You’ll have to log into each site manually, and then run an update on each site, making sure that all the sites are upto date. It’s something that you get into the habit of doing, to make sure you’re website is as secure as possible, and that you’re benefiting from the latest features, and updates that the WordPress community has been working on. If you’re also using plugins, then chances are, there’s a whole bunch of plugin updates that need to happen too. Finally, you could also need to update your themes, as they often get updated as well. (Just make sure you have a ‘child’ theme with any customisations, before you start updating a theme that you personalised for your site, otherwise all the changes you painstakingly made will get wiped away in a single update, losing you all your hard work, and effort to look unique and special online).
The other challenges with managing multiple wordpress installations is the regular review of the comments, which can sometimes amass into the hundreds, once the spammers get hold of your site, and add it to their list.
As well as allowing you to run updates, across all your sites simultaneously. (Though be warned, updating all the plugins at once, can ‘break’ your site, and so you may want to be sure to test your site, after you run the updates and make sure everything’s still working as it should). You have the possibility of backing up all your sites from a single location. (Admittedly you have to upgrade from the ‘free’ plan, that let’s you have upto 5 wordpress sites connected to your account, with a limited feature set, to run the regular backups), but once it’s there, a single scheduled command, means that you can have a regular backup of all of your sites run, and downloaded either to a designated email address, a dropbox account, or now a google drive account.
Of course, this doesn’t mean I don’t have to spend just as much time writing blog posts, or creating the content. But now that I don’t have to spend as long ‘managing’ and ‘maintaining’ my websites, I can focus more of my attention on the writing and engagement with the community, allowing me to focus on the things that I want to do, rather than the things I ‘had’ to do, to keep things ticking along.
I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts if you do give ManageWP a go on their free trial account, and let me know what you use, to manage multiple WordPress Sites, how you backup, upgrade, and manage all your comments ad posts across a number of different wordpress installations. So far, I think ManageWP is probably the best tool I’ve found – but if you know better, I can’t wait to hear about it in the comments below.