Collaborate With Your Team and Clients in ManageWP Orion

Collaborate With Your Team and Clients in ManageWP Orion

Collaborate-tool-managewp

My password mantra is a volatile combination of paranoia and laziness: I distrust password managers like LastPass, and I don’t write them down anywhere. At the same time, I use the same set of passwords on a lot of websites, so I won’t forget them.

This is why I don’t like giving away my passwords.

I talked about the Manage Users tool and the need to periodically change passwords and usernames on your WordPress websites. After all, if you’re running a team, you’ll have multiple people logging into your ManageWP account. You want to make sure they can’t jeopardize years of hard work. Today I’m gonna talk about the Collaborate tool and how to let your team members and clients access your ManageWP dashboard safely.

Collaborate With Your Team

You’ve got people on your team managing your websites. You want to give them access to all ManageWP tools, so they could get things done quickly and efficiently. Here’s what you need to do:

managewp-add-collaborator-all

An email invitation will be sent, together with a password setting URL.

Collaborate With Clients

Client collaborators are a bit different from team collaborators. They only need to see their own WordPress websites. You might also choose to give them read-only access, to keep them in the loop without the fear of them breaking something. The invitation process is the same as with the team members, with one difference:

managewp-add-collaborator

A cool feature at the bottom of this page is the website counter: as you change tags and client labels, the counter will change to let you know how many websites that collaborator will be able to access.

What Can ManageWP Collaborators Do?

They can:

They can’t:

managewp-manage-collaborators

Improvement Over the Classic Sub-Users Tool

Classic users know this tool under a different name: Sub-Users. We decided to rename it into Collaborators because of the shift in our philosophy.

So, here is what we came up with.

Made for clients, as well as team members

One of the main features you kept requesting was the ability to share ManageWP tools for certain sites with your clients. Now you can. Just pick the right tag and/or client label, and they get to access the corresponding websites (and only those websites). Please note that if you choose multiple tags or clients, your client will see all the websites that have at least one of the selected tags or client labels.

Collaborators don’t need a separate account

The collaboration system has been redesigned. When you send an invite, a special collaborator account will be created for that person. Once the collaboration is over, you can simply close that account.

If at any point that person decides to create her own ManageWP account, she’ll simply be asked upon login if she’d like to go to her own dashboard, or to collaborate on yours.

Separate settings and notifications

Collaborators get their own notifications, news, and settings. They won’t interfere with your work, and vice versa. This is pretty sweet because everyone can set their own time zone, among other things. If you collaborators have their own ManageWP accounts, they’ll use their own settings everywhere.

Separate history

History will identify who did what, and be able to show it in the Client Report.

Further Development

We kept it simple and practical, and now we need your help: can you think of an upgrade for the Collaborate tool? Let us know in the comment section, and I’ll be happy to discuss it.

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.

30 Comments

  1. junglewp

    Hello guys, do you forsee a whitelabel option for the clients area ? It would be great to show to clients that their websites are in good hands, but we want to have a branded interface.

    1. Nemanja Aleksic

      Yes, but probably not in a way you’d expect :)

      We’re starting to open up our API, so by the end of the year you should be able to hook up your ManageWP account to your own custom dashboard, where your clients will be able to see all the relevant information.

      As a proof of concept, we created a Slack app and enabled a few basic functions. Our users went nuts, and our Product team is currently buried under a pile of feature requests :)
      https://managewp.com/managewp-launches-slack-app-for-easier-wordpress-management

  2. info

    Hi,

    I have 2 managewp accounts.. in classic they were linked together. But it seems that i cant do this anymore in Orion, is this correct? Or is this the same function but now named ‘add collaborator’? (im trying to link my 2 seperate managewp accounts with all their own sites together, just as i could in classic)

    1. Nemanja Aleksic

      You no longer need to keep separate accounts, since you can have different service levels on the same account, e.g. 10 websites on Professional legacy plan, and 15 on Free. You can mix and match any way you see fit.

      If you need help with the transition or have any questions or doubts, just open a support tickets and we’ll help!

      Cheers,
      Nemanja

  3. btrilli

    How is the whole Sub-User/Collaborator going to work after the transition to Orion tomorrow?

    The reason I ask is because we have sub-users setup 2 ways. Everyone who needs to work on any of our sites have created a ManageWP account. The great majority if not all of them are free accounts. From here there are 2 groups, Technical people who need access to all of the Managewp back-end and site admin features(Use all ManageWP tools, except billing for all sites) and those who just use it to access specific website as specific users(Open admin on my sites and set the username to login as). This approach allows us to only give admin access to those who need it and limit the permissions of specific sub-users related the the role of the user on the wordpress site. This works great for such cases because I don’t want to give everyone the permission to run updates or access to add and remove users, etc…

    From my simple testing, it seems like sub-users with the setting “Use all ManageWP tools, except billing for all sites” actually get logged into orion as the main Managewp Classic user. Which seems like it could have some possible security problems/headaches in the future if they are not removed from the old sub-user tool and added as collaborators once the switch is made. But everything still technically works the same as before so that is minor. The real issue I have right now is related to the sub-users set to “Open admin on my sites”. Since these users are free accounts I am unable to switch to Orion and see how the sites are all integrated for the. Also there is no option to assign a username to a user in collaborate. So it seems like when it transitions from classic to orion for these free users they will lose access to all the sites assigned to them. Or I will have to add them as collaborators and lose all permissions because at that point they will have the same access to the sites as the main Managewp user.

    So how will it really work, how should it work, can I still achieve the same setup I have and if so what do I need to do to achieve the desired setup I currently have?

    Thanks in advanced

    1. Nemanja Aleksic

      I apologize for the long overdue reply.

      “Open admin in sites” will be added to the Collaborate addon in the next couple of weeks, and it will mimic the functionality it had in the Classic version. At that point you’ll be able to set up things just the way you’re used to.

      You also might have noticed that the sub-users do not carry over into Orion, so you have to set up collaborators. The good news is that they no longer have to set up separate ManageWP accounts, they’ll have a separate collaborator account that they could use.

  4. james

    When adding a new collaborator, it would be nice to be able to select which sites they have access to, without having to set it by tag or client name.

    For example, I want a new collaborator to have access to four sites.. this means I need to first go create a new tag, then tag those 4 sites, then come back to collaborate tool to set it up by the tag.

    Lastly, when I want to remove one of the four sites access from that collaborator… I removed the tag from the site, however that collaborator still has access to the site! It didn’t remove access.

    1. james

      Also, when the collaborator tries to log out, Orion asks them if they’d like to log out from all websites they logged into, or just from ManageWP. If they select log out from all sites, it gives a strange “access denied” error message

    2. Nemanja Aleksic

      Hi James, thanks for letting us know.

      1) The website picker is something we’re already considering. I agree that, if you’re not already using tags, it’s a pain.
      2) The collaborator will only have access if his session is active. Refreshing the dashboard or relogging will remove the website. The same goes if you add a tag to a website.
      3) I’ve created a ticket for the developers, we’ll have this sorted out ASAP.

  5. info

    In the classic version we loved that you could make new users within wordpress and assign them to specific sub-users. That way it’s easy to see who did what and the name of the author would show up on the article. It’s also extremely helpful to create new wordpress users in bulk when you have a new employee and you want to assign over 50+ sites to him/her. In this new version that doesn’t seems to be the case?

    Another great feature of sub-users was the possibility to restrict access to one IP address. That way we where sure our workers could only login from the office. Will this feature also disappear?

    1. Nemanja Aleksic

      Thanks for asking!

      – The Collaborate tool works a bit differently, but the History log will record who did what.
      – A feature will be implemented where you will assign a username on your websites for each collaborator.
      – Bulk user creator is already live: https://managewp.com/manage-users-managewp-orion
      – IP restriction will be implemented.

  6. admin

    Looks great. However without the white label option, its not really relevant.

  7. paul

    Why is it that I don’t have anything under client access if I want to invite my clients to view their own websites?

    https://gyazo.com/2cb63840c2a1236b57ef0d2cca1f237b

    1. paul

      I figured it out. Thanks. Yes, I would also like the whole process of this to be white labeled, from the email address that the client receives, to the reset password page and logo within ManageWP.

      1. Nemanja Aleksic

        Hi Paul,

        We don’t have plans of creating a fully white labeled ManageWP dashboard at the moment. If you’re looking for a white labeled service for your clients, I’d recommend against using the Collaborate tool – White Label tool will be great, as it rebrands the ManageWP Worker plugin and helps increase the value of your service.

  8. Robin

    I just added my first client-collaborator and I’ve been waiting for this functionality! Yay for the team! One thing I would like to see added is the ability to view/customize the email sent to them. I know I’ll get a phone call within the hour asking me what it is for…

    Will we be able to white-label the ManageWP dashboard for client collaborators?

    Keep up the awesome work!

    1. Nemanja Aleksic

      Thank you for your support, Robin!
      White labeling the dashboard is not planned. It would be extremely difficult to hide the fact that it’s a ManageWP dashboard.
      I’ll forward your suggestion to Product team. It shouldn’t be hard to add an optional note to the email invitation.

  9. james

    Awesome news! This tool looks great, can’t wait to try it out. You guys are doing a fantastic job with all the new features over the past few months. Excited to see what’s next. I especially like the recent addition of an uptime monitor. Thanks again

    1. Nemanja Aleksic

      Thanks for your support, James.

      Next up is SEO in 1-2 weeks, with some brand new features that I hope you’ll like.

  10. ellegaard

    This is great! But I’ll have to dig a little deeper before I can see, how I can use it in my business. But thank you! :)

  11. blogjunkie

    Hi, I would like to strongly disagree with Stephen and GeraldJim. If everything is automated, then clients would simply subscribe to ManageWP and not have to engage WordPress professionals to manage their sites. And to Stephen and Gerald, your customers are paying you for your service so I think it’s not too much to take the time to check in on their sites. Thank you

    1. Nemanja Aleksic

      Thanks for chipping in, David.

      I think it all comes down to the kind of client you have, and the kind of service you offer.

      A lot of our users don’t want their clients to know that everything is automated through ManageWP, so they use the White Label tool to hide or rebrand the ManageWP Worker plugin. On the other hand, if you’re offering your clients a peace of mind, then your service is much more than just updates. The client wouldn’t care how it’s done, as long as everything is running smoothly. It’s kinda like car maintenance: I know how to do basic checks and change oil, but I still go to a mechanic before a major trip. My whole family will be in that car, and I don’t want to put them in harm’s way just to save a few bucks.

  12. David

    Will collaborators have access to ManageWP Classic too? I can foresee my collaborators needing to add new sites and that still can’t be done from Orion. Thank you

    1. Nemanja Aleksic

      No, because of the difference between Orion and Classic settings.

      The good news is that we’ll soon enable the option of adding websites directly in Orion, so there won’t be any need to go back to Classic.

      1. Robin

        Doesn’t Orion already allows you to add websites? Check out the + in the uppermost left-hand corner of the dashboard…

        1. Nemanja Aleksic

          You’re probably running a beta Orion account. Beta accounts are not mirroring a Classic ManageWP account, and can add websites directly from Orion.

  13. geraldjim

    Firstly, the collaboration tool is a great idea and looking forward to trying it.

    I would also like to second Stephen request for a way to verify that sites are still working correctly. Even though we have the update all function in the dashboard we still need to check each site manually. When you have quite a few sites to mange this is a very time consuming activity and almost defeats the purpose of having an update all button.

    Well done

    1. Nemanja Aleksic

      Thanks, Gerald!

      Request noted, and I’m happy to say it’s something we’ve already started building (see my reply to Stephen).

  14. stephen

    Okay, here’s my proposed upgrade to collaboration, and the plugin upgrade workflow.

    I would love to hire a fairly inexperienced employee to keep all of our sites updated, and to let me know if anything is broken. The problem is that the person doing the updating might not know what the site is supposed to do, or what it’s supposed to look like. They can look for obvious problems, but some are going to slip through the cracks.

    Here’s how I wish it worked:

    1. I log in to Orion. I hit the “Update All” button.
    2. As each site is updated, a series of predetermined, automated tests are run to make sure it’s still working correctly.
    3. If the tests fail, Orion tells me, and asks if I would like to roll back to the last update made before the update.

    Here are a few examples of types of tests that would be helpful:
    – Screenshot before and after the update – Red flag if the screenshot is significantly different than the last screenshot.
    – Test for the presence of keywords – Red flag is you get “404”, “500 error”, etc.
    – Test for the absence of keywords – Red flag if front page doesn’t contain “Argyle socks”, etc.

    Ideally, what I’m really asking for is for you to integrate something like Ghost Inspector (https://ghostinspector.com) into your product, to automate the testing of updates. But something much simpler than that would still be very helpful.

    1. Nemanja Aleksic

      I completely agree with you, although this is not directly related to the Collaborate tool.

      The ability to automate updates is something we plan on doing in the near future.
      The first step was to build a bulletproof backup solution, so that the system could roll back the change automatically if something goes wrong. We did that with Orion backups. The next step is to design a set of tools that could catch inconsistencies, and the last step would be to tie this all together.

      I can’t give you an ETA for now, but we need to build it because it’s something both you and the WordPress community sorely need.

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Over 27,000 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 27,000 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 27,000 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!