Iâ€™m a firm believer in WP management consoles. Iâ€™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, Iâ€™m predicting trouble for the WP management console â€œindustryâ€. 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 â€œAutomatic background updatesâ€ in WordPress 3.7 already took away the main raison dâ€™Ãªtre for using a 3rd-party WP management console. (Especially as the default for these auto updates is â€œOnâ€ and the user interface doesnâ€™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, itâ€™s clear that the feature will eventually encompass major core updates, as well as plugin and theme updates.
So, to go back to Jetpackâ€™s new Site Management feature, why does this pose a threat to 3rd-party WP management consoles? Simply put, itâ€™s freakinâ€™ awesome! Have a look at the management console at https://wordpress.com/plugins. While the initial focus appears to be on managing/updating plugins, itâ€™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 itâ€™s pretty clear theyâ€™re going to have to add some serious value to WordPress management in order to survive.
You heard it here first.