How To Update WordPress Plugins

Learn how to easily update all of your plugins inside your own WordPress dashboard …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your DashboardIn a previous article, we provide a detailed explanation of what plugins are all about and how you can use plugins to increase your website’s capabilities.

To read this article, go here:

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping plugins up-to-date, how to safely update and uninstall plugins from your site, and discover practical tools to help you better manage your plugins if you run multiple WordPress sites.

Why Your WordPress Plugins Need Upgrading

New versions of WordPress are regularly released (about every 3-4 months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in earlier software versions, as well as to improve existing features.

Depending on how many plugins you have installed on your site, you can expect to see at least some new new update notices for plugins when WordPress distributes an updated version.

The reason for this, is because most plugins for WordPress are created by 3rd-party developers, so sometimes features in the new WordPress version conflict with plugins that were built for a previous version. Whenever this happens, there is a potential for conflicts to sometimes occur.

Fortunately, most WordPress plugin developers (and the WordPress developer community itself) are very proactive when it comes to ensuring that plugins get updated when a new version of WordPress is released (if required). All you need to do as a WordPress user, is maintain your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is really easy to do.

Important Info

Keeping your plugins regularly updated and removing old plugins you no longer use is part of good WordPress site management and helps to avoid any potential errors or conflicts.

The step-by-step tutorial below explains how to update and delete plugins from the dashboard without requiring web coding skills or knowledge.

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely – Tutorial

WordPress provides a few ways to alert you when plugins need to be updated.

For example, you can immediately see how many plugins need to be updated from your WP Dashboard just by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, 9 plugins are out of date and need to be updated …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

You can also see how many plugins need to be updated from your WordPress Toolbar (in the screenshot below, you can again see that nine plugins need to be updated) …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

The Plugins section (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also tells you what plugins need to be updated …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

In addition to providing information about plugins that have available updates, the Plugins page provides links to the plugin developer pages and gives you the option to update your plugin instantly …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

Let’s start by learning how to update one plugin at a time.

How To Upgrade WordPress Plugins One At A Time

Warning

We strongly recommend making a backup of your data and files before upgrading your website.

From your admin menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

The “Plugins” screen will display in your browser. This list of plugins can be quite lengthy depending on the number of plugins you have installed in your blog …

How To Update And Delete Plugins From Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

(Plugins Page)

Useful Tip

Useful Info:

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 up on the screen by default, i.e. “999”), then click the ‘Apply’ button …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside The Dashboard

Your Plugins page will now be made more manageable with a pagination feature added. You can find an installed plugin by scrolling through the pages or using the “Search” feature …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside The Dashboard

Plugins that need updating show the following notification message: “There is a new version of [Plugin] available”

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

Find the plugin that needs updating and click on the update now link …

Updating And Deleting Plugins From Your Dashboard

WordPress provides smooth and fast plugin updates, so that the process of updating your plugins takes place “behind the scenes” without leaving your Plugins area …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Repeat the above process for any other plugins on your site that need updating, or see the section below if you have a number of plugins that are out-of-date and would like to update all plugins at the same time.

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Now that you know how to update individual WordPress plugins, it’s time to learn how to bulk-upgrade WordPress plugins.

How To Bulk-Upgrade Plugins

To upgrade multiple plugins in one go using the automatic upgrade feature, go to the “Plugins” page and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete 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 update by checking their individual boxes …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

In the Bulk Actions drop down menu above the table of plugins, select Update

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

And then click Apply

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

The plugins you have selected will begin the update process …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From The WP Admin Dashboard

Once all plugins have been updated, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to the Plugins screen, or visit another section of your dashboard …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

All plugins are now up-to-date!

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

(When plugins on your site are up-to-date, notification icons disappear)

Now that you know how to automatically update WordPress plugins, it’s time to learn how to safely delete plugins safely from your WordPress site.

How To Safely Remove Plugins

It’s a good idea to remove plugins that you no longer need or are no longer using on your site. This helps to conserve resource usage and also helps to eliminate problems.

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

Warning

We strongly recommend creating a full back up of your site before installing, upgrading or deleting plugins, in case something goes wrong and you need to recover data or restore your site.

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

In the Plugins section, locate the plugin you want to remove and make sure it is deactivated.

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

If the plugin is active, click on Deactivate before proceeding …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your WP Admin Dashboard

Once you have deactivated the plugin, click Delete

Updating And Deleting Plugins

If you need 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” screen …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From The WordPress Admin Dashboard

A complete list of files belonging to the plugin selected for deletionwill be listed on your screen …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In The WP Admin Dashboard

If you are positively sure about going ahead and deleting the selected plugin, click on the Yes, Delete these files button …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In The WP Dashboard

The selected plugins and related files will be removed from your WordPress installation …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Deleting Several Plugins In Bulk

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

Info

Note: To delete any plugins that are currently active, you must first 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 Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

Next, choose Deactivate from the Bulk Actions drop-down menu …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

Click Apply

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Your selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

To delete all or some of the inactive plugins on your site, go to the “Plugins” area and click on the Inactive link in the Plugins menu …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins From The Dashboard

Click the check box next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select each plugin you want to remove by checking its box …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

Once you have ticked all the check boxes next to the plugins that you want to delete, choose Delete from the Bulk Actions pull-down menu …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Click Apply

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins From Your Dashboard

A list of all selected plugins will be displayed in the Delete Plugins area. 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 absolutely certain that you would like to proceed to the next step and remove all of the selected plugins …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

Your plugins will be deleted …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

WordPress Management Tools For Plugins

In addition to the methods shown above, you can use a number of tools that let you manage your WordPress plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Management Plugin For WordPress

Plugin Central is a Free plugin that improves the management of your plugins by allowing you to install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update in your WP Admin and also allows you to update many plugins at once with a single click of the mouse …

Management Plugin For WordPress

To learn more about using this plugin, go here:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

When a plugin update gets released, the best practice is to upgrde that plugin to its most recent version as soon as possible.

What if you run multiple sites with the same plugin installed? Normally, you would have to login to your sites one by one and then go through the plugin update process from that site’s own WP dashboard. If you own multiple sites, this process can take quite some time!

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

Below are just a few great WordPress management tools that are worth knowing about:

Jetpack By WordPress.com Plugin For WordPress

Jetpack By WordPress.com

Jetpack is a versatile plugin for WordPress that offers users a powerful range of added functionality, allowing self-hosted WordPress site owners to access WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of things like robust stats, easy social sharing, and many other features.

Jetpack  - Plugin For WordPress

(The Jetpack Plugin gives you access to range of powerful WordPress.com features)

One of these features is “Jetpack Manage”.

Jetpack Manage lets you manage multiple WordPress sites from one interface.

With Manage, you can upgrade plugins, set plugins to automatically update, and activate or deactivate plugins on a per-site basis or all at once, whether you’re on your PC, tablet, or smart device.

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

ManageWP – Multiple WordPress Site Management Tool

ManageWP

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

ManageWP helps you manage all your WordPress sites from one dashboard, including upgrades, backups, security and more. The application features easy one-click updates and instant login to your WordPress sites.

Visit this site to download and use the plugin:

WP Pipeline

WP Pipeline.com

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

WP Pipeline works in a similar way to ManageWP, but you only have to pay once to access the software. It lets you control and organize your entire online WordPress presence and perform multiple upgrades from a central dashboard.

To download the plugin, visit this site:

Congratulations! Now you know how to upgrade and delete plugins without requiring web coding or programming skills.

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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)