Home automation with Arduino and controller

I'm looking into making some home automation. I have a server, hosting a website on which i'd like to have some controls. Those controls would be something like turning a relay on and off. There's multiple tutorials out there explaining how to connect an ESP8266 to an app on your phone, and control it from there. This, however, is not quite what i'm looking for.

I have a few ESP8266, that i'd like to all be connected to my webserver. So, when i access my servers IP address, i get a controlpanel up, from which i can control MULTIPLE ESP8266's. That's why i want the ESP8266 to connect to the same router as the server, and not, like many other tutorials, create it's own network.

What i'm really looking for is a way to send commands from the centralized web server, to the ESP8266.

Is this possible? What way would you go about this if it were you?

Maybe look at MQTT ? There an ESP8266 Client but I've not personally used it.

Set up your server as the broker and have your ESP8266's connect as clients. You will also need an MQTT client on the server to send messages to your remote nodes, probably integrated with a web front-end to get user input.