One WordPress site. Two WP sites. Now, five. Nine. And then, like ants in the house, all of a sudden dozens.
It would take me hours every month to make backups, research the compatibility and stability of wordpress core upgrades and plugins. And, of course, the oh, cr^#!, that plugin hasn’t been upgraded in years, now I have to find a new one…
One day, while researching how to get WordPress to NOT make automatic updates to sites, so that I could say “when” after I knew the updates would be less likely to wreak havoc, I ran across a new service that allowed me to control auto-updates…
oh, wow, and control spam…
and look there, an automatic backup system that backs up the data, files, AND works with godaddy shared-server hosting (that’s another topic that I won’t elaborate on further for now).
When I looked into this service, iControlWP, it was fairly new and small. That made me nervous. So, I tried the top wordpress management service for one of my sites, and boy-howdy was it cumbersome. I think it was doing a good job, but I couldn’t really tell because the evidence wasn’t obvious.
iControlWP with the WorpDrive backup system is a little more expensive than some of the other popular wordpress site management systems, so I was on the fence.
So I sent an email to iControlWP with a few key questions from what I’d just learned about what I really wanted the service to do. Holy Moly! I received a support email back within a few hours (these guys are in Ireland, and counting the time-difference, I’m not sure they actually sleep!), with several paragraphs of information. It was obvious that Paul had really read my email: he responded to everything I asked with thought and complete sentences, expanding upon some topics with even more helpful information. We had several email conversations, and he was genuinely interested in how their service could serve graphic designers, too.
Free 30-day trial. Customer SERVICE. I tried it.
I’ve been using iControlWP and WorpDrive for about 8 months now. I LOVE the system: the speed, the dependability, the way it functions (it lets me know what’s needed and what’s done), the way it looks (the visuals and navigation flow make sense), the security features (on my sites and their’s). They continue to be pro-active in feature development and feature completeness. And best of all, customer service continues to be exceptional, which also means they must be sleeping.
Here are some of the iControlWP and WordDrive features and service that I really dig (they have more than what’s on my list here):
Confirm & proof backups.
I may download backups.
It keeps track of all the plugins on all my sites and what’s not up-to-date.
I can update all the plugins on one site with one click.
I can update all instances of a particular plugin on all my sites with one click.
If an update breaks anything on a site, I can revert the update. Wow. Cool.
I can see when all the above things have happened for each site.
It keeps the dang malware out! (along with me keeping my WP core & plugins updated)
It manages spam with several tools.
They respond to my problems or questions about the service. Quickly! Thoroughly!
It is something that, as a graphic designer, I can understand & count on without coding.
They have many explanations for the “why”s of the features that are in layman’s terms in addition to tech-speak.
I feel like they really care.
The short story: I am much relieved to have this tool for managing my WordPress sites. It truly has saved my sanity when it comes to keeping up with them all. It is key in helping me do my job well for my clients.
I don’t know if they even have a referral/discount program, and I don’t care. I just want to put my gratitude for their service out there, and hopefully help some folks who may be searching for relief from chasing around their WordPress site’s or sites’ upkeep.