Force Disabled Plugins

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On some sites, you might find that certain “Network Activated” plugins are “Force Disabled”.  Let’s dive into what these terms mean.

  1. Network Activated: A network activated plugin is a plugin that a network administrator has enabled for all sites in the network.  There is no way for a blog-level administrator to “opt out” or disable these plugins.
  2. Force Disabled: A force disabled plugin utilizes a feature of the Sudbury Multisite installation that allows Network Enabled plugins to be forcibly disabled on select sites. This goes against the paradigm of Network plugins.  Read on for the reasoning.

In our multisite installation, there are a select few sites that were custom designed as standalone WordPress blogs (Goodnow and Senior Center) by the developer. This allowed the developer to execute a standard WordPress development contract without having to deal with the complexities that come with a Multisite Installation.  Select plugins that the Multisite installation uses were selected and used on the Development sites for compatibility when the site was ready for deployment.  Upon deployment, the development sites were imported into the Multisite installation as subsites.  However, there were plugins used by the main Sudbury site that were not needed on the subsite.  As a result, a network administrator sets a blog option with a list of plugins that were not desired and those plugins are what we call “Force Disabled”. This eliminates the need to network-disable most of the existing plugins only to enable them again on each of the rest of the subsites.  This ensures the remaining “Main Site Subsites” have a consistent plugin configuration.