Jetpack 3.3 Introduces New Centralized Dashboard for Managing Multiple WordPress Sites

Jetpack 3.3 is now available. The highlight of this release is the new centralized site dashboard feature that allows users to manage multiple Jetpack-connected WordPress sites and WordPress.com sites from one location in WordPress.com.

The new dashboard is mobile friendly and includes the centralized posting feature that was introduced in Jetpack 3.2. It also allows users to see all of their sites listed together and perform a number of housekeeping actions:

  • Plugin management: Turn plugins on or off with one click — per site or in bulk.
  • Initiate plugin updates: Update plugins for a single site or all sites in bulk.
  • Automatic updates: Turn on auto-updates for any plugin on a per-site basis or in bulk.

Jetpack 3.3 is required in order to use the plugin management features, so you’ll need to update at least one of your sites to check it out. You also need to activate Jetpack’s JSON API feature and ensure that the “Allow remote actions” setting is enabled.

To view all the plugins you have installed, visit WordPress.com/Plugins. When you click through a plugin, you’ll find a short description of it and a list of the sites where you have it installed.

jetpack-plugin-management

WordPress.com’s one dashboard to rule them all is now in direct competition with services like ManageWP, WP Remote, InfiniteWP, and several others that provide centralized site management.

As WordPress has become an increasingly popular solution for building websites, developers are often responsible for more sites than they can safely keep track of for updates. Centralized dashboard management is critical for scaling maintenance capabilities. It comes as no surprise that WordPress.com is getting its hook into self-hosted sites by moving to support centralized site management via Jetpack.

In addition to the new centralized dashboard, Jetpack 3.3 also brings many other enhancements to the plugin:

  • Adds responsive video support to BuddyPress
  • Custom Content Types: Added ‘order’ and ‘orderby’ options to portfolio shortcode
  • Display notice when Jetpack Development Mode is on
  • Compatibility with Twenty Fifteen
  • Likes: Updated the code to accept arbitrary CPTs
  • Related Posts: Allow filter by post_format
  • Sharing: add new jetpack_sharing_counts filter for option to turn off sharing counts
  • Sharing: Use the Site Logo Theme Tool and the Site Icon as fallbacks for image tags

The 3.3 release also adds several filters that allow developers to further customize Jetpack’s behavior. Check out the changelog for the full list of enhancements and improvements.

26 Comments


    1. Yes – you’ve got to wonder how people who’ve invested in competing products feel about JetPack being pushed as the top “Featured Plugin” in every self-hosted WP install, and on wordpress.org. Competing with that sort of free advantage must be tough.

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      1. That’s just life as a component developer. If you make your living in an ecosystem created by someone else, you need to be quicker and better with new features. The more widely useful a feature might be, the more likely it’ll eventually get incorporated as a standard part of the base product. You can’t worry about your old features becoming a commodity; you worry about inventing new features that make your product worth the price.

        For example, the most valuable feature (to me) of something like ManageWP (and I believe InfiniteWP) is the ability to back up, restore, and deploy clones (ie development vs production sites) across multiple sites from a single dashboard. That’s worth paying for, and probably not something that’s going to show up in JetPack anytime soon.

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      2. Vladimir from ManageWP here. As unfair as it may seem at first, these are the rules of the game that each of us building business based on WordPress have accepted when we started. The same goes for when you are building an iOS or Facebok app – these are the business risks you take. So I do not have any bad feelings or anything, and I welcome the effort by Automattic.

        If anything, it will spread awareness and help educate people about this market, which at the end should benefit us. I think that our product is way more feature rich and mature and we are couple of years ahead with experience and development. It is also our core business, which means we are able to move at a much quicker pace with innovation.

        While I am not ignorant to the fact that we are getting none other but Automattic to compete with, I also believe in my team, our loyal customers trusting our brand and know that the best is yet to come (hint: expect something amazing from ManageWP coming in January). There is also a tiny bit of odd excitment for the opportunity to go against someone as big and dominant.

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      3. You’ve got such an amazing positive attitude Vlad. That’s why whatever you do will be awesome. I look forward to many years ahead with you in the WP space.

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      4. I’ll echo Troy’s comment – great attitude Vlad – best wishes for your January launch – something else to look forward to in 2015!

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      5. Agree with the others, Vlad has a great attitude, and a great product. Well worth paying for the extra features. The Jetpak plugin is a nice feature for many bloggers, and I am sure those that desire a more robust management system will migrate to WPManage

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      6. Fantastic way to think about competition. I always try to keep positive outlook for our team. Competition tends to dampen morale sometimes which definitely has an effect on productivity.

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      7. Classy comment from a classy guy. It may seem like competition, but ManageWP has a ton of things Jetpack Site management does not. That could change but I don’t know how far the team plans on taking it. At any rate, you’ve got a positive outlook.

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  1. I’m afraid WP one day will become Open Source Micro$oft :-/

    On the other hand, it will make those competing solutions innovate, in order to stay in the business. But if WP will steal those innovations, what’s then?

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    1. Lots of small developers made a living (and many continue to do so) building stuff atop Microsoft products. Yes, Microsoft would occasionally wipe one out by incorporating their core features in the Microsoft product, but that’s life as the small fry in an ecosystem defined by someone else. Your niche is not guaranteed. The elephant giveth and sometimes the elephant taketh away — it’s up to you to be smarter and more agile than the elephant. (Though one difference is that Microsoft sometimes bought out a small component developer to get its features sooner, an exit strategy that is much less likely of a possibility in the WP ecosystem).

      Also: Micro$oft? Really?

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    2. This is not stealing. In the open source world, we have rights to develop what we think is best. And the effort of Automattic team should be appreciated. Even in worst case, if Automattic closes its source code or its products, the community is still developing useful products which may have the same idea.

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      1. In the range of WP businesses that trend between full SAAS to direct plugin sales – I always prefer ones that enable self-hosted configuration and capabilities. I don’t know if JPBot (or someone else) would offer a stand-alone version of this feature, but a self-hosted dashboard to manage plugins would be fantastic for enterprise clients who either cannot go the SAAS / cloud route for firewall restrictions or unwilling to risk access to all their domains behind one wordpress.com account.

        Relevant:
        https://wptavern.com/jp-bot-the-silent-bot-behind-the-jetpack-module-extraction-plugins

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  2. I love the centralized management approach, it really makes things easier. I currently use ManageWP but they will need to up the ante, and I hope that Vladamir’s comment shows us next month that they really can deliver on it.

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  3. It’s very similar to when Google released Google Tag Manager into a field already covered by Tealium, BrightTag/Signal, and others. It’s a relatively basic product doing a fairly simple thing, for free. There’s tons of space for others to continue to exist in a more enterprise, customizable space.

    Also, we (Jetpack/Automattic) would far sooner collaborate with other businesses in the space than compete against them. Which is why when we built this, it’s in an extensible way. Over the next couple weeks, we’ll be opening up the remote management endpoints for third-party apps to integrate with. That will enable projects like iThemes Sync, ManageWP, InfiniteWP and others to let their users just authorize with their WordPress.com account, and they can instantly control all their WordPress.com and Jetpack sites — even installing their own plugin from the WordPress.org plugin repository by way of the Jetpack Management connection.

    Long story short, we don’t want to tear anyone down, we’re trying to help build the whole platform up.

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    1. Sounds great. I never liked that people with a handful of sites had to rely on these 3rd party services when something simpler would’ve sufficed. I hope the Jetpack dashboard saves these people from having to pay a monthly fee (ManageWP) or sacrifice a domain for the sake of running a dashboard (InfiniteWP / MainWP). This also allows the management services to focus more on being agency tools. “WordPress should auto-update in the background just like Chrome” (paraphrasing Matt Mullenweg’s 2013 WordCamp keynote) .. we’re finally getting there.

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  4. Think of any feature you need, might need or won’t ever need in your CMS… Yep, Jetpack does it.

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  5. This is a really great feature, one that I would certainly like to take advantage of… Prior to this, I’ve actually been manually uninstalling the jetpack plugin (which gets auto installed by my host, SiteGround, w/each WP install) as it has, in the past, proven to be really bloated and had a negative affect on site performance. Does anyone who has used it recently know if they’ve made in improvements with regards to performance (load time of sites using JetPack)?

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    1. Hi Emily! I understand your concern about your site’s performance. But it’s worth noting that you can choose which Jetpack modules you want to use. So, you can just disable the ones that you don’t need, and they won’t contribute to your site’s loading time.

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      1. Thanks for the response, Ryan! So if the only element of JetPack that we are using is the centralized dashboard for managing multiple WP sites, something obviously only viewable from within the WP Admin Dashboard, does that mean it would have no effect at all on load time?

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      2. Great question! We recently ran some tests to benchmark loading times in different scenarios. The tests showed that there is a slight increase in loading time when Jetpack is installed with no modules enabled. You can read more about the tests on this BruteProtect blog post. I imagine that in most cases the increase in loading time is negligible. And it could be offset by modules like Photon, which will increase performance, as well as modules that could replace additional third party plugins.

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  6. This is a great addition. We currently shell out quite a bit of cash for ManageWP. I played around with this a bit, and it doesn’t look like it handles WordPress core updates? Just plugins?

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