iThemes Sync Review
Easy to use, free plan, time saver through one-click updates and bulk installations, Google Analytics integration, remote backups, 2-factor authentication, premium support, Sync hiding from clients
Lacks page and posts management options, no one-click WordPress updates, login necessary for switching amongst sites
A hosted WordPress management service ideal for those who need reliable backups and updates at a competitive price
Sync is the new WordPress (WP) management service introduced by
iThemes, which is designed to manage WordPress site updates, including
plugins and themes as well as backups through a single dashboard. In
fact, it is one of the newest entries into what is becoming a busy
market. Developed by the talented team behind BackupBuddy, iThemes seems
to have taken a logical move.
By default, iThemes Sync supports up to 10 sites for free, regardless of whether you are an iThemes member or not. The core supports auto updates to some extent, manages backups on all sites, and comes with latest security features to ensure reliable access.
Apart from the FREE plan, there are three Sync plans that are purely upgrades: 25, 50, and 100 site plan. As the names suggest, each plan differs in terms of number of WP sites supported as well as price. Obviously, the cheapest one is plan supporting 25 sites.
It is vital to note that you cannot combine Sync plans. For example, if you are having the free plan of 10 sites and choose to upgrade to the 25-site plan, do not expect the upgrade to manage 35 sites. You can only monitor up to 25 total sites.
iThemes Sync is a hosted service, which indicates managing from iThemes website. For installing and setting up iThemes sync, you need to download its plugin from the official site of iThemes Sync. This plugin allows adding up to 10 sites but if you wish to add more, it is necessary to buy one of the aforementioned subscription plans, which meets your requirements.
For downloading the plugin, it is essential to have an iThemes account through which you will be managing all your WordPress sites. Once you signup, you can download iThemes Sync present in the members panel. After downloading the plugin, you are all set to install and activate the service on all your sites that you wish to manage.
After activation, you first need to enable iThemes licensing by submitting iThemes username and password to obtain automatic updates for iThemes Sync. You can now connect your WordPress site to Sync after which a button will be visible for taking you to the iThemes site for managing the connected site. For adding more sites, simply repeat the process on all WordPress sites for managing them under one roof.
iThemeSync's Dashboard is tidy and well organized so that managing all your WP sites becomes easy and quick. Once you sign into your account of iThemes and click the Sync tab, you can see all your sites that you have added.
In the list, just click a site to see what you can do for that site through options. It shows you the available updates for installation and backups that you can take.
Currently, you can update themes, plugins, and core WordPress code itself. You can also activate and deactivate themes and plugins. Moreover, you can do these tasks and perform backups even from your smartphone because iThemes Sync's dashboard has a mobile responsive design.
The gear button besides each site shows quick shortcuts. This list involves links such as WordPress site's dashboard for easy navigation through your sites for adding content, refresh site info, and update all (whatever is pending).
You can take two types of backups: Full and Database. For viewing the latest backups for the site and taking a backup, you will need to install BackupBuddy on your site, which is a reliable WP backup solution. With this solution, you can also create new backups directly through Sync.
This feature allows hiding the Sync from the admin menus of a site. This is useful if you are a WP developer administering several sites for your clients. Through this feature, you can remotely update the client sites at a single click.
iThemes Sync is ideal
for maintenance tasks on budget. You can consider it for lower end
hosting environment and administration of sites across multiple hosting
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