WordPress just released a new feature in Jetpack: Site Management. This is no doubt a response to the growing need to get people to keep their sites updated. Keeping your website up-to-date is crucial for web security these days, but the truth is most people do not upgrade their site or plugins. From my experience most people either are unaware their site needs to be updated, or they are too afraid to do it because of the potential risk it has to “break” things. In WordPress 3.7 they introduced automatic security upgrades in order to help this issue. But this does not include plugin updates. Needless to say, upgrading your WordPress site is a definite must, and your better off doing it than not. There are many benefits to keeping an updated site: the main one being avoiding security exploits, a.k.a. getting hacked. Most of the time, if your site is up-to-date you should be fine, but old outdated plugins can cause huge security vulnerabilities.
Another benefit of using Site Management is saving time! Just imagine: updating all your sites from one location instead of having to log into each one. If you have over a dozen like I do, then yes, this is fantastic!
Managing multiple WordPress sites from a single location is not a new concept. Some current popular choices include: InfiniteWP, MainWP, ManageWP, and WPRemote. I’m sure there are more, but these are the ones I am aware of off the top of my head. Each one has a different interface, but the overall goal is the same: manage multiple WordPress sites from one location and keep everything up to date.
I’ve worked on hundreds of client sites, and almost every time when I sign in to the backend their site needs to be updated. I’ve even worked on sites still using WordPress 2.x!
In conclusion, I’m glad to see this features added in JetPack, especially for managing multiple WordPress sites (from WordPress.com). What would be even better is if the automatic plugin updating feature was baked right into WP core and not just JetPack. At least now it is an option that WordPress is offering you, instead of a 3rd party. We’ll see how it goes.