The WordPress multisite feature allows us to create a network of multiple sites in one WordPress installation. This setup can be used either to create a site similar to WordPress.com, or just to manage your sites from one place.
There are a lot of benefits to a multisite, and of course there are some areas that it is lacking a little. Using plugins we can further enhance its features and abilities.
In this post we will take a look at a multisite plugin that I made. It is called Beyond Multisite. It is a premium plugin, and it costs $19, but it is a one-time fee and you get all future updates for free.
You can watch the video preview to take a quick look at the main features of the plugin:
Plugin Modules and Features
Now let’s briefly go through the 9 modules of Beyond Multisite, and see what nifty things we can do with each of them.
With this first module we can network disable plugins in a similar way we can do with themes. Site administrators will not be able to activate/deactivate plugins that are network disabled unless we enable the plugin on their individual site.
And another thing we can do is bulk activated/deactivate plugins. I use this to deactivate a plugin on all sites before I delete it.
The cleanup module is very powerful. It can easily delete thousands of comments, revisions and even sites from your multisite network. I use it mainly to reduce the database size and delete spam comments.
For example we can find sites with more than 1000 pending comments, which usually happens when some spam bots attack it. Then we can delete all pending comments with a link in them automatically.
Another example is to delete old revisions but keep recent ones. I also delete old and empty sites created by users and abandoned right away. Overall pretty useful stuff.
The pending users module lets us view and manage signups that are not activated yet via email. We can resend the email, activate them manually or delete them.
This module is one of my favorites. We can see a list of sites, where a plugin or a theme activated. I mainly use this to check if some sites are using a plugin before I delete it.
The insert HTML module gives us the option to add HTML code before the closing head tag or before the closing body tag of all or some sites in the WordPress network. Useful for web tracking code for example.
We can also ban users. If we find users that spam, we can ban them along with their IP, so they cannot login, comment, or make new signups. Removing the ban can be done either manually or automatically after 7, 30 or 90 days.
I use the captcha module mostly for protecting the multisite blog signup and user signup forms, since not many plugins support them, but it works with other forms like login, lost password, reset password, and comments too.
The captcha image is pretty cool actually because it uses two colors per character and the characters are incomplete, so captcha breaking software will be having a hard time. Humans can read it very easy though, I even asked my mom to read it and it was no problem at all.
I added this module recently because the plugin that I was using allowed me to send to no more than 2500 users. Beyond Multisite lets us bulk send emails to all users (or only some if we want).
The user selection process turned out to be pretty tricky to do, but I really wanted to have full control over which users to receive the email. So now we can select users by ID or by role in any or some chosen sites.
We can also choose the maximum email sending speed, use shortcodes, and allow users to unsubscribe. I am very happy with it.
This last module just adds several small improvements that make our job as a WordPress network administrator a little easier. For example it can add a column for the site ID in the network sites table, a column for the user ID in the network users table, disable the annoying password changed email notification and so on.
I hope you like Beyond Multisite. If you have any questions or ideas for cool new features, please shoot me an email.