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Site Categories

Add a new level of flexibility and control to Multisite for organizing sites into categories. Perfect for improving navigation on large networks. Give your network a simpler more connected experience with site descriptions and icons.

Downloads 27,549
Ultra Compatible

Changelog / Translations

  • Fixed: Wrong link being displayed on view link in admin.
  • Fixed: Prevent various PHP errors.
  • Fixed: Typos.
  • Fixed: Only show category specific sites on single category widget.
  • Fixed: Wrong link being displayed on view link in admin.
  • Fixed: Prevent various PHP errors.
  • Fixed: Typos.
  • Fixed: Only show category specific sites on single category widget.

  • Fixed: The sorting of site categories on signup page
  • Fixed: Site description not being added for new blogs
  • Fixed: Default category not added when none selected from signup page

  • Fixed: Image Upload Button Does Not Work
  • Fixed: "Category parents selectable" is set to "no" hides child categories
  • Fixed: PHP Notice for Site Categories outdated method
  • Fixed: Clicking on number of sites was generating wrong URL

  • Corrected reported issue where empty category items on the landing page were improperly linked.

Version 1.0.9
  • Added option on accordion output to link to parent category.
  • Added option to open site links in new window for landing page as well as all three widgets.
  • Added option to show return link on sites listing to return to main landing page listing.
  • Added landing page output option for nested unordered list, nested ordered list and nested select.
  • Added accordion display option for child categories to show in flat unordered list, nested unordered list, flat ordered list, nested ordered list OL flat select and nested select.
  • Added grid display option for child categories to show in flat unordered list, nested unordered list, flat ordered list, nested ordered list OL flat select and nested select.

  • Corrections to WP Media popup loading. Corrections to loading the new media libraries used for WP 3.5.
  • Corrections to Accordion landing page display where zero count categories were improperly being linked.
  • Corrections to content formatting for sub-category desctiptions. Previously calling content filters which causes recursive looping.
  • Corrections to inherited Walker class showing PHP5 strict errors.

  • Updated avatar selection buttons to use new WP Media popup over thickbox.

  • Corrected issues enqueueing JS/CSS to be compatible with https in dashboard.
  • Ensure all avatars and icons on dashboard and front-end are being set to https:// when SSL used.
  • Added logic to prevent loading plugin if installed on non-Multisite WordPress site.

  • Added Include 'AND' option to Site from single site categoy widget.
  • Corrected logic for the include OR/AND category IDs
  • Check UI works with new WP 38 and TwentyFourteen theme
  • Updates to new WPMU DEV Dashboard notification library

  • Added Include/Exclude/Exclude Tree option for Site Category IDs to all three widgets
  • Added Include/Exclude option for Blog IDs to Category Sites widget
  • Added Output Option Select Nested/Flat option categories widget
  • Corrected issue on widget admin to show dropdown categories in alph order

  • Corrected incorrect version number '' in previous update. should have been ''. Causing update issues for members.

  • Corrected issue on new filter added in previous version. Now returning correct value.
  • Corrected issue on new dropdown display option

  • Added options for Widget Site Categories to display output as select.
  • Added options for Widget Site Categories Sites to display output as select.
  • Added support for BuddyPress register form.
  • Added filter 'site_categories_user_can_view' to allow hiding the landing page or widgets content from being displayed on certain pages or to certain users.
  • Fixed reported issue with Cloud widget not showing when showing all categories.

Version 1.0.8
  • Added option to disable rewrite rules (Pretty URLs) for Category display. Needed if landing page set to home.
  • Corrected/Added options to order category site listings.
  • Added support for a default virtual category to display all non-assigned sites to help with initial install of plugin.

  • Added filter to remove inner html from images used.
  • Reverted back to using thickbox for category icon selection. Until issues can be resolved with WP new media selector.

  • Update media selection from using Thickbox to newer Media popup from WP 3.5

  • Updated plugin JavaScript for upcoming WordPress 3.6/jQuery 1.9 changes.

  • Added field to control selected site category title prefix

  • Changes to double-check excluded categories variable type on signup page. Was throwing a warning.

  • Corrected logic on new site signup form to required labels on categories and labels.
  • Added div wrapper around new site signup form site categories elements to allow hiding these via theme CSS.

  • Changes to correct category counts.
  • Lowered timeout on widgets caching from 120 seconds to 30 seconds.

  • Fixed issue where Deleted, Archive, Deactivated blog was not properly decrementing Site Category counter.
  • Fixed warning messages on uninitialized category exclude array
  • Added Site Category column to Network > Sites listing
  • Corrected landing page category sites listing to show only public blogs. Excluding Spam, Deactivated, Mature and Non-Active blogs.

  • Added site category exclude input field to form settings. This will allow super admins to exclude categories from new signup and blog settings. Only super admins can assigns site to these excluded categories.
  • Correct link on Single Category Widget to link to the proper Site Category page instead of the landing page.
  • Some CSS tweaking.

Version 1.0.7
  • Fixed issue with strip slashes on site descriptions per

Version 1.0.6
  • Corrected in category widget where the site category slug and avatar were not being set if the number of categories were less than the per page amount.

Version 1.0.5
  • Corrected issue on displaying Site description
  • Corrected issue reported with loosing settings on plugin upgrade.

Version 1.0.4
  • Corrected code for Multi-Network support of Categories. Corrected issue on new site signup for non-authenticated users. (thanks Jafar Amin) Corrected image URL used on site/category icons when page is SSL. Correct issue on Landing page showing double output of content (thanks Jafar Amin)

Version 1.0.3
  • Remove debug output from Grid display template
  • Corrected some typos in the translation .pot text
  • Added more help details on the New Site Form options

Version 1.0.2
  • Corrected issue counting category items (sites) when viewing landing page.
  • Corrected forced break in Grid display template.
  • Added options for better handling of hierarchical category display for Grid and Accordion layouts. Allows selection of show icon, show description, show icon and icon size for parent and child categories
  • Add option 'Category parents selectable' to prevent selection of top-level categories. This is handy when using the accordion layout option to. So on the new site registration and the site settings page the dropdown(s) will limit selection to child categories only.

Version 1.0.1
  • Added better logic for New Site Signup form to validate and enforce required fields. On the backend added new metabox where network admin can control required fields and labels for New Site Signup form.
  • Added link to Landing page on Site Settings page.
  • Added Tag Cloud widget with many options including category selection and font sizes control

Version 1
  • Initial Release.
Easily categorize sites on your Multisite network with Site Categories.
  • Display as an ordered or unordered list
  • Accordion, grid layout or dropdown menu
  • Add category select to site signup
  • Put sites into categories on Multisite
  • Custom category icons
  • Display site avatars

Organize sites into categories and make it easier for users to search and discover new content on your network with Site Categories.

Quickly add site categories to your network.

Super-Charge Core Structure

Site Categories adds a new level of flexibility and control to Multisite creating a more connected network experience for your users.

Perfect for an e-commerce mall, education network or blog community.

Make Your Network More Networky

Give site administrators the ability to select related categories at signup. Create as many categories as you need to best organize your network.

Create a simpler more beautiful navigation experience with site descriptions and avatars.

Simple configuration for any style layout.

Display Options

Built-in List, Grid, Dropdown and Accordion style settings let you fit any style.

Both unordered and order options, provide control and versatility for designing the best layout for your network.

Set category page display options with custom category icons, category descriptions, sites per page and how page titles display with a custom prefix.

3 Included Widgets

This plugin comes packaged with three widgets for natural integration.

  • Site categories list
  • Categories cloud widget
  • List sites from a single category

A Better Multisite

Create a more searchable network and give your users more control. Categories expand the power of Multisite by making sites easier to discover.

To Get Started:

Start by reading the Installing Plugins section in our comprehensive WordPress and WordPress Multisite Manual if you are new to WordPress.

To Install:

  1. Download the plugin file.
  2. Unzip the file into a folder on your hard drive.
  3. Upload the /site-categories/ folder and all its contents to the /wp-content/plugins/ folder on your site.
  4. Login to your network admin panel and network-activate the plugin:

Please note:

Once the plugin is installed and network-activated, you’ll see a new menu item in the dashboard of your main site called Site Categories. This is where you will set the options for the plugin. There are NO network options for this plugin.


Let’s begin by checking out the new Site Categories on the main site. This will help you preview your layout options in the following steps.

Creating Your Site Categories

Click the “Site Categories” sub-menu item in the admin area of your main site. You may recognize the layout here. It’s your run-of-the-mill add categories menu, only this time it’s for your site categories.


In our examples on this page, we’ve created categories for a network of specialized stores. Go ahead and add a few categories that fit the type of sites in your network now (you can easily edit these later if you wish).

You may also have noticed the Icon column here. That enables you to optionally upload an icon for each site category after you create it. Simply hover your mouse pointer over any category and click the Edit link to upload your icon.


If you don’t want a specific icon for a site category, simply leave it blank to use your default image. We’ll get to that in a minute.

And that’s all for that part! Now lets go to “Site Categories” > “Settings” and look around in there.

Landing Page Selection

This first section lets you set the Landing Page. Simply select an existing page on your main site where you want the Site Categories listing to be displayed. If you want to create a new page for this, go do that now. Then come back and select it from the dropdown here.


You can also choose to use Pretty URLs so that they look like this:
…instead of this:

Site Categories Selection

Next up: the Site Categories Selection Options. This section enables you to set exactly what your site admins are able to select when they are configuring the categories for their site.

1. Enter how many categories site admins can select. 2. Adjust the numbers for Pro Sites sites. 3. Exclude some categories from selection if you wish. 4. Enable or disable parent category selection.
1. Enter how many categories site admins can select.
2. Adjust the numbers for Pro Sites sites.
3. Exclude some categories from selection if you wish.
4. Enable or disable parent category selection.

The Number of Categories per Site lets your site admins pick more than one category, but you can control how many total with this setting.

The Pro Site option that you see here will only show if you have Pro Sites installed. It lets you restrict the number of categories a Pro Sites site admin can choose. Note: There are no additional options in the Pro Sites menu, this is the only setting for Pro Site action.

The Excluded Categories option is useful if you want to reserve some site categories that only you, as network admin, have access to.

Category Parents Selectable simply allows or disallows the selection of parent categories by site admins.

Landing Page Categories Display

This is where you begin to actually set things up the way you want them to display on the front-end of your main site.

The first thing you’ll notice is that the available options will change depending on what you select in the Display Style dropdown.


The Unordered List and Ordered List options output simple vertical lists of your store categories. The Accordion and Grid options output, well, accordion or grid layouts.

Here’s what the grid and accordion layouts might look like on our example site.



We’ll only go over the options for a grid layout here. Then you can have fun exploring how things work with the other layout styles.

1. Enter the number of rows and columns for your grid. 2. Select how they should be ordered on the page. 3. Select whether you want empty categories to display or not. 4. Select to show the counts for parent and child categories. 5. Enable/disable the display of category descriptions. 6. Enable/disable the display of category icons. 7. Enter your preferred icon size. 8. Upload a default category icon if you wish.
1. Enter the number of rows and columns for your grid.
2. Select how they should be ordered on the page.
3. Select whether you want empty categories to display or not.
4. Select to show the counts for parent and child categories.
5. Enable/disable the display of category descriptions.
6. Enable/disable the display of category icons.
7. Enter your preferred icon size.
8. Upload a default category icon if you wish.

The Categories per Page option allows you to set up your grid display exactly the way you want it. Note that the grid display is not responsive. If you are using a responsive theme, you may wish to consider using a list or accordion layout.

The Order By option enables you to set the order by category Name or ID, or none at all. You can also select to have them display in ascending or descending order (alphabetically by Name, or numerically by ID).

Hide Empty Categories will, if enabled, simply prevent the display of site categories that don’t have any sites in them yet.

If you set the Show Counts option to Yes, the number of sites in each category will display beside the category name.

Enable Show Category Description to display the descriptions you entered when creating or editing your site categories (note that for clarity in our screenshots, we have elected to not display the category descriptions).

The Show Icons and Icon Size settings simply control the optional display of the category icons you may have added to each category.

The Default Category Image setting is where you can upload an image that will be used as the icon for any category that doesn’t have its own. Remember we left some blank earlier when creating our site categories? This is where we upload the icon to use for those ones.

Landing Page Sites Display

This section of the settings is where you set up how you want individual category pages to display. These settings should be familiar by now, so have a go and play around with them.


Below is an example of how a site page could look. We’ve chosen to display site descriptions here so you can see how they display.


You may have also noticed that, in our screenshot, individual sites have an avatar! This requires our Avatars plugin. If you do not have that plugin installed, you’ll see a friendly reminder instead of the settings.

New Site Signup Form

Finally, we have the settings for the form that you can choose to have displayed when users register on your network.


Show Site Categories section turns the form on or off on your site’s signup or register page.

Site Categories Selection Required should be set to “Yes” if you want category selection to be mandatory when users create new sites in your network.

Label for Site Categories Dropdowns is where you can enter the text you want to display above the category selection dropdowns.

Set Description is Required to “Yes” is you want site descriptions to be mandatory when users create new sites.

Label for Site Categories Description is where you can enter the text you want to display above the site description text area.

Here’s what the signup form would look like using our example site categories:


Note that the number of category dropdowns that appear here depends on the number you had set in the Site Categories Selection settings. Also, even if Pro Sites is active on your network, the number of selectable categories you had set for Pro Sites levels will not display here. That’s because the site hasn’t been created yet, and the plugin cannot yet know what Pro Site level the site is at.

And that’s it for the main site settings. Now let’s take a look at what your site admins see in their dashboards.

Sub-site Admin Settings

The sub-sites will all have a new menu option under the Settings tab called Site Categories.


In that admin area, your sub-site admins can select or modify the categories they want their sites to appear under.


The number of dropdowns, and thus the number of categories they can select, depends on the number you had previously set in the Site Categories Selection settings.

If you have the Pro Sites plugin installed on your network, and have set different numbers of categories that can be selected for them in the Site Categories Selection settings, those additional dropdowns will show up here.

The Site Description is where your sub-site admins can enter what they wish to have displayed on the individual category pages (as seen in the screenshot above).

Widgets… oh, yeah

There are 3 widgets available to show off the site categories, and sites, in your network.

The Site Categories widget displays a number of categories according to the options you select in the widget. If you use this widget, you may want to set “Parent Categories Selectable” to “Yes” in the Site Categories Selection Options to avoid having an empty category that links to a page with nothing on it.

Site Categories Widget options and example.
Site Categories widget options and example.

The Site Categories Cloud widget displays a cloud of your site categories much like the familiar tag cloud. You can select to display the child categories from a specific category only, and adjust the font sizes too.

Site Categories Cloud widget options and example.
Site Categories Cloud widget options and example.

Finally, there is the Sites from a Single Category widget that displays the specified number of sites withing a specified category. Here again, the display of avatars depends on the Avatars plugin.

Sites from a Single Category widget options and example.
Sites from a Single Category widget options and example.

We hope you and your site admins enjoy your new categorized network of sites! Your users and site visitors are sure to appreciate how much easier it is to find what they are looking for too!

If you run into any snags, just head on over to the community forums. Our stellar support team (and members!) are standing by to help you get things up and running smoothly.

Site Categories is covered by the WPMU DEV Guarantee

WPMU DEV Guarantee

We guarantee that...

  • Site Categories will work as advertised
  • You will receive 24/7 365 expert support for any problem
  • If you cancel your FREE trial, you can keep Site Categories
  • Site Categories is secure, always updated and well coded

Money back guarantee!

While you have 30 days, no obligations risk-free trial of WPMU DEV if you become a paid member and are dissatisfied with any of the above we'll refund you, no questions asked.

Features List

Make it easier to navigate your network

  • Custom category icons
  • Display site avatars
  • Nested categories
  • Select custom landing page
  • Display pretty URLs
  • Customize user category selection options
  • Category exclude
  • Display as an ordered list
  • Display as an unordered list
  • Accordion list option
  • Grid layout
  • Dropdown menu
  • Show category site count
  • Show category description
  • Add category select to site signup
  • Simple category management interface
  • Category select for each site
  • Site descriptions