When we talk about WordPress, we usually think of one website which is installed on one server, running on one domain. Usually, this will be true for the most of WordPress installations. But as sites grow, more and more people get the need for multiple sites. Depending on admins’ needs, one can create a multisite or can decide to go into connecting independent WP sites into a network.
As it’s obvious from the title of this article, today we’re going to focus on a multisite system. Before we continue, here’s a quick reminder for those who are still not familiar with the whole concept. Instead of installing WordPress on a different location for each site you have, a multisite allows you to run the entire network of websites through a single WordPress installation. By doing so, you can have one super administrator who can manage the network, but there are still regular admins on each of the sites you have. Themes and plugins can be easily installed for all the sites at once, and while this is usually a good thing, some plugins simply won’t work in a network. There are a lot of pros and cons for a WordPress multisite, but here we aren’t going to deal with them. Instead, we’re about to show you some of the best plugins for a multisite.
Depending on the complexity of your network, the following plugins can either help you just a little bit or can be a life changer. Without any particular order, let’s start the list of the must-have plugins for a WordPress multisite.
Multisite Plugin Manager
Since a multisite allows you to install plugins across all websites in the network, managing plugins can become a serious problem for the admin. Multisite Plugin Manager can help you get started in organizing the network. Once you activate this plugin, you will be able to control the accessibility of each plugin in your network. Through a simple settings page, you’ll be able to control each plugin for every site in the system. You will also get to automatically activate selected plugins on new sites, and last but not least, you will be able to activate/deactivate a plugin through the entire network. If you decide to use this plugin with the Pro Sites plugin, you will be able to charge websites for using specific plugins.
As you can probably guess from its name, this free plugin will enhance your multisite experience. If you have spent some time working on a multisite, this plugin will help you to work faster and more efficiently. For starters, it will add blog and user ID to your network and enable “Add New” link in the Plugins menu for network admins. It will show you information about installed themes and plugins on the network, it will add several menu items, favicons, and much more.
If you’re stepping up your multisite game and you want to create a site similar to WordPress.com, you will need better control over blogs in your network and its users. This premium plugin will allow you to control signup and registration process in details so that you can give your clients exactly what they need and what they pay for. You will be able to offer trials and create coupons with discounts. There are premium themes and plugins available for the plugin, there’s domain mapping, and additional storage. You will find detailed statistics, several payment methods you can use, and so much more.
Sometimes, when you’re running a multisite, you will want to display different posts and pages from other blogs in the network on your main site. To make that possible and easily controllable, you will want Network Posts. This premium plugin allows you to show a list of recent posts from any blog from your network. You can use widgets, shortcodes, and WP_Query-like alternatives for displaying those posts. Everything will be fast since the plugin takes care of caching, you will be able to choose from posts, pages, and custom post types to be published, and much more.
WP Move Users
Moving users from one blog to another doesn’t have to be a problem. This premium plugin works both on regular WordPress blogs as well as on the multisite. It will allow you to export users from one blog and to import the same into a new one. WP Move Users can export and import all users or the ones you select by their ID.
If your multisite consists of websites which use different languages, that doesn’t mean they can’t be connected. With MultilingualPress, you can translate post and pages easily and create connections between sites in different languages. Once you create an original post, the plugin will display a translation area underneath. By doing so, you can automatically have the translated post on any other site in the network. You can also translate pages and taxonomy terms. Once you install the plugin, users will be able to change backend language for their account. Another good thing about this plugin is that it doesn’t create a lock-in effect which means that if you remove the plugin, all sites will continue displaying the post like nothing happened. There so much more you can do with this great plugin so don’t forget to check it out.
Multisite Content Copier
Another premium plugin from WPMUDEV can save you a lot of time when working with multisites. Instead of building each and every site from scratch, Multisite Content Copier allows you to copy specific content, users, and plugins. All you have to do is follow the wizard which will let you copy what you need where you need it. You can use groups, templates, and quick share features and really step up your multisite game.
When you work with multiple sites, sooner or later you will start having problems with spam blogs, aka Splogs. To stop those unwanted blogs to appear on your network, you will want to use Anti Splog. This premium plugin will change signup page location every day so that bots can’t get access to it. You can choose to use one of the three human tests to block bots, and there is a list of recent splogs which you can examine and modify if needed. Because Anti Splog uses crowdsourced data from millions of blogs and users, you can relax and let the protection of your multisite to this plugin.
Have you ever found yourself in need of changing accounts on a single WordPress site or even in a multisite? Without external help, you need to log out from one account and then log back in with the new one. If you need to do this on a regular basis, switching users can become a nightmare. That’s where this plugin comes in to save you. Once you install it, you can instantly switch to specific username directly from the Users page. Of course, you will have to be to the admin or super admin to use the plugin.