Feature List

WordShell is a command-line tool for operating on WordPress sites. Our aim is to do everything. For now, it majors on plugins, themes and core. You can save huge amounts of time by automating your plugin/theme management. Skip to: General Advantages | Features | Example Commands | The Competition

General advantages

  • Save time and money: type one command (e.g. update every plugin on a site, or update a certain plugin on every site). Don’t wait for web pages to load. Manage all your WP websites from one location.
  • Scriptable: configure cron jobs, configure automatic updates and notifications, etc.
  • Low bandwidth – work on WordPress sites from any terminal (e.g. SSH from your tablet / mobile)
  • Reliable: WordShell performs lots of sanity checks automatically, and after upgrading it saves your previous version for rolling back.


In future, if revenues are sufficient, we will be adding many, many more features.

  • Full plugin management
    • List
    • Install
    • Delete
    • Update
    • List updates
    • Activate
    • De-activate
    • Show changelogs
    • Show plugin descriptions
    • Supports third-party plugins
    • Supports single-file plugins
    • Lints all uploaded .php files
    • Supports WordPress networks (a.k.a. multi-site): can activate, de-activate and list activation status for plugins on any individual blog, or across the whole network
  • Full support for themes
    • Install
    • Delete
    • Update
    • List updates
    • Activate
    • Work with child themes
    • Show changelogs
    • Show theme descriptions
    • Support third-party themes
  • Full support for managing WordPress core
    • Install new sites from scratch
    • Backup current version, including modifications
    • List current version
    • Update
    • List updates
    • Show changelogs
  • Database management
    • Dump out/back up your database with one command
    • Can mirror your database, and keep historical versions on arbitrary schedules
    • Automatically upgrades your database when upgrading WordPress core
    • Search and replace your database (e.g. when migrating), with automatic backup
  • Full version management for plugins, themes, core and databases
    • Stores all previous versions
    • Easy roll backs (e.g. enter ‘2 days ago’)
    • Disaster-recovery capable: does not assume your site is working
    • Detects custom modifications
    • Show all changes made in installed version
    • Review changes in new versions
    • Automatically applies your patches to new versions
    • Allows manual patching
    • Detects incompatible versions when upgrading plugins or WordPress core
  • User management
    • Add users
    • Delete users (by username or email address), and optionally reassign their posts
  • Backing up
    • Maintains a mirror of your plugins and themes
    • Backs up and restores any extra files you have added to WordPress core. Tests your site before + after any change operations.
    • Backs and restores up all your uploaded media
    • Backs up your database, and keeps historical versions
  • Hugely configurable – but by default, “does the right thing”
  • Manage maintenance mode
    • Show maintenance mode state
    • Enter and exit maintenance mode
  • Works on a wide variety of site types
    • Local filesystem
    • FTP (including TLS upgrades, a.k.a. FTPES / explicit encryption)
    • FTPS (FTP-over-SSL, port 990, a.k.a implicit encryption)
    • SFTP (SSH, including key-based login)
    • Handles non-default content directory location (WP_CONTENT_DIR)
  • WordPress network (a.k.a. multisite) support:
    • Plugins can be activated network-wide, and/or on individual blogs
  • Remote log-in mode:
    • Log into your remote site with one command (i.e. Bash or FTP command line)
    • Fix problems quickly and easily
  • Full support from this website
    • Full documentation on this website
    • Easy to learn operation – gives helps and tips when relevant
    • In-built help with –help switch
  • Flexible and extensible
    • Works with a range of alternative tools installed on your system
    • Scriptable – write your own scripts and cron jobs (e.g. automatically notify of updates available)
    • Full debug output available for problem-solving (–debug). Dry run mode (–dryrun) also available.
    • For uber-hackers, a raw console is available for entering bespoke commands.
  • And much more…

Example commands – it’s easy…

See the full manual here– but many users will find it so easy they won’t need it…

Installing, updating, deleting, activating and de-activating plugins

  • wordshell all –listupdates
  • wordshell mysite akismet –update –latest
  • wordshell mysite contact-form-7 –install –activate
  • wordshell mysite nextgen-gallery –delete

Version control: backing up and restoring versions

  • backups are taken automatically every time you update/delete/etc. – there’s nothing to remember to do
  • Restore the present version from backup: wordshell mysite akismet –restore
  • Roll back 2 days: wordshell mysite akismet –rollback=’2 days ago’
  • See what backups are available: wordshell mysite akismet –listrollbacks
  • Back up your database: wordshell mysite –remotecli=dbdump

User management

  • wordshell mysite bob –user –delete
  • wordshell mysite robert –user –add –role=admin –[email protected]

Maintenance mode : enter, exit, check status

  • wordshell mysite –entermaintenance
  • wordshell mysite –exitmaintenance
  • wordshell mysite –maintenancestate
  • wordshell all –maintenancestate

WordPress core management:

  • wordshell mysite –core –latest (update core to latest version)
  • wordshell mysite –core –listupdates  (shows you which sites need updating)

Those are just the examples… see the full documentation for everything else. Or just run “wordshell –help” for a summary of all the available options.

The competition

As far as we know, there is very little, and it’s far behind…

What are you waiting for?

And much more…

Purchase a subscription and future features are yours, all in one price.


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