[closed] Plugins: Activate vs. Network Activate (20 posts)

  1. justbishop
    Posted 6 years ago #

    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?

  2. 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.

  3. justbishop
    Posted 6 years ago #

    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!

  4. Rev. Voodoo
    Posted 6 years ago #

    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)

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. justbishop
    Posted 6 years ago #

    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 :)

  8. Ruben.cc
    Posted 6 years ago #

    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.

  9. 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. ;)

  10. ironclad
    Posted 6 years ago #

    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.

  11. ironclad
    Posted 6 years ago #

    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 -


  12. amandafrench
    Posted 5 years ago #

    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.

  13. Adam Nowak
    Posted 5 years ago #

    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.

  14. Adam Nowak
    Posted 5 years ago #

    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.

  15. amandafrench
    Posted 5 years ago #

    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.

  16. keirj
    Posted 5 years ago #

    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 ..|..........|..........|..............

  17. Activate: running ONLY on the site on which you activate it

    Must Use: running on ALL SITES in your network, and no one can turn them off (best for plugins that need little or no interface, like Akismet)

    Network Activated: running on all sites, but individual sites can chose to turn them off

  18. cdvrooman
    Posted 5 years ago #

    I'm using WPMU 3.0.3, BP 1.2.7 & s2Member in multi-blog mode with open registration & blog creation.
    Ok... I disabled Akismet, and then moved it to the wp-content/mu-plugins directory and now it's not appearing in my plugin list.

    Seven questions:

    1. In my case, I had already configured Akismet with my "Akismet API Key", but if I had installed it directly into /mu-plugins and then not have seen it on the plugins page, how would I have entered the API Key?

    2. Now is everybody using *my* Akismet installation based on my API Key?? Previously I had "Network Activated" Akismet. then I added a new test account (with blog) as a sub-domain. When I logged in as the account owner and went to the Plugins page of the Admin, Akismet was asking me to enter an API Key (which is actually something I don't want to make each new account owner go through; transparency is important).

    3. Let's say in general I'm using Plugin X which has a couple of configuration settings. If the plugin is in mu-plugins and I need to upgrade the plugin and tweak its configuration, what is the best procedure for going about that?
    For example:
    a. move/rename plugin in /mu-plugins
    b. install latest version in /plugins
    c. activate
    d. configure settings
    e. deactivate
    f. move to /mu-plugins

    4. What happens when I have the same plugin installed in *both* /plugins and /mu-plugins? Which takes precedence? What if one version is newer than the other?

    5. If a plugin in mu-plugins/ doesn't show up even in the master site's plugins list, how do I know it is actually working (for example, Akismet shows a list of working servers on their site under Settings).

    6. When upgrading WordPress, one step is to deactivate all plugins. What about mu-plugins... how are they deactivated.

    7. I found this link, http://wordpress.stackexchange.com/questions/4163/how-is-network-activate-different-from-activate-by-implementation

    Where the accepted answer is this:
    "Network activation will activate a plug-in for every site in a network whereas regular activation will only activate a plug-in for the site you're currently on. As far as implementation goes, there is one other important difference:

    If your plug-in is built to do something when it's activated (via register_activation_hook()), this will fire automatically when you activate a plug-in normally, but it will not fire for a network-activated plug-in until you visit the admin screen for each blog.

    So if major database updates are tied in to register_activation_hook() they won't occur until you log in to the other sites."

    What about mu-plugins? How do they relate to the firing of register_activation_hook()?


  19. amandafrench
    Posted 5 years ago #

    Ipstenu, my child site admins *can't* choose to turn off Network Activated plugins, as far as I can tell, because they can't see them anywhere in their plugins list. See the screenshot in my earlier post if you don't believe me. Sounds like other people have that problem too, though I don't know if everyone does. Can I see a screenshot of a plugin that's "Network Activated" where the plugin *does* show up in a child admin's Plugins list?

    My settings are "User accounts may be registered" and I've enabled the Plugins admin menu for child site admins.

    cdvrooman, I can help a little with the Akismet, at least. Here's what you should do:

    1) Get an Akismet API key for multiple sites at https://akismet.com/signup/ -- unfortunately, this costs money, at least $5 per month depending on your site's purpose.

    2) Make sure Akismet is in the regular "plugins" folder and not in "mu-plugins."

    3) "Network Activate" Akismet and enter your multi-site API key. That'll turn it on for all child sites as well as for your site.

    Basically I'm almost never using mu-plugins at all, even when I want all the child sites to use the plugin.

  20. Network Activate can only be turned off by super admins, you are correct. I rarely log in as not SA ;)

    But. Please post this in the multisite section. We can start a new topic for 3.1 issues, since Multisite is up and well in 3.0.x :)

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