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Across Multiple Sites

While we can easily enable user/member sharing across sites in a WordPress multi-site network… what about stand alone individual installations?

Recently, a colleague, Steve Woody, raised the question:

“When someone registers a username on website A then can then visit website B and login with the same details.

So effectively I am looking for a plugin or a script that will take the data when someone registers on website A and it will automatically create an account on a different WordPress installation.”

So how can we enable a user to register with multiple WordPress sites at once in a co-registration fashion?

While we can’t enable them to actively log into one and be auto-logged into the other, due to not being able to share cookies across different domains…

We fortunately can keep the user/member list in sync between two sites using…

User Synchronization

While this plugin does come from WPMUDev, it is made for standalone sites that are not in a network configuration.

According to them it, “Allows you to easily synchronize user accounts across multiple single WordPress installs – comes with comprehensive features concerning overwriting or replacing existing users.”

Where might this be useful?

I am in the process of setting up a real membership on a root domain. I will have a second installation of WordPress on /blog/ in order to host our community blog. The community blog will not need membership controls (which is good, since they aren’t sync’able) but it would be nice if members could have the same login accounts and I could just upgrade our guest writers to Author as needed.

Similarly, if you have a current membership site, and want to put the login for your WP self-hosted support desk, within the members area, and not have to prompt the members to re-register, this is also your solution.

How to use “User Synchronization” for WordPress?


This plugin is super simple to use. Just install it one both/all sites in question and activate it. It adds a left sidebar item called “User Sync”. Visit that. Click to tell the plugin which site is the master and which one is the sub site.

The master is the user list that will always be right – the sub will not sync back into the master. Choose carefully but it should be a pretty obvious choice.

Then the plugin running on the site you set as Master will give you a “Key” to plug into the site running as sub. Set that, give the users a moment to sync, and you’re done!

One word of caution

Any time an individual with permissions beyond subscriber on a blog has the same login on multiple blogs you inherently increase your security risk. This is why we’re told to use different login passwords and usernames for all of our social sites.

It’s likely that you already use the same login for multiple sites you run – but that is a security issue you have to be aware of. It’s just something to note because you need to be aware what security doors are open and which ones you can close by hardening your site’s security.

Still it’s a super cool plugin and, as far as I know, the only plugin that does this so it’s useful when you need it!