Network Username Restrictions Override 1.0

I’ve just released a new plugin for WordPress multisite setups that require additional control over the format of usernames, the Network Username Restrictions Override plugin. By default, the Network Admin user maintenance screens allow usernames to contain only lowercase letters and numbers.

This plugin relaxes those restrictions, similar to how the Blog Name Restrictions Override plugin does for site names.

It should be especially useful for any setup that uses an external authentication system, such as Shibboleth, which sends usernames that look like email addresses.

Update: I’ve released version 1.1, which adds a small fix for increasing the minimum length of usernames.

Update: I’ve released version 1.2, which supports WordPress 3.4.


Comment from Nick on

Hi, I was wondering if you could edit this plugin so users who register themselves via the default “wp-login.php?action=register page” can use upercase too. Currently it only works for admins adding users from the dashboard.


Comment from dwc on


I haven’t been able to reproduce the problem you describe. I was able to register a username in all capital letters.

Comment from Dean on

Hi I have installed your plugin, but still i get the error when trying to use uppercase letters for login.

Did I do something incorrect?

Comment from RJ on

Hello. I was also unable to get the plugin to work but would love it’s functionality. My settings pages do not look like your screenshot. Have you tested it with Buddypress because my site has bp installed… thanks.

Comment from dwc on


I have not tested it with BuddyPress. It’s designed to work with WordPress networks (previously known as WordPress MU).

Comment from marc dubeau on

I also use BP and I get an error saying that I must add more than 4 characters even if I have more. It only allows me to create users when I have both numbers and letters. Great idea, when the kinks are out, this plugin will be very popular.

Comment from Doodl on

Same problem here

Comment from RJ on

Thanks for the response. I have the same error as marc so will be deactivating for now but I’ll hang onto the plugin. I look forward to a version that is compatible with BP. Good luck!

Comment from Somuee on

Hi, I activated network-wide but don’t see anything under ‘Settings’ like you have in your screen shot. Where would I find this interface?
Using WP 3.2.1

Comment from Somuee on

oops.. i wasn’t in ‘Network Admin’ mode. I see the ‘Settings’ now.

Comment from Sascha on

Hi there,
can this plugin be changed to work with a non multisite install, just a single wordpress install?

Comment from Corey on

I’m running a WPMU installation on 3.2.1 and I keep getting an error when someone tries to register that says the username must be at least 4 characters.

This is happening even when the username is 8 characters. I tried lowering it to allow names as low as 2 characters and it did the same thing. It didn’t help at all.

Any advice?

Thanks so much. This is a much requested feature already and I just opened. I really hope I can get this working. As it is nobody can register with it activated. 🙁


Comment from dwc on

Hi Corey,

I can’t seem to reproduce your problem. I was able to register a user from wp-signup.php and from the network admin screen just fine. Could you provide a little more detail on your settings and where you’re registering users?

Comment from Rob Houlihan on

Would love this for BuddyPress!

Comment from Sylvia Bass on

Hi, I’m also running into the same problem. I’m running WordPress multi-site 3.2.1. We need to allow usernames of 3 characters or more and this plugin is ideal.

I was able to add usernames with 3 characters, but any longer username gives me the error of “Usernames must be 3 characters or more” for anything over 3.

The error comes up from adding users as a SuperAdmin or as a regular admin on a site.

Comment from dwc on


Hmm, could you provide a screenshot of your network settings for this plugin? You can email it to me at daniel at this domain if you don’t want to post it in a comment.

Could you also verify a couple of things for me?

1. Plugin version is 1.1
2. Plugin is activated at the network level

I tried adding users as a network admin via and also at a specific site via and did not get the errors.

I’d like to make sure I’m testing as close to your setup as possible. Thanks!

Comment from Sylvia Bass on

Hi Daniel,

Thanks for the quick reply. I’ll send you the screenshots since I’m not sure how to add the screenshots here.


Comment from Damian Barragan on

Is is possible to support usernames with the dot character?
it is quite difficult and all the usernames in our organization are name.lastname@address…
Thank you

Comment from dwc on

Do you have “Allow email addresses” checked in the “Username format” section? That uses the WordPress function is_email which I would expect to pass in your case.

Comment from Tiffany on

Any chance of adding support for using periods in the usernames?


Comment from dwc on

I don’t currently have the bandwidth to test the problem fully. Please send a patch!

Comment from dwc on

Please test the current development version and let me know if it works for you:

Please note this new entry in the FAQ:

I have site URLs based on the username. Why don’t some of them load?

You’ll have to update the regular expressions in your .htaccess file if you use email addresses or periods in site URLs. The default WordPress .htaccess configuration does not allow them, nor will this plugin edit your .htaccess automatically due to the risk involved.

Comment from Aren Cambre on

Using this plugin on a Network site, and am running into the same problem as others. I set Minimum username length to 3, and I get an error when the username length is anything but 3.

Comment from Dirk on

Thank you for creating this plug-in. However, it seems to not be working in WP 3.6.1. I’ve activated the plug-in, adjusted Settings -> Network Settings to allow periods, and I still get “Missing or invalid site address.” when I add a site using a period. Any suggestions are welcome.

Comment from Joe on

All I need to do with this plugin is make it so that users don’t get rejected if they use uppercase, but I can’t seem to get it to work.
It’s a multisite using BuddyPress. I’ve network activated it and checked the box to include uppercase. Efforts to register using uppercase won’t work though. Here’s the registration page.


Comment from esther on

Hi! Do have any plans of an update on this plugin? It would be so so useful for my network.

Thanks 🙂

Comment from Mario on

In wordpress version 4.6.1 the message to check (network-username-restrictions-override.php:66) must be
__(‘Usernames can only contain lowercase letters (a-z) and numbers.’) and not __(‘Only lowercase letters (a-z) and numbers are allowed.’) to work in translated wordpresses.