How To Update WordPress Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your WP Admin DashboardIn another blog post, we explain what plugins are and how you can use plugins to easily add new features and functionality to your blog with no coding skills required.

To read the article, go here:

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping WordPress plugins up-to-date, how to safely upgrade and uninstall your WordPress plugins, and discover practical plugin management tools if you need to own or manage multiple WordPress sites or blogs.

Why Some Plugins Need To Be Updated

WordPress constantly updates its software (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in previous software versions, and to improve existing features or introduce new functionality to WordPress users.

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

This is because most plugins for WordPress are created by 3rd-party developers, so sometimes the code in the newly-released WordPress version conflict with plugins that were developed and tested with a previous version. When this happens, there is a potential for issues to sometimes occur.

Fortunately, most WordPress plugin developers (and the WordPress developer community itself) are quite proactive when it comes to ensuring that plugins get updated when a new version of WordPress is released (if this is needed). All you need to do as a website owner, is keep your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is really quick, simple and easy to do.

Important Info

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

The tutorial below explains how to upgrade and delete plugins from your WordPress admin dashboard with no web programming skills required.

Updating And Deleting Plugins – Tutorial

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

For example, you can immediately see how many plugins need updating from your Admin area by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, 9 WP plugins have older versions that need to be updated …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

You can also tell how many plugins need to be updated from your WordPress Toolbar (in the screenshot below, you can see how many plugins should be brought up to date) …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In Your Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely Inside Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

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

How To Update Individual Plugins

Warning

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

From your admin menu, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

The “Plugins” page will display in your browser. This page can be quite long depending on the number of plugins you have installed in your site …

Updating And Deleting Plugins From Your WordPress Dashboard

(The WordPress Plugins Page)

Useful Tip

Useful Tips:

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 page and type in a smaller number of items per page (all plugins show up on the screen by default), then click the ‘Apply’ button …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Your Plugins section 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 Installed Plugins” box …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From Your Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins In The WordPress Admin Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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 screen …

How To Update And Delete Plugins In Your Dashboard

Repeat the above 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 at the same time.

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Now that you know how to upgrade one WP plugin at a time, let’s show you how to upgrade a bunch of plugins simultaneously.

How To Update Various WP Plugins

To upgrade multiple plugins simultaneously directly inside your dashboard, go to the “Plugins” area and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

In the Bulk Actions drop down menu above your plugin list, select Update

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside Your WordPress Dashboard

And then click Apply

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Your selected plugins will begin the update process …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside The WordPress Dashboard

Once the update process has completed, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to the Plugins area, or visit a different section of your dashboard …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins

All plugins have now been upgraded!

Updating And Deleting Plugins

(When plugins on your site are up-to-date, notification icons no longer appear)

Now that you know how to automatically update inside your admin dashboard, let’s show you how to uninstall plugins safely from your site or blog.

How To Delete WP Plugins

As part of smart WordPress management, it’s a good idea to delete plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This can help reduce server resources and also help to reduce causes of problems.

In this section, you will learn how to remove unused plugins from your WordPress site.

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 delete a plugin, go to your WP admin menu and select Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

Hint: Inactive plugins are listed in a different background color than active plugins and show an “Activate” link below the plugin name …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In Your WordPress Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside Your WordPress Dashboard

Next, click Delete

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

If you need to review a list of all the files that will be deleted before going ahead with the next step, then click on the “Click to view entire list of files which will be deleted” link in the “Delete Plugin” screen …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

All files belonging to the plugin that you are about to remove will be listed on your screen …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From The WordPress Admin Dashboard

If you are certain that you would like to proceed and delete the plugin, then click on the Yes, Delete these files button …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Inside The Dashboard

The selected plugin(s) will be removed from your server …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

How To Safely Delete Several WP Plugins At Once

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

Important Info

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 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 In WordPress

Next, specify Deactivate from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely From The WordPress Dashboard

Click Apply

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

All selected plugins will be deactivated …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From Your Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins In The WordPress Admin Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Click the Apply button …

Updating And Deleting Plugins From Your 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 absolutely certain that you want to go ahead and delete all of the plugins listed …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

All plugins will be deleted …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

Practical Management Tools For WordPress Plugins

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

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Management Plugin For WordPress

Plugin Central improves the management of 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 - WP Plugin

For more details about this plugin, go here:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

As discussed earlier, when plugin developers release a new plugin update, the best practice is to update that plugin as soon as possible.

What if you run multiple WordPress sites using the same plugin? One option, is to login to every site and then update the plugin from that site’s own admin dashboard. If you own or manage multiple sites, this process can take quite a while to complete!

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

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

Jetpack

Jetpack - WordPress Plugin

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

Jetpack By WordPress.com

(Jetpack gives you access to range of powerful WordPress 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 all at once, whether you’re on your computer, tablet, or smart phone.

To learn more about using this plugin, go here:

ManageWP.com

ManageWP

(ManageWP is a widely used WordPress management tool for multiple WordPress sites)

ManageWP helps you manage all of your WordPress sites from one central location, including updates, backups, security and more. This tool features easy and intuitive one-click management and instant login access to all of your sites.

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

WP Pipeline.com

WP Pipeline.com

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

WP Pipeline is very similar 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 upgrades from a single location.

Go here to download and use this plugin:

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

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"I have used the tutorials to teach all of my clients and it has probably never been so easy for everyone to learn WordPress ... Now I don't need to buy all these very expensive video courses that often don't deliver what they promise." - Stefan Wendt, Internet Marketing Success Group