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 an overview of what WP plugins are about and how you can use plugins to easily expand your site’s capabilities.

To view the article, go here:

In this tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping all WordPress plugins up-to-date, how to safely upgrade and delete your WordPress plugins, and practical plugin management tips if you need to own or manage multiple WordPress sites.

Why Many Of Your WordPress Plugins Need Regular Upgrading

The WordPress software is regularly updated (about every 3-4 months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in previous releases, as well as to improve existing features.

Depending on how many plugins you use on your site, there will typically be new updates for WordPress plugins each time a new version of WordPress is made available.

This is because most plugins for WordPress are created by external developers, so sometimes code in the new WordPress version conflict with plugins that were built for 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 fairly 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 discover, is very simple to do.

Important

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

The step-by-step tutorial below explains how to automatically update and delete WordPress plugins safely inside your dashboard with no coding skills required.

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely – Step-By-Step Tutorial

WordPress provides a few ways to notify users when plugins need to be updated.

For example, you can see ‘at a glance’ how many plugins need updating inside your Site’s Dashboard simply by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, you can see that nine WordPress plugins need to be updated …

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

The Plugins page (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also provides information about plugins that need to be updated …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

In addition to providing information about plugins that have available updates, the Plugins screen provides links to the plugin developer sites and gives you the option to update the plugin individually or in bulk …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Upgrading WordPress Plugins Individually

Warning

We strongly recommend performing a full backup of your site files and database before updating your website.

From your main menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

The “Plugins” section will display in your browser. The table of plugins can go down your page for some length, depending on how many plugins you have added to your site …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In The WordPress Admin Dashboard

(Plugins Section)

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 screen and type in a smaller number of items per page (all plugins show on the screen by default, i.e. “999”), then click Apply …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Inside Your WP Admin Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

WordPress provides simpler plugin updating, so that the process of updating your plugins happens with just “one click” without leaving your Plugins screen …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Repeat this process for all 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 upgrade them all in bulk.

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

Bulk-Updating Plugins

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

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

Tick 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 its box …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

In the Bulk Actions dropdown menu above the plugin table, choose Update

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From The WP Admin Dashboard

Click Apply

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Your selected plugins will automatically begin to update …

How To Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins From The WordPress Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

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

Now that you know how to automatically upgrade your plugins, it’s time to learn how to safely uninstall plugins safely from your site.

Deleting Plugins

Occasionally, you may decide to delete WP plugins that you no longer need or are no longer using on your site. This helps to conserve resource usage and help to reduce causes of some problems.

In this section, you will learn how to uninstall unused plugins from your blog or site.

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 reinstall your site.

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins

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

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

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Next, click on Delete

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside The WordPress Dashboard

If you would like to review a list of 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” screen …

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

The entire list of files belonging to the plugin that you are about to remove will display on your screen …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

Your plugins and related files will be deleted …

How To Update And Delete Plugins

How To Delete Several Plugins At Once

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

Important 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) …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your WP Admin Dashboard

Next, select Deactivate from the Bulk Actions pull-down menu …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

Click Apply

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

All selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely From The WP Dashboard

Once you have selected all of the plugins that you want to delete, specify Delete from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

Click the Apply button …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside The WP Admin 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 sure that you would like to go ahead and remove all of the plugins listed …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

The plugins will be deleted …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

Managing WordPress Plugins – WordPress Tools

In addition to the methods shown above, you can use other WordPress plugins 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 the Dashboard and also allows you to update many plugins at once in one click …

Plugin Central - WordPress Plugin

To learn more about using this plugin, go here:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

Whenever plugin updates are released, the best practice is to upgrde the plugin to its newest version as soon as possible.

What if you have multiple WordPress sites using the same plugin? One option, is to login to each site individually and then go through the plugin update process from that site’s admin dashboard. If you plan to manage multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite a while to complete!

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

Below are just some WordPress management tools that are worth knowing about:

Jetpack - WordPress Plugin

Jetpack Manage - Single WordPress Dashboard Management

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

Jetpack By WordPress.com

(Jetpack lets you access a range of powerful WordPress features)

One of these features is “Manage”.

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

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.

Visit this site to download the plugin:

ManageWP

ManageWP.com - Manage All Your WordPress Blogs From One Dashboard

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

ManageWP lets you manage all your sites and blogs from one dashboard, including upgrades, backups, security and more. The tool features easy and intuitive one-click updates and instant login access to your sites.

To download and use the plugin, visit this site:

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 monthly payments. It lets you control and organize your entire online WordPress presence and perform multiple updates from a single location.

To download and use this plugin, go here:

Congratulations! Now you know how to upgrade and safely delete your plugins in WordPress via your 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