How To Update WordPress Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting PluginsIn another post, we provide a detailed explanation of what WP plugins are about and how you can use plugins to easily add new features to your website without editing code.

You can view this article here:

In this tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping your WordPress plugins up-to-date, how to safely update and uninstall your WordPress plugins, and some great plugin management tips.

Why Many WordPress Plugins Need To Be Updated

WordPress regularly updates its software (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities discovered in previous software versions, and to improve existing features.

Depending on how many plugins you use on your site, you can expect to see at least some new new update notifications for WordPress plugins each time a new version of WordPress is made available.

This is because most WordPress plugins are created by third-party developers, so sometimes code or features in the newly-released WordPress version conflict with plugins that were built for a previous version. When this happens, there is a potential for problems 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 updating is needed). All you have to do as a website owner, is keep your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is really simple to do.

Useful Info

Keeping your plugins up-to-date and removing old plugins you no longer need is part of good WordPress site management and helps to avoid any potential conflicts or errors.

The WordPress tutorial below explains how to upgrade and delete plugins safely in the dashboard without requiring web coding knowledge.

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins From Your WordPress Admin Dashboard – Tutorial

WordPress utilizes a few ways of letting you know when plugins on your blog need updating.

For example, you can see ‘at a glance’ how many plugins need updating inside your Administration area by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, 9 plugins are out of date and need to be updated …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

You can also check how many plugins need to be updated from your WordPress Toolbar (as shown below, 9 plugins need updating) …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your WordPress Dashboard

The Plugins screen (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also lets you know which plugins need to be updated …

How To Update And Delete Plugins In The WP Dashboard

As well as providing information about plugins that have available updates, the Plugins section provides links to the plugin download pages and gives you the option to update the plugins instantly …

How To Update And Delete Plugins

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

How To Update Plugins One At A Time

Warning

We strongly recommend performing a complete backup of your data and files before updating your blog or website.

In your WP admin menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

You will be taken to the “Plugins” page. The table of plugins can go down your screen for some length, depending on how many plugins you have added to your blog …

How To Update And Delete Plugins

(Plugins Screen)

Tip

Useful Info:

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins In The WordPress Dashboard

Find the plugin that needs to be updated and click on the update now link …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

WordPress provides streamlined plugin updates, so that updating your plugins happens with just “one click” without leaving your Plugins screen …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely In Your WP Dashboard

Repeat this process for all plugins on your site that need to be updated, or refer to the section below if you have several plugins that are out-of-date and would like to upgrade them all in one simple operation.

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

How To Bulk-Update Plugins

To update multiple plugins at the same time using the automatic upgrading feature, go to the “Plugins” page and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From The WP Admin Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

In the Bulk Actions pull-down menu above the plugin table, select Update

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Click Apply

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

The plugins you have selected will begin the update process …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Once your plugins are all 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 Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

All plugins have now been upgraded to their latest versions!

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

(When your site or blog uses the latest version of all plugins, update icons no longer display)

Now that you know how to update your plugins, let’s take a look at how to remove plugins safely from your WordPress site or blog.

Deleting WP Plugins

At times, you may choose to delete plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This reduces resource usage and will help you avoid causes of problems.

In this section, you will learn how to delete unused plugins from your 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 reinstall your site.

To delete a plugin, go to your dashboard menu and select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

If the plugin is active, click on Deactivate before continuing with your plugin deletion …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

Click on Delete

Updating And Deleting Plugins

If you need to have a look at all the files that will be deleted before taking the next step, then click on the “Click to view entire list of files which will be deleted” link in the “Delete Plugin” page …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

A complete list of files belonging to the plugin that you are about to delete will be listed on your screen …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

If you are certain about going ahead and deleting the plugin, then click on the Yes, Delete these files button …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

Your plugins and related files will be deleted …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Deleting Multiple Plugins In Bulk

You can bulk-delete all inactive plugins, or select a combination of active and inactive plugins to be cleared.

Info

Note: To delete any plugins that are presently 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 checkbox, or selecting the check box next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins (warning: this will deactivate all plugins) …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside Your Dashboard

Once you have done this, choose Deactivate from the Bulk Actions pull-down menu …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

Click the Apply button …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

Your selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Select all of the plugins you want to delete by either placing a tick next to their checkbox, or click on the check box next to the Plugin column header to select and delete all inactive plugins …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

Click the Apply button …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In The WordPress Dashboard

A list of all selected plugins will display 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 sure that you would like to go ahead and remove all of the plugins listed …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

All plugins will be deleted and their associated files will be removed from your server …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In Your WordPress Dashboard

Managing WP Plugins

As well as the methods shown above, you can install a number of third-party tools that let you manage your WordPress plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central - WP Plugin

Plugin Central improves the management of your plugins with options that let you install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update on the Admin area and lets you update multiple plugins with a single click of the mouse …

Plugin Management For WordPress

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

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

Whenever a plugin update is released, the best practice is to update that plugin to its most recent version ASAP.

What if you run multiple WordPress sites using the same plugin? Normally, you would need to login to your sites one by one and then update the plugin from that site’s dashboard. With multiple sites, this process can take quite a while!

WordPress Power User Tip: If you manage a number of WordPress sites or blogs, you can install, update and deactivate plugins on all of your sites automatically and simultaneously using various WordPress management tools.

Here are just some WordPress management tools you may want to check out:

Jetpack

Jetpack Manage - Single WordPress Dashboard Management

Jetpack is a multifunctional plugin for WordPress that offers users a wide range of added functionality, allowing self-hosted WordPress site owners to access WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of stats reporting, easy social sharing, and a host of other great features.

Jetpack By WordPress.com - WordPress Plugin

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

One of these features is “Jetpack Manage”.

Jetpack Manage lets you manage your WordPress sites from one dashboard on WordPress.com.

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

To learn more about using this plugin, go here:

ManageWP.com – WordPress Management Software

ManageWP.com

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

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

Go here to download and use this plugin:

WP Pipeline

WP Pipeline

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

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

Go here for more information about the plugin:

Congratulations! Now you know how to update and delete your plugins in WordPress via your WordPress dashboard.

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"This is AMAZING! I had learnt about how to use WordPress previously, but this covers absolutely everything and more!! Incredible value! Thank you!" - Monique, Warrior Forum