It’s been a fun week here at VoodooPress. I’m pretty new to the whole reviewing thing. But I really enjoy learning about anything to do with WordPress, and I love passing the info to all of you. This time I was approached by the Infinite WordPress (InfiniteWP) folks to review their product. This is a new product, and I can definitely see a future here. I can tell you now, I’m keeping it installed, and I’m excited to see where this goes! If you are interested at all in a central way to manage your installs, read on! (Just a note, this is NOT a paid review – these are my honest thoughts after trying InfiniteWP out)
The first thing I want to mention, is some of the difficulties I ran into while installing. This is absolutely no fault of InfiniteWP, and was all on my end. That being said, they were very helpful on their support forums and through email, and helped me get on the right train of thought to fix things. I mention the difficulties in case you run in to the same thing. Basically for me, a combination of aggressive minification on CloudFlare, and the fact that for some reason, W3 Total Cache (On my main domain) was interfering on my subdomain. I turned off the minification, checked all my DNS settings, flushed caches, and eventually got there.
It may be tempting to try to compare this service with ManageWP, another service I’ve experimented with (and do like), but I’ll hold off on that I’ll probably write a comparison in a different article. InfiniteWP is different – it offers similar services to be sure, but here we get a self-hosted solution, something I really enjoy. Setting it up is really easy, I honestly did the entire install from my Kindle Fire. If you’ve installed WP manually, you can definitely do this. Pick a location (I like a subdomain: manage.domain.com is catchy), unarchive the zip there, set up a mySQL DB, and run the installer inputting your DB details. Done!
Once you have everything set up, and you log in, you can start adding sites. I wanted to test this out for real, so I put in all of my sites. To be able to do this, you install the client plugin on each of your sites (search IWP Client from the plugin dashboard in your site). Once activated you get your API key. Add the site back in your InfiniteWP dash (WP icon in the bottom left of your screen), and fill in the credentials – URL, Admin user name, and API key. That’s it. I had all mine up in no time.
Once you get all your sites in there, check out what you can do. The first thing you’ll probably see is any updates you have available (if there are any). This alone is reason enough to install InfiniteWP, you can update WP Core, Plugins, and Themes for all of your managed sites right from this central location. I absolutely love this! Currently, this only supports free plugins and themes from the WP repo, it will be cool if some mechanism for expanding this is made available in the future. But even if not, you can reach each site’s dashboard through InfiniteWP, we’ll discuss that soon.
We can also run backups from InfiniteWP. You can select individual sites, or you can back them all up. You can also choose whether to backup all files and the DB, or just the DB. I immediately got all of my databases backed up. Pretty cool! Of course in my opinion you can’t keep backups of your server files on the server right? Well, you have a manage backups screen, and you can delete backups, and you can download them. Always handy! Even cooler, you can restore your backups. We also have an activity screen, keep tabs with what you’ve done. You can see when your data was refreshed, when updates were made, when backups were made, etc.
InfiniteWP has a simple setting panel too. There are a couple of tabs where a few things can be adjusted. One of the tabs offers the ability to whitelist some IP addresses, which is nice for security. We can also scale various settings up or down, such as max server read/write requests, max simultaneous requests, and time delay between requests – all good ways to keep things in check with your server.
The other settings tab available to us is is account settings. My favourite feature in the tab is the ability to customize email settings. We can set up daily, weekly, or monthly emails to be sent to us informing us of available updates. These can incluse WordPress Core, plugins, and themes. That can be quite happy to remind you to log back in and make sure everything is up to speed!
Finally, a neat feature we alluded to earlier, you can open your website’s dashes up within InfiniteWP. A handy way to catch your premium themes and plugins for updates right now. Also using the same concept, you can post to each of your sites, etc. A nifty way to click through to each of your sites already logged in for various tasks., pretty much a single login point
As I stated earlier, InfiniteWP is quite new. It’s already a simple to use tool that offers some quality, useful things to users. I recommend it completely the way it stands. The exciting thing though, if you visit their site – you can catch a glimpse of future plans. There appear to be plans for a variety of addins for InfiniteWP including the ability to manage postys and comments, bulk content creation, front end editing, and more backup options. It looks like some of these will cost money, but folks have to make a living right? I personally think the free service is already stellar, and if they can make the right kinds of premium services, I can see people paying for some useful upgrades.
So, have any of you tried InfiniteWP yet? What do you think? If you haven’t, give it a whirl and follow up with me.