How To Update WordPress Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins From Your WP Admin DashboardIn a separate post, we explain what plugins are and how you can use plugins to easily expand your site’s capabilities.

To read the article, go here:

In this tutorial you will learn why plugins need to be kept up-to-date, how to automatically upgrade and remove plugins, and some great tools to help you better manage your plugins if you currently manage multiple WordPress sites.

Why Some Of Your Plugins Need To Be Regularly Updated

The WordPress software is constantly updated (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities discovered in earlier versions, as well as to improve existing features.

Depending on how many plugins you use on your site, there will typically be new new update notices for plugins when new WordPress versions are released.

This is because most WordPress plugins are created by external developers, so sometimes code in the newly-released WordPress version conflicts with plugins that were developed and tested with a previous version. When this happens, there is a potential for conflicts to sometimes develop.

Fortunately, most WordPress plugin developers (and the WordPress developer community itself) are quite 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 as a WordPress user, is keep your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon discover, is very easy and simple to do.

Important

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

The WordPress step-by-step tutorial below explains how to upgrade and delete plugins safely with no web coding knowledge or skills needed.

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins – Step-By-Step Tutorial

WordPress uses a few ways to alert users when plugins need updating.

For example, you can see how many plugins are out-of-date inside your Administration area by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, nine plugins need to be updated …

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins In Your WP Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The WP Admin Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Let’s start by showing you how to upgrade individual WP plugins.

Update Individual A Plugin

Warning

Always make a full backup of your website before making any changes to your blog or website.

In your main menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

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

You will be taken to the “Plugins” area. This page can be quite lengthy depending on the number of plugins you have added to your blog …

How To Update And Delete Plugins

(Plugins Page)

Tip

Additional Info:

If you have too many plugins and would like to reduce the number of plugins displayed on the screen, 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 page by default, i.e. “999”), then click the ‘Apply’ button …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Your Plugins area 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” function …

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

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely Inside The WP Admin Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Inside The Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

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

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Now that you know how to upgrade plugins one at a time, let’s show you how to bulk-upgrade WordPress plugins.

How To Update Various WP Plugins Simultaneously

To bulk-update plugins simultaneously 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 Upgrade And Delete Plugins

Tick the check box next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select each plugin you want to upgrade by checking their individual boxes …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

In the Bulk Actions dropdown menu above your plugin table, select Update

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

Click Apply

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

The plugins you have selected will begin updating …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Once all upgrades are finished, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to your Plugins screen, or choose another section of your dashboard …

Upgrading And Deleting 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) …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

You have updated all plugins on your site!

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

(When your plugins are all up-to-date, the notification icons disappear)

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

Deleting Plugins

Occasionally, you may want to delete plugins that you no longer need or are no longer using on your site. This reduces server resources and will help you avoid potential problems.

In this section, you will learn how to safely deactivate and delete unused plugins from your WordPress site or blog.

Warning

Always create 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 remove a plugin, go to your WP admin menu and choose Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

Click Delete

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From Your WP Dashboard

If you would like to review a list of all the files that will be deleted before proceeding any further, then click on the “Click to view entire list of files which will be deleted” link in the “Delete Plugin” screen …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside Your WP Admin Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins

Your plugin(s) will be deleted from your WordPress installation …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

How To Bulk-Delete WordPress Plugins

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

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 check box next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins (warning: this will deactivate all plugins) …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

Click Apply

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

All selected plugins will be deactivated …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins In The WP Dashboard

Once you have ticked all the checkboxes next to the plugins that you want deleted, select Delete from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From Your WordPress Dashboard

Click Apply

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

A list of all selected plugins will show up 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 absolutely sure that you want to go ahead and remove all of the plugins listed …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely From The WP Admin Dashboard

Your plugins will be deleted …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Inside The Dashboard

Plugin Management – Useful WordPress Tools

In addition to the methods shown above, you can install a number of 3rd-party tools to manage your WordPress plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central

Plugin Central helps you manage your plugins by allowing you to install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update in the Dashboard and also allows you to update multiple plugins with one click …

Plugin Central - WP Plugin

For more details about using this plugin, visit the plugin site:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

As discussed earlier, when plugin updates get released, the best practice is to update that plugin right away.

What if you run multiple sites with the same plugin installed? Typically, you would need to login to each site individually and then update the plugin from that site’s own WP dashboard. If you have to update plugins on multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite some time to complete!

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

Below are a few WordPress management tools you may want to look at:

Jetpack Manage

Jetpack Manage

Jetpack is a multifunctional plugin for WordPress that provides users with a powerful range of added functionality, allowing self-hosted WordPress site owners to access WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of things like stats reporting, automated social sharing, and so much more.

Jetpack Manage - Single WP Dashboard Management

(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 dashboard.

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

To download and use this plugin, visit this site:

ManageWP

ManageWP.com

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

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

Visit this site to download and use the plugin:

WP Pipeline.com

WP Pipeline.com

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

WP Pipeline is very similar to ManageWP, but has a one-time license fee instead of recurring payments. It lets you manage your entire online WordPress presence and perform multiple upgrades from one central WP installation.

Visit this site to download and use this plugin:

Congratulations! Now you know how to automatically upgrade and safely delete WordPress plugins via the dashboard.

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"I was absolutely amazed at the scope and breadth of these tutorials! The most in-depth training I have ever received on any subject!" - Myke O'Neill, DailyGreenPost.com

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