Managing WordPress Theme plugin requirements

I’m in the closing stages of development for a new WordPress site for a client. (A private one, so I can’t go into details.)

As the development phase has progressed, the management of the required plugins in the Multisite installation has become ever more complex. Some sites are running an older Theme, which are dependent on a set of plugins, while new sites are going to be using a new, more complex Theme and a different set of plugins. All of which are managed centrally.

So that it’s easier to see which of the plugins needed by the new Theme are active, inactive or missing, I’ve built a simple addition for the Theme which adds an overview page to the admin area. The Theme contains a list of dependency plugins and the overview show which are inactive or missing. If any are inactive, then the administrator can activate them directly on the overview by clicking a button, which makes an AJAX request to call the activating function.