Multisite Support Available In Orion


Multisite has been around since WordPress 3.0, allowing admins to set up a network of related WordPress websites or blogs, and run them all under one WordPress installation. It’s a nifty feature to have for certain website integrations. It’s a bit like Marmite, you either love it or hate it.

When using ManageWP for your multisite network, we have made sure that you can’t go wrong with it. You have been asking us to start supporting multisites, so now we have come up with a solution that we hope you will like.

How To Get Started With Multisite In Orion

Before getting into all of the gritty details of managing multisite networks in Orion, there are a few basic things to cover that need to happen. In our Classic dashboard you didn’t have be the network site administrator and we didn’t insist on having the parent website on our dashboard, you could just add subsites as you pleased. This has now changed, because we have improved our multisite support and made additional features available. In order to have multisite support in Orion, you have to have your parent website on our dashboard and you need to be the network administrator. This also means that you don’t need to have users/passwords for the addition of subsites on our dashboard. It saves you hassle and time when adding subsites and it becomes as easy as checking a box.

How To Add Multisite To Orion

The first time you add a website to Orion, it has to be your parent website, and like in the Classic, you will get a list of all of the websites in that network. You can now check the box by the website you wish to add to our dashboard.

adding parent website

You don’t need to add all of your subsites to Orion, but we encourage you to. By adding your parent website, your network is activated in Orion and we, like with all of our websites, care about security and take precautions. Our Worker Plugin is our way of keeping your network safe and connected to us, so it’s great if we can do that for all of your subsites. It’s important to remember that all websites, including subsites, count as individual websites on our dashboard, but in Orion you can add an unlimited number of free websites. It costs you nothing to add all of your subsites to our dashboard, you just get the added benefits for all of them.

We always want to know how you think we should improve any given feature, so we wanted to ask you. When you create a new subsite in your network, do you want it added to Orion automatically or would you prefer to get a notification asking you should we add it to our dashboard?

Manage Plugins/Themes in Multisite

When it comes to managing your plugins and themes in multisite, we have made slight changes to make it easier for you. Plugins and themes can be active or network active. That means that they can be activated throughout your network, on all of your websites, or active on individual subsites. We have made it possible for you to pick and choose.

Activating Plugins

When activating a Plugin on a subsite (or a subsite is one of the websites selected for the activation of the plugin), you are given the choice to either network activate or activate for that website only.

activating plugin

Deactivating Plugins

When it comes to deactivating plugins you must consider that any plugin at any given time can be active somewhere else in the multisite network. In other words plugins can be network active, so that creates a few additional things to think about before deactivating plugins.

If your plugin is network active on a subsite, you can either skip deactivating it for the whole network (to which the subsite belongs) or you can choose to deactivate it across the multisite network by choosing network deactivate.

deactivate plugins

Activate/Deactivate Themes

Managing themes on multisites is similar to plugin management, the only difference is that a theme can not be network active, instead it can be network enabled. This doesn’t mean you need to network enable it, because Orion does the job for you. In other words, there is nothing new, and it’s the same for subsites and websites outside of the multisite network, simply go to the website in question and activate/deactivate a theme.

Plugin and Theme Deletion

We already talked about the distinction between plugins/themes being network active or active. This also affects the process of deleting them. If a theme/plugin is active on the network, first of all you must deactivate the theme or plugin on all subsites (across the network), if you wish to delete it. When you decide to delete said plugin/theme you are choosing to delete it across the network, WordPress does not offer the option of deleting a plugin/theme from an individual subsite. If the plugin/theme you have selected is on your multisite network, and also on other individual websites (outside of your multisite network), you can still choose to delete it outside of the multisite network.

If your theme/plugin is already disabled, and you decide to delete it, Orion will inform you that you are looking to do a network wide operation. Again, it will ask you do you wish to delete it from your multisite network, and from all other individual websites outside the network, or just on the individual websites outside the network.

delete plugin

Subsites Not In Orion

It would be great if you add all of your subsites to our dashboard, that way you can make the most out of it, but we can absolutely understand that you might not want to. If you don’t add them all, remember that you have added your parent website and shared your network with us. This means we can track your multisite network and all of the subsites in it, which is great because we are very careful not to perform any actions that might affect websites not on our dashboard.

Think of Orion as Big Mamma that thinks about all of the kids, even those that are playing outside. Orion will let you know if you are looking to perform an action that might affect your subsites not in our dashboard.

What Can Be Done With Multisite In Orion

If you have managed to keep up with all of the multisite features and do’s and don’t, well done, you are at least two steps ahead of me!

It’s time to share some perks with you about how you can use multisite support in Orion. You have all in the past shown a lot of love for Orion Client Reports. What’s neat about them in multisites, is that you can have more than one client on your multisite network, and each one will get a separate client report with all of the updates that you have performed.

Like I said, Big Mamma loves all of her kids equally.

We also added a multisite network filter, so that when you select it you are able to see on the Orion dashboard all of the website in that network.

multisite filter

What Can’t Be Done With Multisite In Orion

Multisite networks share their folder structure and database, and like with the ManageWP Classic backup it is not possible to offer Backup, Clone or Restore to multisites. Unfortunately, we can’t offer these features to multisites for now, but it is something to think about for the future.

How To Switch From Classic To Orion Multisite Support

There are a two things you need to check before using multisites in Orion.

  1. You must have the latest version of our Worker Plugin (4.2.1). Make sure it’s updated before adding your multisite network.
  2. If you want to use multisite in Orion, the worker plugin must be network activated on your multisite network. If this isn’t the case, you must deactivate the Worker plugin from all multisites, and if they are on your classic dashboard remove them. Then you must add them, making sure that you have network activated the Worker plugin on your parent website.

If a website hasn’t synced, because of one of the above issues, you will get an error message like so.


You can find more information regarding the issue you are having on the notification. Have a look at our notification bell.


You made it to the end, tell us what you think and get started with multisites!

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