I'm developing my own Wordpress theme that I'm going to use for multiple clients. It has a Theme Options-page so I can easily customize the website every time, but I will also be using some plugins on every website I make (like an SEO-plugin, security, ...).

Is there a way to make them 'required' so I get a list of these plugins so I don't have to go find them in the plugins directory when I install the theme on a new website?

  • 2
    You can use TGM Plugin Activation to list your theme's required plugins. tgmpluginactivation.com
    – Bhupen
    Commented Jun 4, 2019 at 10:08
  • 2
    Why not use a repository like github or bitbucket to hold all of the common files and just clone into the new site?
    – disinfor
    Commented Jun 4, 2019 at 17:06
  • That's an option too, but i'd rather download the newest version of the plugins right away. But thanks voor the solution! Commented Jun 5, 2019 at 7:25

1 Answer 1


One way is to use TGM, as Bhupen already mentioned.

But if you want to do it in a cleaner, more "wordpressy" way, then you can:

1. Use, but don't require

You can write your theme in such way, that it doesn't require given plugins, but it uses them if they're available.

Good example of such approach is usage of WP-PageNavi plugin. You can check if this plugin is available and use it for pagination. But if it's not available, you can use native WP functions.

This way you give your user choice if he want's to use given plugin. Sometimes it's very important due to some conflicts, and so on.

2. Notify admin which plugins are recommended

And if you want to make it easier for you/user to install all recommended plugins, you can add some admin notice that will contain a list of recommended plugins. But please remember to allow to hide such notice.

  • I get what you mean, but I just want to use it to I have an overview of the plugins I want to use on every website. I only add the plugins to the required/recommended section if I need them, so like a SEO plugin, caching and some gutenberg extensions. Commented Jun 4, 2019 at 11:52
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    @ThessaVerbruggen the plugins you mentioned are not required. You just want to use them. And (especially with SEO or caching plugins) there will be often need to use other plugin or not use given plugin at all. Don’t force their usage - use a notice or favorite plugins instead. It will make maintenance of such site much easier. Commented Jun 4, 2019 at 12:01
  • I now added them as recommended plugins using TGM, this way I just get a list with the plugins, is this also what you mean? Commented Jun 4, 2019 at 12:10
  • @ThessaVerbruggen the only problem is that you use TGM which is third-party class and you have no guarantee regarding its security ;) Commented Jun 4, 2019 at 12:12
  • Okay that's a good point. With the solution you propose, Can I add links to the plugin-page so I can install them right away and is it possible to hide plugins who are already installed? Commented Jun 4, 2019 at 12:44

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