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 PluginsIn a previous post, we explain what plugins are and how you can use these to extend your website’s functionality.

You can view the article here:

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping all WordPress plugins up-to-date, how to upgrade and delete plugins, and useful plugin management tips.

Why WordPress Plugins Need Updating

The WordPress software is regularly updated (about every 3-4 months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities discovered in earlier releases, as well as to improve existing features or introduce new ones.

Depending on how many plugins you use on your site, there will typically be new updates for plugins each time a new WordPress version is made available.

The reason for 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 for a previous version. Whenever this happens, problems can sometimes occur.

Fortunately, most WordPress plugin developers (and the WordPress developer community itself) are very 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 need to do as a website owner, is just maintain your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is very simple, quick and easy to do.

Info

Keeping your plugins regularly updated and removing old plugins you no longer need is part of good WordPress management and helps to avoid potential conflicts or errors.

The step-by-step tutorial below explains how to automatically update and delete plugins with no coding knowledge needed.

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins – Tutorial

WordPress uses a few ways to notify users when plugins need to be updated.

For example, you can instantly see how many plugins are out-of-date inside your Administration panel just by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

In the screenshot below, you can see that nine WordPress plugins need to be updated …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

You can also check how many plugins need updating from your WordPress Admin Toolbar (the screenshot below shows how many plugins should be brought up to date) …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely Inside The WordPress Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From Your WP Dashboard

In addition to providing information about which plugins have available updates, the Plugins section provides links to the plugin download sites and gives you the option to update your plugin individually or in bulk …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In The WordPress Admin Dashboard

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

Upgrading Individual Plugins

Warning

Always make a backup of your website before updating your website or blog.

From your main menu, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

You will be taken to the “Plugins” screen. The table of plugins can flow down your page for a while, depending on the number of plugins you have added to your site …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

(WordPress Plugins Section)

Useful Tip

Useful Info:

If you have too many plugins and would like to reduce the number of plugins displayed on your page, then click on the Screen Options tab at the top of your Plugins screen and type in a smaller number of items per page (by default, all plugins display on the screen), then click the ‘Apply’ button …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Your Plugins section 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 “Search Installed Plugins” function …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

WordPress provides smooth & fast plugin updates, so that updating your plugins takes place “behind the scenes” without leaving your Plugins screen …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

Repeat this process for all plugins on your site that need updating, or see the section below if you have many 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 upgrade individual WP plugins, the next step is to learn how to bulk-upgrade plugins.

Bulk-Upgrading WordPress Plugins

To update multiple plugins in one go directly inside your dashboard, 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 Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From The Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins From The WordPress Admin Dashboard

And then click Apply

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

The plugins you have selected will automatically begin to update …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside Your WP Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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) …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins From Your Dashboard

All plugins are now up-to-date!

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins In The Dashboard

(When your plugins are all up-to-date, notification icons do not display)

Now that you know how to automatically upgrade WordPress inside your dashboard, let’s take a look at how to remove plugins safely from your WordPress site or blog.

How To Safely Remove WP Plugins

As part of smart WordPress management, it’s a good idea to uninstall plugins that you no longer plan to use. This helps to conserve resource usage and also will help you avoid problems.

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

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

In the Plugins screen, find the plugin you want to remove and make sure it is deactivated.

Hint: Inactive plugins are listed in 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, then click on Deactivate before proceeding with your plugin deletion …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In Your WP Admin Dashboard

Next, click Delete

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

The entire list of files belonging to the plugin selected for removalwill display on your screen …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

Your plugins and related files will be deleted …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins

How To Delete Multiple WordPress Plugins In Bulk

You can bulk-delete all inactive plugins, or select a combination of active and inactive plugins to be uninstalled.

Important

Note: To delete any plugins that are currently active, you 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 Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins In The WP Admin Dashboard

Next, select Deactivate from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

Click the Apply button …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

The selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Update And Delete Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

Once you have selected all of the plugins that you want to delete, select Delete from the Bulk Actions drop-down menu …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

Click the Apply button …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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 sure that you want to proceed to the next step and delete all of the selected plugins …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside The Dashboard

Your selected plugins will be deleted …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

Plugin Management – Useful WordPress Tools

In addition to the methods shown above, you can use Free and Paid WordPress plugins to manage your plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central

Plugin Central is a Free plugin that helps you manage 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 many plugins at once with one click …

Plugin Management For WordPress

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

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

As discussed earlier, when plugin developers release a new plugin update, the best practice is to update that plugin right away.

What if you run multiple WordPress sites with the same plugin installed? One option, is to login to each site individually and then go through the plugin update process from that site’s dashboard. If you plan to manage multiple sites, this process can take quite some time to complete!

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

Below are just a few great WordPress management tools you can look at:

Jetpack

Jetpack

The Jetpack plugin is a versatile plugin for WordPress that provides users with a powerful range of added functionality, allowing self-hosted WordPress site owners to benefit from WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of robust stats, automated social sharing, and so much more.

Jetpack Manage - Single WP Dashboard Management

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

One of these features is “Manage”.

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

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

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

ManageWP.com – WordPress Management Tool

ManageWP.com

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

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

Go here to download the plugin:

WP Pipeline – WordPress Mass Control Plugin

WP Pipeline

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

WP Pipeline is very similar to ManageWP, but you only have to pay once to access the software. It lets you manage your entire online WordPress presence and perform multiple upgrades from one central WP installation.

To download and use this plugin, visit this site:

Congratulations! Now you know how to automatically update and safely remove your plugins in WordPress via the WordPress dashboard.

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"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)

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