Can't add other websites to my WPMU hub

I have a Wordpress multi-site installation.
I installed the WPMU plugin and it is network activated. However, I can only add my main site to the hub. In the wordPress dashboard, only SmartCrawl and Hummingbird plugins appear for all my sites. Which means that I cannot take snapshots, check the security or create reports for all my sites except the main site. Could you let me know how to proceed?

  • splaquet
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    Unless I'm not understanding completely, I'm pretty certain it's working as should be expected.

    Most of the more powerful WPMU plugins are only available on the network level. Although, you might find that some additional options are available under your primary site.

    Snapshot is only available on the network level. I was disappointed to find that there wasn't a way to make one massive backup of everything. BackupBuddy was my primary backup extension before Snapshot, which would back up everything in one pass (unless you set it otherwise). It seems like a lot of redundant work to keep creating new snapshots of each additional site the you add.

    I thought that I once read that you could set the blog to 0 (zero) to capture an entire multisite, but that doesn't seem to work now. (I tried that last week)

    To my knowledge, the only way to do an entire multisite is by setting up a sync through the hub.

    SmartCrawl can be configured to handle SEO across the multisite, but it takes some tuning to get it dialed in. I didn't have the time to get it 100% setup, so I reverted to Yoast on my multisite e-commerce install. There's just too many specifics, unique social settings, featured images, etc for me to feel comfortable unleashing it across a busy e-commerce multisite.

    Hummingbird has come a long way in the multisite level and it's much better than even a month or do ago. I've found that it's probably better to keep hummingbird on the top level, as you'll see for yourself down the road. It'll get there ????

    It didn't all make sense at first, but it slowly came together and presented itself ????

  • James Morris
    • WordPress Enthusiast

    Hello Stephanie de Lasteyrie

    I hope you are well today.

    splaquet has provided some very good information, but to summarize...

    The Hub treats a Multisite Network as a single entity. Meaning, regardless if you have 1 or 100 subsites on your Multisite Network, you will only see the Primary Domain listed in your Hub. This is due to the nature of how Multisite works and how our plugins integrate with it. Your subsite admins benefit from the functionality of our plugins from their subsite Dashboard, but do not get to have access to your Hub account for security reasons. Any subsite-specific functionality must be managed by them from their Dashboard. This is where we become the upstream provider while enabling you to control who access what on the subsite.

    Since our plugins are Multisite compatible, the primary functions that will be your responsibility as a Network Administrator can be managed via the Hub. Things like Manged Backups (backs up the entire network), SmartCrawl (SEO for the Primary Domain), Automate (updates for the network), etc should only be seen by you.

    I hope this clarifies a bit.

    Best regards,

    James Morris

  • Stephanie L
    • New Recruit

    Hi James and splaquet,

    Thank you for your replies.
    The concept makes sense. There are however a few interesting functionalities of WPMU that become unavailable for the non primary sites (unless I am not using the plugins properly):

    - Hummingbird at the network level has less functionalities. The integration with Cloudflare for instance, which automatically setup browser caching, can only be done for the primary site.
    I do not mind doing this at the network level or at the hub level, but is there any way at all to configure browser caching for the subsites?

    - The weekly reports include SEO and performance scores for the primary site only. Is there any way to get automated reports for the subsites?

    Besides, Smartcrawl at the network level has a lot of inconsistencies. When on a subsite, SEO checkup and URL crawler in Sitemap give me results for the primary site instead of the subsite. Can this be changed?

    Finally, the backups are still not clear to me: if I backup from the hub, do I backup all sites or only the primary site? I do not see an option to backup at the network level, as splaquet mentioned.

    Thank you,


  • James Morris
    • WordPress Enthusiast

    Hello Stephanie de Lasteyrie

    It will probably help to understand how Multisite works a little better to understand why there are these limitations.

    Multisite is, technically, 1 WordPress install. All subsites in a Network are virtual. Meaning they do not actually reside in subfolders. Their "subfolder" or "subdomain" paths are rewritten dynamically on the fly, but everything still points to the same installation files as the Primary Domain (with the exception of media and theme files).

    So, if you make a .htaccess change on the primary domain, it's going to affect all sites on the Network. If you enable Browser caching or Gzip on the Primary domain, all domains are affected.

    With SmartCrawl, we're looking at ways of improving Multisite support there. We're also working on improvements to the Hub. So, please stay tuned there. :slight_smile:

    Re: Snapshots...

    Snapshot Managed Backups (including in the Hub) will backup the entire Multisite Network. There's no exclusions there. Every site on the Network gets included. If you want to create individual backups per site, you have to use the standard Snapshots from your WordPress Network Admin Dashboard.

    I hope this clarifies a bit.

    Best regards,

    James Morris

  • Stephanie L
    • New Recruit

    Hi James,

    Browser caching for the pages on my server is fine but browser caching for third party resources and Javascript is not. Linking my account to Cloudflare had fixed that for my primary site but I could not find a way to do it on the subsites.

    Regarding the managed backups, I still can't find how to do this on the network level. Snapshot does not appear in the left menu in the admin dashboard.

    Looking forward to the improvements on SmartCrawl and the Hub :slight_smile:

    Best regards,


  • Ash
    • WordPress Hacker

    Hello Stephanie de Lasteyrie

    As multisite is considered as a single website, you can't add multisite CF accounts into a multisite I am afraid.

    In Snapshot, managed backup is for backing up the entire website. There is no way to backup a subsite using managed backup option. But you can try regular snapshot to backup a specific subsite. From Network Admin > Snapshot > Snapshots > Create Snapshot > And then you select the subsite to take backup here:

    Hope it helps! Please feel free to ask more questions if you have any.

    Have a nice day!


  • Kasia Swiderska
    • Support nomad

    Hello Stephanie,

    Just a little update regarding this part of question:

    Which means that I cannot take snapshots, check the security or create reports for all my sites except the main site. Could you let me know how to proceed?

    It's done! From today you can create separate reports for subsites in Multisite :slight_smile:
    See more details on our blog post

    kind regards,

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