As the Editor of this fine blog (if I do say so myself ;-)) I am in a unique position.
While I certainly consider myself a devoted member of the ManageWP team (and have been for over 18 months now), I am not directly involved in the ongoing development or support of the app itself. I am a ManageWP user and a ManageWP team member, but I’m not on the “front lines,” so to speak.
With the above in mind, Vladimir (our CEO) asked me to write an honest appraisal of the ManageWP app and the team that develops and supports it. Because he is well and truly inside of the operation, he wanted to know what I thought of team ManageWP and the future of the app. That is exactly what I have done in this post.
My first thought was to turn to the manifesto that Vladimir published here on the blog a couple of months ago. Here it is in all its glory:
Let’s break this manifesto down into what I consider (as a ManageWP user) its four most important constituent parts:
- Making managing multiple WordPress sites easier and quicker (than any other comparable product out there)
- Giving peace of mind regarding website security and optimal performance
- Constant innovation in terms of features
- Top quality support
As a ManageWP team member, these are the areas in which I would like to see us excel. As a ManageWP user, these are the areas in which I would like to see the app excel. Now here’s the tough question: does it?
1. Multiple WordPress Website Management
The first time I came across ManageWP (which was shortly before Vladimir asked me to write for this blog back in November 2011), I was astonished at (a) how much easier it made WordPress website management and (b) how no one had thought of this before. Vladimir was definitely ahead of the curve.
Fast forward many months and I believe that ManageWP is still at the forefront of multiple WordPress site management. There are certainly more competitors around these days, but the core functionality of the software (to make maintaining WordPress sites quick and easy) is still unparalleled (in my humble opinion).
I don’t tire of logging into the ManageWP Dashboard and seeing this:
22 plugin updates spread over eight websites — all updatable with the click of a button. And that’s not to mention the Post Revisions, Table Overhead and ever-present Spam.
The one-click update process has only got easier since I started using ManageWP. What was once occasionally a little playful now operates flawlessly every time. To think I once logged into every site individually to update plugins!
But what really excites me about the management aspect of ManageWP is that the team is still so passionate about improving what is still the fulcrum of the app. They haven’t lost sight of what makes ManageWP so important, and that fills me with confidence for the future.
2. Security and Website Performance
Security has become more and more important to me over the past few weeks, largely prompted by my own blog being hacked. On Monday I will be publishing an in-depth piece on how secure WordPress really is, and just a couple of weeks ago I published a comprehensive post on how to secure your WordPress website on my own blog.
The first thing I’ll say about ManageWP is that it is secure; and that’s obviously a huge priority. The team employs complex layers of security to ensure that data passed between your websites and ManageWP is never exposed — I don’t understand the science, but I do know that ManageWP’s reputation for security is pretty flawless.
However, security for ManageWP goes beyond that. You can also scan any of your websites using Sucuri’s SiteCheck Tools to ensure that they aren’t infected. When I get the following screen:
I know that everything is hunky dory. Furthermore, with increased concerns regarding WordPress security, I know that the team are hard at work making sure that ManageWP can be as effective as possible in preventing breaches in the future.
Let’s face it — existing features are all well and good, but we all thrive on the possibility of what is to come. And you only have to look at ManageWP’s track record of introducing new features to see that we are in good hands.
Here are a few recent examples:
- The New Website Wizard was updated so that the ManageWP Worker plugin can be installed automatically on your site
- Branded Client Reports
- The brand new ManageWP Dashboard that was unleashed at the start of the year
Then there’s some of the features to come, as suggested by Vladimir here. I’m looking forward to these amongst others:
- More security tools
- A remodelled backup system
- Community stats
I think that one of the best things about being a ManageWP user is waiting to see what the team comes up with next. The sheer depth of functionality is impressive and (I believe) unparalleled.
4. Top Quality Support
This is the area in which I am perhaps most proud of the ManageWP team. I know that Vladimir has poured a lot of resources into support and I really think it shows.
In fact, back in February he published a post on the topic in which he was able to boast of an astonishing 36 minute (average) response time! Having dealt with plenty of online businesses in my time I know that 36 minutes blows the competition out of the water. Furthermore, nearly half of all tickets are resolved by the support team’s first answer. I’ve personally dealt with the support team more than once and know that the numbers are backed up by their performance in reality.
I am so glad that the ManageWP team performs so well in terms of support because when it comes to an app like this, support is arguably the most important feature. When we’re managing our websites and we come across a problem, we need it resolved pronto. Time is money, as the old cliché goes.
What Do You Think?
I want to add a caveat to all of the above in the interests of complete honesty — ManageWP isn’t perfect. Nothing is. There are things I would like to see improved in an ideal world (incidentally, I know that the team is already working on those things), and features can always be tweaked to perfection. But the reason I am a ManageWP user and would never consider switching to a competitor is that I know there are a team of 20+ people working practically around the clock to make it a better app than it was yesterday.
And as our currently ongoing competition demonstrates, we are always looking to get feedback from you: the ManageWP user. The sheer willingness of the team to really listen to its users and act on what it hears demonstrates to me that we are all in safe hands.
With that in mind, I’d love to get your thoughts on ManageWP. Do you think it is the premier solution for multiple WordPress website management? What do you love about the app and would you like to see improved and/or changed? Let us know in the comments section below!