Automatic Activation of Plugins

A long time “want” for WordPress, especially since dealing with a large number of blogs at b5media, has been to have a WordPress MU feature that provides a directory whereby all plugins are automatically activated. I have asked for it on back channels for several months now, but it wasn’t until recently that I realized how simple (and how backwards) the same functionality could be. I have to give credit to Barry and Matt at Automattic for pointing this out to me. Oh, Ryan did too.

The answer is the long-time hidden resident of WordPress, the my-hacks.php file. You create a plugin directory where all plugins will be activated from (we call it b5-plugins), and then simply update the my-hacks file as such:


We could probably go one better and read all the files in that directory into an array an execute, but my security fritz goes off when I get to that level of blind automation.

Published by Aaron Brazell

Aaron Brazell is a Baltimore, MD-based WordPress developer, A Senior WordPress Developer for the NBA, a co-founder at WP Engine, WordPress core contributor and author. He wrote the book WordPress Bible and has been publishing on the web since 2000. You can follow him on Twitter, and on his professional blog.