How To Update WordPress Plugins

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete PluginsIn a previous blog post, we explain what plugins are and how you can use plugins to easily add new features to your website or blog without touching code.

To view this article, go here:

In this tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping all plugins up-to-date, how to automatically upgrade and delete your WordPress plugins, and useful tools to help you better manage your plugins.

Why Some Plugins Need Updating

WordPress constantly updates its software (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 releases a new version.

This is because most plugins for WordPress are created by 3rd-party developers, so sometimes code in the newly-released WordPress version conflicts with plugins that were developed and tested with a previous version. When this happens, issues can sometimes occur.

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 this is required). All you have to do on your end, is keep your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is very simple and easy to do.

Useful Information

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

The step-by-step tutorial below explains how to automatically update and delete plugins safely without web programming knowledge required.

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely In The WP Dashboard – Tutorial

WordPress provides a number of different methods of letting users know when plugins on their site need updating.

For example, you can immediately see how many plugins need updating as soon as you log into your Administration panel just by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

You can also see how many plugins need updating from your WP Admin Toolbar (as shown below, a number of plugins should be brought up to date) …

How To Update And Delete Plugins In The Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

As well as providing information about which plugins have updates available, the Plugins section provides links to the plugin developer sites and gives you the option to update the plugins individually or in bulk …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Update Single WordPress Plugins

Warning

Always make a full backup of your data and files before upgrading your website.

In your admin menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins From Your WordPress Dashboard

(WordPress Plugins Section)

Useful Tip

Additional Information:

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 (by default, all plugins display on the page), then click the ‘Apply’ button …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins In Your Dashboard

Your Plugins area 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” feature …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins From The WP Dashboard

Plugins in need of updating have a distinctive notification message: “There is a new version of [Plugin] available”

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In Your WordPress Dashboard

WordPress has done away with the loading screen when updating plugins and streamlined the process, so that the process of updating your plugins takes place with just “one click” without leaving your Plugins area …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Repeat this process for any other 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 update all plugins in one simple operation.

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

How To Update Multiple WP Plugins

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

And then click Apply

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

The plugins you have selected will begin to update automatically …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins In Your Dashboard

Once all plugins have been updated, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to your Plugins screen, or select another option from the main menu …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

Once your plugins are all up-to-date, any plugin alerts will 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 Update And Delete Plugins Safely In The WP Dashboard

All plugins are now up-to-date!

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

(When plugins on your site are up-to-date, notification icons no longer display)

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

How To Delete WordPress Plugins

It’s a good idea to uninstall plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This reduces resources on your server and also helps to eliminate potential problems.

In this section, you will learn how to safely uninstall unused plugins from your 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 delete a plugin, go to your main menu and select Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

Click on Delete

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

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” screen …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

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

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

Your plugin(s) will be deleted from your WordPress installation …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

Bulk-Deleting WP Plugins

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 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 WordPress Plugins In The Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Click the Apply button …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

The selected plugins will be deactivated …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely From Your WP Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

Click Apply

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins From The Dashboard

A list of all selected plugins will show up 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 delete all of the plugins listed …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside The WordPress Admin Dashboard

Plugin Management – Useful Tools

As well as the methods shown above, you can use 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 Admin area and lets you update many plugins at once with one click …

Plugin Central

To learn more about this plugin, go here:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

As discussed earlier, when plugin updates get released, the best practice is to upgrde that plugin right away.

What if you run multiple sites using the same plugin? Normally, 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. If you plan to manage multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite some time to complete!

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

Below are just some WordPress management tools you may want to check out:

Jetpack Plugin By WordPress.com

Jetpack Manage

The Jetpack plugin is a versatile 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 robust stats, easy social sharing, and many other features.

Jetpack By WordPress.com

(Jetpack gives you access to range of powerful WordPress features)

One of these features is “Jetpack Manage”.

Jetpack Manage lets you manage multiple WordPress sites from one simple interface.

With Manage, you can update 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 laptop, tablet, or mobile device.

To download and use the plugin, visit this site:

ManageWP.com

ManageWP

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

ManageWP lets you easily manage all your WordPress sites from one central location, including updates, backups, security and more. This application features easy one-click updates and instant login access to your WP sites.

To download the plugin, visit this site:

WP Pipeline

WP Pipeline.com

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

WP Pipeline is very similar to ManageWP, but sells for a one-time license fee instead of recurring payments. It lets you control and organize your entire portfolio of WordPress sites and perform multiple updates from a single installation.

To download and use this plugin, go here:

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

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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