New in Orion: Manage Plugins and Themes & Include/Exclude in Backups

manage plugins and themes

We are back with more updates, we are bringing back golden oldies. We try and listen to (all) of your suggestions and our development team is working hard on introducing your favorites from the Classic to Orion. Speaking of favorites, now you will be able to select your favorite plugins and themes, and with one click install them on any websites you add, saving you precious hours. This week we come bearing more good news, we tweaked our Orion backup to suit your needs. Now you can select which files you wish to include and exclude to your backup.

So, let’s get to it.

Manage Plugins and Themes

We all have a set of plugins and themes we just can’t do without. It’s a bit like picking your favorite ice cream, you always go for the same flavor. So we filled a compartment of your freezer with just that flavor. Nifty right? If you log in to your Orion dashboard, and make your way over to Manage Plugins and Themes, you will notice that next to your plugins and themes you will see a yellow star icon. By clicking it, you will assign that plugin/theme to your list of favorites. You can select as many as you like, and create a collection of them all in one place. It’s also equally easy to deselect a certain plugin/theme, you just click on the yellow star once more and you will remove said plugin/theme from your list of favorites.


When adding a new website this addition is particularly useful. You add a new website to Orion and you already know what your “standard” set of plugins/themes to install are. Simply go to your favorites, select all and install. With one click you will be able to have all of them on your newly added website. What a time saver!?

We haven’t forgotten about your WordPress repo, you can still import from your selection of favorites. You can have them all available in just minutes as well.


We are just full of surprises today, we thought about the premium plugins too. You will be able to install those from your Dropbox. Don’t forget to connect your Dropbox to your Orion account, click on your Name, Settings and 3rd Party Services.


Now all of your ducks are in a row. We showed you what it looks like adding plugins to your favorites, selecting and deselecting them. It’s exactly the same with themes.

Include/Exclude in Backups

The include/exclude is a great feature of any backup, it’s up to the user to decide what they want to backup and when. Orion has now brought this over from the Classic, it’s there for your convenience. If you have 30 GB of video footage that’s saved on your external drive, it makes sense that you don’t want it in your backups. It would take up unnecessary storage space. Now you can choose to exclude it from your backups. It’s easy to do, just go to your Backup, Backup Settings and there you will see the option to include or exclude. You can choose from files and database tables.


When you decide to exclude a folder from your backup, that will always be the whole folder. You don’t have the option of excluding certain files from folders – it’s all or nothing.


At times it can be tedious to search through all of your data to find exactly the file you want to exclude. If you know exactly what you want to exclude you can go to our Custom Exclude, type in the entire folder path and it will exclude it for you, without you having to manually find it. Another time saving feature is the asterisk (*) that acts as a wildcard – if you decide you want to exclude all files with a certain extension, type it in. For example *.mp4 and all mp4 files will be excluded.


You can also choose to include additional files in your backup. Orion Backup will backup by default all of the standard WordPress folder structure. If you wish to include your custom folder, like images outside of WordPress content, you can now do that with one click as well. If a folder is marked with a red line through it, you can hover over it and click the plus icon to include it to your backup.


When you turn on your backup for the first time, you will be asked straightaway what you wish to exclude/include, so that from the beginning you can customize your backup. You know what you need best, this way you can enhance your backup by selecting exactly what you want excluded or included.


Get Favoring!

This is one of those extremely rare situations where favoritism is not bad. It this case it means you have all of your useful plugins and themes at your fingertips, and instead of wasting time looking for them again, they are all neatly waiting for you in a list. Same goes for backups, don’t need it, don’t have to include it! We are here to make the tools for you, save you time and let your focus on your work. Enhance your backups and customize them just the way you like it.

Like always, tell us what you think? Are you as excited as we are about the new additions? 


Nevena Tomovic

Nevena wears many hats in ManageWP. One of them is being responsible for translating our team's geek talk and product features into value that normal people understand. She believes that "learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere", so she tries to learn something new every day.


  1. Rob

    I’m trying to figure out how to list all websites that have a certain plugin installed. I cannot figure out how to do that. Plugins only seems to show those needing updating, but I cannot figure out a way to display which sites use plugin A for example. There’s an issue and I want to check something with those sites but cannot filter that way.

    How do I do that?

    1. Jorge

      Second here!
      2 years and no reply?

      1. Marko Tanaskovic

        Point well taken. Usually an author reply to the comments. In this case the author is no longer with the company , so no one received a notification that there is a new comment present.

        Let me jump in and remedy that.
        And Thank you for finding out a flaw in our process.

    2. Marko Tanaskovic

      For this particular case, you’d select all of your websites and click the plugins icon above them. You will be taken to the Manage Plugins screen where you can access the information you requested.

      More guidance on how to Bulk Manage Themes & Plugins can be found on our User Guide:

  2. maria

    I’m on the standard plan and don’t have backups turned on for any websites. I turn them on manually when I want to do an “on demand” backup. I may upgrade plans when I officially switch to Orion, but for the near term this works for me.

    When I select the Backup option for an individual website, I only see the “Overview” tab on the right hand side. I don’t see the “Content”, “Backup Settings”, and “Restore Settings”. If I turn the backup on, a backup starts and when it’s finished then these 3 tabs appear. So this is confusing because I can’t make my selections (include/Exclude) until after a backup is done and get access to the “Backup Settings” tab. That doesn’t make sense from a usability viewpoint.

    Once a backup is done for the website and I turn it off and then turn the backup on for a different website, the four tabs (‘Overview”, “Content”, “Backup Settings”, and “Restore Settings” ) now appear all the time. So it seems that I have to do at least 1 backup of any of my client sites in order to see the 4 tabs. Is this by design or a glitch?

    1. Nevena Tomovic


      Hey Maria,

      Sorry that you are experiencing issues and thanks for chatting to us about them.

      The first time (ever) that you turn on a backup for a site you will get the options and you can select what you wish to include/exclude before you start any backup. So you can on the first backup already make your selections. However, if you have already done backups for your clients you then have to go to that site click on Backups, Backup Settings and scroll down for include/exclude and there you will straightaway be able to see your options. So for your next backup you can adjust what you want to include/exclude.

      Hope that makes things a little bit easier for you.



  3. Mel

    Wish the plugin repository could also live on Google Drive. I don’t use Dropbox.

    1. Nevena Tomovic


      Sorry Mel we have just made the plugin installs to ManageWP available via Dropbox for now … you can always use Dropbox just to add your plugins when you need and still store everything in G-drive. Although, G-drive is a great suggestion for the future. Thank you!

  4. ellegaard

    Great, I’ve missed this option!

    But… you need to rethink the accessway. It’s not logical, that I have to pick a website to do some basic setup, that will work for all sites.

    Other than that – a heartfelt thank you for this option! 😀

    1. Nemanja Aleksic

      Yeah, we were so eager to get this online that we haven’t fully tested the user experience.

      We’re already working on a more intuitive access to the favourites, I’ll update you when it’s live!

      Thank you for your support!


    2. maria

      I absolutely agree on all counts, thanks for an awesome option.

      But please work on the user experience as I find that things like this are not as easy to find in Orion as the are in classic.


      1. Nevena Tomovic


        Thank you 🙂

        We will do, it’s still a work in progress so we appreciate all of your suggestions. Keep talking to us!

  5. maria

    How do I get to the Manage Plugins and Themes to set my plugin favorites?

    I cannot find this anywhere on the main dashboard on websites or overview tab.

  6. natebald

    And where would I find the plugin feature, can’t seem to locate it anywhere.

    1. Nemanja Aleksic

      Hi Nate,

      You can get to the Manage Plugins page in a couple of ways:
      1) Go to the individual website dashboard, and choose Plugins from the sidebar, or
      2) Choose the Websites tab in the sidebar, pick one or more websites, and click the Manage Plugins icon at the top

      I hope this explanation helps!

      1. natebald

        Those were my expectations

        Logged in and out and still dont see those options

        1. Nevena Tomovic


          Hey Nate, sorry you are having trouble finding it.

          In order to be able to see your favourites you need to go to Manage Plugins then click Add Plugin – here you will be able to get the lists that we mentioned in the article.

          In order to add a plugin to your favourites, just need to click on the yellow star by the plugin itself.

          Try this and let me know how you get along.



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Add as many websites as you want for free, no credit card required. Sign up and start saving time!

Have questions? Get in touch!

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Add as many websites as you want for free, no credit card required. Sign up and start saving time!

Have questions? Get in touch!