How To Manage Your WordPress Plugins

Learn how to install, update, and delete WordPress plugins with our WordPress Plugin Management tutorials.

WordPress Plugin ManagementThis tutorial is part of our WordPress Management tutorial series. In this tutorial overview, we provide links to our step-by-step tutorials on installing, updating, and deleting WordPress plugins.

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WordPress Plugin Management

As explained in previous tutorials, WordPress frequently gets updated to protect the software from vulnerabilities, fix bugs, and to improve its features and functionality.

Whenever a new WordPress version is released, some of your WordPress plugins may become outdated and may need to be upgraded to prevent errors and conflicts with the newer version. When this happens, you will receive an alert inside your WordPress dashboard that your plugins need to be upgraded …

WordPress plugins need updating

(WordPress plugins need updating)

The tutorials in this section show you how to manage your WordPress plugins. You will learn how to install, update, and delete WordPress plugins using both automatic and manual methods.

WordPress Plugin Management Tutorials

This section includes the following tutorials:

To learn how to use and install WordPress plugins from your WordPress dashboard, see the tutorial below:

To learn how to install WordPress plugins manually, see the tutorial below:

To learn how to update and delete WordPress plugins automatically from your WordPress dashboard, see the tutorial below:

To learn how to update and delete WordPress plugins manually, see the tutorial below:

Important

We recommend completing all of the above tutorials before continuing to the next section.

Next Step:

After learning how to upgrade and maintain your WordPress plugins, the next step is to learn how to manage your WordPress themes.

To learn how to set up an offsite data backup storage system, see the tutorial below:

How To Manage Your WordPress Plugins

(Source: Pixabay)

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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

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How To Install WordPress Plugins Via The WordPress Dashboard

Learn how to install and active plugins on your WordPress site via the WordPress dashboard.

How To Install WordPress PluginsBecause WordPress is distributed as free Open Source software, its code can be extensively modified and customized by software developers to create an almost unlimited number of functional applications, add-ons, and enhancements to the software.

These applications are called plugins. Plugins provide additional functionality for your WordPress site and most work seamlessly and natively with the WordPress platform. Thousands of free or low-cost WordPress plugins are available to help expand the functionality of your WordPress site. Best of all, most plugins will instantly extend, enhance, and add new capabilities to your WordPress site with only a couple of clicks and no technical skills required to configure or use these.

If there’s something you want your WordPress site to do, the chances are that someone has probably already created a plugin that will do this for you.

To learn more about WordPress Plugins, see the tutorial below:

To learn about many useful and essential WordPress Plugins, see the training module below:

In this tutorial, you will learn how to install and activate WordPress plugins via the WordPress dashboard using various plugin installation methods.

How To Install WordPress Plugins

As you will see shortly in the section below, there are several options for uploading and installing free plugins automatically in WordPress, whereas installing paid plugins is normally done by manually downloading the plugin from the vendor’s site to your hard drive first, and then uploading and installing it on your site using the Upload method described below.

How To Install WordPress Plugins Via The WordPress Dashboard: Tutorial

Log into your WordPress admin section, then scroll down your WordPress dashboard menu and click on Plugins > Add New

WordPress Plugins Menu - Add New

(Plugins Menu – Add New)

You will be taken to the ‘Add Plugins’ section …

Add Plugins screen

(Add Plugins area)

You can also access the ‘Add Plugins’ area by clicking on Plugins > Installed Plugins …

WordPress Plugins Menu - Installed Plugins

(WordPress Plugins Menu – Installed Plugins)

And clicking on Plugins > Add New …

Plugins - Add New

(Plugins – Add New)

There are several ways you can install WordPress plugins automatically on your site:

  • Upload method
  • Search method
  • Featured method
  • Popular method
  • Recommended method
  • Favorites method

Add Plugins area options

(Add Plugins section options)

Let’s go through each of the plugin installation options available on this screen.

How To Install A WordPress Plugin – Upload Method

If using the Upload method, make sure that you have downloaded a zipped version of the WordPress plugin you are planning to install on your site. This can either be a free WordPress plugin from the WordPress Plugin Directory or a premium plugin that you have purchased from a plugin vendor online …

Make sure that you have the plugin you plan to upload to WordPress ready

(Make sure that you have the plugin you plan to upload to WordPress ready)

help If you need a file compression and extraction utility (to create and extract zip files), go here:

redarrow WinZip

After downloading the WordPress plugin file to your hard drive, you can upload and install it on your site using the built-in Upload feature in WordPress.

Go to the ‘Add Plugins’ section and click on Upload Plugin in the top menu section …

Add Plugins - Upload Plugin

(Add Plugins – Upload Plugin)

Click on ‘Choose File’ …

Add Plugins - Uploader

(Add Plugins – File Uploader)

Locate and select the file you want to upload to your WordPress site and click Open

Use the file uploader to locate your plugin file

(Use the file uploader to locate your plugin file)

After your file has been uploaded to WordPress, click Install Now

Add Plugins - Install Now

(Add Plugins – Install Now)

If your upload is successful, you will see a ‘Plugin installed successfully” message …

Your plugin has installed successfully!

(Your plugin has installed successfully!)

Important

If the plugin file already exists in your WordPress plugins folder, you will get a “Plugin install failed” message …

Plugin Installation Failed

(Plugin Installation Failed)

The plugin file may already exist in your WordPress plugins folder because:

  • It was previously installed, and
  • The plugin may have been deactivated, but its files have not been removed.

To learn how to delete a plugin, see the tutorial below:

Once your plugin has been successfully installed, click on the Activate Plugin link to enable it …

Activate Plugin

(Activate Plugin)

Your plugin is now active …

Plugin Activated

(Plugin Activated)

You can also activate a plugin by going into the ‘Plugin’ section and clicking on the Activate link in the menu displayed below the plugin name …

Activate Plugin

(Activate Plugin)

How To Install WordPress Plugins – Search Method

You can search free WordPress plugins listed in the WordPress Plugin Directory and install them in WordPress using the Search method. It helps if you know what plugin you are looking for, otherwise just type in a general search phrase or keyword.

Practical Tip

If you search for plugins in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory, you can narrow down your search further using filters (Keyword, Author, Tag) …

WordPress.org - Filtered Plugin Search

(WordPress.org – Filtered Plugin Search)

If searching for plugins inside the WordPress dashboard, go to the ‘Add Plugins’ screen. The Search Plugins option is located next to all of the other installation options …

Add Plugins - Search Feature

(Add Plugins – Search Method)

Type a search term into the Search field and hit Enter …

Enter your search term to find a plugin

(Enter your search term to find a plugin)

Find the plugin you would like to install from the ‘Search Results’ list and click on the Install Now button to install the plugin into your WordPress site …

Add Plugins - Search Results

(Add Plugins – Search Results)

The plugin will begin installing. After your plugin has installed successfully, click on Activate Plugin to enable the plugin …

Install and activate your plugin

(Install and activate your plugin)

Info

Finding and installing WordPress plugins using the Featured, Popular, Recommended, and Favorites methods all follow the same process.

Let’s take a look at these plugin installation methods …

How To Install WordPress Plugins – Featured Method

You can install plugins on your WordPress site using the Featured method. The Featured method is selected by default when you arrive on the Add Plugins screen …

Add Plugins - Featured Plugins

(Add Plugins – Featured Plugins)

A list of featured plugins from the WordPress Plugin Directory is returned in your screen. Select the plugin you want to install and click on the Install Now button to install the plugin on your WordPress site. Follow the process described earlier to activate your plugin.

How To Install A WordPress Plugin – Popular Method

You can install plugins on your WordPress site using the Popular option. Go to the ‘Add Plugins’ area and click on Popular from the options menu …

Add Plugins - Popular Plugins

(Add Plugins – Popular Plugins)

A list of plugins voted by users as being the most popular on the WordPress Plugin Directory is returned in your screen. Select the plugin you want to install and click on the Install Now button to install the plugin on your WordPress site. Follow the process described earlier to activate your plugin.

How To Install A WordPress Plugin – Recommended Method

You can install plugins on your WordPress site using the Recommended option. Go to the ‘Add Plugins’ screen and click on Recommended from the options menu

Add Plugins - Recommended Plugins

(Add Plugins – Recommended Plugins)

A list of suggested plugins that other WordPress users have installed on their sites is returned in your screen. Select the plugin you want to install and click on the Install Now button to install the plugin on your WordPress site. Follow the process described earlier to activate your plugin.

How To Install WordPress Plugins – Favorites Method

You can install “Favorite” plugins into your WordPress site using this option. The Favorites method allows WordPress users to share their favorite free WordPress plugins with other users …

Add Plugins - Favorites

(Add Plugins – Favorites)

Tip

The Favorites feature is useful if you perform multiple WordPress installations, as it allows you to access all of the plugins you would normally add to each new WordPress installation you perform.

To access this feature, you must have an account set up with WordPress.

To set up a Free WordPress account, go here:

Once you have set up your WordPress account, you will be able to log into the WordPress.org site …

(Set up a free account at WordPress.org)

Once you’re logged into your WordPress.org account, click on My Favorites

WordPress.org - My Favorites

(WordPress.org – My Favorites)

This will take you to your Profile section …

WordPress.org - Your Profile section

(WordPress.org – Your Profile section)

While you are logged into the WordPress.org site, you will see a ‘Favorited’ link displayed below the download buttons of all plugins listed in the WordPress Plugins directory …

Installing WordPress Plugins

Click on the ‘Favorited’ links of the plugins (and themes) you like …

Favorite any plugins you like

(Favorite any plugins you like)

This adds the plugin to the ‘Favorites’ section in your WordPress.org profile …

Your Favorite Plugins

(Your Favorited Plugins)

As you add more favorited plugins, these will get added to your profile …

Your Favorites

(Your Favorites)

Once you have favorited plugins in your WordPress.org account, you (and anyone else) can access these plugin, by going to Add Plugins > Favorites, entering your (or another user’s) WordPress.org username, and clicking the ‘Get Favorites’ button …

Add Plugins - Get Favorites

(Add Plugins – Get Favorites)

This returns a list of all plugins that you or someone else has marked as a “Favorite” in the WordPress Plugin Directory …

Favorite WordPress Plugins

(Favorite WordPress Plugins)

Locate the plugin you want to install and click on the Install Now button to install the plugin on your WordPress site. Follow the process described earlier to activate your plugin.

Useful Tip

For a list of our favorite free WordPress plugins, log into your WordPress dashboard, go to Add Plugins > Favorites and enter username wptrainme into the username field.

Activating Multiple Plugins

If you have installed several plugins in a row but have not activated these yet, you can activate these all at once.

To activate multiple plugins simultaneously, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins …

Plugins Menu - Installed Plugins

(WordPress Plugins Menu – Installed Plugins)

Click on the ‘Inactive’ link on the menu at the top of your screen …

Plugins - Inactive

(Plugins – Inactive)

Click on the main checkbox next to the ‘Plugin’ column header to select all plugins at once (deselect individual plugins that you do not want to activate), or individually select plugins that you would like to activate …

Select All Plugins

(Select All Plugins)

In the Bulk Actions drop-down menu, select Activate (1) and then click Apply (2) …

Bulk Actions Menu - Activate and Apply

(Bulk Actions Menu – Activate and Apply)

Your selected plugins will be activated …

Selected plugins activated

(Selected plugins activated)

Congratulations! Now that you know how to install and activate plugins via the WordPress dashboard, there is no limit to how far you can extend and enhance the functionality of your WordPress site.

Discover great plugins that will help to extend the functionality of your WordPress site and learn how to install, configure, and use essential WordPress plugins in this training module:

How To Install WordPress Plugins

(Source: Pixabay)

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"This is AMAZING! I had learnt about how to use WordPress previously, but this covers absolutely everything and more!! Incredible value! Thank you!" - Monique, Warrior Forum

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How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Learn how to update and delete WordPress plugins inside your WordPress dashboard …

Updating And Deleting Plugins SafelyIn a previous article, we provide a detailed explanation of what WordPress plugins are all about and how you can use these to easily extend your blog’s capabilities.

To read the article, go here:

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping your plugins up-to-date, how to upgrade and uninstall plugins, and useful plugin management tips.

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Why Some Of Your WordPress Plugins Need To Be Upgraded

WordPress frequently updates its software (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities discovered in older software versions, as well as 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 notices for plugins when WordPress releases an updated version.

This is because most WordPress plugins are created by third-party developers, so sometimes the code in the newly-released WordPress version conflicts with plugins that were created and tested to work with a previous version. Whenever this happens, issues 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 need to do as a website owner, is just maintain your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon discover, is really simple to do.

Important

Keeping your plugins regularly updated and removing old plugins you no longer need is part of good WordPress management and helps to avoid problems and errors.

The tutorial below explains how to automatically upgrade and delete plugins from the WordPress dashboard without editing web code.

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress – Tutorial

WordPress employs several methods of letting you know when plugins on your site need updating.

For example, you can see ‘at a glance’ how many plugins need to be updated as soon as you log into your WordPress Dashboard just by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

In the screenshot below, nine WordPress plugins need updating …

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

You can also view how many plugins need updating from your WordPress Toolbar (as shown below, several plugins require updating) …

How To Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

The Plugins screen (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also provides information about plugins that need updating …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins From Your Dashboard

Let’s start by learning how to update individual plugins.

Upgrading WordPress Plugins Individually

Warning

Always make a backup of your website before updating your website.

From your dashboard menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

You will be taken to the “Plugins” area. The list of plugins can run down your screen for some length, depending on the number of plugins you have installed in your blog …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From Your Dashboard

(WordPress Plugins Screen)

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins

Your Plugins section will now be reduced in size with a page scrolling feature added. You can find an installed plugin by scrolling through the pages or using the “Search Installed Plugins” feature …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

Repeat this process for any other plugins on your site that need updating, or refer to the section below if you have many plugins that are out-of-date and would like to update all plugins at the same time.

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Now that you know how to upgrade WP plugins individually, let’s show you how to update many WP plugins simultaneously.

How To Update Many WordPress Plugins Simultaneously

To upgrade multiple plugins in one go 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 …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

In the Bulk Actions dropdown menu above the table of plugins, choose Update

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely In The WordPress Dashboard

And then click Apply

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

The plugins you have selected will automatically begin to update …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

After all plugin updates are completed, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to go back to your Plugins area, or select another section of your dashboard …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

Once all plugins are up-to-date, the plugin notifications 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) …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

All plugins have now been updated!

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

(When your plugins are all up-to-date, update icons disappear)

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

Deleting WP Plugins

At times, you may decide to delete WordPress plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This conserves resources on your server and help to reduce potential problems.

In this section, we show you how to safely delete unused plugins from your WordPress blog or 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 remove a plugin, go to your WP admin menu and select Plugins > Installed Plugins

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In The WordPress Admin Dashboard

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

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins In Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

Click Delete

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

If you need to browse 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” section …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

The entire list of files associated with the plugin that you are about to remove will be listed on your screen …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

If you are absolutely sure about going ahead and deleting these plugin, just click on the Yes, Delete these files button …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

The selected plugins and related files will be deleted from your server …

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

Deleting Multiple Plugins At Once

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

Useful Information

Note: To delete any plugins that are presently active, you 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) …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Inside Your WordPress Dashboard

Click the Apply button …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

All selected plugins will be deactivated …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your WP Admin Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Click the Apply button …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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 want to go ahead and remove all of the plugins listed …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

The selected plugins will be deleted …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

WordPress Tools For Managing WP Plugins

In addition to the methods shown above, you can use WordPress plugins that help you manage your WordPress plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central

Plugin Central is a Free WordPress plugin that helps you manage your plugins by allowing you to install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update in the Dashboard and lets you update multiple plugins with one click …

Plugin Central - WordPress Plugin

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

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

When plugin updates are released, the best practice is to update that plugin as soon as possible.

What if you run multiple sites with the same plugin installed? Typically, you would have to login to your sites one by one and then go through the plugin update process from that site’s own WP dashboard. With multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite some time to complete!

WordPress Power User Tip: If you own multiple WordPress sites, you can install, upgrade or deactivate plugins on multiple sites automatically and simultaneously using various WordPress management tools.

Here are a few WordPress management tools you should look at:

Jetpack Manage

Jetpack

The Jetpack plugin is a single WordPress plugin that offers users a powerful range of added functionality, allowing self-hosted WordPress site users to access WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of robust stats, easy social sharing, and so much more.

Jetpack By WordPress.com

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

One of these features is “Manage”.

Jetpack Manage allows you to manage multiple self-hosted WordPress sites and WordPress.com sites from a central dashboard on WordPress.com.

With Manage, you can update plugins, set plugins to automatically update, and activate or deactivate plugins on a site-by-site basis or in bulk, whether you’re on your computer, tablet, or mobile device.

To download and use the plugin, visit this site:

ManageWP.com

ManageWP

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

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

Visit this site for more information about using this plugin:

WP Pipeline

WP Pipeline.com

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

WP Pipeline works in a similar way to ManageWP, but sells for a one-time purchase fee instead of recurring payments. It lets you manage your entire portfolio of WordPress sites and perform multiple updates from one single WP installation.

Visit this site to download this plugin:

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

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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