How To Update WordPress Plugins

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

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Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The WordPress Admin DashboardIn a previous post, we explain what plugins are and how you can use these to easily add new features to your site without touching code.

You can view the article here:

In this tutorial you will learn why WordPress plugins need to be kept up-to-date, how to safely update and remove plugins from your site, and useful tips to help you better manage your plugins if you plan to run or manage multiple WordPress sites or blogs.

Why Some Of Your Plugins Need To Be Regularly Updated

The WordPress software is regularly updated (about every 3-4 months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities discovered in older releases, as well as to improve existing features or introduce new ones.

Depending on how many plugins you use on your site, you can expect to see at least some new new update notices for plugins whenever WordPress distributes an updated version.

This is because most WordPress plugins are created by external developers, so sometimes code or features in the newly-released WordPress version conflict with plugins that were created and tested to work with a previous version. When this happens, problems can sometimes develop.

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 on your end, is simply maintain your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon discover, is very easy to do.

Info

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

The step-by-step tutorial below explains how to upgrade and delete plugins without web programming knowledge needed.

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

WordPress has a few ways to inform users when plugins need updating.

For example, you can tell immediately how many plugins need updating from your Administration area simply by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

In the example below, 9 plugins have older versions that need updating …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins

You can also view how many plugins need to be updated from your WordPress Admin Toolbar (as shown below, several plugins should be brought up to date) …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins From The Dashboard

Let’s start by showing you how to update individual WordPress plugins.

Upgrading Single WordPress Plugins

Warning

Always make a complete backup of your data and files before upgrading your website or blog.

From your main menu, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside Your Dashboard

You will be taken to the “Plugins” page. The table of plugins can be quite long depending on the number of plugins you have installed on your blog …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

(Plugins Screen)

Tip

Additional Info:

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In Your Dashboard

Your Plugins area 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” function …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside Your Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins From Your Dashboard

Plugins that require upgrading have a distinctive notification message: “There is a new version of [Plugin Name] available”

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Inside The Dashboard

Locate the plugin that needs updating and click on the update now link …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

WordPress has done away with the loading screen when updating plugins and streamlined the plugin update process, so that the process of updating your plugins happens “behind the scenes” without leaving your Plugins area …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

Repeat this process for all plugins on your site that need to be updated, or see the section below if you have many plugins that are out-of-date and would like to update all plugins in bulk.

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Now that you know how to upgrade one WordPress plugin at a time, the next step is to learn how to upgrade several WordPress plugins simultaneously.

How To Bulk-Update WordPress Plugins

To bulk-upgrade WP plugins simultaneously using the automatic update feature, go to the “Plugins” area and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

In the Bulk Actions drop-down menu above the table of plugins, choose Update

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

Click Apply

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

The plugins you have selected will automatically begin to update …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

Once all plugin updates are finished, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to go back to your Plugins section, or select another option from the WP dashboard menu …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

Once all plugins are 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” messages no longer display) …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

All plugins have now been updated!

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Now that you know how to automatically upgrade WP plugins, let’s take a look at how to delete plugins from your site or blog.

How To Delete Plugins

Occasionally, you may want to delete plugins that you no longer need or are no longer using on your site. This reduces resources on your server and also help to reduce causes of problems.

In this section, we show you how to safely uninstall unused plugins from your WordPress site or blog.

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 restore your site.

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

In the Plugins screen, locate 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 display an “Activate” link below the plugin name …

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

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins In Your Dashboard

Click on Delete

How To Update And Delete Plugins Inside Your Dashboard

If you need to have a look at 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” section …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

Your plugin(s) will be deleted …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

Deleting Several WP Plugins At Once

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

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In The WordPress Dashboard

Next, select Deactivate from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In The Dashboard

Click Apply

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

The selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside Your WP Admin Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside Your WP Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

Click the Apply button …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

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 plugins listed …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

Plugin Management – WordPress Tools

In addition to the methods shown above, you can install a number of tools that let you 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 Admin area and also allows you to update multiple plugins with a single mouse-click …

Plugin Central

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

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

Whenever plugin updates get released, the best practice is to update the plugin right away.

What if you have multiple WordPress sites with the same plugin installed? One option, is to login to each site individually and then go through the plugin update process from that site’s dashboard. If you own multiple sites, this process can take quite some time to complete!

WordPress Power User Tip: If you own or manage a number of WordPress sites, you can install, update and 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 By WordPress.com – Plugin For WordPress

Jetpack By WordPress.com

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

Jetpack - WordPress Plugin

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

One of these features is “Manage”.

Jetpack Manage lets you manage multiple WordPress sites from a single interface.

With Manage, you can update 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 PC, tablet, or smart phone.

Go here for more information about this plugin:

ManageWP.com

ManageWP

(ManageWP is a leading management tool for multiple WP 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 management and instant login access to your sites.

Visit this site to learn more about this plugin:

WP Pipeline

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 installation.

Visit this site to download and use this plugin:

Congratulations! Now you know how to automatically update and delete plugins.

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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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