plugins - network activated and site activated pose a problem?

Noticed something odd. Not sure how this developed, but when testing plugin conflicts just now, I just noticed that some of my WPMUdev plugins (Support System, videos, Dashboard, etc) are both network activated AND activated on all sub-sites. Could this pose a problem with performance? Anything to be concerned about here?

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hey Peter,

    I hope you're well today and thank you for your question!

    A "network activation" means that the plugin is activated for all subsite across the entire network. Therefore "network activated" plugin should be available on all sub-sites. For most of the plugins it does mean that these will be active on all subsites at once. However, this doesn't mean that the sub-site admin will see the status of "network activated": instead he/she may only see the notice that the plugin is active.

    If this is not a case and I'm missing something here then please advise!


  • peter_harris

    Here's what happened. I was testing plugin conflicts and started turning off network activated plugins, like the WPMU videos. I deactivated for the network, but then saw it was still listed as activated on most every individual site. That made me think it was sort of activated twice... both on network level and on each sub-site. That help explain the scenario better? Wondering if this could become a performance issue later.

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hey Peter!

    Thank you for this explanation!

    Some of our plugins can be activated either on site-level or on network-level. I imagine then that there could be a case that plugins were activated (e.g. by sites' admins) on particular sites and some time later they were network-activated. This probably would explain this.

    However, It's in fact a bit strange that you weren't able to deactivate network-activated plugins for en entire network at once. This leads me to a questions

    - are you 100% sure that for example after you've deactivated plugins, sub-site admins didn't activate them?
    - are you by any chance actively using our Pro Sites plugin?
    - are there any caching plugins up and running on your network?

    Please advise!


  • peter_harris

    Yes, most likely that I had enabled them on sub-sites at some point, then network enabled later, but that doesn't seem totally plausible for all scenarios. Your questions answered...

    * 100% sure as I could instantly see dozens of sites with the plugins activated.
    * yes, using Pro Sites
    * yes, fastcgi caching on Nginx server

    That help clear up this mystery? I really want to make sure that this doesn't create any problems later on and want to clean this up while its dozens of sites and not hundreds.

    Thanks Adam.

  • Predrag Dubajic

    Hi @peter_harris,

    As Adam mentioned before, if the plugin is first sub site activated and then activated on network then network disabling it will not disable the plugin on sub site where it was pre activated, this is just how WP network works.

    There wont be any performance issues if plugin is activated both ways and on sub site it will continue to work as it was activated only once.

    Best regards,

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