Organize sites into categories and make it easier for users to search and discover new content on your network with Site Categories.
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.
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:
- Download the plugin file.
- Unzip the file into a folder on your hard drive.
- Upload the /site-categories/ folder and all its contents to the /wp-content/plugins/ folder on your site.
- Login to your network admin panel and network-activate the plugin:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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