to you by Antun Debak, our UI/UX designer. He takes most of the credit for the way ManageWP Orion looks and interacts with users. His impressive portfolio includes projects for heavy hitters such as Microsoft, Vodafone and Verizon; In his spare time he does even more UX, travel, cycling, music, and a lot of other things; Some claim that he gave up sleeping in order to squeeze some more awesomeness into his life.

This is the second article in the ManageWP Orion announcement series. See the opening article here.

UPDATE: The third article is out! Join our developer Sergej Grivcov as he shares his insight into ManageWP Orion frontend development

Nemanja Aleksic

Head of Growth at ManageWP. Marketing Manager at GoDaddy. WordCamp Belgrade organizer. But first and foremost, a father, a husband and a puck stopper.


  1. Theresa Jennings

    Invite, please!!!

  2. DT Media

    We’d love to try the beta! Sign us up!

  3. bryanjam

    I’d appreciate an invite to try out the new version too. I’m just starting a new WordPress site – haven’t got a deadline at the moment so this would be an ideal time to test it out. I’m happy with ManageWP but feel it could go further. Ideally I would like to hand sites over to the clients but I’m not sure they could manage it as none seem to be comfortable with anything considered ‘technical’ – do you feel the new version will be manageable by the ‘non-technical’?

    1. Nemanja Aleksic


      Should be – aside from a more intuitive dashboard, Antun pointed out in the article that instead of placing the tool in the user’s hand and letting them figure out how it can be of use, we’re asking the user what he or she wants to achieve. Should be a big win for the non-technical minded users 🙂

  4. info

    Looks good!. Will you also be improving the Keyword monitoring, so that more than one can be used?
    That was the only reason I didn’t upgrade.

    1. Nemanja Aleksic


      The one keyword limit is just for the Trial account, to give you an idea how it works. Subscribers get 20 keywords per domain, so if you sign up for Business (10 domains) you can run 200 keywords.

  5. RaDiance Conseil

    Hello Aleksic,

    I’m Florence, from RaDiance Conseil. As subscribers of ManageWP, do we have anything to do to access to Orion on the 19th of January? Also, are you planning an iOS application?

    Best regards,

    1. Nemanja Aleksic


      Hi Florence, there will be a signup link in the final article of the Orion series, so keep an eye on the blog 🙂
      For iPads you won’t need an app as you’ll be able to use the web service. iPhones are a bit more tricky but will be covered in the long run, as I’ve mentioned in an earlier reply.

  6. dan

    Looking forward to it. I will also ask if it will be mobile friendly 🙂

  7. acuvet

    Will the dashboard be mobile friendly this time?

    1. Nemanja Aleksic


      Good question! We’re aiming at full dashboard functionality on tablets upon release. The smaller displays are a bit tricky because we still haven’t decided if we’ll keep developing mobile apps or make the dashboard fully mobile friendly; both options have valid pros and cons, but in the long run the answer is “Yes” because we’ve recognized that being able to keep an eye on your websites while on the move is a useful feature to both WordPress developers and people in the maintenance business.

  8. Christopher English

    Looking forward to this update! Would love an invite as well. Thanks! 🙂

  9. HEbertKONLABS

    Great look!

  10. i

    So ready for an invite 🙂

  11. managewp

    You should check out the difference between “it’s” and its.

    1. Nemanja Aleksic


      Thanks for pointing it out. We actually have Oatmeal’s “How To Use An Apostrophe” poster waiting to be framed and put up on the wall of our office. I think it’s time to expedite its deployment 🙂

  12. Nemanja Aleksic


    So much interest and amazing feedback, my team and I are humbled by the support you’ve given us.

    We’re going to have to stop accepting invites in the comment section – there will be a signup form in the final article of the series on the 19th of January, you can send us your email there and we’ll gradually start adding people to the beta.

  13. lucas

    Feel free to send us an invite! 😀

  14. pmeier

    ManageWP saves so much time, I just love your tool, support and especially your great blog ! I would also love to get an invite if by any means possible!

    good job

  15. Paul Rak

    I’d like to give Orion a spin, please..

  16. sales

    I’m really looking forward for this update, it seems very promising.
    I have been away some time and tried other solution, last one was Sync from iThemes, but i’m back, now as a Business user, nothing can compare to ManageWP, this is my experience!.
    I you have one invite over… please send this to me, looking forward to discover this awesome new look and features.
    Thank you,

  17. updates

    Looks great, we looking fwd to Orion and will patiently await an Invite 🙂

  18. bill

    Love this tool, thanks for all you do.

  19. support

    Can’t wait to see Orion in action – would love an Invite… 😉

  20. karl_s

    My compliments to everyone involved. The new interface looks fantastic. And I don’t use that word lightly. As a long-time designer myself, I’m hard on design. And as a long-time WP user, I’m hard on interfaces. There’s an awful lot of badly designed, badly implemented ones out there, but this is clearly not going to be one of them.

    ManageWP continues to impress each and every year. Keep up the great work guys, and I look forward to Orion when it’s ready for it’s debut. 🙂

    1. Nemanja Aleksic


      We’ve done a good job so far with the ManageWP dashboard and with the Orion release I believe we’ve finally created a solution that’s intuitive, functional and easy on the eye – but you and our other users will pass the final judgement 🙂

      1. karl_s

        Yes we will. 😉

        I’m pretty sure it’s not going to be too harsh. But time will tell, Nemanja. :-p

  21. info

    Automatic updates for the plugins will be a nice feature ! Can’t wait to use Orion !

  22. RaDiance Conseil

    Great, we really long to see it, it shouldn’t take long now 🙂 Did you add some new features?

  23. brianjosephking

    Can’t wait, hope to receive an invite. Looks amazing!

  24. Jorge Díaz

    I’m really looking forward for this update mostly for the reporting tool and uptime monitoring. Does the worker plugin is going to include more features? It would me awesome to include a dashboard widget for clients website to display how the tasks are doing, like uptime or status of backups.

    1. Vladimir Prelovac

      Hi Jorge

      Please get in touch with to discuss your idea in more detail.

      1. me

        Hi Vladimir, thanks, I already sent the email.

    2. Debayne

      This is an excellent idea! good thinking Jorge 🙂

  25. Lisa League

    I’d love an invite. Planning to switch to ManageWP for the new year since WPRemote is not automating things anymore, and the professional plan is no more. Please reach out if you can spare one:)

    1. Vladimir Prelovac

      Sure, we’ll make sure you get an invite – I hope you like what you see. Happy so see you here as well on 🙂

  26. Vladimir Prelovac

    We aim for invite-only release on ManageWP’s third birthday, January 19th.

    1. BrightFlow Support

      Would love an invite!

    2. graeme

      We’d love an invitation too, please.

    3. Nathan

      Good timing, I was just looking for another solution that would provide better client reporting as your current version is plain awful. I manage about 30 sites that require detailed client reporting, if Orion does this not need to look any further. Invite please.

    4. jeff arnold

      would love an invite

      1. pupungbp

        Would love an invite too, please…

        1. David

          Would also love an invite, thanks!

  27. Mike Riess

    What is the release date?

    1. fontaholic

      yes… when?

      1. RaDiance Conseil

        I think Vladimir told the 19th of January on a message posted above 😉

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Over 65,000 WordPress professionals are already using ManageWP

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Over 65,000 WordPress professionals are already using ManageWP

Add as many websites as you want for free, no credit card required. Sign up and start saving time!

Have questions? Get in touch!

Over 65,000 WordPress professionals are already using ManageWP

Add as many websites as you want for free, no credit card required. Sign up and start saving time!

Have questions? Get in touch!

Over 65,000 WordPress professionals are already using ManageWP

Add as many websites as you want for free, no credit card required. Sign up and start saving time!

Have questions? Get in touch!