If you are managing a WordPress Multisite network then the plugins covered in this post will give you more tools and features to help make running your network easier and more efficient.
If you aren’t yet aware of WordPress Multisite then this guide should give you a good introduction to this lesser known feature of WordPress and help you decide if it’s something you could use for your next project.
However, for those already working with Multisite, or about to start, this guide to some of the most useful add-ons is for you.
10 Essential and Useful Plugins for Your WordPress Multisite Installation
The free and premium WordPress Multisite plugins covered here will help you access the features of your network faster, manage themes and plugins easier, and work with your users more efficiently.
If you are wondering what are the best tools for WordPress Multisite, read on to find out.
Multisite Plugin Manager is a free extension that improves your ability to manage plugin permissions across the sites in your network.
Through the options you can choose which plugins are auto-activated on new blogs that are created on the network, as well as mass activating or deceiving a plugin on all sites in the network.
To avoid distracting your individual blog admin users, you will be able to turn off update messages on their sites when using this plugin. Multisite Plugin Manager is fully compatible with the Pro Sites plugin from WPMU Dev, allowing you to charge your site managers for access to the premium plugins and themes you install on the network.
Pro Sites is a premium plugin from the WPMU Dev team, but it’s an extension that could help you earn money from your network of blogs in a similar way to how WordPress.com does.
By installing this plugin you can offer your users the opportunity to use premium themes and plugins on their sites and charge them for doing so. You can also charge for increased file upload and storage quotas, and pretty much everything else that can be done on a WordPress website.
If you want to offer your audience the chance to create a hosted blog on your network, with premium upgrades, Pro Sites can help you do just that.
If you do want to turn your Multisite network into a premium service, or you just want to personalise your network of sites, you can use the premium Ultimate Branding plugin to remove all WordPress branding on both the front and back ends of your sites.
With this plugin you can then add your own branding if desired and avoid sending your users mixed messages about which service or platform they are using.
Pretty much every instance of branding can be changed to meet your needs with this Multisite plugin.
Multisite Toolbar Additions is a popular and feature packed plugin for Multisite users. Once activated this free plugin upgrades the WordPress admin toolbar by adding a selection of useful links to it.
The admin links that are added to the toolbar menu allow you to get quick access to important features and tools for managing your network. You can even link to custom pages from the menu, allowing you to make it easier for your admin users to find documentation and other useful content you’ve provided for them.
Multisite Toolbar Additions includes support for many of the best WordPress Multisite plugins, allowing you to add quick links to those tools on the admin toolbar menu. This plugin is a great way to save time and make accessing the multiple admin pages on your dashboard more efficient.
The free Network Latest Posts plugin adds a sidebar widget to your site which gives you the option of displaying the most recently published posts from all the sites in your network in the sidebar or other widget areas of your theme.
This is a great way to cross-promote content on the sites in your network. If you pre-installed this plugin on the new sites you create in your network, you would be giving your users the option of sharing the links to recent content published on the other sites in your network, helping everyone get more visitors and more traffic.
Through the widget settings you can chose how many recent posts to display and also exclude individual sites from having their content listed.
This is another premium plugin from the WPMU Dev team that aims to make life easier for Multisite administrators.
User Reports allows you to track user posts and comments across your network of sites. The user reports can be ran for any user on your network and they can then be downloaded if required and saved as a PDF or CSV file.
If you want to see what your users are doing on the network, whether as a security or support measure, this plugin can help you out.
Although not a Multisite-only plugin, User Switching is a great way to test out what permissions the different users on your network have, as well as carrying out any testing and support investigations.
With this free plugin installed on your site, you can instantly switch user accounts without the need to log out and back in again. To ensure good levels of security, only users with the appropriate permissions can switch user accounts.
If you want to see what the different users and user roles on your network can see, this free plugin gives you the ability to easily do so.
This plugin includes a bundle of new features and improvements to help those managing a WordPress Multisite network.
The new tools at your disposal include an improved plugin management page which lets you know which sites each plugin has been installed on, as well as adding the same ability for the themes page. Another handy feature of this plugin is that it displays the amount of RAM currently being used on the footer area of the dashboard.
If you want a few Multisite enhancements in one easy to install package, this plugin is worth taking a closer look at.
This is another simple yet effective plugin that WordPress Multisite super admins can use to push out a broadcast message to each of the sites in their network.
The message is displayed on the dashboard of each site, which means there is a good chance of logged in users seeing the information when they access the admin areas of their site.
The widget that contains the messages supports HTML so you can add a wide range of content types to the message, including adverts if necessary. Site admins can hide the message if they wish, but if they don’t, it does appear above all the other widgets on the admin dashboard for increased visibility.
If you are looking for an offsite automated backup solution for the sites in your Multisite network, then the VaultPress service is one option you could make use of.
Each site in the network does require its own separate VaultPress subscription but once activated, this is a hands-off way to manage the backups of your network and its individual websites.
Hopefully there are some tools and services on this list that can add some useful features to your WordPress Multisite network to make it easier and more efficient to manage.
If you have any recommendations of other Multisite-specific plugins our readers can make use of, please leave a comment below.