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Plugins: Activate vs. Network Activate

  • I’m still a 3.0/multisite n00b, and am a bit confused on how I should activate plugins. I thought that “network activate” meant “make this plugin available to all sites in the network” and “activate” meant “use this plugin on the main blog, but don’t offer it to user blogs.” Am I wrong?

    I have a few plugins set to just “activate” (rather than “network activate”) because I need them on my main site, but DO NOT want them to be available for user sites (i.e. Buddypress). I’ve logged in as my test user, and these plugins are listed on the user’s blog as available for activation there as well.

    I vaguely remember hearing about having 2 different plugin folders for MU (one for main blog plugins, one for user blog plugins), but I’m not seeing anything but the normal wp-content/plugins folder on my install of 3.0. Is this something I need to create myself, and can someone walk me through that?

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)
  • Network Activate – Activate for all sites on this install. These go in the normal /plugins folder. All children sites can see that this is installed via plugins.

    Must Use – Activate for all sites, and permit none to turn it off. These are installed in /wp-content/mu-plugins (which if it doesn’t exist, you can create just by making a new folder). These are HIDDEN from children sites if you’re not the site-admin. Useful for plugins that have no admin-panel 🙂

    Activate – Activate for THIS site only (this blog being whichever one you’re in at the time). These will be permitted to be activated or deactivated on ANY blog. These go in the normal /plugins folder.

    I don’t know if there’s a way to make plugins ONLY for one specific site or another, though. Interesting.

    Ah ok, thanks! I need a moment for all of the to soak in, but I’m sure I’ll understand once I read it a couple more times 😉

    As for creating the new folder for must use plugins, if I’m running the 3.0 beta, do I still name it “mu-plugins”?

    And yeah, for branding purposes, it’d be nice to be able to hide Buddypress and Cubepoints (and some others) from my user site admins. Not the end of the world if it’s not possible, really, but my site concept if pretty unique and I’d like to keep how I’m doing it to myself (from my users) as much as possible!

    do I still name it “mu-plugins”?

    yup… mu in this case isn’t multi-user, as in WPMU

    it stands for Must Use (I believe)

    Andrea Rennick

    @andrea_r

    Customer Care at Copyblogger Media and Studiopress

    I vaguely remember hearing about having 2 different plugin folders for MU (one for main blog plugins, one for user blog plugins),

    No, we didn’t have this for mu. Not sure where you read it.

    And yeah, for branding purposes, it’d be nice to be able to hide Buddypress

    In this casde, BuddyPress *has* to be Network activated, but it will also be hidden on the plugins page for normal blog admins. log in as one & see.

    In this casde, BuddyPress *has* to be Network activated, but it will also be hidden on the plugins page for normal blog admins. log in as one & see.

    That means there’s a way to hide plugins from non-site-admins. Interesting! That would be a great toggle for WP in general.

    Yes! It would!

    And you’re right, andrea, BP itself isn’t showing up for user site admins, but the BP add-on plugins (BuddyPress Group Tags, etc.) are. I’d really just love a way to activate a plugin on the main site and hide it from all others in the network 🙂

    Thanks a lot andrea_r. I have been searching for almost an hour now whether to install BuddyPress using “activate” or “network activate”. It’s nowhere to be found, everywhere is just says: “activate the plugin blablabla”.

    Although this topic is entirely about something else, this is the first place I actually found that I need to use “Network Activate”.

    Thanks again.

    Andrea Rennick

    @andrea_r

    Customer Care at Copyblogger Media and Studiopress

    Actually, BuddyPress has a check in it, so if you had just picked activate, it would have network-activated on you anyway.

    Clicking the button and trying it would have saved you the time. 😉

    I’m also struggling with how to make plugins available only to specific users. The problem is having certain plugins that you have to Network Activate and they don’t have a check in which hides it from normal blog owners.

    I also prefer to give the users the plugin page where they can select which plugins to activate. But there’s plenty of plugins I use on my main blog, but don’t want to offer to users…

    I might be missing something.

    Glad to say that I’ve found exactly what I was looking for. If you have a problem similar to mine, take a look at this plugin –

    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/exclude-plugins/

    I haven’t found it to be the case that “All children sites can see that this is installed via plugins” when using Network Activate. I know that for multisite-specific plugins such as BuddyPress, Network Activate is the *only* option, and in such cases the plugin isn’t visible to child site administrators.

    But for other regular plugins, such as Akismet, when I “Network Activate,” the child admins can’t see that plugin anywhere in their Plugin admin menu — all they can see is how many plugins are Network Activated, not which ones they are.

    See screenshot: http://www.flickr.com/photos/amandafrench/4977130955/ That’s a child site. The Akismet plugin is the only one activated on the network. The child admin has the (limited) config menu for Akismet, but the plugin isn’t listed either in the “All” or in “Network Activated” lists of plugins. Same has been true for lots of other plugins I’ve tried.

    Amanda, did you ever find out how to remedy that situaton, I have the same problem with the plugins not showing on the plugin.php for the child sites.

    Ahh, the WP 3.0 network system differs from the old WPMU system. When you network activate plugins they are activated on the child sites but no visible in the plugin.php page. This is actually fabulous and the way WPMU should have worked from the start.

    I can’t tell whether you think it’s a problem or not, adam320! Personally I don’t like it, because I’d like to have the option of letting child site admins see the plugins. My feeling is that if I don’t want them to see the plugins, I’ll put them in the “Must-Use” mu-plugins folder.

    Hmm, anybody feel like drawing a diagram. i’m still confused…

    Maybe a chart?:

    ……………………| Activate | Must Use | Network activate
    For root site ………|……….|……….|…………..
    For root site admin ..|……….|……….|…………..
    For child site admin |……….|……….|…………..
    For child site user ..|……….|……….|…………..

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)
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