How To Update WordPress Plugins

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

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins In Your DashboardIn a separate article, we provide an overview of what plugins are all about and how you can use plugins to easily extend your blog’s capabilities.

To read the article, go here:

In this tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping all plugins up-to-date, how to automatically upgrade and remove plugins from your site, and some tools to help you better manage your plugins if you plan to run multiple WordPress sites.

Why WordPress Plugins Need Upgrading

New versions of WordPress are frequently being released (about every 3-4 months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities discovered in older software versions, and to improve existing features or introduce new ones.

Depending on how many plugins you have installed on your site, you can expect to see at least some new updates for plugins when new WordPress versions are announced.

The reason for this, is because most WordPress plugins are created by third-party developers, so sometimes the code in the new WordPress version conflicts with plugins that were developed and tested with a previous version. Whenever this happens, there is a potential for problems to sometimes occur.

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

Useful Information

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

The step-by-step tutorial below explains how to automatically upgrade and delete WordPress plugins safely from your dashboard without web coding knowledge or skills necessary.

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

WordPress has several ways of letting you know when plugins on your blog need updating.

For example, you can see ‘at a glance’ how many plugins need updating as soon as you log into your Admin area just 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

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

The Plugins section (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also provides information about plugins that need to be updated …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins In The Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In The WordPress Dashboard

Let’s start by learning how to update one WordPress plugin at a time.

Updating Individual WordPress Plugins

Warning

Always make a full backup of your data and files before updating your blog or website.

From your WP admin menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

The “Plugins” screen will display in your browser. The list of plugins can go down your screen for some length, depending on how many plugins you have added to your site …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

(WordPress Plugins Screen)

Practical Tip

Useful Information:

If you have too many plugins 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), then click the ‘Apply’ button …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In Your WP 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 Installed Plugins” box …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely From Your WP Admin Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In Your WordPress Dashboard

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

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Now that you know how to update one plugin at a time, it’s time to learn how to upgrade many WP plugins simultaneously.

How To Bulk-Upgrade WP Plugins

To update multiple WP plugins at the same time using the automatic update feature, go to the “Plugins” screen and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Click on the check box in the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select each plugin you want to upgrade by checking its box …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Click Apply

How To Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

The plugins you have selected will begin the update process …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

Once your plugins have been updated, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to go back to the Plugins screen, or choose a different section of your dashboard …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In The WP Dashboard

Once your plugins are all up-to-date, the plugin notifications disappear (i.e. the “at-a-glance” indicators and “There is a new version of XYZ plugin available” notices no longer display) …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

All plugins have now been updated!

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

(When plugins on your site are all up-to-date, update alerts no longer show)

Now that you know how to update in the admin dashboard, let’s show you how to safely uninstall plugins safely from your WordPress site or blog.

How To Safely Delete Plugins

As part of good blog management, it’s a good idea to uninstall plugins that you no longer need or are no longer using on your site. This helps to reduce resources on your server and also help to minimize problems.

In this section, we show you how to delete unused plugins from your site or blog.

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 reinstall your site.

To remove a plugin, go to your main menu and select Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins In Your WP Admin Dashboard

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

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins From The Dashboard

Click on Delete

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

If you want to review a list of all the files that will be deleted before proceeding any further, 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

The entire list of files belonging to the plugin that you are about to delete will display on your screen …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

The selected plugin(s) will be removed from your WordPress installation …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

How To Safely Delete Multiple Plugins Simultaneously

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

Important Info

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 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 WordPress Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

Click Apply

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your WP Dashboard

All selected plugins will be deactivated …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

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

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Click the Apply button …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In Your 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 absolutely certain that you want to proceed to the next step and remove all of the plugins listed …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In The Dashboard

Managing WordPress Plugins

In addition to the methods shown above, you can use a range of tools to manage your WordPress 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 in your Dashboard and lets you update multiple plugins with a single click …

Plugin Central - WP Plugin

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

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

When plugin developers release a new plugin update, the best practice is to update the plugin to the most recent version as soon as possible.

What if you have multiple WordPress sites with the same plugin installed? Normally, you would have to login to each site individually and then update the plugin manually from that site’s own WP dashboard. If you run multiple sites, this process can take quite some time!

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

Below are a couple of WordPress management tools you can look at:

Jetpack Manage – Single WP Dashboard Management

Jetpack By WordPress.com

Jetpack is a multifunctional plugin for WordPress that provides users with a wide range of added functionality, allowing self-hosted WordPress site owners to benefit from WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of stats reporting, easy social sharing, and a host of other features.

Jetpack Manage

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

One of these features is “Manage”.

Jetpack Manage allows you to manage your WordPress sites from one simple interface.

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

Visit this site to download the plugin:

ManageWP – Multiple WordPress Site Management Software

ManageWP - Manage All Your Sites From One Dashboard

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

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

Go here to download and use this plugin:

WP Pipeline

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 has a one-time purchase fee instead of monthly payments. It lets you control and organize your entire online WordPress presence and perform multiple upgrades from one central location.

Visit this site to download and use the plugin:

Congratulations! Now you know how to upgrade and delete plugins safely without web coding skills or knowledge needed.

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"These tutorials have so much information and are easy to understand. If you use WordPress or plan to in the future these will help you with everything you need to know." - Valisa (Mesa, Arizona)