Are you a ManageWP customer? Well I’ve got good news! As of today you have access to Orion, the latest iteration of the ultimate in WordPress management tools.
Some quick back story if you’re not familiar with ManageWP:
- It’s a single control center for managing all of your WordPress sites
- It lets people who develop sites for clients offer maintenance plans
- It launched in 2010
- I’ve used it since 2013
- It crossed the 1 million download mark in 2014 (so it’s, uh, popular)
So what exactly is Orion? Imagine if ManageWP took all they’ve learned about how customers use their product, plus all the feedback along the way and then rolled it into a built-new-from-the-ground-up product that’s even better than the original. That’s Orion.
I’ve long sung the praise of ManageWP “classic”, so I was curious to get my hands on Orion. They opened up their beta program in early 2015 and I was all over that like honey on a hot biscuit. It’s been very cool to be part of the feedback process during development.
Enough about me, what does any of this mean for you?
- Customers on paid plans get immediate access to Orion at no extra cost
- You’ll get new features for free when Orion officially replaces ManageWP
- You can easily switch between ManageWP classic and Orion dashboards
According to this article, if you have a paid ManageWP plan, you have immediate access to Orion “limited”. I’m calling it limited because not all the features are ready for primetime (that’s slated for February 2016). Until that time, you can take advantage of “mirror mode” – at the click of a button, you can switch between dashboards, managing the same sites in either mode.
Your ManageWP dashboard is linked to your Orion dashboard…This way you are free to explore Orion, but when you need things done ASAP, your familiar ManageWP dashboard is there for you.
If you’re so excited you can stand to finish this article, then go log into your dashboard!
Orion includes improved versions of these classic features:
- Scheduled backups (manual or automatic, depending on your plan)
- Plugin, theme, and WordPress updates
- Optimization (delete mass spam comments, post revisions, and database dingleberries)
- Stats (hooks up to Google Analytics account)
- Comment management
- Client reports
Plus some fun new things:
- Tags and Clients – This concept is sort of similar to tagging in WordPress. You can now sort sites on different criteria (i.e. all sites from Client A or all sites that are tagged as “development”)
- Improved Sync – You don’t have to wait for one task to finish running before starting another. Keep working without waiting.
This is just the beginning. There’s a lot more on the feature road map, plus a change in pricing structure. I’m excited about that as it will allow multiple plans on a single account. I currently have two ManageWP accounts – one for sites I manage with the basic Standard plan and another for sites I manage with the Professional plan. Eventually I can manage all of my sites under a single account and only pay for the features I need for a particular site.
I don’t know for certain, but I’d guess that most of the feedback during the beta period centered more around user interface than the features. The dashboard you see today is the result of ManageWP taking all that feedback and using it to adjust the layout, menus, flow, etc.
(Hey Vladimir or Nemanja, if you read this, it’d be really cool to do a post on the metamorphosis of the dashboard during beta).
The dashboard is a streamlined version of ManageWP classic, providing:
- All-site status overview
- Thumbnail/list view (see each individual site in your account in either a thumbnail or list view)
- Detail view for each site
The sidebar is gone, giving you more room to see site details. The visuals are toned down and, at the risk of sounding ridiculous, it’s actually kind of peaceful — even when updates are needed, I don’t feel like the screen is shouting at me.
If you’re coming over from ManageWP classic, there will definitely be a little getting used to, but I’ve found it an overall better user experience.
To sum up:
If you’re an existing ManageWP customer, today is an awesome day for you! Seriously – stop reading this and go log into your dashboard.
If you’re not a customer yet – don’t worry, there’s always room on the bus for one more. 😉
I’m a ManageWP affiliate and can offer you a 10% discount on a new account. No coupon code needed – just use this link to sign up.