How To Update WordPress Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPressIn another post, we explain what plugins are and how you can use these to easily add new features to your website or blog without touching code.

To read this article, go here:

In this tutorial you will learn why WordPress plugins need to be kept up-to-date, how to easily upgrade and uninstall plugins from your site, and discover some tools to help you better manage your plugins if you currently run or manage multiple WordPress sites.

Why Many Plugins Need Updating

The WordPress software is regularly updated (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities discovered in earlier releases, as well as 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 WordPress plugins every.

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 built for a previous version. When this happens, there is a potential for conflicts to sometimes develop.

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 have to do on your end, is simply maintain your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon discover, is really quick, simple and easy to do.

Important Info

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

The tutorial below explains how to upgrade and delete WordPress plugins safely in your WordPress admin dashboard without requiring web coding or programming skills or knowledge.

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress – Step-By-Step Tutorial

WordPress uses a few methods to notify you when plugins need updating.

For example, you can see how many plugins need to be updated as soon as you log into your Admin area just by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

You can also check how many plugins need to be updated from your WP Admin Toolbar (the example below shows how many plugins need to be updated) …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

The Plugins section (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also lets you know which plugins need updating …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside Your WP Dashboard

In addition to providing information about plugins that have available updates, the Plugins page provides links to the plugin developer pages and gives you the option to update your plugins with one-click …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

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

Upgrading Individual Plugins

Warning

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

In your admin menu, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

The “Plugins” screen will display in your browser. The page can be quite lengthy depending on the number of plugins you have added to your blog …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

(The WordPress Plugins Page)

Tip

Useful Tips:

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 area and enter a smaller number of items per page (all plugins show on the page by default), then click the ‘Apply’ button …

Updating And Deleting Plugins From Your WordPress Dashboard

Your Plugins section 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 “Plugin Search” box …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your WP Dashboard

WordPress provides streamlined plugin updates, so that updating your plugins happens “behind the scenes” without leaving your Plugins screen …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In The 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 in one simple operation.

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Now that you know how to update one plugin at a time, let’s show you how to bulk-upgrade WordPress plugins.

Bulk-Upgrading Plugins

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

In the Bulk Actions pull-down menu above the table of plugins, select Update

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Inside The Dashboard

And then click Apply

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

The plugins you have selected will automatically begin to update …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside Your Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins In Your Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

All plugins have now been updated to their latest versions!

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

(When your plugins are up-to-date, the notification icons no longer appear)

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

How To Safely Delete WordPress Plugins

As part of smart WordPress blog management practice, it’s a good idea to delete plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This conserves server resources and eliminate potential problems.

In this section, you will learn how to safely deactivate and 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 delete a plugin, go to your WP admin menu and select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins

Once you have deactivated the plugin, click Delete

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

If you need to have a look at all the files that will be deleted before taking the next step, then click on the “Click to view entire list of files which will be deleted” link in the “Delete Plugin” screen …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

The selected plugin(s) will be deleted …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In The WP Admin Dashboard

Bulk-Deleting Plugins

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

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 Plugins Safely Inside Your WordPress Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

Click the Apply button …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From The WordPress Dashboard

Your selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

To delete all or some of the inactive plugins, go to the “Plugins” screen and click on the Inactive link on the main menu …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Upgrade 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 WordPress Plugins

Click Apply

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

A list of all selected plugins will display 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 want to go ahead and delete all of the selected plugins …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Plugin Management – Tools

In addition to the methods shown above, you can install a range of third-party tools to manage your plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central - WP Plugin

Plugin Central is a Free plugin that 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 lets you update many plugins at once with a single click …

Plugin Central - WordPress Plugin

To learn more about using this plugin, go here:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

When plugin updates are released, the best practice is to upgrde the plugin to its most recent version as soon as possible.

What if you have multiple WordPress sites using the same plugin? One option, is to login to each site individually and then go through the plugin update process from that site’s own admin dashboard. With multiple sites, this process can take quite some time to complete!

WordPress Power User Tip: If you own a number of WordPress sites, you can install, update or deactivate plugins on all of your sites automatically and simultaneously using a number of WordPress management tools.

Below are just some WordPress management tools that are worth knowing about:

Jetpack Manage

Jetpack Manage

The Jetpack plugin is a multifunctional plugin for WordPress that offers users a powerful range of features, allowing self-hosted WordPress site users to access WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of robust stats, automated social sharing, and a whole lot more.

Jetpack

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

One of these features is “Jetpack Manage”.

Jetpack Manage lets you manage your self-hosted WordPress sites and WordPress.com sites from a central dashboard on WordPress.com.

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 laptop, tablet, or mobile device.

Go here to download the plugin:

ManageWP.com – Update All Your WP Plugins From One Dashboard

ManageWP.com - Multiple WordPress Site Management Software

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

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

Visit this site to download and use this plugin:

WP Pipeline – WordPress Management Software

WP Pipeline - WordPress Mass Control Plugin

(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 has a one-time license fee instead of monthly payments. It lets you manage your entire portfolio of WordPress sites and perform multiple upgrades from one central WP installation.

To download and use the plugin, go here:

Congratulations! Now you know how to upgrade and delete plugins without touching web code.

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"I was absolutely amazed at the scope and breadth of these tutorials! The most in-depth training I have ever received on any subject!" - Myke O'Neill, DailyGreenPost.com

WordPress Plugins Explained

This tutorial explains what WordPress plugins are, how plugins work and how plugins help WordPress users extend their website’s functionality. 

WordPress Plugins - Expanding Your Website's FeaturesOne of the most powerful advantages of building an online presence with the WordPress web site publishing platform is that you can easily increase your WordPress web site’s functionality using inexpensive called ’plugins’.

Understanding Plugins

No doubt, you most likely have a mobile phone. What do you do when you would like to access something new on your device like a new software or a productivity tool?

Why, simple … you download and install an app!

An app is a little software application that is simple and easy to install and instantly adds new features and functionality to your smart device.

A Guide To Understanding WP Plugins

(Just as you will find social sharing apps …)

A plugin is like an app. You download and install a software application that provides new functionality to your WP site …

A Guide To Understanding WordPress Plugins

(… there are also social sharing plugins for WordPress users!)

Generally, expanding the functionality of an already-built website involves additional cost. Depending on how complex the feature or enhancement is, this cost can be significant, particularly if it requires website development.

This also applies to developing a website. Organizations tend to fork out money on extra components they probably will never need.

To avoid incurring unnecessary expenses, we recommend a sustainable strategy to developing a web presence and WP plugins are ideal for helping you achieve this.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could:

1) Start simply and inexpensively. Get a basic, professional web site up and running quickly, then …

2) As the need for new capabilities or functionality arises, just install new software modules with a few clicks of the mouse directly from within your administration panel, to give your web site an entirely new range of useful features, and also …

3) Cost not a single cent extra to install on your web site?

Well, this is just what a plugin enables you to do!

WordPress Plugins – Benefits & Advantages

We began this post by comparing plugins with smartphone apps. In a similar way that many apps are free to download and some apps cost a little bit of money, the same applies to plugins.

In fact, thousands of plugins can be downloaded to your website for free.

WP plugins that you have to buy are called ’Premium’ plugins. The good news, is that when you compare it to the price of hiring a professional web developer to get similar features and functionality on your site, most Premium (i.e. ”paid”) plugins cost very little.

Also, since WordPress makes its source code publicly available, any web developer can create, edit and customize any part of the code. This has allowed thousands of third-party web developers to enhance the core software application.

  • WordPress plugins let you start off with only a simple yet professional site and expand only as necessary.
  • WP plugins let you add practically endless features to your site quickly and cheaply.
  • Plugins give you practically endless expansion capabilities.
  • WordPress plugins allow anyone to have a website that they can manage themselves.
  • Most plugins normally work “right out of the box” and only require to be installed and activated to provide your web site with instant new enhancements and functionality.
  • Some plugins are a little more complex and could require some configuration.

WordPress Plugins – Powerful, Flexible … And (Many Of Them Are) 100% FREE!

Just like WP themes, thousands of great WordPress plugins are available to WP users … for FREE!

You can access thousands of plugins from the Free WP Plugin Directory

A Practical Guide To WP Plugins

As previously mentioned, you will find WP plugins that can do almost everything you can imagine.

WordPress plugin categories cover:

  • Web Site Management
  • Content Management
  • Online Traffic Generation
  • Visitor Engagement
  • Social Sharing
  • Media Management Automation
  • Improving Website Conversions And Lead Generation
  • Data And System Analysis Applications
  • WP Security

You can enhance a website with plugins like:

  • Contact forms
  • Polls and quizzes
  • User Surveys
  • Display banners
  • E-commerce (from setting up single ordering with PayPal buttons, to enterprise scale e-commerce stores with online shopping carts, invoicing, recurring billing, coupon codes, etc …)
  • Social media integration
  • Private Membership sites
  • List-building subscription forms
  • Sales workflow
  • Mobile integration
  • Improving your website’s Search Engine Optimization
  • Image galleries (including rotating images, lightboxes, etc.)
  • User testimonials
  • Instant language translation (e.g. you can instantly change all content on your website from English to Italian)
  • Statistical reporting (e.g. number of visitors, pages visited, keywords searched, etc.)
  • Custom navigation
  • Customer interactivity – contest, live chat, currency conversion, etc.
  • Offline storage integration
  • Faster page loading
  • Event management
  • Business listing directories
  • Automatically sell and manage spots on your blog
  • Set appointments and appointment reminders
  • Set up reservations and bookings
  • Detect broken hyperlinks on your pages and send you reports
  • Redirect affiliate pages
  • Monitor social signals
  • Make your pages available for printing or downloading as PDF
  • Add sitemaps
  • Exclude specific from displaying on areas of your site (e.g. sitemaps, feeds, etc.)
  • Hide content on your posts and pages
  • Migrate content from other CMS applications
  • Search and replace content
  • Prevent SPAM commenting
  • Customize visitor comment displays (e.g. displaying Facebook discussions)
  • Insert code and script elements into your website’s header and footer
  • Add and format tables
  • Add animated graphics and advanced text formatting options
  • Add and manage QR codes
  • Improve your local search listings on Google
  • Add business location maps
  • Post your posts automatically on social pages like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr and others
  • Display countdown timers (for scarcity offers, discount coupons, etc …)
  • Display custom greetings, timed offers, etc …
  • And so much more!

As it’s clear to see, plugins give you virtually endless possibilities. If you plan to build a website or blog, or your existing website wasn’t built with WordPress, then consider using it in the future.

If you’re still wondering about the power and flexibility of using plugins, let me show you some practical advantages of installing a plugin on your web site.

For example, if you want to protect your content, you can install plugins to make an area of your post inaccessible, or create a full paid membership site with customized login details for users …

A Newbie's Guide To WP Plugins

As mentioned previously, you can use free plugins to enhance your web site in lots of ways. From adding features that will improve your business, your website visitors’ experience and your understanding of what is taking place on your site …

A Basic Guide To Understanding WP Plugins

To extending your site’s reach across multiple social sites and search engines …

A Guide To Understanding WP Plugins

You can also add advanced functionality to your site using relatively inexpensive premium WordPress plugins. For example, you can install plugins that automate processes on your site like customer feedback and event registrations management …

A Newbie's Guide To Understanding WordPress Plugins

And also set up a custom-branded bookings and reservations system on your site … all for a small fraction of the cost of hiring programmers to create these functionality for you …

A Useful Guide To WP Plugins

You can also take advantage of native WP commenting features and plugins that will enhance your site’s interactivity …

A Guide To WP Plugins

For example, your visitors can easily:

  • Post comments on your blog posts (which can turn into online discussions) using either the built-in WordPress commenting feature, or integrated Facebook comments (which then get shared throughout a visitors’ Facebook pages, providing you with added exposure).
  • Share your content with other online visitors on various social sites.
  • Contact you via contact forms
  • Engage in online discussions with other users through forums or even set up a private social network on your own domain.
  • Engage with your staff via live webcam conferencing and chatrooms
  • Call your business from their laptops while browsing your website
  • Get help and support via a user help desk
  • And much more …

A Basic Guide To WordPress Plugins

You can even integrate complex enterprise applications within a WordPress “front end”. This enables you to manage your business sales and marketing, while your third-party application handles the technological aspects …

A Non-Technical Guide To Understanding WordPress Plugins

WordPress Plugins – Useful Tips

  • There are so many great WordPress plugins to choose from. Be careful of overloading your site with too many plugins, as this can invariably start to affect your site’s performance and site loading times. It can also mean more maintenance work for you as a result of potential conflicts and errors.
  • Only keep the plugins you really need. Delete any plugins you don’t use from your site, as these also use resources.
  • Many free plugins often receive little to no support from the plugin developer. When considering premium plugins, ensure that you do a little research first to see what kind of reputation the plugin developer has when it comes to offering support, upgrades, new improvements, etc. Be sure to check our plugin recommendations for additional information.
  • If you see that a plugin has not been updated for a while (e.g. two years), then think carefully before using it on your website or blog. The WordPress platform updates frequently and outdated plugins can create issues.
  • Make sure that you always update your plugins to the latest version. Outdated plugins not only can create errors and conflicts, they could also contain security vulnerabilities that could be exploited by hackers and malicious software.

A Guide To Understanding WP Plugins

As you can see, plugins are an important component of WordPress and contribute to making WordPress the most popular content management system in the world. Plugins also provide WordPress users with an easy, simple and inexpensive way to add new features to their website without spending thousands of dollars on web development costs.

One last thing on the subject of WP plugins:

If there is any functionality you want for your web site, you can guarantee that a WP plugin currently exists that will do just what you need it to do, and that this plugin will either be available for FREE, or if it’s a premium plugin, that it will be surprisingly inexpensive.

Whatever you need done, there's a WordPress plugin for that!

(Whatever you need done, there’s a WordPress plugin for that!)

And, if by any chance this plugin has not been created yet, then a custom plugin that does just what you want it to do can certainly be developed for you for a very reasonable price.

Hopefully, this post has given you a better understanding of plugins – what they are and how they can significantly improve your business blog. See our published posts to learn more about using WordPress plugins.

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