Using the sitewide tags plugin

I often recommend the use of the Sitewide tags plugin as a means to pull in all the posts from all the sites across the network to the front page, or a secondary blog.

Even though the plugin is pretty straightforward, a lot of people get tripped up on the little details.

Installation: Install the plugin file in the mu-plugins folder please. This way it works across the entire network and is immediately working. If not, you can run it from the plugins folder but it *must* be network activated. Read more about the mu-plugins folder here.

Setup: after install, visit the Super Admin -> Options menu page.

Scroll down and tick the checkbox to tell the plugin to start gathering new posts.

Now we have a couple options to set here. In the screenshot below, I’ve set it to send posts to the main blog in the network.

(click for bigger)

New posts will be added as they are published to the public sites. If the privacy setting is set to anything else, these posts will not pull through to the tags (or main) blog. You can find the privacy setting under each site’s Settings -> Privacy menu.

For a working example, visit the home page of HomeschoolJournal.net.

Comments

  1. I can vouch for the awesomeness of this plugin. It’s my absolute favorite. It’s far easier to use than any of the WPMU indexing stuff & I’ve used it on quite a few projects.

    IMO, it’s an absolute MUST if you want to do “sitewide” ANYTHING!!

  2. Quick one: can manually added posts also be published on the ‘sitewide tags’ blog?

    thanks

  3. Thanks for the help. Is it possible to reverse the order of the posts being displayed? Mine show the oldest at the top of the page…

    • If they are displayed in reverse order, check your theme. It;s the theme (or another plugin) that woudl do that. Defualt WP behaviour shows posts with the newest at the top. SWT just pulls them as they are.

  4. Thx but any idea what plugin might be doing that? I’ve checked three or four themes. It’s not doing it on any other blog, either–even our syndicated ones. We’re using very few plugins…

  5. Wait, wait, wait… just realized it pulled in two earlier posts before my test post. Strange that others weren’t pulled in too, but I’ll keep checking. Thanks

  6. Hi Andrea,

    Thanks for beautiful tutorial. I am trying to follow the same.

    I think it is my request only on the wordpress forums that inspired you to write this post :)!!

    Regards,
    Sam.

  7. Is it possible to edit a post pulled in from other blogs, prior to publishing it?
    I’d like to be able to change title, excerpt or body content to provide an introduction to entice reader to click through
    thanks

  8. (sorry. problems sending last comment thru – wrong email)

    Is it possible to edit a post pulled in from other blogs, prior to publishing it?
    I’d like to be able to change title, excerpt or body content to provide an introduction to entice reader to click through
    thanks

  9. Hi Andrea, nice post.
    I am using this plug in and is working almost perfectly. The only thing not working is that it is not passing the featured image information to the tags/main blog.
    Do you know how to configure/modify the plugin to make it copy the featured information too?

  10. I would like to put my agregated blog on a home PAGE rather than a home POST – do you know if i can use shortcode to enter in the home PAGE content so the agg. blog appeasr below the rest of the home page content?

    thanks p

  11. Thanks for your replies guys.
    One more if I may.
    Is there duplication in the database when using this, or does the sitewide blog directly reference the specific content form each blog’s tables?
    I’m wary of potentially doubling the database size using a plugin like this.
    thanks

  12. I’m still developing my network, and have all site privacy set to logged in users only – including the newly created, sitewide site.

    Will I only see the aggregated content if everything is set to public?

    thanks

  13. I tried to install the plugin by uploading it to mu-plugins .But it failed to appear under “plugins”page in my admin panel . It appeared when I uploaded to plugins folder .

    Am I missing some thing?

  14. Thanks Andrea, you’re the wp face.

    Just a note from my experience, if you want to use this plugin, use it with sub-directory based multisite (instead of subdomain blogs) and pull the posts to main blog. This way you can generate a good sitemap for your main blog that acceptable to google webmaster tools. URL in your sitemap will looks like;

    http: // yourwpmusite. com/blog1/post1
    http: // yourwpmusite. com/blog2/post1
    http: // yourwpmusite. com/blog2/post2

    instead of, if you use it with subdomain based multisite, your main blog sitemap will look like;

    http: //blog1. yourwpmusite. com/post1
    http: //blog2. yourwpmusite. com/post1
    http: //blog2. yourwpmusite. com/post2

    which will be rejected by google webmaster tools. You might know the correct phrase for what I’m trying to say.

    hope this will help someone.

  15. When I was running WordPress MU, the Sitewide Tags plugin would properly coordinate the Categories between the main blog and the sub blog.

    Thus if you created a series of Categories on the main blog and one of those was Scissors and was assigned Category ID# of 41, you could then create a sub blog that has no categories other than uncategorized, and if you added the category “Scissors” to this brand new subblog the plugin would somehow “check” with the main blog, notice that it was already there, and would then assign it a Category ID# of 41 as well.

    The result was that when you checked the clone posts in the main blog which had be grabbed from the subblog, the categories would match.

    I find this not to be so with WordPress 3.0 Multi Site.

    If Scissors was Category #41 in the Main blog, and then you added it to the sub-blog at a later time, the sub blog might randomly assign it to category #8 or something.

    At this point, when you check the clone post on the main blog, the category assigned would be whatever category #8 happened to be on the main blog…might be cat litter or something…but not scissors.

    Does anyone know if this is going to be fixed in the future or if there is a way to make everything match up right now?

    I really need the category IDs to match up across all of the blogs. I’m holding off on upgrading my main sites until this is rectified because it causes chaos on the main blog in the front page display settings

    • I just discovered a possible fix on this.

      I downloaded the newest version of the plugin and then installed it on a WP 3.0 Networked site I started a bit ago for Flash Cards.

      The site had not used Sitewide Tags before. Instead of creating a MU-Plugins folder, I just installed it in the main plugins folder and Network Activated it from the main blog’s plugins admin area and subsequently Turned it on in the Options area.

      From there with went to the Greek Flash Cards Sub Blog and updated all the posts in order to populate the main blog (which had zero posts) with the posts from the Greek Flashcard Sub Blog.

      In the Main Blog my category “Greek Flash Cards” was assigned to Category 12.

      I then created a NEW Sub Blog and manually created a “Greek Flash Cards” category which was assigned to Cat ID# 5.

      I created a dummy post in the Greek Flash Cards category on this new sub blog. I then went to check the category counts.

      In the sub blog, where the category was assigned to ID# 5, it showed as having 1 post in that category.

      In the main blog, where the same category was assigned to ID #12, the post count increased from 12 to 13 posts.

      This means that the structure on the main blog is kept organized somehow (maybe by the actual name of the category) and not the Category ID #.

      Either way, when I create a post in the Greed Flash Card category on the sub-blog, it is assigned to the proper category on the main blog. This means that when I tell the theme to Display “Greek Flash Cards” on the home page, the proper posts are displayed regardless of the actual ID they were assigned to…which is the desired result.

  16. Can custom post types also be displayed with the sitewide tags plugin?

  17. can custom post types also be displayed in the sitewide tags blog?
    thanks

  18. I am searching far and wide for some way to do the opposite of what this plugin does (as best as I understand it, anyway). I have a WP-MS network of sites in which I want to pull a post a month from 1 blog or category into all of the other sites on the network. Do you know of any way to accomplish this?

  19. Bit weird that all questions about the ability to use the Sitewide Tags plugin with Custom Post Types are categorically ignored here as well as on other fora and threads…

    Is it therefore safe to assume that it works with custom taxonomies and post formats but that it does NOT work with Custom Post Types?

  20. “Bit weird that all questions about the ability to use the Sitewide Tags plugin with Custom Post Types are categorically ignored here as well as on other fora and threads…”

    Care to provide a link as to where it was ignored?

    “Is it therefore safe to assume that it works with custom taxonomies and post formats but that it does NOT work with Custom Post Types?”

    No, that’s not a safe assumption. Support for custom post types was added 17 months ago. The initial Custom Post support was added to WordPress version 2.9. I’ll make a note to add that to the SWT changelog the next time I’m updating the plugin.