How To Update WordPress Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins SafelyIn a separate post, we explain what plugins are and how you can use these to extend your web site’s functionality.

To view this article, go here:

In this tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping your WordPress plugins up-to-date, how to easily upgrade and delete plugins, and discover practical plugin management tips if you currently run multiple WordPress sites.

Why Some Of Your Plugins Need To Be Updated

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

Depending on how many plugins you have installed on your site, there will typically be new new update notifications for plugins each time a new WordPress version is made available.

The reason for this, is because most plugins for WordPress are created by external developers, so sometimes the code in the newly-released WordPress version conflicts with plugins that were built for a previous version. When this happens, there is a potential for issues 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 this is required). All you need to do on your end, is keep your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon discover, is really easy to do.

Important Info

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

The tutorial below explains how to update and delete WordPress plugins safely from your WordPress admin dashboard without touching web code.

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

WordPress uses several ways of letting users know when plugins need updating.

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

In the screenshot below, you can see that nine WordPress plugins are out of date and need updating …

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

You can also view how many plugins need updating from your WP Admin Toolbar (the screenshot below shows how many plugins should be brought up to date) …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside The WordPress Admin Dashboard

The Plugins section (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also lets you know which plugins need updating …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Inside Your WordPress Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

Updating WordPress Plugins One At A Time

Warning

Always make a full backup of your site files and database before making any updates to your blog or website.

From your WP admin menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

The “Plugins” area will display in your browser. The page can be quite lengthy depending on the number of plugins you have added to your site …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The WordPress Dashboard

(Plugins Page)

Practical Tip

Additional Info:

If you have too many plugins installed and would like to reduce the number of plugins displaying on your page, 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 on the page by default), then click Apply …

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

Your Plugins section 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 Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In The Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In Your Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In Your WordPress Dashboard

WordPress provides smooth and fast plugin updates, so that updating your plugins happens “behind the scenes” without leaving your Plugins area …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Repeat this process for any other plugins on your site that need updating, or see the section below if you have several plugins that are out-of-date and would like to upgrade them all in one simple operation.

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

How To Update Multiple Plugins Simultaneously

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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 …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Click Apply

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside Your Dashboard

The plugins you have selected will begin to update automatically …

Updating And Deleting Plugins From The WP Dashboard

Once the update process has completed, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to go back to the Plugins section, or select another option from the admin menu …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins From The WordPress 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” notices no longer display on your screen, toolbar and menus) …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

(When your site or blog uses the latest version of all plugins, notification icons do not display)

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

How To Delete Plugins

At times, you may choose to remove plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This reduces resources on your server and help to minimize potential problems.

In this section, we show you how to deactivate and delete unused plugins from your 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 delete a plugin, go to your admin menu and choose Plugins > Installed Plugins

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

In the Plugins area, locate the plugin you want to delete 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 …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins In The WP Dashboard

Next, click on Delete

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

A complete list of files belonging to the plugin selected for removalwill be listed on your screen …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

If you are positively sure that you want to proceed and delete the plugin, just click on the Yes, Delete these files button …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In The Dashboard

The selected plugins and related files will be deleted …

Updating And Deleting Plugins From Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

How To Safely Bulk-Delete Plugins

You can delete all inactive plugins at once, 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 checkbox, 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 Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Click the Apply button …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins From The Dashboard

The selected plugins will be deactivated …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In The WP Admin Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Select all of the plugins you want to delete by either placing a tick next to their checkbox, or click on the check box next to the Plugin column header to select and delete all inactive plugins …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins

Click the Apply button …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside The WordPress Admin 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 sure that you would like to proceed to the next step and delete all of the plugins listed …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

Management Tools For Plugins

As well as the methods shown above, you can use WordPress plugins to manage your WordPress plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central - WordPress Plugin

Plugin Central is a Free plugin that improves the management of your plugins with options that let you install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update in your Dashboard and also allows you to update many plugins at once with one click …

Plugin Central

For more details 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 as soon as possible.

What if you have multiple WordPress sites using the same plugin? Typically, you would need to login to your sites one by one and then go through the plugin update process from that site’s dashboard. If you plan to run multiple sites, this process can take quite some time!

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

Here are just some WordPress management tools you should check out:

Jetpack By WordPress.com - WordPress Plugin

Jetpack Manage - Single WP Dashboard Management

Jetpack is a single WordPress plugin 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 stats reporting, automated social sharing, and a whole lot more.

Jetpack Manage - Single WordPress Dashboard Management

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

One of these features is “Jetpack Manage”.

Jetpack Manage allows you to manage multiple WordPress sites and plugins from a single interface.

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

To download and use this plugin, visit this site:

ManageWP.com

ManageWP

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

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

To learn more about using the 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 WordPress installation)

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 online WordPress presence and perform multiple updates from one central WordPress installation.

For more information about this plugin, visit this site:

Congratulations! Now you know how to upgrade and delete plugins safely with no coding knowledge or skills necessary.

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"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now