How To Update WordPress Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins In Your WP DashboardIn a separate article, we provide an overview of what WordPress plugins are about and how you can use plugins to add new features to your site without editing code.

You can view the article here:

In this tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping plugins up-to-date, how to easily upgrade and remove your WordPress plugins, and practical plugin management tools if you run multiple WordPress sites or blogs.

Why Your Plugins Need To Be Upgraded

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

Depending on how many plugins you have installed on your site, there will typically be new updates for WordPress plugins every.

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. When this happens, there is a potential for conflicts to sometimes occur.

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

Info

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

The WordPress step-by-step tutorial below explains how to upgrade and delete plugins from the WordPress dashboard without requiring web programming knowledge or skills.

How To Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress – Step-By-Step Tutorial

WordPress provides a few ways to alert users when plugins need updating.

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

For example, in the screenshot below, nine plugins need to be updated …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins From The WP Dashboard

You can also tell how many plugins need updating from your WordPress Admin Toolbar (in the example below, you can again see that 9 plugins should be brought up to date) …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

How To Upgrade Plugins One At A Time

Warning

Always make a complete backup of your website before upgrading your website.

From your dashboard menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

The “Plugins” screen will display in your browser. The page can be quite long depending on how many plugins you have added to your blog …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

(Plugins Screen)

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 (all plugins show up on the page by default, i.e. “999”), then click the ‘Apply’ button …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside Your Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From The Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

Plugins that require upgrading show the following notification message: “There is a new version of [Plugin] available”

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The WP Admin Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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 screen …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

Repeat this process for any other 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 update all plugins at once.

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Now that you know how to update individual plugins, let’s show you how to bulk-upgrade plugins.

Bulk-Updating WordPress Plugins

To bulk-upgrade WordPress plugins using the automatic updating feature, go to the “Plugins” section and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

Click the checkbox next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select each plugin you want to update by checking their individual boxes …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In Your Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In The Dashboard

Click Apply

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins In The Dashboard

The plugins you have selected will automatically begin to update …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In The WP Dashboard

After all plugin updates are completed, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to the Plugins area, or choose another option from the sidebar menu …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside Your WP Dashboard

Once your plugins are all 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” notices no longer display on your screen, toolbar and menus) …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

You have updated all plugins on your site!

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

Now that you know how to automatically upgrade in the dashboard, it’s time to learn how to safely remove plugins safely from your WordPress site.

Deleting Plugins

It’s a good idea to remove plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This helps to conserve resource usage and also help to reduce causes of some problems.

In this section, you will learn how to safely delete unused plugins from your WordPress blog or site.

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 restore your site.

To delete a plugin, go to your admin menu and choose Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

Once you have deactivated the plugin, click Delete

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

If you would like to browse all the files that will be deleted before going ahead, then click on the “Click to view entire list of files which will be deleted” link in the “Delete Plugin” page …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

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

The selected plugins and related files will be deleted …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

Bulk-Deleting Plugins

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

Useful Info

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 Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Click Apply

Updating And Deleting Plugins From The Dashboard

Your selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress 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 …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

Once you have ticked all the check boxes next to the plugins that you want deleted, choose Delete from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Click the Apply button …

Updating And Deleting Plugins From The WordPress Admin Dashboard

A list of all selected plugins will be displayed 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 sure that you would like to proceed to the next step and remove all of the selected plugins …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside Your WP Dashboard

All plugins will be deleted …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins From The Dashboard

Plugin Management – Useful Tools

In addition to the methods shown above, you can install a range of tools that help you manage your WordPress plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central - WordPress Plugin

Plugin Central helps you manage your plugins by allowing you to install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update in the Admin area and lets you update many plugins at once with a single click …

Plugin Central - WordPress Plugin

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

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

When a plugin update is released, the best practice is to update that plugin right away.

What if you have multiple WordPress sites using the same plugin? One option, is to login to each site individually and then update the plugin from that site’s own WordPress admin dashboard. With multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite a while!

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

Below are a few WordPress management tools you should check out:

Jetpack Manage – Single WordPress Dashboard Management

Jetpack

Jetpack is a single WordPress plugin that offers users a powerful range of features, allowing self-hosted WordPress site owners to benefit from WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of things like robust stats, easy social sharing, and so much more.

Jetpack Plugin For WordPress

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

One of these features is “Manage”.

Jetpack Manage lets you manage multiple WordPress sites from a central dashboard.

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 device.

To download and use this plugin, visit this site:

ManageWP

ManageWP.com - Multiple WordPress Site Management Software

(ManageWP is a very popular WordPress management tool for multiple WordPress sites)

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

Go here to download this plugin:

WP Pipeline

WP Pipeline

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

WP Pipeline is very similar to ManageWP, but has 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 central installation.

For more information about this plugin, visit this site:

Congratulations! Now you know how to update and delete WordPress plugins via the dashboard.

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