Orion Multisite Support and Various New Features

During our quest to reach the Orion roadmap milestones, we often overlooked minor improvements because we wanted to focus your attention on the good stuff. I’ll use this article to answer a couple of question that keep popping up from time to time, and to introduce a couple of minor new features.

Will Orion Support Multisite Installations?

TL;DR Yes.

Initially, we said no to multisite support, because we felt that we needed to focus everything on single site WordPress installations. ManageWP was originally envisioned as a way to bring all the multisite advantages to stand alone installations, without any of the drawbacks. It made sense for us to stop thinking about covering every single possible need you might have, and focus on the important ones.

But then, something wonderful happened. You started expressing your concern how this will impact your business in our comment section. You started emailing us about this. We even had a couple of talks with some of you who know us personally. And they weren’t the “I’m dropping ManageWP if you don’t comply” angry kind of talks. They were the “I’ll still be happy to use ManageWP, but I’ll have to set up a parallel management system” kind of talks.

We realized we were wrong to say no.

You see, ManageWP is all about you. Taking care of your business, helping you automate your workflow, so you could take care of more important matters. And sometimes, you can’t choose not to use a multisite – be it a client with a multisite website, or a project where using a multisite would be a huge benefit.

So we decided to do the right thing and keep supporting multisite management in ManageWP.

Multisite installations will be supported to an extent that does not require a complete rewrite of the tools. This means that every Orion tool except Clone and Backup will work with multisite installations (these two pretty much need to be redesigned from the ground up, which is in itself a huge project).

We’re trying to stay on track with the development, so I can’t give you an ETA for the multisite support. It will definitely be before the Classic dashboard gets phased out, tho.

Thank you for caring about ManageWP so much that you were ready to fight us over it. It just goes to show that the term “WordPress community” really stands for something.

This brings me to another important matter that we reconsidered, and that is…

Multiple Google Analytics Accounts on a Single ManageWP Dashboard

This is another idea we initially dropped. Google has a cap on the number of requests to their GA servers. Having 200,000+ websites regularly pull data from the GA server would generate a lot of traffic, and we’d need to MacGuyver some kind of load balancer to make things work. We kept digging anyway. Luckily, after a couple of talks with Google, we found out that we could raise the cap by becoming a Technology Partner.

We’re currently in the process of becoming certified, but I can safely say at this point that once it’s done, you will be able to add as many Google Analytics accounts to your ManageWP account as you need.

Performance and Security Checks Are Now in the Orion Client Report

The Client Report is getting some love with the Performance and Security Check integration. You are now able to send your clients a summary of these checks, and show them that their websites are taken care of.

client-report-security

Orion Bottom Bar Becomes the Top Bar

The six years of experience with ManageWP taught us that the hardest part of building ManageWP is making it user friendly and intuitive. That’s why we have a dedicated UX team, and keep running unorthodox experiments to find ways to improve it – like hiring a drunk UX expert to review our site (don’t try this at home).

When you log into your Orion dashboard, you’ll notice that the top bar is now home to your Orion tools:

orion-top-bar

The reason behind the move from the bottom to the top is that there are so many different tools in Orion, a new user could easily miss the bottom bar. So we moved it to a more prominent position at the top.

We also simplified the sidebar by moving the thumbnail/list selector to the far right.

list-thumbnail-redesign

Yeah, it will take A LOT of trial and error to achieve perfection. Thank you for sticking with us on this journey.

Stay tuned, we’ve got another Orion milestone coming this week!

Nemanja Aleksic

Growth Engineer at Devana Technologies and ManageWP // Father, husband, blokemon // Stopping pucks and bad business decisions.

24 Comments

  1. andy

    How’s the progress on multiple Google Analytics accounts coming? I’m curious if I read that correctly, that currently it’s not possible but you guys are working on it? I have one Google Analytics account with multiple websites on there and it would be great to see that stats for each one of those sites :) Thank you guys for such a great system!

    1. Nemanja Aleksic

      Thanks, Andy!
      That’s correct. You’ll be able to link multiple Google Analytics accounts to your ManageWP account in roughly 2 weeks.

      Now, just to be clear – if all your websites are on a single GA account, you’re already able to see the GA data for all of them. Once you link your GA account, you just need to match each Analytics profile to the corresponding website. If you’re having trouble with this, open a support ticket and our Customer Happiness team will help out.

  2. elindydotcom

    One more thing – some hosting providers are pretty good about backups as well. For example, maybe there’s a way to trigger a WPENGINE snapshot. It might require working with their tech folks to make it happen but that would be pretty cool since their backups are almost instantaneous – unless you want to download the backup off their servers but even so, having an automatic snapshot once per hour with a download once per day for multisite installs would be phenomenal!

    1. Nemanja Aleksic

      It would certainly save us a ton of work. We’d probably take the plugin route because we’d be looking for a scalable solution that works on all servers.

      I’ll forward this to our Product team, thanks for the suggestion!

  3. elindydotcom

    I would give my right arm for multi-site support on backup. There are a number of plugin tools that already handle backup for multisite so even if is a case of Orion just triggering those tools to do their job (so we can control it all from the dashboard) I would take that! Examples of these tools include snapshot (wpmuvdev.com), nsclone (neversettle.it) and WP Migrate Pro (deliciousbrains.com). They each have specific capabilities that can be triggered on demand so if the first version of multisite backup is just to figure out how to integrate with one or more of these that would be awesome. No point in spending years on this project. (yes, I own two of the three and will buy the third one soon).

  4. dale

    The Orion UI is really coming along. Nice work.

    1. Nemanja Aleksic

      Thanks, Dale!

  5. Rick de Jong

    Perhaps I’m missing something. But how do I add multisites? I’ve network activated the worker plugin, but when connecting it doesn’t work. What should I do?

    1. Nemanja Aleksic

      Hi Rick,
      The multisite support is not yet ready for Orion, as I’ve mentioned in the article. Once we implement it, it will mirror multisites that you’ve added to the Classic dashboard.
      The process itself is straightforward: network activate the ManageWP Worker plugin, and add the parent site. It will then ask you to add the remaining network websites.

      If you’re having trouble adding the multisite to the Classic version, open a support ticket and our team will get on the case :)

  6. Hamid Peya

    I am happy for this news and glad to see Orion growing the way it should be. But one of the most important and basic thing that should be at the first priority of next update is restore, migrating and clone ability in Orion. No doubt Orion is more reliable backup dashboard than classic version but without filling this gap it is incomplete. What i am saying is backup, restore, migrate, clone should be available in same time and in working versions. (Not in beta). I am currently experiencing a bad time for migrating and cloning my site with Managewp. I will not write the whole experience here but only one thing, update the Orion for migrating and cloning tools.

    Thanks.

  7. kontakt

    This really sounds awesome, especially we will have a new client with a multisite … and I just was worried how to manage all that because of backups and updating.
    I love the reports! Looking forward to customisations (especially with other languages).

    cu Frank, from germany

  8. Entropic Studio

    THANK YOU!! When you said that you weren’t supporting multi-sites, a small piece of my heart broke.

    But it’s back now!

    Thank you!

  9. info

    Multisite support … THANK YOU!

  10. ARS Cons.

    OMG OMG OMG OMG …. Multisite support, yes!!!

    You say “every Orion tool except Clone and Backup will work with multisite installations (these two pretty much need to be redesigned from the ground up, which is in itself a huge project).”

    I’d have a hard time performing updates on a live site without a backup to revert back to… what do you suggest I/we do ?

    We use Codeguard for large complex sites, is that the (only) way to go ? (since you know backups on shared hosting s-cks 😉

    1. Nemanja Aleksic

      I’d tackle large multisite network backups at the server level, because of the multisite complexity.
      Hosting companies control their own infrastructure. They are the only ones that can guarantee that their backups will perform consistently and reliably.

      Of course, that doesn’t mean that we won’t create a backup solution for multisites at some point in the future. I just wanted to emphasize that multisites are a completely different beast, and once we decide to do this, we’ll throw our whole development team at it.

  11. Surbma

    I’m managing only Multisites. Just moved all my sites from ManageWP, because the lack of Multisite support in Orion. I would be more than happy to bring back all my sites to you. Good work guys, just keep on listening! :)

  12. ellegaard

    Once again you amaze me. Just as I thought, that I had found that one thing that I could be bitching about, you turn around and makes it part of the package.
    You are making it really hard to be unsatisfied!!! :)

    1. Nemanja Aleksic

      Eh, I’m sure you’ll think of something :)

      Thank you for your continuing feedback during the Orion development.

  13. Wayne van Elsen

    We are super impressed with the new Orion platform. It was the main reason we are using ManageWP.

    And our clients love the new reports :)

    1. Nemanja Aleksic

      It will just keep getting better for your clients in the coming months, Wayne :)

  14. geraldjim

    One of the great things about you guy’s is that you listen and talk to your users. Great set of improvements

    1. Nemanja Aleksic

      Thank you, Gerald.

      You, and other users like you, are of enormous help in the Orion development process. By listening to what you say and how you use Orion we ended up with a completely different, and waaay better dashboard design.

      Our Head of Design even dedicated an article to Orion UX:
      http://managewp.com/evolving-managewp-user-interface-around-activities

  15. petaqui

    As usual… AWESOME guys!! You rock :) Keep working hard, and we will keep spreading love around you =)

    1. Nemanja Aleksic

      It’s a deal! :)

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