Make WordPress Core

Opened 5 years ago

Closed 5 years ago

Last modified 5 years ago

#23825 closed defect (bug) (maybelater)

Demand to disable plugins in order to create a network doesn't make sense

Reported by: mark-k Owned by:
Milestone: Priority: normal
Severity: normal Version: 3.0
Component: Network Admin Keywords:
Focuses: multisite Cc:


  1. have some plugins active on a stand alone WP
  2. add define('WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE', true); to wp-config.php
  3. go to "tools" >> "Network Setup" and you get a "Warning: Please deactivate your plugins before enabling the Network feature."
  4. you have to disable the plugins in order to continue the process

And I have to ask why? This doesn't make sense for the following reasons

  1. Why plugins and not themes? any "bad" code that can be in a plugin can also be in a theme.
  1. If the plugins provide essential functionality, then my site will stop behaving as expected. This basically will put the site in maintenance mode, so why not to do it automatically in the code to be able to get faster in and out of this mode?
  1. Did it ever happened that a plugin ruined a network install?

At the least this should be treated as a warning and not as an error, i.e. the text get displayed but the user can continue with the process if he decides to ignore the warning.

Change History (4)

#1 follow-up: @wpmuguru
5 years ago

The reason for the block is that some plugins function differently in a network than they do in a single site. The same does not apply to themes.

Two plugin examples are WP Super Cache & W3 Total Cache which both need to be active on all sites in a network if they are active at all.

#2 in reply to: ↑ 1 @mark-k
5 years ago

Replying to wpmuguru:

The reason for the block is that some plugins function differently in a network than they do in a single site.

Then. It is the responsability of the plugin to alert the user to make relevant adjustments. Maybe some option needs to be changed as well.....

In any case, if this is the best practice then core should enforce it instead of passing the responsability to the user

#3 @jeremyfelt
5 years ago

  • Milestone Awaiting Review deleted
  • Resolution set to maybelater
  • Status changed from new to closed

The shift from single site to multisite is very much a shift made with intent. I think the notice that plugins need to be disabled is a good way to handle things right now. This does a lot to ensure that the appropriate expectations are set when the administrator logs in to the network for the first time.

It's possible this can be handled differently in the future, but I don't think we're in a place to that any time soon.

#4 @mark-k
5 years ago

I actually don't see a level of complexity that requires major design or coding effort. sure you don't want to try to fix it now in 3.8 but there is no reason I can see this can't be in early 3.9.

The current behavior is a total bug since a theme can misbehave in a network setting but there is no suggestion about setting the active theme to one of the default ones. If nothing else then the message should be rewarded to include themes as well as plugins.

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