How To Update WordPress Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In Your WP DashboardIn another post, we provide a detailed explanation of what plugins are all about and how you can use these to extend your site’s capabilities.

To read the article, go here:

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn why WordPress plugins need to be kept up-to-date, how to safely upgrade and remove plugins, and discover some great plugin management tools.

Why Your Plugins Need Upgrading

New WordPress versions are regularly released (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities discovered in older versions, and to improve existing features or introduce new ones.

Depending on how many plugins you use on your site, there will typically be new new update notices for plugins when new versions of WordPress are released.

This is because most WordPress plugins are created by external developers, so sometimes the code in the new WordPress version conflict with plugins that were developed and tested with a previous version. Whenever this happens, conflicts can sometimes develop.

Fortunately, most WordPress plugin developers (and the WordPress developer community itself) are fairly proactive when it comes to ensuring that plugins get updated when a new version of WordPress is released (if required). All you have to do as a WordPress user, is just keep your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon discover, is really easy and simple to do.

Important Info

Keeping your WordPress plugins up-to-date and deleting old plugins you no longer need is part of good WordPress site management and helps to avoid errors and problems.

The WordPress step-by-step tutorial below explains how to automatically upgrade and delete plugins safely without requiring web coding or programming knowledge or skills.

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins From The Dashboard – Step-By-Step Tutorial

WordPress has a few methods to inform users when plugins need to be updated.

For example, you can instantly see how many plugins are out-of-date from your Admin area just by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, you can see that 9 plugins have older versions that need to be updated …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

You can also check how many plugins need updating from your WordPress Notification Toolbar (in the screenshot below, you can see how many plugins should be updated) …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From The Dashboard

The Plugins section (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also tells you how many plugins need updating …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

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

How To Update Plugins One At A Time

Warning

We strongly recommend performing a complete backup of your site files and database before making any changes to your blog or website.

In your WP admin menu, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins In Your WP Admin Dashboard

You will be taken to the “Plugins” area. The page can be quite lengthy depending on how many plugins you have installed on your blog …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

(The WordPress Plugins Page)

Useful Tip

Useful 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 (all plugins show up on the screen by default), then click the ‘Apply’ button …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Inside The WordPress Dashboard

Your Plugins page 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 “Plugin Search” box …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your 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 “behind the scenes” without leaving your Plugins screen …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

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

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

Bulk-Upgrading WordPress Plugins

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

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

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

In the Bulk Actions drop-down menu at the top of the page, select Update

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins From The Dashboard

Click Apply

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

The plugins you have selected will automatically begin updating …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From The WordPress Dashboard

Once all plugin upgrades are completed, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to the Plugins screen, or go to a different section of your dashboard …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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) …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

You have updated all plugins on your site!

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

Now that you know how to upgrade your plugins, it’s time to learn how to safely remove plugins from your site or blog.

How To Remove Plugins

Occasionally, you may decide to remove plugins that you no longer need or are no longer using on your site. This helps to decrease server resources and help you avoid potential problems.

In this section, you will learn how to remove unused plugins from your WordPress 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 WP admin menu and click on Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting Plugins

In the Plugins area, find 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 …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins In The WP Admin Dashboard

Next, click on Delete

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins From Your Dashboard

If you want to browse 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” screen …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

All files associated with the plugin selected for removalwill display on your screen …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Your plugin(s) will be deleted …

How To Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Deleting Multiple Plugins Simultaneously

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

Important

Note: To delete any plugins that are presently 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 check box next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins (warning: this will deactivate all plugins) …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside The Dashboard

Once you have done this, choose Deactivate from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside The WordPress Admin Dashboard

Click Apply

Updating And Deleting Plugins

The selected plugins will be deactivated …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Once you have ticked all the check boxes next to the plugins that you want to delete, specify Delete from the Bulk Actions drop down menu …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Click Apply

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside The WP 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 go ahead and delete all of the selected plugins …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

WordPress Management Tools For Plugins

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

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin For WordPress

Plugin Central improves the management of your plugins by allowing you to install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update on the Dashboard and also allows you to update multiple plugins in one click …

Plugin Central - WordPress Plugin

To learn more about this plugin, go here:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

Whenever plugin updates get released, the best practice is to upgrde that plugin to the newest version as soon as possible.

What if you run multiple sites using the same plugin? Normally, you would need to login to every site and then go through the plugin update process from that site’s admin dashboard. With multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite a while to complete!

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

Below are just a few great WordPress management tools you may want to look at:

Jetpack By WordPress.com – Plugin For WordPress

Jetpack By WordPress.com Plugin For WordPress

Jetpack is a single WordPress plugin that offers users a wide range of added functionality, allowing self-hosted WordPress site users to access WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of stats reporting, automated social sharing, and many other features.

Jetpack By WordPress.com

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

One of these features is “Manage”.

Jetpack Manage lets you manage multiple WordPress sites from a single dashboard on WordPress.com.

With Manage, you can update plugins, set plugins to update automatically, and activate or deactivate plugins on a per-site basis or in bulk, whether you’re on your laptop, tablet, or smart phone.

Visit this site to learn more about using this plugin:

ManageWP

ManageWP

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

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

Visit this site to download this plugin:

WP Pipeline – WordPress Management Tool

WP Pipeline - WordPress Management Tool

(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 control and organize your entire online WordPress presence and perform multiple upgrades from a central location.

To download this plugin, go here:

Congratulations! Now you know how to upgrade and delete plugins in WordPress without requiring web coding skills.

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