How To Update WordPress Plugins

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins SafelyIn another article, we provide a detailed explanation of what WP plugins are about and how you can use plugins to add new features to your blog without editing code.

You can read the article here:

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn why WordPress plugins need to be kept up-to-date, how to automatically update and uninstall plugins, and discover some great plugin management tools.

Why Plugins Need Frequent Upgrading

WordPress regularly updates its software (about every 3-4 months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in earlier releases, and to improve existing features.

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

This is because most WordPress plugins are created by 3rd-party developers, so sometimes code in the new WordPress version conflicts with plugins that were built for a previous version. When this happens, problems can sometimes occur.

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 website owner, is just keep your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is really quick, simple and easy to do.

Useful Info

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

The step-by-step tutorial below explains how to automatically upgrade and delete plugins in WordPress with no coding knowledge or skills necessary.

Updating And Deleting Plugins – Tutorial

WordPress provides a number of different ways to alert you when plugins need to be updated.

For example, you can tell immediately how many plugins are out-of-date from your WordPress Dashboard simply by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In Your Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

The Plugins section (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also tells you how many plugins need updating …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins

In addition to providing information about plugins that have available updates, the Plugins section provides links to the plugin download sites and gives you the option to update the plugins with one-click …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins In The WP Admin Dashboard

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

Update WordPress Plugins Individually

Warning

Always make a complete backup of your site files and database before upgrading your website or blog.

From your admin menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside The WordPress Admin Dashboard

You will be taken to the “Plugins” section. This page can be quite long depending on the number of plugins you have added to your blog …

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins In The Dashboard

(The WordPress Plugins Section)

Practical Tip

Additional Info:

If you have too many plugins and would like to reduce the number of plugins showing on your screen, then click on the Screen Options tab at the top of your Plugins area 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 …

How To Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins In Your WP Admin Dashboard

Your Plugins section 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 Installed Plugins” function …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In Your Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Repeat the above process for any other 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 bulk.

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

How To Update Several WordPress Plugins Simultaneously

To update multiple WordPress plugins in one go using the automatic upgrading feature, go to the “Plugins” section and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely In Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

In the Bulk Actions drop-down menu at the top of the page, choose Update

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins From Your Dashboard

Click Apply

How To Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Your selected plugins will all be updated at once …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Once your plugins have all been updated, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to go back to your Plugins screen, or choose another option from the admin menu …

How To 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 Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

You have updated all plugins on your site to their latest version!

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

(When your plugins are up-to-date, update alerts no longer display)

Now that you know how to upgrade your in your WP dashboard, let’s take a look at how to safely delete plugins from your blog or website.

How To Remove WordPress Plugins

At times, you may want to remove WordPress plugins that you no longer need or are no longer using on your site. This reduces resources on your server and also helps to eliminate potential problems.

In this section, you will learn how to safely deactivate and delete unused plugins from your WordPress 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 delete a plugin, go to your main menu and select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

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

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

Click on Delete

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

If you want to review a list of 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” screen …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

A complete list of files belonging to the plugin selected for deletionwill display on your screen …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

The selected plugin(s) will be deleted from your server …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Deleting Several Plugins In Bulk

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

Important

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 checkbox, or selecting the check box next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins (warning: this will deactivate all plugins) …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your WordPress Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

Click the Apply button …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside The Dashboard

The selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely From Your WP Admin Dashboard

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 Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

Click the Apply button …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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 delete all of the plugins listed …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Your plugins will be deleted …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

WordPress Tools For Managing WordPress Plugins

As well as the methods shown above, you can install other WordPress plugins that let you manage your WordPress plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin For WordPress

Plugin Central is a Free WordPress plugin that helps you manage your plugins by allowing you to install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update on your WordPress Admin and also allows you to update multiple plugins with one click …

Plugin Central

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

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

Whenever a plugin update is released, the best practice is to upgrde the plugin as soon as possible.

What if you run multiple WordPress sites with the same plugin installed? One option, is to login to each site individually and then update the plugin manually from that site’s own WP admin dashboard. With multiple sites, this process can take quite a while to complete!

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

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

Jetpack Plugin For WordPress

Jetpack

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

Jetpack

(The Jetpack Plugin lets you access a range of powerful WordPress features)

One of these features is “Jetpack Manage”.

Jetpack Manage allows you to manage your WordPress sites from a central interface.

With Manage, you can update plugins, set plugins to update automatically, 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 learn more about the plugin:

ManageWP – WordPress Management Tool

ManageWP.com

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

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

Go here to learn more about this plugin:

WP Pipeline – WordPress Management Tool

WP Pipeline

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

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 updates from one central location.

To download and use this plugin, go here:

Congratulations! Now you know how to automatically update and uninstall your plugins using your WP dashboard.

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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