How To Update WordPress Plugins

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

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

To view this 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 update and remove plugins, and some great plugin management tools if you need to run multiple WordPress sites or blogs.

Why Some Of Your WordPress Plugins Need Updating

New versions of WordPress are frequently being released (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in previous software versions, as well as to improve existing features or introduce new functionality to WordPress users.

Depending on how many plugins you have installed on your site, there will typically be new new update notices for plugins when WordPress distributes an updated version.

This is because most plugins for WordPress are created by external developers, so sometimes code or features in the newly-released WordPress version conflict with plugins that were developed 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 making sure that plugins get updated when a new version of WordPress is released (if this is needed). All you need to do as a WordPress user, is simply keep your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is very easy and simple to do.

Important Info

Keeping your WordPress plugins up-to-date and removing old plugins you no longer use is an essential aspect of good WordPress management and helps to avoid any potential errors and problems.

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In The Dashboard – Step-By-Step Tutorial

WordPress employs several ways to inform you when plugins need updating.

For example, you can see how many plugins need updating from your Admin area by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

You can also check how many plugins need updating from your WP Admin Toolbar (as shown below, several plugins should be updated) …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Inside The Dashboard

The Plugins page (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also notifies you about plugins that need updating …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins

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

How To Update Individual WordPress Plugins

Warning

Always make a complete backup of your data and files before updating your website.

In your main menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

The “Plugins” section will display in your browser. The screen can be quite long depending on the number of plugins you have installed on your blog …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From Your Dashboard

(Plugins Section)

Practical Tip

Tips:

If you have too many plugins and would like to reduce the number of plugins displayed on the screen, then click on the Screen Options tab at the top of your Plugins page and type in a smaller number of items per page (all plugins show up on the page by default, i.e. “999”), then click Apply …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From The WordPress Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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 all plugins at once.

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

How To Upgrade Multiple Plugins Simultaneously

To upgrade multiple plugins in one go directly inside your dashboard, go to the “Plugins” page and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

Tick 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 …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In Your Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

Click Apply

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins In The Dashboard

Your selected plugins will begin updating …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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” messages no longer display) …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

You have updated all plugins on your site!

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside The WordPress Admin Dashboard

(When your plugins are up-to-date, notification icons disappear)

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

Deleting WordPress Plugins

At times, you may choose to delete WordPress plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This can help to decrease resources on your server and also help to minimize causes of problems.

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

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 reinstall your site.

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins From The WP Admin Dashboard

In the Plugins section, locate the plugin you want to delete 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 Update And Delete Plugins From Your WP Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

Click Delete

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

If you would like to review a list of 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” section …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

If you are absolutely 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 In The Dashboard

The selected plugins and related files will be deleted …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

How To Safely Bulk-Delete WP Plugins

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

Important Info

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside The Dashboard

Next, specify Deactivate from the Bulk Actions drop down menu …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Click the Apply button …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In The WP Dashboard

Your selected plugins will be deactivated …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your WP Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Click the Apply button …

Updating And Deleting WordPress 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 absolutely sure that you would like to proceed to the next step and remove all of the plugins listed …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

All plugins will be deleted …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

WordPress Management Tools For Plugins

As well as the methods shown above, you can install a number of tools to manage your plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central

Plugin Central is a Free WordPress plugin that improves the management of your plugins with features that let you install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update on your WP Dashboard and also allows you to update many plugins at once with a single click of the mouse …

Plugin Central

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

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

As discussed earlier, when plugin updates get released, the best practice is to upgrde the plugin as soon as possible.

What if you run multiple sites with the same plugin installed? Normally, you would need to login to every site and then go through the plugin update process from that site’s own 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 or blogs, you can install, upgrade and deactivate plugins on multiple sites automatically and simultaneously using various WordPress management tools.

Here are just some WordPress management tools you can look at:

Jetpack – Plugin For WordPress

Jetpack - WordPress Plugin

Jetpack is a versatile plugin for WordPress that offers users a wide range of features, allowing self-hosted WordPress site owners to access WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of things like robust stats, automated social sharing, and so much more.

Jetpack By WordPress.com - WordPress Plugin

(Jetpack lets you access a range of powerful WordPress.com features)

One of these features is “Jetpack Manage”.

Jetpack Manage allows you to manage multiple self-hosted WordPress sites and WordPress.com sites from one 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 mobile device.

Visit this site to download the plugin:

ManageWP

ManageWP.com

(ManageWP is a leading management tool for multiple WordPress sites)

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

To download this plugin, visit this site:

WP Pipeline

WP Pipeline

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

WP Pipeline works in a similar way to ManageWP, but you only have to pay once to access the software. It lets you control and organize your entire portfolio of WordPress sites and perform multiple upgrades from one single installation.

To download this plugin, visit this site:

Congratulations! Now you know how to automatically upgrade and delete plugins safely from the WP dashboard without touching web code.

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"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now