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 The WordPress Admin DashboardIn a previous article, we provide an overview of what WP plugins are about and how you can use these to expand your web 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 upgrade and delete plugins from your site, and discover some tools to help you better manage your plugins if you currently manage multiple WordPress sites.

Why Many WordPress Plugins Need Updating

New WordPress versions are constantly being released (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in earlier 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 updates for plugins whenever WordPress distributes a new version.

This is because most WordPress plugins are created by 3rd-party developers, so sometimes code or features in the newly-released WordPress version conflict with plugins that were built for a previous version. Whenever this happens, conflicts can sometimes occur.

Fortunately, most WordPress plugin developers (and the WordPress developer community itself) are fairly proactive when it comes to making sure that plugins get updated when a new version of WordPress is released (if updating is needed). All you need to do on your end, is maintain your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon discover, is very simple, quick and easy to do.

Important Info

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

The WordPress step-by-step tutorial below explains how to automatically update and delete plugins inside your WordPress admin dashboard without touching web code.

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins – Step-By-Step Tutorial

WordPress employs a few methods to notify you when plugins need updating.

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

In the screenshot below, you can see that nine WP plugins have older versions that need to be updated …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From The WP Admin Dashboard

The Plugins page (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also tells you how many plugins need to be updated …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In The WP Admin Dashboard

In addition to providing information about plugins that have available updates, the Plugins screen provides links to the plugin download pages and gives you the option to update your plugin with one-click …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In The WordPress Dashboard

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

How To Update Plugins Individually

Warning

We recommend making a backup of your website before updating your blog or website.

In your main menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In The Dashboard

You will be taken to the “Plugins” section. The list of plugins can flow down your screen for a while, depending on how many plugins you have installed in your site …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

(WordPress Plugins Screen)

Useful Tip

Notes:

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In The WordPress Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

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Now that you know how to upgrade one WP plugin at a time, it’s time to learn how to bulk-upgrade plugins.

Bulk-Upgrading Plugins

To upgrade multiple plugins in one go from your admin area, go to the “Plugins” screen and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

Click the checkbox 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 Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

In the Bulk Actions dropdown menu at the top of the page, select Update

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Click Apply

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

Your selected plugins will update all at once …

How To Update And Delete Plugins

After all plugin upgrades are completed, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to the Plugins screen, or select another option from the main menu …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

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) …

Updating And Deleting Plugins From The Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

(When your site uses the latest version of all plugins, the notification icons disappear)

Now that you know how to automatically upgrade WP plugins, let’s show you how to remove plugins from your blog or website.

How To Remove WP Plugins

Occasionally, you may choose to remove plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This conserves resource usage and also will help you avoid potential problems.

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

Warning

We strongly recommend creating 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 reinstall your site.

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

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

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins From The Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

Click on Delete

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

If you want to have a look at 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” section …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

The selected plugins and related files will be deleted …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From The WP Admin Dashboard

How To Safely Delete Several Plugins In Bulk

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

Important

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 Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside Your WordPress Dashboard

Once you have done this, specify Deactivate from the Bulk Actions drop down menu …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

Click the Apply button …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

All selected plugins will be deactivated …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From The WP Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins From The Dashboard

Tick the checkbox next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select each plugin you want to delete by checking its box …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Once you have selected all the plugins that you want deleted, select Delete from the Bulk Actions pull-down menu …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Click the Apply button …

How To Update And Delete Plugins

A list of all selected plugins will display 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 certain that you would like to proceed to the next step and remove all of the selected plugins …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside Your WordPress Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

Managing Plugins

As well as the methods shown above, you can use other WordPress plugins 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 on your WP Admin and also allows you to update multiple plugins with one click …

Plugin Central - WP Plugin

To learn more about this plugin, go here:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

When plugin developers release a new plugin update, the best practice is to update that plugin to the most recent version ASAP.

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

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

The Jetpack plugin is a versatile plugin for WordPress that offers users a powerful range of features, allowing self-hosted WordPress site owners to benefit from WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of robust stats, automated social sharing, and many other great features.

Jetpack Manage

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

One of these features is “Manage”.

Jetpack Manage allows you to manage multiple WordPress sites and plugins from a central dashboard.

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

To download the plugin, visit this site:

ManageWP.com

ManageWP.com

(ManageWP is a very popular management tool for multiple WordPress sites)

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

To download this plugin, go here:

WP Pipeline.com

WP Pipeline - Update All Your Blogs From From One Central Location

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

WP Pipeline is very similar to ManageWP, but you only have to pay once to access the software. It lets you control and organize your entire portfolio of WordPress sites and perform multiple upgrades from a single installation.

Visit this site for more information about using this plugin:

Congratulations! Now you know how to upgrade and delete your plugins.

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