WordPress is a great tool for developing websites. I manage several websites for local businesses, organizations, and churches, so I am always looking for ways to simplify and streamline how I manage the sites. Here are a few of the tools I use to make my life easier.
InfiniteWP allows you to manage all your self-hosted WordPress sites from one dashboard. After installing this on your server, you install a plugin on each site you want to manage. Then, by simply logging into your InfiniteWP dashboard, you can easily access the dashboard of any of your WordPress sites. You can also update plugins, themes, and even WordPress itself from inside the InfiniteWP dashboard. This has saved me hours of time, and it ensures that my sites are up-to-date and secure. The best part is that it is completely free. They do offer premium plugins, but I haven’t found a big need for the plugins.
BackupBuddy has saved me numerous times. I use it to backup all of my sites. You can schedule backups and even send them to remote destinations like Dropbox or Amazon S3 Storage. This is a premium plugin with a premium price, but it is worth it. I upgraded to the lifetime Gold package when they ran a promotion, and I haven’t regretted it. I backup all my sites to an Amazon S3 Bucket, and I also use this plugin to move sites to a new server. I have a staging site with all my favorite plugins and themes installed, so I just copy it to a new server whenever it’s time to start a new site. It works fast, and it has allowed me to also roll back plugin and theme changes that cause problems.
There are numerous WordPress security plugins, but Sucuri Security is one of my favorites. It will help protect and harden your site against attacks, and it will also scan your site for any problems. The basic version of the plugin is free, but if you ever get hacked, you might want to consider paying for their full security service.
Believe it or not, I actually enjoy getting paid for my work on websites. I recently started using Sprout Invoices, and it has really helped me keep track of invoices and estimates for clients. This works as a plugin on my WordPress site, and it prepares invoices and estimates that can be viewed directly on the site. You can manage and add invoices from the WordPress dashboard, and invoices can even be paid online using PayPal. The basic version of this plugin is free, but you will want to upgrade if you want detailed reporting and more customization options.