The challenges of managing users across many WordPress sites

Managing users across multiple WordPress sites can be a challenging task for administrators. In this article we’ll discuss some of the most common problems managing users across multiple sites, and propose some solutions.

Table of Contents

No centralized user management

One of the biggest challenges when managing users across many WordPress sites is the lack of a centralized user management system.

WordPress does not have a built-in user management system that allows administrators to manage users across multiple websites from one location. This means that administrators have to log in to each individual website and manage users separately.

This can be time-consuming and frustrating for administrators, as it requires them to switch between multiple websites and possibly even multiple user accounts.

Manually assigning permissions

Another problem is that administrators have to manually set the roles and permissions for each user on each website. This can be confusing and error-prone, as administrators have to remember the roles and permissions for each user on each website.

If the same person is a member of multiple websites but has different roles, it can be tedious and confusing to maintain the proper permissions on all of the sites.

Password fatigue

Password fatigue can also be a problem when managing users across multiple WordPress websites. Administrators have to manually set and manage user passwords for each user on each website.

This can be insecure, as administrators may forget to set strong passwords, they may reuse the same password for multiple websites/users, and they may send passwords insecurely such as by email.

Managing users across many WordPress sites the easy way

Unless you are using a multisite network, you will need to rely on a third-party plugin or service to manage users across many WordPress sites.

The following options each have their own pros and cons depending on your needs.

Option 1 – User synchronization plugin

One way to make user management easier across many sites is to synchronize users. In this method, synchronization of user credentials between sites occurs when creating new users or modifying existing users.

This option is affordable and relatively easy with the WP Remote Users Sync plugin. Simply install the free plugin on all the sites that need to synchronize users, and configure each site for synchronization and you’re all set.

But there are drawbacks also. Synchronized users share the same credentials across two or more sites. So if a hacker compromises one site, all the sites in the network may be vulnerable also. Additionally, configuring the plugin on every site to synchronize with every other site can be time consuming for large networks.

It’s also important to keep in mind that busy site networks can theoretically become out-of-sync depending on user activity.

Option 2 – Single sign-on service

Single sign-on, or SSO, lets your credentials for one service — Google for example — be used to log into another service like a WordPress website.

There are many options for WordPress SSO available. However, they can often be complex to set up and expensive to operate. However, they are a great fit for organizations with large budgets and existing credentialing systems like LDAP.

Option 3 – RoleUp, a dedicated user management service

As a privacy-first SSO alternative, we built RoleUp specifically for WordPress. And since it uses the WordPress API, there is no need for special software nor complicated configuration.

RoleUp is a centralized dashboard designed specifically for managing users across many WordPress sites. Once you connect your sites to RoleUp, all existing users are immediately displayed and ready to manage.

You can quickly see which site has which user, what their user roles are, and even change their passwords if needed.

RoleUp is not a synchronization tool, so it’s easy to keep separate credentials for each user on each site.

And what’s more, RoleUp groups accounts across all your sites based on email address! This makes it crystal clear which sites a person has access to – no more logging into all your sites to check!

Finally, adding and removing users from your sites can be done securely and quickly from the RoleUp dashboard.

The RoleUp dashbaord.

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