3. Installing WPMU DEV Plugins
Downloading and installing WPMU DEV plugins couldn’t be simpler. Using our Dashboard plugin is the easiest way to add our products to your site, but we also give you the opportunity to download plugin files (even older versions!) from our site directly, so you can install via the Upload New Plugin option in WordPress, or by FTP.
3.1 Install WPMU DEV PluginsLink to chapter 1
To browse all of our plugins, simply click the Plugins link at the top of your screen.
Once you’ve found a plugin that interests you, click the screenshot to go straight to its dedicated page.
Each plugin has its own project page. Click the link to see the project page for Hustle.
If you have not yet installed the WPMU DEV Dashboard plugin on your site (and we highly recommend that you do so), you’ll see the following prompt upon clicking the “Install” button:
You have the option of either:
- Installing the WPMU DEV Dashboard before continuing with your selected plugin. Simply click the “Download Now” option to be redirected to the Dashboard plugin page to get that done first.
- Or, If you do not wish to download and install the Dashboard at this time, click the “No thanks, just download directly” option, and the download will start right away.
If you are a trial member, and try to download a plugin from the project page, you’ll be prompted to download the dashboard plugin. At this time, we don’t allow direct downloads until you are a full (non-trial) member. You can bypass this by skipping the free trial, from your hub account tab, which charges your payment method and unlocks the full, magical WPMU DEV experience.
3.2 Download Previous Versions of WPMU DEV PluginsLink to chapter 2
Although we highly recommend always using the most current version of our plugins, there might be times you want to download an old version. Simply navigate to the plugin project page.
Below the project page video, click the Changelog link.
In the popup that appears, you can then see all of the previous versions we’ve released, just click on the “Download” button for the relevant version number and the download will start.
Please note: You do need to hold an active membership to download current and past versions.
3.3 Installing Mu-pluginsLink to chapter 3
This section covers how to add a must-use plugin to a site in three steps:
- Create an mu-plugin directory (folder) in the wp-content directory
- Create an mu-plugin php file
- Upload/install that file on a site via FTP
Mu-plugins, or ‘must use’ plugins, add features to WordPress much like other plugins, but because they are stored in a different location than conventional plugins, they have some unique characteristics.
Both conventional plugins and mu-plugins are located in the wp-content folder, but mu-plugins are located in their own directory called, (surprise!) mu-plugins. As a result, mu-plugins:
- Are not activated or deactivated like other plugins. Once added to the mu-plugins folder, an mu-plugin is “always on” until it is removed from that folder.
- Are loaded before normal plugins.
- Do not work with activation, deactivation or uninstall hooks.
- Do not update automatically, and WordPress doesn’t notify you about new versions. This means that you have to keep them up-to-date manually.
- While mu-plugins work on both single and multisite WordPress installations, it is important to note that on multisite networks, mu-plugins apply to every site in the network.
3.3.1 Create an mu-plugin directoryLink to chapter 3
Before you can install mu-plugins you need to create a mu-plugins folder in wp-content using an FTP client.
WPMU DEV members will likely find that the mu-plugins folder already exists, but it’s wise to verify that fact before proceeding.
If you are new to FTP, our Introduction to FTP and using FTP clients may be helpful.
Access your site via FTP and locate the wp-content folder. Right-click the folder and click Create Directory.
Add the directory name mu-plugins and click OK.
Right click on your new mu-plugins directory and select File Permissions.
Set the file permission to 755 and click OK.
3.3.2 Create the mu-plugin fileLink to chapter 3
This section covers how to manually create and add an mu-plugin php file to the mu-plugin directory using an SFTP client.
Before proceeding, we recommend reading the list of caveats at the top of the Installing Mu-plugins section to ensure the plugin you are adding meets the criteria for a functional mu-plugin.
As always, begin by creating a backup of the applicable site or network. See the Backups tab in the Hub to make that happen.
Open your SFTP or SSH client. This guide uses Filezilla, but the process is, essentially, the same regardless of the FTP application being used.
Access the site’s filesystem, locate and open the mu-plugins directory within the wp-content folder. If the default location has not been modified, the path will be: site/public_html/wp-content/mu-plugins.
If no mu-plugins folder exists, see the Creating a mu-plugins folder section of this guide.
Create a php file inside the mu-plugins folder and edit it with your preferred text or code editor.
Open the file and place the necessary php code and hooks within it.
Below is an example of a simple php function that prevents the author block from appearing in the footer. After the opening php tag,
<?php, it is a good idea to identify the plugin by name, provide a description and the author’s name.
Save the file, but before uploading it, verify that the File Permissions are set to 644. Do this by right-clicking the file name, selecting the File Permissions option and checking the Numeric Value field to ensure it contains the number 644.
3.3.3 Upload/Install the fileLink to chapter 3
Access your site via FTP client and open the mu-plugins directory within the wp-contents folder.
Select the PHP file(s) from the mu-plugin folder on your computer and drag it into your wp-content/mu-plugin folder in your FTP client.
Once the copied files have finished transferring to the server, the mu-plugin should be activated on your site. Mu-plugins appear under the Must-use tab on the plugin page, Admin>Plugins>Must-use.
Finally, open the site’s WordPress Plugins manager, and select the Must Use plugins filter to view a list of the mu-plugins installed on that site.
The newly installed mu-plugin will be displayed if the process was successful.
3.4 Uploading a New PluginLink to chapter 4
Plugins that have been downloaded in a .zip format can easily be added to your website through wp-admin. To do this, follow these steps:
1. Navigate to wp-admin>Plugins and click Add New.
2. Then click Upload plugin and choose your file to upload. Once you have selected your file, you can click Install Now.
3. After the plugin has installed, you will receive a success message. Click Activate so that you can use the newly added plugin.