How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Learn how to update and delete WordPress plugins inside your WordPress dashboard …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPressIn another article, we provide an overview of what plugins are all about and how you can use plugins to easily expand your website’s functionality.

You can view the article here:

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn why plugins need to be kept up-to-date, how to easily update and delete plugins, and discover useful tips to help you better manage your plugins if you currently run multiple WordPress sites.

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Why WordPress Plugins Need Frequent Upgrading

New versions of WordPress are frequently being released (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in earlier software versions, and to improve existing features.

Depending on how many plugins you use on your site, there will typically be new updates for WordPress plugins every.

The reason for this, is because most plugins for WordPress are created by 3rd-party developers, so sometimes the code in the new WordPress version conflict with plugins that were created and tested to work with a previous version. When this happens, problems can sometimes occur.

Fortunately, most WordPress plugin developers (and the WordPress developer community itself) are fairly proactive when it comes to making sure that plugins get updated when a new version of WordPress is released (if updating is required). All you need to do on your end, is maintain your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon discover, is very quick, simple and easy to do.

Info

Keeping your plugins up-to-date and removing old plugins you no longer need is an essential aspect of good WordPress management and helps to avoid any problems and errors.

The WordPress step-by-step tutorial below explains how to automatically update and delete plugins in the dashboard without editing web code.

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely From The Dashboard – Tutorial

WordPress utilizes several ways to alert users when plugins need updating.

For example, you can immediately see how many plugins are out-of-date as soon as you log into your Administration panel simply by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

In the screenshot below, 9 plugins need to be updated …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

You can also see how many plugins need updating from your WP Admin Toolbar (in the example below, you can again see that nine plugins should be brought up to date) …

How To Update And Delete Plugins

The Plugins page (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also tells you how many plugins need to be updated …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside The WordPress Admin Dashboard

As well as providing information about which plugins have available updates, the Plugins section provides links to the plugin developer sites and gives you the option to update the plugins with one-click …

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

Let’s start by learning how to upgrade WordPress plugins one at a time.

Upgrading Single A Plugin

Warning

We strongly recommend performing a full backup of your website before upgrading your website.

From your admin menu, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In Your Dashboard

You will be taken to the “Plugins” area. The list of plugins can go down your screen for a while, depending on how many plugins you have added to your blog …

How To Update And Delete Plugins In The Dashboard

(Plugins Screen)

Tip

Notes:

If you have too many plugins installed and would like to make this section more manageable, then click on the Screen Options tab at the top of your Plugins screen and type in a smaller number of items per page (all plugins show on the page by default), then click Apply …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In The WP Admin Dashboard

Your Plugins section will now be reduced in size with a pagination feature added. You can find an installed plugin by scrolling through the pages or using the “Search Installed Plugins” feature …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From Your WP Dashboard

WordPress displays information about plugins in different color backgrounds depending on the status of your plugins (inactive vs. active and out-of-date vs up-to-date) …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Plugins that need updating have a distinctive notification message: “There is a new version of [Insert Plugin Name] available”

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

Find the plugin that you want to update and click on the update now link …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

WordPress has done away with the loading screen when updating plugins and streamlined the process, so that updating your plugins takes place “behind the scenes” without leaving your Plugins area …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Repeat this process for any other plugins on your site that need to be updated, or refer to the section below if you have many plugins that are out-of-date and would like to update them all in bulk.

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Now that you know how to upgrade one plugin at a time, the next step is to learn how to bulk-upgrade WordPress plugins.

Bulk-Updating WordPress Plugins

To upgrade multiple WordPress plugins in a single operation from your admin area, go to the “Plugins” page and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

How To Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

Click on the checkbox next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select only the plugins you want to upgrade by checking its box …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

In the Bulk Actions drop-down menu at the top of the page, select Update

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

And then click Apply

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

The plugins you have selected will update all at once …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

After all upgrades are completed, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to go back to the Plugins area, or choose a different section of your dashboard …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

Once all plugins are up-to-date, the plugin notifications disappear (i.e. the “at-a-glance” indicators and “There is a new version of XYZ plugin available” notices no longer display on your screen, toolbar and menus) …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside The WP Admin Dashboard

You have updated all plugins on your site to their latest version!

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The WP Dashboard

(When your site or blog uses the latest version of all plugins, the notification icons do not display)

Now that you know how to upgrade your in the WP dashboard, let’s take a look at how to delete plugins safely from your WordPress blog or website.

How To Delete Plugins

As part of smart blog management, it’s a good idea to remove inactive plugins. This helps to reduce resource usage and help to eliminate potential problems.

In this section, we show you how to delete unused plugins from your WordPress site or blog.

Warning

Always create a full back up of your WordPress site before installing, upgrading or deleting plugins, in case something goes wrong and you need to recover data or restore your site.

To remove a plugin, go to your main menu and click on Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

In the Plugins area, find the plugin you want to remove and make sure it is inactive.

Hint: Inactive plugins have a different colored background than active plugins and show an “Activate” link below the plugin name …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

If the plugin is active, then click on Deactivate before going any further …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

Next, click on Delete

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins In The WordPress Admin Dashboard

If you want to have a look at all the files that will be deleted before going ahead, then click on the “Click to view entire list of files which will be deleted” link in the “Delete Plugin” section …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

All files associated with the plugin that you are about to delete will display on your screen …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Inside The Dashboard

If you are absolutely sure that you want to proceed and delete the plugin files, then click on the Yes, Delete these files button …

How To Update And Delete Plugins

The selected plugins and related files will be deleted from your server …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

How To Bulk-Delete Plugins

You can delete all inactive plugins at once, or select a combination of active and inactive plugins to be uninstalled.

Important

Note: To delete any plugins that are currently active, your will first need to deactivate them.

Go to the “Plugins” section and select all of the active plugins that you want to delete by either placing a tick next to their check box, or selecting the checkbox next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins (warning: this will deactivate all plugins) …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

Once you have done this, select Deactivate from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

Click Apply

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

The selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Inside Your Dashboard

Once you have deactivated your plugins, click on the Inactive link on the menu at the top of the page …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

Click the check box next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select only the plugins you want to remove by checking their individual boxes …

How To Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Once you have selected all the plugins that you want deleted, choose Delete from the Bulk Actions drop-down menu …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

Click Apply

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

A list of all selected plugins will be displayed in the Delete Plugins screen. Click on “click to view entire list of files which will be deleted” to review all the plugin files that you are about to delete, or click on the Yes, Delete these files button if you are sure that you want to proceed to the next step and remove all of the plugins listed …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins

Your plugins will be deleted …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

WordPress Management Tools For Plugins

In addition to the methods shown above, you can install a range of third-party tools to manage your WordPress plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central - WP Plugin

Plugin Central helps you manage your plugins by allowing you to install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update on your Admin area and also allows you to update many plugins at once with a single mouse-click …

Plugin Central

To learn more about using this plugin, visit the plugin site:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

When plugin updates are released, the best practice is to upgrde that plugin as soon as possible.

What if you have multiple sites with the same plugin installed? One option, is to login to each site individually and then go through the plugin update process from that site’s own WP admin dashboard. If you manage multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite some time to complete!

WordPress Power User Tip: If you own a number of WordPress sites, you can install, upgrade and delete plugins on multiple sites automatically and simultaneously using various WordPress management tools.

Here are a couple of WordPress management tools you may want to check out:

Jetpack By WordPress.com

Jetpack

The Jetpack plugin is a single WordPress plugin that offers users a powerful range of added functionality, allowing self-hosted WordPress site owners to benefit from WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of robust stats, automated social sharing, and so much more.

Jetpack Manage - Single WordPress Dashboard Management

(The Jetpack Plugin lets you access a range of powerful WordPress.com features)

One of these features is “Jetpack Manage”.

Jetpack Manage allows you to manage your WordPress sites from a single dashboard.

With Manage, you can upgrade plugins, set plugins to automatically update, and activate or deactivate plugins on a per-site basis or in bulk, whether you’re on your laptop, tablet, or smart phone.

Go here to learn more about the plugin:

ManageWP

ManageWP.com - Update All Your Blogs From One Dashboard

(ManageWP is a leading WordPress management tool for multiple WP sites)

ManageWP lets you easily manage all your sites from one place, including upgrades, backups, security and more. This application features easy and intuitive one-click upgrades and instant login access to your sites.

For more information about using the plugin, go here:

WP Pipeline

WP Pipeline

(With WP Pipeline, you can update all of your WordPress sites, plugins and themes from a single WordPress installation)

WP Pipeline works in a similar way to ManageWP, but has a one-time purchase fee instead of recurring payments. It lets you manage your entire online WordPress presence and perform multiple updates from a central WP installation.

Go here to download this plugin:

Congratulations! Now you know how to upgrade and safely delete plugins using the dashboard.

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"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)