You’ve got a WordPress multisite install with tens, or hundreds, of sites. You want to publish content to each site - maybe a site wide announcement, a sale, or a product update.
How do you do it? Copy and paste the same post to every site? I think that sounds like a ton of work.
ThreeWP Broadcast from Plainview Plugins makes that process a heckuva lot easier. Instead of doing things manually, you can publish once and broadcast the same content to all or a specific set of sites in the network.
If you exclusively run single site installs, I don’t really think you’ll have much interest in this plugin. But if you ever work with multisite, you’ll definitely want to check this review out.
Who is ThreeWP Broadcast for?
ThreeWP Broadcast is designed for anyone who needs to distribute content across multiple sites. Some of the most popular uses are:
- Franchises - each franchise can have its own site, but corporate can still easily push content to all sites.
- Chain stores - same idea - any information that applies to all chain locations can be easily posted to all sites.
- News sites - easily syndicate content across multiple sites
- Schools - provide sites for each department or student while still retaining the ability to publish to all sites.
You could also use it to keep WooCommerce products updated across a range of multisite stores.
Additionally, I see a cool situation where you could instantly update terms of service and privacy policies across all your sites. That would definitely save a ton of time.
I’m sure there are other more unique uses as well. Your imagination is the limit.
But what about SEO? That’s Duplicate Content!
Yeah, you are publishing duplicate content…
But if you're worried, ThreeWP Broadcast gives you the option to add a rel=canonical tag back to the main post. This lets Google and other search engines know where the original post is and keeps your broadcasted sites from getting penalized.
If desired, you can also make all the child posts link back to the main post to further direct traffic there.
Using ThreeWP Broadcast
Plainview Plugins was kind enough to set up a test multisite install for me to play around with. As usual, I want to dig into the plugin configurations first, and then I’ll get into how to broadcast content and how it looks on the frontend.
ThreeWP Broadcast Configuration Options
The configuration options are pretty heavy-duty. I think they’re more geared towards developers - but that makes sense, because I’m guessing most projects using ThreeWP Broadcast are built for clients by developers.
First, you can configure how the plugin handles custom fields by creating blacklists and whitelists:
Then you set up which post types you want the plugin enabled for:
I’ll skip the debugging and miscellaneous tabs because I don’t think they contain anything especially interesting.
On the Roles tab, you can set up which user roles can broadcast content:
If you have lots of normal users, you probably don’t want them to have this power. Better to leave it to admins. But if you have a need, you can change the permissions.
Finally, the last tab is SEO. It only has two options, but they’re definitely important:
This is where you can set up canonical tags and have child posts link back to their parent.
So, not a whole lot of basic settings - most of it is pretty high-level stuff. I don’t think you really need to touch these if you don’t want to. The plugin is created so that you can start broadcasting without ever looking at the settings.
Now, let’s get into broadcasting some content.
When you create a new post or page, you’ll see a new Broadcast box that lets you configure its options. You can choose whether or not to include custom fields and taxonomies, whether you want it to be linked to the children or not, and then which blogs you want to broadcast it to:
Let’s create a test post that includes plenty of text and an image and see what happens.
I make this post in the dashboard of my parent site:
Then I choose to broadcast it to White Label 1:
After publishing the post on my parent site, here’s what I see on White Label 1:
Bingo! Everything immediately came through identical to the parent site.
It’s pretty idiot-proof. Literally, all I did was check the box next to White Label 1 and publish the post like normal. No extra steps or other configurations. I think anyone, even the most difficult client, can figure it out.
Managing Broadcasted Posts
It’s super easy to go back and manage posts you’ve broadcasted in the past. The plugin adds a new column to your dashboard that lists which site(s) every post is broadcasted to:
If you click on one of the links in the column, you can quickly change preferences:
But what if you want to edit content after you’ve already broadcasted it. Will it automatically sync?
Yup! The edited post was instantly updated on the child site.
Again, this whole process is really easy. There’s not much you need to do outside the standard WordPress dashboard options.
Pricing and Premium Add Ons
The basic ThreeWP Broadcast plugin is free. But, like many other plugins, it includes premium add ons that can add a bunch of functionality.
There are lots of add ons...too many to list (check the full list here). A large number involve compatibility with third-party plugins.
You can also extend the plugin’s functionality with add ons that affect control:
Add ons that improve your efficiency:
And add ons that bump up its utility:
ThreeWP Broadcast definitely fits a niche market. Most WordPress owners are running single sites and would never need to broadcast content like this.
However, for the specific market of people who do need this functionality, ThreeWP Broadcast can definitely save a ton of time - Plainview Plugins is so certain of this that they even built a “time saved” calculator into the plugin dashboard.
If you need multiple child sites that might require uniform updating to posts or pages, I’m not sure of an easier way to do it. You literally just click one or two buttons and that’s it. If you’re a developer working on a solution for a client, I imagine this will save you a ton of time, too.
Essentially, ThreeWP Broadcast is a niche plugin that does a really good job of solving the specific problems people using WordPress multisite are likely to face.