WP Umbrella gives you everything you need to easily manage and monitor multiple WordPress sites from a single location.
- Single Dashboard To Manage All Sites
- Themes and Plugin Management
- Performance & Uptime Monitoring
- PHP Error Monitoring
- Health Checks & Security Monitoring
- Elegant Client Reports
- Reliable Backups for Complete Peace of Mind
- White Labeling
WP Umbrella Account Setup
- Start 14-Day Free Trial and/or go for the Club’s 20% OFF discount.
- Click the ‘Skip Onboarding’ link.
- WP Umbrella Dashboard > Click ‘Add Website’.
- Enter the website details and click ‘Add Website’.
If you get a message relating to Cloudflare, please refer to my note below and then use WP Umbrella’s ‘Re-sync’ button to finish up the connection to your website.
Note: If you’re using Cloudflare, as I do, you may see a message stating WP Umbrella can’t communicate with your website. This is easily remedied by whitelisting WP Umbrella within your Cloudflare account, and I cover this in my Cloudflare guide.
WP Umbrella WordPress Plugin
Next up, we need to install the WP Umbrella WordPress plugin on each website that we want to manage.
- WordPress Dashboard > Plugins > Click ‘Add New’.
- Enter ‘wp umbrella’ in the search box.
- Click ‘Install Now’ next to the WP Umbrella plugin.
- Click ‘Activate’.
At this point, WP Umbrella will display a message regarding configuring the settings for the plugin.
- Click the ‘Go to the settings’ link.
- Your API Key > Copy the API key from your WP Umbrella dashboard, paste it here, and click ‘Save’.
Note: You will see an option to enable error monitoring. If you are a website professional (or someone that wants access to this sort of information in general), this is a setting I would take a strong look at. For me, this is one of the features that made me choose WP Umbrella for WordPress Website Care.
WP Umbrella Dashboard
At this point, we should have some websites in our WP Umbrella dashboard that are successfully connecting to the service (i.e. synching), and it’s time to take advantage of all the bells and whistles.
2FA (Two-Factor Authentication)
Account Settings >Profile > Two-Factor Authentication
- Click the radio button next to the ‘Email’ option for 2FA.
- Click ‘Update two-factor authentication’.
- Log completely out of WP Umbrella. (Note: You may need to clear your WP Umbrella cookie from your browser as well.).
Going forward, any time you go to log into WP Umbrella, you will be emailed a code that you must enter to gain access.
IMPORTANT: Before you do anything else, I highly recommend that you configure 2FA to further secure your account. Why? Simple. Should someone compromise your WP Umbrella account, they would automatically be granted access to the WordPress Dashboard of every website connected to WP Umbrella. This is not a security risk that is unique to WP Umbrella, but rather a security risk you take with any solution that you log into, and why I’m such a huge proponent of securing every online account you have with 2FA.
Google Analytics v4
WP Umbrella Dashboard > Account Settings > Integrations > Google Analytics
In this section, you will use the ‘Sign In With Google’ button to authenticate with each Google account that’s needed in order to show analytics for a particular website.
If you manage Google Analytics for all of your clients, under your own account, then you would just need to authenticate that account.
Note: WP Umbrella only works with Google Analytics v4 (GA4), which is the newer technology from Google.
For those not familiar with ‘White Labeling’, this is simply the process of telling a solution to use your brand colors, brand domain, whether to hide or not hide certain aspects of the solution for your particular audience and so on.
Account Settings > White Label > WordPress Plugin
Personally, I toggle ON the very first option within the settings in this area, which is to hide the WP Umbrella plugin from the WordPress Dashboard.
I do this because there is no reason for my clients to see this plugin and you also run the risk of the client deactivating (or removing) the plugin, which would not only cause more work for you but also hinder your ability to provide the best service possible.
If you decide to not hide the plugin, there will be a number of settings available to you to further brand the plugin.
- Plugin Name
- Plugin Description
- Author Name
- Author URL
- Additional Text
- Support Email
- Company Details
Account Settings > White Label > Maintenance Reports
- Color > Set what I would call your accent color or brand color.
- Logo > Add your logo.
- Email From > Click the ‘Use a custom domain’ link. (Note: Continue onto the next section for further instructions.).
- Click ‘Add Sending Domain’.
- Enter your domain name.
- Click ‘Add Domain’.
- Enter the provided DNS records wherever you manage your DNS. (Note: I highly recommend using Cloudflare for your DNS management.).
- Click ‘Verify Domain’ and resolve all issues until you get the domain properly verified from the WP Umbrella side. (Note: Make sure to look at my notes below.).
- Click ‘Save’.
Note: One of the records is an SPF record and it is critical that you DO NOT add multiple SPF records for your domain or there will be issues. Instead, you want to append to the existing SPF record if one already exists. Please refer to this guide for configuring a single SPF record with multiple entities.
The example below is what I use for my SPF record, based on the solutions I use.
- Microsoft 365
- WP Umbrella
v=spf1 include:spf.protection.outlook.com include:spf.sendinblue.com include:mailgun.org mx ~all
Uptime / Performance
Something important to note here is that you can monitor a website’s uptime and performance without installing the WP Umbrella plugin, by simply adding the website to the WP Umbrella dashboard.
But, if you’re being billed for that website anyway, you might as well get all the perks that come from installing the WP Umbrella plugin.
The ‘Uptime / Performance’ area of the dashboard will quickly show you the Google PageSpeed Insights score for the non-mobile version of your website, as well as a history of how long your website has been online (i.e. ‘Uptime’).
Note: The following areas are accessed by going into the individual websites within the WP Umbrella dashboard.
Uptime / Performance > Settings
- Ping Interval > 2 min
- Region > Choose the region that best reflects your primary audience’s location. (Note: If you have a global audience, you might just choose to ignore this setting, but then again, maybe there is a part of the world where a majority of your global audience is located.).
- Click ‘Update Settings’.
As the WP Umbrella dashboard states, PHP errors are recorded in real time, so it’s very likely this area will be blank to start with, and hopefully forever. 🤞
The important takeaway here is to check this area of WP Umbrell should you experience any issues with your websites, as there may be some clues as to what’s going on.
From this area of the WP Umbrella dashboard, you can see which themes/plugins have updates available, view the changes included in the update (i.e. changelog), and apply any updates with the click of a button.
- Click ‘Update’ next to the theme or plugin you wish to update.
- Check the box for clearing the cache.
- Click the corresponding update button.
Note: We could really get into the geeky details about when or when not to clear your cache. If you’re a website professional, you’ll likely know what to do here, but for those that aren’t, my recommended instructions are laid out above.
Right off the bat, we see that none of the sites are backed up via WP Umbrella, which is to be expected since we just added some websites to our dashboard.
- For one of your websites, click the ‘No Backup’ button to open the dashboard for this individual website.
- Click ‘Save & Continue’.
At this point, WP Umbrella will kick off the initial backup of your website, which is a FULL backup, so it may take a bit to complete. While that’s running, we want to set up our backup schedule.
One of the real strengths of WP Umbrella over the competition is the ability to do backups more frequently, without incurring additional costs.
For example, ManageWP charges $4.60 per month for 1 hr backups. Bringing over a WooCommerce website configured for 1 hr backups on ManageWP over to WP Umbrella immediately saves you money.
Since our websites are WooCommerce-based, I recommend setting the backup frequency to ‘Hourly (1h)’, so you have the most granular restore option, should something go wrong.
There might be a concern about performance here, but since the backups are incremental (i.e. only the changes are backed up), there should be no performance implications.
- Set the backup frequency to ‘Hourly (1hr)’.
- OPTIONAL – Choose when you would like your backups to run (i.e. ‘Running Time’). (Note: I recommend trying to think of a time when your website will have the least amount of activity. If you serve a global audience, anything you choose here is likely fine, but up to you.).
- Click ‘Save & Finish’.
Having scheduled backups that run and run successfully is critical. But, what if you’re about to make a change to your website and you would like to take a manual backup first? No problem!
WP Umbrella allows you to perform up to three manual backups, which are stored for up to 14 days.
- WP Umbrella Dashboard > Click the ‘Backup’ button for your website.
- Click ‘Create Manual Backup’.
- Click ‘Make a backup’.
This area gives you some nice information about a particular website and I’ve listed some of those below.
- WordPress Version
- PHP Version
- Update Status
- SSL Status
- Search Engine Indexability Status
- PHP Version Status
- Key WordPress Core File Status (wp_debug, wp_debug_display, wp_debug_log, etc.)
WP Umbrella Dashboard > Reports > General Settings
Fill out the information for your client (or for yourself), taking the time to make the reports personalized.
Once you have your first report configured, I recommend putting your email in the ‘Email To’ box, so you can send yourself a test report and make sure it looks the way you want.
This is where you configure what your clients will see within their report, the order in which they see that content, and you can even preview the report before it goes out.
- Welcome Message (Customizable)
- Performance & Uptime
- Security Check
- Custom Work (Customizable)
- Closing Message (Customizable)
This is where we will add Google Analytics to our client reports.
- Check the box to enable this for the report.
- Click the Edit link.
- From the dropdown, select the desired Google Analytics property.
- Click ‘Save’.
Schedule and Send
This is where we tell WP Umbrella how often to send out reports to clients.
Since clients do not have the option to opt in/out, I recommend that you either a.) ask your clients if they want to see reports or b.) put something in your FAQs that says reports are available upon request.
- Configure the desired schedule.
- Click ‘Send Test’ to ensure report deliverability.
- Click ‘Save and Schedule’ or click ‘Save and Finish’ if you need to come back to this at a later time.
- Click ‘Schedule Report’ to confirm.
There’s not a whole lot to this particular section. The main thing is this is where you would go to change the name of the website (i.e. project) as it appears in your WP Umbrella dashboard.
This is where we define who is going to receive notifications when there are potential issues with a particular website, uptime alerts, and so on.
- Email Notifications
- Slack Notifcations