5 Essential Plugins to Manage Multiple WordPress Sites
For different kinds of sites running on WordPress, you need some particular type of plugins. For instance, for an online store, you need e-commerce plugins. Similarly, for a photography site, you need image-related plugins. However, if you’re a multisite admin, you can administer a WordPress Multisite network along with some useful plugins to help you manage your different websites.
So, in today’s post, I am going to showcase a list of handy and useful WordPress plugins for managing multiple websites. I know you may have already heard about some of these plugins, but I kept them to compile a complete list of multisite plugins that work for everyonebareven newbies. Let’s take a look.
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Jetpack, the multi-module plugin from Automattic, provides numerous features for multisite installations. What makes it interesting is that it protects your sites from brute force attacks and also monitors the uptime of your websites for free. Moreover, you can also configure 2-factor authentication for your users, and check stats and analytics in a single panel.
With Jetpack, you can also avail of its content creation and optimization tools, including an image CDN, simple embeds, carousels, slideshows, extra widgets, etc., and discussion tools like email subscriptions, social login, and many more.
WP Multisite Content Copier
A quite handy plugin to manage content on your WordPress site installation. It allows you to copy or update from one site to the other sites (sub-sites). The plugin supports all kinds of post types in WordPress, including the post, page, terms like the category and tag, media, and can perform a single copy of it or in bulk.
MultilingualPress takes WordPress multilingual content quite differently. Instead of creating new fields or meta, it works with sub-sites in WordPress Multisite. You can create a sub-site, set the locale language for the site, and associate the website and the content with the ones from the other sites.
The plugin does not lock you in since it does not create custom fields for the content. When you deactivated the plugin, your content will still be there. It’s a pretty smart way to manage multilanguage content.
Managing users across multiple WordPress sites can be a tedious task. This plugin may give you a little convenience on that by adding the ability for the users to delete their accounts themselves. It’s also shipped with plenty of settings. You can enable it Network Wide, which will allow you to remove the user in all the subsites, enable it for a specific user role, and customize the email confirmation as well as the authentication.
Multisite Toolbar Additions
This plugin adds an additional menu to the WordPress Multisite admin bar, as we can see below. It’s like shortcuts. Instead of clicking several steps, you can click once to get there immediately. These can help you to save quite an amount of time when managing the site on the dashboard.
This plugin improves the dashboard’s network area for super admins with more info and quick utilities. These include adding useful items to ‘Network Admin’ admin bar, stating sites are having a particular plugin or theme enables, etc.
You can even change the footer texts to get stats on RAM, SQL, etc. Not only these, but this plugin also helps you to remove the WordPress logo from the admin bar and add favicon beside site name in the admin area, helping you to identify any site quickly. Though these may seem small improvements, I bet they can save you a few minutes a day.
WP Super Cache
This popular caching plugin generates static HTML files for your WordPress blog’s PHP scripts, and then after, your web server serves static files. WP Super Cache is backed by the Automattic team and provides multisite support, meaning you can install it on a multisite network and configure its settings, and it speeds up every site on your network.
It provides various options to do the same, and you can also enable or disable caching per sub-blog on your multisite network. And that means your website will have better page loading speeds, and that also means better search page rankings.
Yoast SEO improves your site’s SEO from all required aspects. It enables you to prepare your posts for search engines, including optimizing the use of focus keyword, optimizing the post’s meta information. The plugin is multisite compatible, and it’s even possible to configure a set of default settings for all blogs on the network.
Using its snippet preview, you can determine how your post will look in the search results, and also edit its meta title and description. The plugin helps you to improve your site’s ranking in search result pages, and increase the click-through rate for organic results.
This plugin helps to save and store your WordPress installation in full, including the “wp-content” directory. And in the case of an emergency or data loss, you can easily restore everything with a single .zip backup file. The plugin being multisite compatible, you can take backups of the whole network, or any sub-blog without any hassle.
As a requirement, the plugin does enable you to store the backup to a cloud drive to prevent file loss or damage. That being said, you can also push the backups to an external backup or storage service like Dropbox, S3, FTP, etc. Moreover, the plugin does additional optimization tasks optimizing and repairing databases, etc.
WP Security Audit Log
WP Security Audit Log is a comprehensive audit log and user monitoring plugin that keeps a record of all activities occurring on a multisite network. Using this plugin and checking its notifications, you can track suspicious activities and prevent security issues.
Not only this, you can even monitor user activities, .e.g, when someone logs in or out from their dashboard, when a new user is created, etc. You can think it like a security camera in your office that tries to protect things and records video to check on thieves.
Of course, you can later deactivate or delete a clone same as you can do with any other sub-blog on a multisite network. Though it works as expected, yet it misses a feature, using which I could specify which all things (posts, plugins, etc.) should be cloned.
User Role Editor
User Role Editor lets you change the roles of users, excluding the administrator, of course. You can simply edit user roles and assign them capabilities per their responsibilities, e.g., a writer must have “create_posts” and an editor must have “publish_posts” capabilities.
Apart from that, you can create and delete the self-made roles for users having restricted or mixed types of capabilities. Moreover, as a bonus feature, you can also remove the unnecessary roles left behind after uninstalling other plugins.
With the User Switching plugin, you can instantly switch user accounts by quickly logging in and out as your preferred user. The switching process is entirely secure, and only super admins can do this on multisite installs. This plugin uses the cookie authentication system while remembering the accounts, thus also prevents leaking passwords.
Then after, you can quickly swap back to your super admin account with a single click using the “Switch back” link on the dashboard screen or in the profile menu. That being said, this plugin is great for test environments where you need to log in and out between different accounts, e.g., if you wish to test a user role’s capabilities set by the above plugin.
This plugin shows a list of inactivated user registrations, wherein you will be given the option to resend the original activation email, or you can also manually activate those users. It helps you catch false registrations and resend emails for genuine registrations that may have been caught by spam filters.
Multisite Language Switcher
This plugin adds multilingual support to a multisite network’s blogs, and thus, enables you to manage translations of posts, pages, tags, categories, and custom taxonomies. That means, using this plugin, you can easily translate your blogs and reach out to more people who will like to read your blog posts or reach to you in a new language.
Multisite Robots.txt Manager
This plugin helps you manage all robots.txt files for all sub-blogs on a WordPress Multisite network. You can create unique robots.txt files for individual websites, and amazingly, this plugin also allows you to mass update all the sites in the network. You can even scan and clean the old robots.txt files across blogs of the multisite network.
I always suggest to install as less WordPress plugins as required or possible, and this post is no exception. And although I feel all above plugins are useful for a multisite network, but let me tell you that even I have not installed all of them on my network.
Happy administering, and remember, less plugins means more performance and security.