WordPress Management Consoles

21 Dec

I’m a firm believer in WP management consoles. I’ve tried several, and have standardised on a couple to manage my own sites and those of my WP hosting/managed clients.

With the release of Version 3.3 of Jetpack, however, I’m predicting trouble for the WP management console “industry”. Why? The latest version of Jetpack includes a new feature, Site Management. To quote from the relevant page on the Jetpack site:

Site Management allows you to manage your self-hosted WordPress sites and your WordPress.com sites from a single dashboard on WordPress.com.

Despite claims to the contrary, I believe that the introduction of “Automatic background updates” in WordPress 3.7 already took away the main raison d’être for using a 3rd-party WP management console.  (Especially as the default for these auto updates is “On” and the user interface doesn’t have an Off switch.  This must be done by editing wp.config or using a plugin.)  Also, while the auto updates feature is currently limited to minor/security updates, it’s clear that the feature will eventually encompass major core updates, as well as plugin and theme updates.

So, to go back to Jetpack’s new Site Management feature, why does this pose a threat to 3rd-party WP management consoles? Simply put, it’s freakin’ awesome! Have a look at the management console at https://wordpress.com/plugins. While the initial focus appears to be on managing/updating plugins, it’s also clear to me that this is set to become a complete, fully-fledged management console for all your wordpress.com and self-hosted wordpress.org sites.

I have no insight into why WordPress/Automattic would want to take aim at these 3rd-party WP dashboard providers, who are, after all, contributing members of the WordPress ecosystem, but it’s pretty clear they’re going to have to add some serious value to WordPress management in order to survive.

You heard it here first.