The HUB _ Autoupdates

Hi All

The Automate script on the Hub is nice but turns out to be a time waster when it comes to update tons of sites if those sites contain plugins i.e. from themeforest and other "pseudo-proprietary" sites where you simply can't update those plugins automatically but where you want to update the rest of the plugins. All those have to marked separately per site as "don't update".

I, therefore, have the feature request that there must be a way to copy a master setting for one multisite to all existing subsites in one multisite/multinetwork installation which is using one and the same plugins directory!

There are also other reasons i.e.
all plugins in plugins directory get updated together by one site.
even if you run a template from different "pseudo-proprietary" template sites where the templates also offer their own plugins (which all have to be GPL v.2 by default by the way), all those plugins could be used also on all other sites of a multisite and it does not make sense to have all those error messages on all those sites which don't use that specific "pseudo-proprietary" template.

It would also be very helpful to see the path (domain) where the update would be pulled! and to have the ability to enter an own repository from where the plugins and themes could be updated.

Kind regards
Andi

  • Oguz

    Hey Andi ,

    Hope you're well!

    Let me explain one thing quickly; The WordPress has core system for theme/plugin updates and Automate uses that core standards to automatically update any plugin or theme. If any Envato or any other 3rd party plugin provider uses WordPress core update system, Automate should update it automatically.

    But as far as I know, they are just updating products over their plugin http://envato.github.io/wp-envato-market/. And beside that because of every plugin or theme on Envato made by different people, all products can have their own update system. So there is no way to implement something and cover all items at all markets/marketplaces for 100% sure. For this reason, we are only trying to cover WordPress standard update system :slight_smile:

    Cheers,
    Oguz

  • 247web

    Hi - totally agree with Andi about updating all the plugins within a multisite and / or being able to copy settings between sites for all standard plugins. Please add this as a feature request.

    I understand that plugins from 3rd party .. envato, etc. probably wont happen - especially if "attached" to a theme - those places cant even get their own act together for updating properly!

    However, it appears that Automate has a number of problems with compatibility with a number of standard (very popular) plugins in Wordpress - if they are installed, updates just dont take place. And as a result switches off updating for these plugins. - Absolute pain to have to go to individual sites to switch update back on.

  • Andi

    The main Problem with Envato Theme - Themforest Plugins and Themes/Templates are that automate is recognizing them and updating them which is causing a lot of requests and even not displaying sites for a certain time. The site up and down features then immediately reports that tons of sites are down and after 5 minutes and more the same emails again that those sites are up again.

    We, for example, don't want actually that any of the plugins we purchase via a theme or via a template or specific from a "pseudo-proprietary" provider like ThemeForest and many others. Instead, only plugins from wpmudev, wordpress.org, and our own gits or trusted resources should get updated.

    As those are always, again and again, the same inside one multisite with hundreds of sites it is a very stupid task to go to every single site and activating and deactivating, again and again, the same plugins to be updated or not updated via automate.

    I think the approach of automating is perhaps simply wrong.

    1. multisite or a multinetwork has ONLY ONE Plugin Folder and ONE Theme Folder where all Plugins and Themes reside beside having ONE mu-plugin folder too which might contain plugins which might need to be updated. This is also valid for all Multinetwork of Multisitesnetworks - ONE FOLDER per MNoMSN.
    2. This said the approach must be to contact that 3 specific folder ONLY ONE TIME per MN or MSN to update all plugins - which means updates via download and merge/replace
    3. As some plugin/theme updates might require also database updates the next step must be to go to every single MSN (even if inside an MN) and update all Network installed plugins and do the Upgrade Network - not sure if that is actually happening right now!
    4. The last step would be to go to each site and DB-update the INSTALLED plugins per site if necessary.

    All information about all sites who reside inside an MSN and which MSN resides in an MN is actually available via HUB and should be easy to be set up in a Tabbed manner.

    MN
    -- MSN A (can be also Site A.0) Blog ID-1
    -- -- Site A.1 Blog ID-2
    -- -- Site A.2 Blog ID-3
    -- MSN B (can be also Site B.0) Blog ID-4
    -- -- Site B.1 Blog ID-6
    -- -- Site B.2 Blog ID-8
    -- -- Site B.3 Blog ID-9
    -- MSN C (can be also Site C.0) Blog ID-5
    -- MSN D (can be also Site D.0) Blog ID-7

    Sites are assigned to Multisite Network

    All Multisite Networks will have one ROOT Multinetwork Path to all 3 folders which might need to be updated besides the WP core which also exists only once. The Server-path to that main installation is actually known and always the same throughout the complete WP installation, even the domain path might differ because all sites could use also another domain.

    So the only thing Dashboard would need is actually the path from ROOT to the Root of a WordPress MultiNetwork of Multisites or if it isn't a MultiNetwork, then it would need also only the Multisite ROOT Domain Path one time for all plugins for all sites which are inside one Multisite.

    If you now run many of those settings in parallel then it should be quite simple to simply ONLY update the files in the ROOT of a MultiNetwork or Multisite and not again and again for each simple MS Network inside a MultiNetwork installation.

    As the dashboard is currently not working with MultiNetwork of Multisites this is the only working method to have the ROOT PATH of a site known so the hub is recognizing which sites are from the same ROOT (need to be file updated once) but perhaps need to get DB updates per network and perhaps even per site!

  • Nastia

    Hello Andi and 247web

    If a 3rd party plugin requires any API authentication, it will need a special integration with the Automate feature. Thank you for your suggestion and the insight. Though it is a complex procedure, if more members will vote in this thread our developers will consider adding this feature.

    247web

    However, it appears that Automate has a number of problems with compatibility with a number of standard (very popular) plugins in Wordpress - if they are installed, updates just dont take place.

    If these issues are not reported yet, please let us know about them via live support, so we could investigate it further.

    Have a great day and take care!

    Cheers,
    Nastia

  • Andi

    Hi Nastia
    I hope you are fine!

    I think you don't understand the real problem!

    It is NOT about Envato or any other NON-WPMUDEV plugin which NEEDS to get updated.

    It is a VERY SIMPLE and not at all complex request to be able to set up a default set, which then gets copied to all other multisite settings.

    Let's try to explain it even simpler:
    Below you find some site settings which we will use as a Demo. You can easily see activated and notactive - right :slight_smile: so it is very easy to do those settings like in the HUB automate where they use colors and you need to move your mouse to switch the colors to activated and notactive. But the principal is exactly the same - you need to set each single plugin.

    In regular Multi-Sites you often use the same plugins and themes - I numbered them. This is especially the case if they are part of a Multi-Network installation.

    Site A has the following settings

    Plugin 001 activated
    Plugin 002 activated
    Plugin 003 activated
    Plugin 004 activated
    Plugin 005 activated
    Plugin 006 activated
    Plugin 007 notactive
    Plugin 008 activated
    Plugin 009 activated
    Plugin 010 activated
    Plugin 011 activated
    Plugin 012 activated
    Plugin 013 activated
    Plugin 014 activated
    Plugin 015 activated
    Plugin 016 activated
    Plugin 017 activated
    Plugin 018 notactive
    Plugin 019 activated
    Plugin 020 activated
    Plugin 021 activated
    Plugin 022 activated
    Plugin 023 activated
    Plugin 024 activated
    Plugin 025 activated
    Plugin 026 activated
    Plugin 027 activated
    Plugin 028 notactive
    Plugin 029 activated
    Plugin 030 activated
    Plugin 031 activated
    Plugin 032 activated
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    Plugin 034 activated
    Plugin 035 activated
    Plugin 036 activated
    Plugin 037 notactive
    Plugin 038 activated
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    Plugin 040 activated
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    Plugin 063 notactive
    Plugin 064 activated
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    Plugin 067 notactive
    Plugin 068 activated
    Plugin 069 notactive
    Plugin 070 notactive
    Plugin 071 activated
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    Plugin 074 notactive
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    Plugin 076 activated
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    Plugin 086 activated
    Plugin 087 activated
    Plugin 088 activated
    Plugin 089 activated
    Theme 001 activated
    Theme 002 activated
    Theme 003 activated
    Theme 004 activated
    Theme 005 activated
    Theme 006 notactive
    Theme 007 activated
    Theme 008 notactive
    Theme 009 activated
    Theme 010 activated
    Theme 011 activated
    Theme 012 activated
    Theme 013 activated
    Theme 014 activated
    Theme 015 notactive
    Theme 016 activated
    Theme 017 activated
    Theme 018 activated
    Theme 019 activated

    Site B has the following settings

    Plugin 001 activated
    Plugin 002 activated
    Plugin 003 activated
    Plugin 004 activated
    Plugin 005 activated
    Plugin 006 activated
    Plugin 007 activated
    Plugin 008 activated
    Plugin 009 activated
    Plugin 010 activated
    Plugin 011 activated
    Plugin 012 activated
    Plugin 013 activated
    Plugin 014 activated
    Plugin 015 activated
    Plugin 016 activated
    Plugin 017 activated
    Plugin 018 activated
    Plugin 019 activated
    Plugin 020 activated
    Plugin 021 activated
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    Plugin 037 notactive
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    Plugin 067 notactive
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    Plugin 074 notactive
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    Plugin 076 activated
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    Plugin 084 activated
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    Plugin 086 activated
    Plugin 087 activated
    Plugin 088 activated
    Plugin 089 activated
    Theme 001 activated
    Theme 002 activated
    Theme 003 activated
    Theme 004 activated
    Theme 005 activated
    Theme 006 activated
    Theme 007 activated
    Theme 008 notactive
    Theme 009 activated
    Theme 010 activated
    Theme 011 activated
    Theme 012 activated
    Theme 013 activated
    Theme 014 activated
    Theme 015 notactive
    Theme 016 activated
    Theme 017 activated
    Theme 018 activated
    Theme 019 activated

    Site C has the following settings

    Plugin 001 notactive
    Plugin 002 notactive
    Plugin 003 notactive
    Plugin 004 notactive
    Plugin 005 notactive
    Plugin 006 notactive
    Plugin 007 activated
    Plugin 008 activated
    Plugin 009 activated
    Plugin 010 notactive
    Plugin 011 notactive
    Plugin 012 activated
    Plugin 013 notactive
    Plugin 014 activated
    Plugin 015 activated
    Plugin 016 activated
    Plugin 017 activated
    Plugin 018 activated
    Plugin 019 activated
    Plugin 020 activated
    Plugin 021 activated
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    Plugin 027 activated
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    Plugin 035 activated
    Plugin 036 activated
    Plugin 037 notactive
    Plugin 038 activated
    Plugin 039 activated
    Plugin 040 activated
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    Plugin 063 activated
    Plugin 064 activated
    Plugin 065 activated
    Plugin 066 activated
    Plugin 067 notactive
    Plugin 068 activated
    Plugin 069 notactive
    Plugin 070 notactive
    Plugin 071 activated
    Plugin 072 activated
    Plugin 073 activated
    Plugin 074 notactive
    Plugin 075 notactive
    Plugin 076 activated
    Plugin 077 activated
    Plugin 078 activated
    Plugin 079 activated
    Plugin 080 activated
    Plugin 081 activated
    Plugin 082 activated
    Plugin 083 activated
    Plugin 084 activated
    Plugin 085 activated
    Plugin 086 activated
    Plugin 087 activated
    Plugin 088 activated
    Plugin 089 activated
    Theme 001 activated
    Theme 002 activated
    Theme 003 activated
    Theme 004 activated
    Theme 005 activated
    Theme 006 activated
    Theme 007 activated
    Theme 008 notactive
    Theme 009 activated
    Theme 010 activated
    Theme 011 activated
    Theme 012 activated
    Theme 013 activated
    Theme 014 activated
    Theme 015 notactive
    Theme 016 activated
    Theme 017 activated
    Theme 018 activated
    Theme 019 activated

    Site D has the following settings

    Site 123 has the following settings

    Plugin 001 activated
    Plugin 002 activated
    Plugin 003 activated
    Plugin 004 activated
    ...

    And so on

    ->>>> now set all those 123 and more Multisite with identical settings!

    This is especially necessary if you run Multinetwork of Multisites as until now you need to set each Multi-Site Network in HUB even it is part of hundreds of other Multisite Networks in the same Multi-Network of Multi-Site Networks.

    simply give it a try then you might know more about the Hazzle with the HUB automate settings.

    To replicate the problem simply copy site A, site B, site C about 30 times, which will give you about 90 Multi Site Networks. As all settings in site A, site B, site C are slightly different right now but should be exactly the same like it is in site A, start and modify now all 89 other sites so that at the end all look exactly the same!

    RULES:
    Don't use copy and paste - as in the HUB you can't copy and paste!
    Make sure that all 90 sites afterward have exactly the same settings like in A

    Before you start to have a look at your smartphone and start the stopwatch, when finished press stop! How long did it take :wink:

    I hope that this makes it a bit easier to understand the problem!
    =======+++

    SOLUTION

    All sites listed in the HUB are listed in their hierarchy instead of being listed in a long endless non-hierarchical list.

    The top of each hierarchy is in any case (Multi Network of Multi-Site Networks or Multi-Site Network) the root folder - BASE DOMAIN!!! - all other domains would be alias Domains.

    All 3 folders which need updates are ALWAYS located in the BASE DOMAIN!!! so there is actually no need to upload the same files again and again in all alias Domains!

    BUT

    ALL Multisite Network in on Multisite Network of Multisites might have the identical Network activated plugins activated. Therefore it would be great to simply list those and being able to update all of them for all sites inside one Multisite Network or Multi Network of Multi-Site Networks as some of them need also a DB update besides having their files and folders updated

    AND

    All subsites inside one of the Multi-Site Networks which is a standalone one or it is located inside a Multi-Network of Multi-Site Networks would need also an update of their specific Databases.

    SOLUTION to achieve that in one step is simple:

    1. UPDATE ALL FILES - from the Base Domain
    2. UPDATE ALL BLOG ID's inside that Base Domain (the Blog IDs might have other Domain or subdomain or subfolder or combination of them Domain Records! - which actually does not matter at all as all reside in one single Database :slight_smile:

    Kind regards
    Andi

  • 247web

    Hi Andi
    Do you think the ability to create a "template of custom settings" which can then be selected from a list of custom templates and applied to any site might solve the problem in the mean time?

    I obviously dont have as complicated multisite network as you appear to have but as an interim measure, perhaps a template scenario would work - you do after all have to set up the rest of the hub options at least once for each site.

    Different approach - just a thought ...

  • Andi

    It would already help - sure. The point is if you have some way to apply a setting to all or all checked multisite in a list would be great and makes life much easier.

    I don't have many multi sites - actually only 4 Multi Network of MultisiteNetworks but as automate has no way to find out what is the actual ROOT domain, things get complicated and redundant as you would need to setup all multisite networks inside that multi-network site separately - which causes redundancies in file upload and lots of requests which should actually only happen one time and not for all multisiteIDs which run under always the same WordPress Installation and Master Database.

  • Oguz

    Hey Andi ,

    Hope you're well today!

    I completely understand your situation. I already performed some test on my test multi-network. First of all, let me say that our plugins are not fully multi-network compatibly. Multi Networks are more complicated then Multi Sites.

    But if enough people support that idea I am sure our developers can think to implement features for multi-network sites too. This thread looks like auto updates and dashboard plugins compatibility with Multi Networks.

    When we come to other parts which also 247web supports, the copying and pasting settings for plugins between subsites of multisite; I don't think there is a possible way to do that. There is no restriction about that on WordPress to store options in an exact way.

    So plugins can store options on options table or their own table or the file system, we can't know that. For that reason, it's not possible to make it. Only plugins can offer export, import solution maybe.

    I hope that helps as more clear.

    Cheers,
    Oguz

  • Andi

    Hi Oguzhan

    I know that multi-network is not fully compatible and as it looks like not further developed we are even thinking about forking it but the major problem is that we would need also all wpmudev plugins up and running with multi-network. Anyway that is part of another post.

    Concerning the autoupdate it actually does not play a bigger role as the principal in copying settings to all multisites would be the same with or without multinetwork - it is simply a headache to setup tens, hundreds or even thousands of multisites without having the possibility to use a template for the master settings before some finetuning takes place per site.

    Right now it means what I mentioned further above to check each single plugin in each single multisite - in short a headache!

    I am not sure with what you have programmed the hub. So I not really understand what you say here: "I don't think there is a possible way to do that. There is no restriction about that on WordPress to store options in an exact way."

    this is actually not needed if the HUB has a way to enable templating settings. - nothing to do actually with the wordpress installation itself.

    It would be more an ajax thing to have a template and yo activate setting you wish to apply to a certain site and with a click all these settings have been done.

    The checkboxes in the HUB automate are not been set by a WordPress Multisite but ONLY in the HUB!

    Therefore all the predefined templates could be stored there and then been entered. It would even help if you could store a setting locally - download it as text file or xml file and then you could upload a setting or modify your settings locally - then upload the set and apply it via the file.

    All those settings for automate get stored on the HUB and not in the Multisite. The Hub is initiating the update process.

    So there are multiple ways actually to solve problems like that but again and again I can only again remind that it would be more than helpful to have a way to contribute in a professional way - which means via git push and pull requests.

    The only other possibility left would be to build up an own hub and then adjust all those settings in the plugins needed for the hub on a git space with others who have the same need - but that would be outside of WPMUDEV!

    Kind regards
    Andi

  • Andi

    Yep Oguz

    You should be able to set up templates on HUB with all those automate settings. Those templates then could be chosen and applied. That is the easiest way to solve that repeating click click click not click etc. problem on a per site base.
    Instead, you choose one of the predefined templates, which could be also settings of another site you have already done for example and you choose it and finished the job. If further adjustments are necessary for that specific site i.e. because another plugin is installed there too then you can simply correct the setting afterward and when finished that setting could again be a predefined setting for another site.

    All takes place on the hub.

    And the other thing was the problem of subsites which get listed on the hub and that can be easily solved by applying the root path to the Dashboard - it can either read it out from the given root or it could be entered manually.

    With that setting, the HUB could put all sites which belong to the same root path into a group and update the files only once instead of trying to download them multiple times which is causing a timeout usually of some minutes.

    So these are two separate things which need to be done with automate on the HUB.

    Kind regards
    Andi

  • Dimitris

    Hey there Andi,

    hope you're doing good today and I appreciate the extended explanation here! :slight_smile:

    Yes, this could be a nice addition in our Hub, especially for Multi-Network installations, despite the fact that these aren't that much famous nowadays.
    Hopefully these points will be upvoted by more WPMUDEV members and our dev/growth team will consider implement these.

    Warm regards,
    Dimitris

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