In the event of heavy rain, the singer Rihanna recommended, a few years ago, to take refuge under an umbrella.
Finally, in English, it was rather his “umbrella, ella, ella, eh, eh, eh”. Attention, I see you pushing the ditty behind your screen, huh.
Today I suggest you use WP Umbrella eh, eh, eh. A very practical tool, not when falling from halberds, but rather for manage maintenance of multiple WordPress sites from the same dashboard.
At the end of this article, you will know all the features of WP Umbrella and how to set it up with detailed explanations and visual examples. Get ready for a rain of information!
What is WP Umbrella?
WP Umbrella is a freemium tool that makes managing, maintaining, and monitoring your WordPress sites effortless. It alerts you in particular in the event of a problem by carrying out security checks, and allows you to update and save your sites in a few clicks.
It works in particular with the help of a free extension: Manage Backup & Monitor (4K+ active installations), to be activated from your WordPress dashboard on the sites of your choice.
This plugin then links to a SaaS platform (Software as a serviceSoftware as a Service), on which you find all your sites on the same dashboard.
This platform is available online, without having to go through the interface of each of your WordPress sites to perform your maintenance and management tasks.
Behind this project 100% made in France (cocorico!) launched in 2020, we find two friends who have known each other since the age of 4:
- Thomas Deneulina developer who notably worked for SEOPress or Weglot;
- Aurelio Vollewho “has worked in the public affairs department of major international companies”is it specified on the About page of the WP Umbrella site.
Now involved full-time in the development of their tool since December 2021, the two friends have an ambition with WP Umbrella: “help agencies and freelancers in their WordPress maintenance activity” to allow them to “save a ton of time” and D’“have peace of mind”.
To do this, they rely on 4 key ideas:
- the ease of use of their solutionwhich you will surely see transpiring during this test;
- time saving ;
- great support (customer support);
- customer satisfactionwho have already managed to gain the trust of more than 1,000 users, according to data provided on their site.
It takes at least that for a tool that wants to walk on the toes of one of the giants of the maintenance sector, ManageWP (owned by the American hosting giant GoDaddy).
In any case, WP Umbrella poses as a credible alternative, as you will see throughout these lines.
To get started, learn how to enable WP Umbrella on your WordPress site.
Here is the procedure to follow, in 3 steps, in order to take advantage of the services of WP Umbrella.
Step 1: Create an account on the WP Umbrella site
First go to the WP Umbrella website, and click on the “Start a free trial” button.
On the next page, enter the following:
- Your first name ;
- your name ;
- Your email address ;
- a password.
WP Umbrella will then ask you, for information, how many sites you manage. The tool will even offer to automatically connect the first site of your choice using its URL.
For the purposes of this tutorial, I’ll skip this handy option to show you the whole process in detail, from the WP Umbrella interface.
Step 2: Add your WordPress site to WP Umbrella
Here I am on my WP Umbrella dashboard, for the moment empty (logical). To add your site, it’s very simple: click on the aptly named button “Add website”.
- the name of your site;
- its URL;
- the name of your host, ex: o2switch (aff link).
Click on “Create website” to finish.
In a snap, your site is already present on your dashboard, look:
Step 3: Activate WP Umbrella on your WordPress site
At this time, WP Umbrella says it cannot communicate with your WordPress site. This will be possible by activating its dedicated home extension, then entering your API key.
To do this, first copy this API key to your WP Umbrella interface, by clicking on “Your API key” :
From there, go to your WordPress dashboard, in the menu Extensions > Add. Type “WP Umbrella” in the search bar, then install and activate the extension:
Finish by activating your API key by going to Settings > WP Umbrella:
Remember to click the button “Save” to register the API key. And that’s it, it’s all good. WP Umbrella is now connected to your WordPress site.
Do this to add any other site to WP Umbrella, by activating the extension on the site in question, then entering your API key. The latter can be used identically on all your sites.
WP Umbrella may tell you that it cannot connect to your site, even after successfully adding your API key. The use of a security plugin (ex: Sucuri, WordFence, iThemes Security) may be involved, since it can block Rest API of WordPress, which WP Umbrella uses. Another possible cause: your host may be blocking WP Umbrella’s IP address.
If this happens, contact WP Umbrella support for more information.
Now everything happens on the online dashboard of WP Umbrella. I suggest you go back there to discover one by one all the options offered by the tool.
What are the features of WP Umbrella?
Dashboard operating mode
The dashboard of WP Umbrella is characterized first of all by its simplicity and clarity. You have two main tabs to make your settings:
- ” Site (s “which lists all the sites you have added;
- “Bulk Actions”which allows you to perform a mass optimization of your plugins (eg updates) and the Heart of WordPress.
We appreciate having a search bar to quickly find a site, for example (when you have dozens to manage, it’s very practical).
Just like the possibility of organizing the display of your sites (Projects) according to different filters: fastest or slowest site, site which encounters the most PHP errors, or even site unavailable.
At this point, we can regret the lack of translation of the dashboard in French, even if it does not disturb the general understanding. Options are easy to find, thanks to a well-thought-out UI (user interface).
To find all the features offered for each site, click on the name of the site in question.
Eight tabs show you the different possible settings, which you will discover just below.
Do you have a hundred WordPress sites to add to WP Umbrella? Its creators have developed a technology to add them en masse. Just forward them a CSV file, your login credentials, and your login page URL via email, and they’ll do it for you (More info on this page).
Uptime and performance monitoring
WP Umbrella allows in the first place to monitor the uptime of your WordPress site, and to notify you in the event of a breakdown. In English, we call ituptime monitoring.
Simply put, here’s how it works: as soon as you add a WordPress site to WP Umbrella, it starts checking the health of your web hosting server at regular intervals (eg every 5 minutes).
As soon as a problem is detected, it notifies you by email or Slack that something is no longer working. As you can’t be 24 hours a day monitoring the state of your site, it’s just essential.
Indeed, it happens that a WordPress site is not always available and accessible, for example due to an overload of the hosting server, or bugs encountered on your site, during the deployment of automatic updates.
Unavailability can be particularly problematic if you sell products on a WooCommerce-type online store (your turnover may be impacted).
To set the monitoring of your site, go to the tab “Uptime/Performance”. Settings (“Settings”) allow:
- activate or deactivate the monitoring. WP Umbrella specifies that deactivation is useful when you operate maintenance on your site, for example;
- to choose the frequency of verification (2 mins to 30 mins);
- to check the availability of your site from the region of your choice (Asia, Western Europe, United States, Australia), for a more precise result.
Practical tip : Choose to alert the people of your choice in case of unavailability of your site, by entering their e-mail in the Settings > Notification tab.
In addition, you can also have a detailed account of the response time and HTTP errors detected on several graphs, which you can filter by dates:
PHP error monitoring of plugins and themes
After HTTP errors, place to PHP errors. The latter can occur for several reasons, for example during a conflict between two extensions, or because your version of PHP – the language on which WordPress runs – is no longer up to date.
WP Umbrella is able to detect them on your extensions and themesand displays them in the tab “php Issues” (PHP issues):
When it detects any, the tool shows you the type of WordPress PHP error generated, the file and the line concerned, or the messages displayed by the error.
This option is intended above all for developers, who will appreciate having a detailed overview of any problems to be corrected before deploying a site in production, for example.
As for the monitoring of your site, you can be notified in real time by Slack or email as soon as an error is detected. Solving the problem does not negatively impact the performance and security of your WordPress site.
After monitoring PHP errors, place the third tab that you will find at the level of each site: the so-called “Updates”.
This is where you will manage all active plugin and theme updates on each of your WordPress sites.
WP Umbrella will notify you of available updates, which you will also see directly on the insert presenting each site.
On the page displaying the list of your plugins and themes, you can either update the one of your choice by checking the box associated with it, or update the whole set at once by selecting all :
Click on “Safe Update” to start the update. In this regard, WP Umbrella specifies that it offers you a secure update technology.
That is to say that in the event of a problem during its deployment, the tool is able to restore the previous version of the problematic theme or extension so that your site remains available.
Updating your WordPress site (Core, themes and extensions) is essential to secure it, fix bugs, and benefit from new features. Find all the steps to follow in our dedicated article.
Like any good self-respecting management and maintenance tool, WP Umbrella then offers a feature to save your sites, accessible from the “Backups”.
WP Umbrella offers two types of backup:
- automatic backup, based on incremental backup technology. This means that WP Umbrella saves each time only the changes that have appeared since the last save, in order to avoid overloading your server;
- manual backup, if you need a copy of your site immediately. On the other hand, you are limited to 3 manual backups per month because it requires more resources and storage space, indicates WP Umbrella in its documentation.
How to create an automatic backup with WP Umbrella?
To configure automatic backups, go to Backups > Settings and set the following options:
- backup periodicity (hourly, every 12 hours, daily, weekly or monthly). For a static site whose content does not change, a monthly or weekly backup is more than enough. The more the content of your site evolves, the more the backup frequency must be shortened. For example, for an e-commerce store, prefer at least one daily backup;
- backing up WordPress filesor not (Save files);
- save the databaseor not (Save database).
You can of course download the backup of your choice by clicking on the day of your choice, then on “Get Your Backup”.
How to create a manual backup with WP Umbrella?
Need a backup right away? Proceed manually by going to Backups > Overview.
Click on “Backup Now” and let WP Umbrella do it.
As soon as the backup is done, you will receive a notification on your dashboard and can download it.
Regarding backups, WP Umbrella indicates that they are stored in Europe, on Google Cloud servers, in order to comply with the GDPR.
Automatic backups are stored for 60 days, compared to 14 days for manual backups.
Along with updates, it is crucial to make regular backups of your WordPress site, again mainly for security reasons. If you do not use WP Umbrella or a competing tool, activate a backup extension on your site, to protect yourself in the event of a glitch (hacking, incompatibility between plugins, server malfunction, etc.). Find our selection of the best WordPress backup plugins to find one that suits your needs.
Health checks and safety monitoring
By the way, I forgot to ask you: does your WordPress site follow certain security best practices? To find out, go to the tab “Security” by WP Umbrella.
The purpose of this tab is to alert you to certain key aspects to strengthen the security of your site.
The tool tells you, for example, if:
- your SSL certificate is active. Otherwise, you will be notified immediately;
- WordPress Core, plugins, themes and your version of PHP are up to date;
- certain WordPress constants are enabled ;
- your site can be crawled by search engines.
If no site is infallible, strengthening the security of your site is essential to protect you against hacker attacks, which have for example increased by 150% between 2020 and 2021.
To transform your site into a safe, watch the Le Point Sécu video series, available on the WPMarmite YouTube channel:
Creation of maintenance reports
All this information and functionalities are very practical, but how about giving them to your customers as well, by detailing to them exactly the actions implemented on their respective sites?
This is possible with WP Umbrella, which allows you to design custom maintenance reports.
By default, a report includes, for example, the availability rate, average performance, security checks or the number of updated themes and plugins.
Beyond that, you can also customize your report in the language of your choice (French or English), and modify its appearance (logo, colors, add information about your company such as address, telephone number, city, country etc.).
Each report can be exported to PDF and allows you to give your clients a professional and detailed overview of the operations you have carried out.
To design a maintenance report, go to the tab “Reports” and fill in the information of your choice.
Finally, note that you can set up a white label report, that is to say without the mention WP Umbrella appearing.
To do this, check the box “White Label” in Reports > Settings.
Speaking of white labeling, let’s elaborate on this point a little more in the last feature to present to you, just below.
White label work
To return an even more professional look, you may not want your clients to know that you are using a plugin to manage the maintenance of their site(s), in this case WP Umbrella. 😉
To make your life easier, WP Umbrella can work in white label (white-label) and simply make yourself invisible to your customers.
There are two options in this regard, to be found by clicking on « White Label » in your profile:
You can either:
completely remove the existence of the plugin at the plugins page level, on your client’s WordPress dashboard. It will no longer appear alongside other active extensions on the site.
To do this, activate the following option: “I want to hide WP Umbrella from the plugin list” ;
customize WP Umbrella branding by replacing it with yours, at the level of the presentation text of the extension.
Fill in the information of your choice, both in the texts of the plugin, and on the page indicating that you have correctly entered your API key.
And presto, you are done with discovering the features of WP Umbrella. So, seduced? Find out how much it costs to use this tool.
How much does WP Umbrella cost?
WP Umbrella can be used for free for 14 dayswhich gives you a first glimpse of how the tool works.
After this time, WP Umbrella specifies that you will only have access to their site health monitoring functionality and their secure backup technology.
To take advantage of all the features of the tool presented in this article, WP Umbrella offers a single, transparent and clear price: $1.49/month per site (about €1.35, non-binding, cancellation possible at any time).
If we stick to the financial aspect only, the price offered is very attractive compared to what the competition offers:
- ManageWP does not offer a single rate, and charges each of its options individually from $0.70/month (approximately €0.60) at a minimum. However, you can perform certain basic operations for free (updates and backup of your site only once a month);
- MainWP offers many free features and its premium add-ons pack is displayed at $34.80/month including VAT (around €32);
- InfiniteWP is billed at $147/year (around €133) for a maximum of 10 sites;
- WP-Remote has a free version allowing for example to update all your WordPress sites. Its premium offer starts from $29/month (about €26) for use on up to 5 sites;
- iControlWP costs from €13/month for 10 sites;
- CMS Order you will be billed starting at $8/month (around €7) for 5 sites;
- iThemes Sync is sold for $6.99/month (around €6.35) for 5 sites.
Of course, the comparison is imperfect because it does not take into account all the features of each competitor offered. One tool may be more expensive than another, but if it offers more advanced options and more, that’s understandable.
You must be attentive to your needs when choosing one, and check that the options that the tool offers meet your expectations, so as not to overpay for its use.
In the end, what emerges from this comparison is that WP Umbrella is positioned in the price range offered by its competitors.
Our final opinion
Ensuring the maintenance of your sites is essential to ensure its proper functioning in terms of performance, security and SEO, in particular.
Throughout these lines, you have discovered in detail the mode of operation of WP Umbrella, and its different options.
It is a very good tool which is intended above all people managing the maintenance of several WordPress sitesfor themselves or their clients (freelancers, agencies etc.).
Its use can be suitable for both beginners and more technical profiles. The tool particularly appealed to me during this test for the following reasons:
- its handling is simple and easier than with solutions like ManageWP or MainWP, for example;
- its user interface is very well done. You don’t get lost in the middle of endless menus;
- his options which cover, without overdoing it, what is expected of a maintenance tool (backups, updates, monitoringalerts, customer reports, white label);
- his price : for $1.49/site (€1.35), you have all the options offered by WP Umbrella.
Conversely, we can regret the absence of a French translation of the online tool. Too bad, while the extension is French. A pack system at a decreasing rate would also have been advantageous for people wishing to ensure the maintenance of a large number of sites (eg around fifty).
Personally, I have used ManageWP for several years to manage the maintenance of several sites, and I am very happy with it.
If, on your side, you do not yet have a dedicated tool to manage several sites from the same dashboard, WP Umbrella remains a solid solution to carry out certain basic operations, provided you have a small budget for this, because the tool is not free.
What do you think ? Have you already adopted it, perhaps? Let’s continue the discussion in the comments.