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! 🙂
“Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, allowing us to do things more quickly and efficiently. But too often it seems to make things harder, leaving us with fifty-button remote controls, digital cameras with hundreds of mysterious features and book-length manuals, and cars with dashboard systems worthy of the space shuttle.”
– James Surowiecki, The New Yorker
Orion is unique in many ways and perhaps the biggest change is in its design philosophy. WordPress use is constantly evolving; for the past five years ManageWP has been adopting and adjusting. Orion is a product built specifically for WordPress professionals, with complete understanding of the high level of standards you guys and gals require.
As a modern WordPress professional, you don’t need thirty features. You need just a couple, and they need to work flawlessly; they need to be fast and easy to use. So we started building Orion with these goals in mind and discovered that what you use 80% of time are updates, maintenance and backups. These three features have taken the most part of the year of development time that Orion has already been through. This is how good we want them to be. This is the essence of the ManageWP Orion philosophy. And judging by your reactions we are on the right track.
I’ve been trying to get Mason James of WP Valet, one of the largest WordPress support agencies, to use ManageWP for ages. Finally, with ManageWP Orion we reached the high level of standard that his agency requires, and WP Valet is now one of our most active contributors, helping us tremendously in further shaping Orion functionality.
“Orion is the first managed-WordPress solution that exceeds expectations. Setup and adding sites couldn’t be simpler. The management interface is intelligent and the action speeds are fantastic. This is the first WordPress software platform designed with agencies in mind.”
Mason James, WP Valet
Orion will launch with a handful of features concentrated around day-to-day WordPress management, including our new backup service, that will make the backup you always needed just one click away.
Most of the features are already accessible to our beta users; our goal is to further refine them for the release. Others are not present right now, but will be included in the release: the ability to mass install plugins, and the test restore functionality which will double as a clone website tool, until we release the fully rebuilt clone tool after the release.
I am very excited to announce one more upcoming feature.
We call it Safe Updates. A backup will be created (using our incremental backup technology) before you update anything on your WordPress site, and if anything breaks you will be able to roll-back to the previous state with a click of a button.
Over the years you have been telling us that the best way to price features is based on their actual usage. Our current ManageWP billing does not allow us to do that, but we are rebuilding the pricing model for the Orion release.
Orion will be free for an unlimited number of websites. This will allow you to keep all websites under one umbrella, something that was not possible with current ManageWP plans.
On top of these we will offer high quality premium addons, that you will be able to enable on per site basis, e.g. a high quality backup service with hourly incremental backups, to our secure Amazon storage – that’s 720 restore points every month!
“That’s a lot of restore points.”
ManageWP Orion will be released on October 26th.
Yeah, that is only three months away and there is so much to do. But we are excited to get this product into your hands!
If you’re not already in our closed beta, leave a comment below to apply.
If you are already a tester, send us your feedback; anything that crosses your mind – and I mean anything – UI quirks, features not working as expected, features you miss. Orion will be continually evolving. With your help, it will evolve according to your needs.
To see the previous Developer Diary installment, click here.
UPDATE: The Developer Diary #7 is out, check out the Install Plugins & Themes App and other goodies!
So close to the anticipated launch date for Orion… and I just can’t wait any longer!! How stable is the current Beta? Since we are so close, I imagine it’s pretty stable! Can you please send me an invite? Thanks — your existing service is great, but Orion looks awesome!
One of my sites is hosted with AWS. We’re not able to backup the site. We get the error ” Sorry, we could not backup the site. Message: Nonce already used. Please contact support.” After a few back and forth with Support, we were told (back in August) to wait for the next release. Would really like to confirm that this is addressed in 6, and would be happy to beta test this to make sure that all is well. Thanks!
I’m sending the invite within the next 24h – please let us know how the Orion backup is working.
Looks amazing! Beta would be great 🙂
Looks fantastic. Would love a beta invite
I would love to test out the beta.
Sounds great, we would love to be a part of the closed beta. Thanks!
I’ve read through your blogs and you’ve got to add better support for multipress sites. They are coming more prolific as more folks start to understand how they can use multisites for their businesses.
Chargre more for this feature if you have to but you can count me as someone who’d use it, right off the bat!
Services to manage your WordPress sites have always scared me after a bad experience I had with WPRemote.
I used it for a while, and it was like a dream….but it turned into a nightmare. I found out (rather late) that it was occasionally deactivating plugins, and in at least one case a plugin was DELETED entirely. Obviously the paranoia of “Did it really update my plugins, or deleted them?” left me not wanting to use the service anymore. And I also grew wary of similar services.
I love the idea of them, but I need to know that safety features are in place first before I try using one again. It sounds like this Orion release is a step in the right direction for sure. Will it let me know that updates DEFINITELY succeeded? (And that there wasn’t an accidental deactivation/deletion). I don’t want another WPRemote disaster again. If there IS trouble, I want to know about it and be able to fix right away….
I can’t talk for WPRemote, but I can say that in our case the process is straightforward – our dashboard uses the Worker plugin to instruct WordPress on your site to start the update, and displays the result of the update. It’s just as if you clicked the update on the website itself.
I’ve never heard of ManageWP accidentally deleting a plugin, but there are instances where an update breaks the website, e.g. if the plugin is not compatible with the latest version. If the broken plugin causes the website to crash, you will be notified and be able to restore it.
For the time being, nothing beats a personal inspection of the website to make sure everything runs as it should be. We have update checks on our roadmap, and we’ll definitely tackle this issue after the initial release.
Love to be apart of the beta as well!
I’d love to be a part of the beta!
I’d love to join the beta as well. Orion and incremental backups sounds like the way to the future.
This looks like it’s going to be awesome! Please send me an invite to the Beta.
I would be interested in being a beta tester. I currently manage about 77 sites on managewp.
If you have an extra Beta invite, we’re all ears. we’ve been using mainwp and quite honestly are getting tired of the system at the moment.
it looks great! I’d love to be part of this beta!
beta beta beta 🙂 very thank’s
I would love to check out the Orion Beta please. I am excited about the vision of this product and how it will help save even more time!
If a beta test is possible, I’m in…
beta, beta, beta
sent, sent, sent!
I’d really like to join the the beta program. May I have an invite? Thanks!
The next batch of invites is going out next week! If you asked for it, but don’t get the invite by Thursday, hit us up here in the comments, or on twitter – @managewp
Thanks you all for your support and votes of confidence!
Id so love an invite to give ManageWP Orion a spin…please send me an invite<3
I’d love to access the beta. Really looking forward to the update! A little concerned about the pricing, but hopefully it won’t be any more expensive than what I’m already paying.
Would love to get access to the beta!
Would love to try the beta, thanks Nemanja!
Would like to be part of the beta please.
I would love to take part in the beta if it is still open!
Beta me dudes! I left ManageWP a little bit ago because I found that I could do the same thing for free with InfiniteWP…but if Orion is faster and cleaner and easier, I’m all in to pay for something like that. I’ve got about 60 websites I manage now…but adding every week.
Currently using managewp and would love to beta orion.
I would like to apply for the beta. Would love to test this safe updates feature. Godspeed!
I would like to try ManageWP Orion. Thanks!
I am on this now with a regular site and my multi-site configuration. I was very surprised at the intuitive menus and how easily I could find everything. I became an affiliate immediately and would love to see how this plays out as I am just starting my WordPress design business. So far I love what I see. Hopefully it is geared towards start-up businesses as far as the pricing goes. If you need any more testers, please, please cunt me in. I am anxious to see how it works in a multi-site environment.
I’ve been a beta tester for one client (she manages over 25 websites) and for my own business… so far I like it and can’t wait to see the full version. W/ the regular ManageWP I love the clone feature a lot … w/ the Orion I love the Client Reports!
I’d like to be a tester.
Hey, I used a very early version of ManageWP and I’m excited to hear about the new Orion platform! I’m interested in being part of the beta testers! I’m a WordPress Developer with about 100 clients. –Thanks!
Yes, I would love to try WPManage Orion. It would be a lot better way than I’m currently doing my backups and would love to give it a whirl. Thanks!
I’m digging the new pricing structure!
Leonard Rattini, CCP
The reason why I didn’t take part in the new Orion application is because I’m rather new to the present “com” application I started to use.. Therefor I didn’t feel I had enough knowledge to go forward contributing towards the new application. I can’t say it enough, any and all applications must be designed by basic data processing fundamental principals, which really hasn’t changed since they took the first U.S. census with earlier machinery, at the turn of the 19th century. What has changed, only, are the tools we use to effect data’s movements.
Leonard Rattini, CCP
I agree wholeheartedly with your opening statement. I hope your new application is logically designed, as my blog ‘s two posts address this issue. Lenny
Would like to be a part of the beta program! Thanks.
Hey I would love to try it before the release date. Does the worker will have any new features?
There will be one new feature: everything will work flawlessly 🙂
To be honest, there are very few plugins/services that can claim they have this feature.
Just a quick note, Jorge – I sent you a beta invite way back in February, when you initially requested it. Can you check your inbox?
Would love to be added to the Orion beta trial. Have an existing free ManageWP account, but never started using the service completely, because the pricing model didn’t work for us.
Having been a member of the Orion Beta for a few months, I wanted to share that Orion is outrageously cool and will be the gold standard for managing multiple WordPress sites. The update features had a few kinks, but you guys LISTENED and worked out the bugs to my complete satisfaction. The UI is very cool and fun to interact with.
Coming from the previous ManageWP, migrating to Orion was a value-added experience. Best wishes for a successful launch in October.
What’s missing from this and other updates is clarification of what’s included with the “free” account and what’s an add-on. Are any off the current account features becoming an add-on? Just for instance, I checked how much would cost to add the incremental backup add-on to our sites… it would cost almost triple the amount of what we currently pay. I know this is a new feature, but I am concerned about existing features that might turn into add ons.
Dan, where did you see the pricing? I’m worried about the same thing, as I’ve already sold “management” services to clients at a particular price. If they triple my own cost with ManageWP, I might not be able to use ManageWP anymore for those clients (even as cool as it is).
Backups are imperative, but it would be cool if they let us pay a lessor amount and store on our own S3 accounts…which I’m already doing anyways. I prefer to be in charge of my own data anyways.
Either way, a pricing page of sorts that you’re aware of would be awesome. Thanks!
We are aiming at $5/monthly for our backup service. Most addons will be around that range. Automated client reports may be a bit less, full website security may be a bit more. All day to day things that you can achieve in WordPress admin will remain free when being done from Orion dashboard (updates, maintenance, etc).
Let’s say I pay for 35 accounts now… around $600 *year – This is for all features, for all accounts.
My concern for example, is if regular* backup to ftp/other is no longer available. Then I would have to pay (5 x 35) * 12 = 2,100 (year)
*Regular as opposed to incremental.
I am not saying that’s going to happen. What I am requesting is more clarification as to what will be an add-on and what will not. As Will said, we also have clients locked on our maintenance plan. It wouldn’t be a big deal if the price goes up a little… but going up from $600 to $2100 is not something we can do with the current clients we have. It would be great to have this information ASAP, as we might need to move all of our current clients somewhere else.
I mainly use this service for the updates and backups from one interface.
VLADIMIR PRELOVAC says that what’s being done from the Orion dashboard will remain free. Right now the only backups option that shows on my Orion (beta) dashboard is the cloud backup, and we have established that won’t be free. So I am assuming (maybe wrong) that the only free options will be:
1. Plugin/Core Updates
3. Comments management
4. Maintenance (spam comments, post revisions, db optimization)
The proposed new pricing structure does appear to be quite significant a price rise and this means my costs are looking to more than triple for my already existing sites and clients that I’ve already sold with cost projections that came from the old pricing model.
A small increase would be fine, but $5/site for just the backup addon is a big leap from my current $1.71/site that gives me backups, client reports, clone wizard and other things that appear may become additional cost addons with orion too.
I’m not currently charging my clients on a per site basis, so when a client has around 3 or 5 sites this could impact my costs and profitability significantly.
I’m all for ensuring ManageWP is profitable and a sustainable business, but the same applies to us their clients too.
Well said, Carl!
I could take the hit, but it wouldn’t be favorable. I do (currently) charge clients on a per-site basis. Enough I could do it and still be profitable, but some are barters…so then you’d be eating into my own pockets a bit more for sites I don’t actually charge people for. Not to mention my own sites (internal sites). Now it’s just money out the window.
Can ManageWP clarify on backup storage? Are you offering unlimited storage for sizes of sites? I know the new system can efficiently backup TONS of stuff…but do we have any usage caps for a paid-for website being backed up by Orion once it launches?
Also, whether or not you guys have planned for this…how about allowing us to use our own AmazonS3 account for storage as a separate option. Better privacy for our clients, better control over storage, it’s not (possibly) a flat-rate backup cost for everyone, and costs may balance as we have most sites smaller in size, and few that are actually “big”. We could still pay ManageWP a monthly fee to use the system, but if you guys aren’t having to do the “storing” of the data, and it resides on our own S3 account…then everybody wins. You guys still get a monthly fee, and we get better control over our data/pricing.
Just ideas. I don’t expect these to necessarily be there at launch, but they’re a good idea.
I think $5/monthly for the site’s total cost could be swallowed. If you’re thinking $5 for backups + another fee to do updates/etc., then it’s more like $7-10/per site using backups. That’s the math I’ve figured out from this thread, anyways.
Initially we thought of allowing unlimited backup storage, but even in beta we had people trying to back up a site with terabytes of data. We will institute a cap on the website size and file number – I can’t give you an estimate, but it will probably be in the hundreds of GB, and something like 300,000 files.
The personal S3 storage is something we’re seriously considering — like you said, it’s a win-win situation. The only major obstacle is time; we’ve got a lot of work queued, that needs to be done before we move on to improvements like this. For now I can say that it will not be in the initial release.
You’re correct about the pricing model, but the $5 Vladimir mentioned is not the definite figure. We want to make more money, but only if we provide you with additional value, and only if you believe the price tag is justifiable.
Been using the beta for a few months now. I have to say I love it. Updating my sites is a piece of cake, and I especially love the backups. They are so seamless and give me the peace of mind that if something goes wrong, I can fix it.
As features have been added to the beta over the past few months I have been very impressed. My compliments the whole team for a top-notch product!
Glad to hear that, Ryan!
I’d love to try Orion and see if it will be a good switch for Sievers Creative, Our agency. Currently we are using Infinite WP for all of our client sites, but this looks really promising.
We’e discussed this over email, but I wanted to add it here in the public eye : I think supporting WP Multisite would be a fantastic premium add-on. I realize not everyone needs it, but when you DO use it, having Orion to manage it would be a killer time-saver.
Wokring in a bilingual market, more often than not, we have to use Mutlisite to ensure a perfect multilingual experience. And if our clients want to accept different currencies, we also need it, as all/most payment plugins can only “speak” 1 currency at a time.
As for the rest, love where the client reports are going, and I’m curious to see if you’ll depend on UptimeRobot like many for availability monitoring, or if you’ll roll your own.
Great job !
The multisite addon is an interesting idea, although it would take significant time to modify the way the backup, cloning, and some other features work.
Personally, I’ve always felt that the multilingual issue has never been properly addressed by the WordPress developers, which is ridiculous since the non-English speaking market is so large. The good news is that things are slowly taking the turn for the better.
I agree with you, because some of my implementation use Multisite in order to enable multilingual sites, so I want to offer more services for those kind of projects, not just enabling multisite and then install a lot of tools to acomplish the same with ManageWP for single site installs, it’s time consuming.
I like having my wordpress admin within my managewp window which the current version has. Does Orion have this feature?
With all the changes with the way mixed content is handled by the browsers, it’s getting more difficult for users to access the wp-admin dashboard withing an iframe. Things might change until the release, but for now we will be dropping the iframe in favour of opening the wp-admin dashboard in a new tab.
I’d love to try the beta too!
Could you confirm if Orion handles updating premium themes and plugins?
Yes Orion is updating all premium themes and plugins, no worry.
I would love to give Orion a try. I love the focus on developers/professionals and would like to take it for a spin 🙂
Would love to beta test if there are spots still open. I use ManageWP for my sites and a few client sites, and I am SUPER pumped for the “safe updates” feature. I always get a little nervous when updating a client site and this feature would give me a huge amount of piece of mind.
Really looking forward to the update.
I’m interested in this!
any idea what you are going to charge for add-ons I love this pricing model as we need some things but not others
Too early to quote figures, I’m afraid.
Girl Gone Gallic
I would love to beta test, easy backups is something that has been on my mind a lot lately. I definitely need to step it up in that area and am looking for a better solution than what I currently have. FYI – better means easier and foolproof ! Thanks, Evelyn
Using ManageWP now for a number of sites, would love to be in on the beta to see what is coming.
Oh man… another 3 months? Would like to join the beta then. Thanks.
I’d like to check out the beta. I’m a current managewp client and had to cut back on the sites I had with you because of the cost.
I would also love to be beta-testing.
Will that upgrade my existing account, or will it be a new independent solution/login?
Independent solution, but they’re sharing the Worker plugin, so each website can sync either to the current ManageWP dashboard, or the Orion dashboard.
Are all the addons planned on being released by the launch date as well?
All of the ones listed in the article
Akhil K A
I used the beta version and I rate 2.5/5, Good but not up to the mark , wait for new updates. I’m also a WordPress blogger and choose this as my profession. Thank you for your article Vladimir.
Ready and willing to beta test Orion. Please add me to the list.
Would love a beta invite. Thanks!
Would be really grateful to be part of the beta. Love the new pricing model.
Everyone up till now has been placed in the beta queue. Expect the invite in your inbox within a week, as we’re gradually introducing new testers.
I can beta-test if you want.
It will be our pleasure, Mattias!
I’d like to be in the beta.
I would love to become a beta tester.
My use of the beta has not been without a few issues but I’ve become convinced that these are issues with the sites and hosting rather than Orion. I guess it’s fair to say Orion will make weaknesses in your setup clear. What I really like is how you guys listen. A few features and functions that work flawlessly is exactly right. Safe Updates addresses one of the few issues I’ve been able to point out. Keep it up.
Thank you for your continuing support, Ricky!
I’m with Ricky on this one… …I have encountered errors with Orion, but when I started to do a bit of forensic digging, I’ve discovered that the issues are actually a result of hosting problems and a couple of plugins. As evidence of this, I’ve got several sites that are running pretty much identical set-ups (albeit with a different appearance) and found that a cluster with one hosting company regularly experience issues, but that a batch on another host have almost none. My best estimation is that it’s a resource issue with the hosting company and when a site is currently under a reasonable load that running any Orion functions will return a 503 error. Again, I don’t think the issue is with Orion, but with the way the hosting company has their resources allocated.
I’d love to try it, please.
Already using the beta version. Never been happier!
What will be included in the free version?
In a nutshell, the ability to access an unlimited number of your websites with a single click, go over the compiled data, manage updates. As more add-ons roll out, the scope of free features will increase as well.
Love the per site basis addons idea! Oh boy…I can not wait that long. 🙂 Could you add me to the queue too?
I’d like to try the beta…
Sure thing! I’ve added you to the beta queue.
Don’t think I can wait another three months. Could I participate in the beta Program? Would be awesome!
And good luck the comming months with the further devlopment of Orion!
No worries – I’ve added you to the beta queue. Should be an invitation in your inbox within a week 🙂
Safe Updates?! That’s a killer feature. Can’t wait for that. I’m loving Orion. The new freemium pricing model sounds awesome – I would love to add all my sites for basic features and selectively upgrade. Makes a lot of sense. I’m curious if there will still be volume pricing like the current model.
Volume pricing is one of the things we’re thinking about as well, but it’s safe to say that some form of it will be in the release.
I really want to try the new version. Is it possible to access the beta?
So hyped about this!