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 blog post, we provide an overview of what plugins are about and how you can use these to easily enhance your web site’s capabilities.

To read this article, go here:

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping your plugins up-to-date, how to automatically upgrade and uninstall your WordPress plugins, and some great plugin management tips if you need to manage multiple WordPress sites.

Why Some Plugins Need Updating

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 releases, as well as to improve existing features.

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

The reason for this, is because most plugins for WordPress are created by third-party developers, so sometimes the code in the newly-released WordPress version conflicts with plugins that were developed and tested with 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 required). All you need to do as a website owner, is keep your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon discover, is really quick, simple and easy to do.

Useful Info

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

The WordPress step-by-step tutorial below explains how to automatically upgrade and delete plugins inside your WordPress admin dashboard without touching web code.

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard – Tutorial

WordPress provides a number of different ways to inform users when plugins need to be updated.

For example, you can immediately see how many plugins need to be updated inside your Admin area simply by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

In the screenshot below, you can see that 9 plugins are out of date and need to be updated …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins In Your Dashboard

You can also see how many plugins need updating from your WP Administration Toolbar (in the screenshot below, you can see how many plugins should be updated) …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins From The Dashboard

In addition to 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 plugin with one-click …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

Let’s start by learning how to update WordPress plugins individually.

Update WordPress Plugins Individually

Warning

Always make a complete backup of your website before upgrading your website or blog.

From your WP admin menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

(Plugins Screen)

Practical Tip

Tips:

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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” field …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

Plugins that need upgrading show the following notification message: “There is a new version of [Plugin Name] available”

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

Locate the plugin that you want to update and click on the update now link …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside Your Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

Repeat the above process for any other plugins on your site that need updating, or see the section below if you have a number of plugins that are out-of-date and would like to update them all in bulk.

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Now that you know how to update individual WordPress plugins, the next step is to learn how to update many WordPress plugins simultaneously.

Bulk-Upgrading WP Plugins

To bulk-update plugins using the automatic updating feature, go to the “Plugins” page and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

How To Automatically Update 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 their individual boxes …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In Your Dashboard

In the Bulk Actions drop down menu above your plugin table, choose Update

How To Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Click Apply

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

Your selected plugins will automatically begin updating …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely In Your WP Admin Dashboard

Once all plugin upgrades are finished, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to the Plugins area, or choose another option from the admin menu …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Once your plugins are all up-to-date, the update reminders 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 Update And Delete Plugins

All plugins have now been updated!

How To Update And Delete Plugins

(When your site uses the latest version of all plugins, notification icons disappear)

Now that you know how to automatically update plugins, let’s take a look at how to uninstall plugins from your blog or website.

Deleting Plugins

At times, you may decide to delete plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This helps to reduce resource usage and also help you avoid problems.

In this section, you will learn how to delete unused plugins from your WordPress 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 dashboard menu and select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

Once you have deactivated the plugin, click Delete

How To Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

All files belonging to the plugin that you are about to delete will be listed on your screen …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside Your Dashboard

If you are certain that you want to go ahead and delete the plugin, just click on the Yes, Delete these files button …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From Your WordPress Dashboard

The selected plugins and related files will be deleted from your WordPress installation …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In The 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 removed.

Info

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In Your WordPress Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

Click the Apply button …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In The WP Dashboard

Your selected plugins will be deactivated …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

Select all of the plugins you want to delete by either placing a tick next to their checkbox, or click on the checkbox next to the Plugin column header to select and delete all inactive plugins …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

Click the Apply button …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

A list of all selected plugins will be displayed 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 go ahead and delete all of the plugins listed …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From The Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Managing Plugins

In addition to the methods shown above, you can use a number of 3rd-party tools that let you manage your plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin For WordPress

Plugin Central is a Free plugin that helps you manage your plugins with features that let you install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update on your Admin area and also allows you to update many plugins at once in one click …

Plugin Central - WordPress Plugin

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

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

When plugin updates are released, the best practice is to upgrde the plugin to its newest version ASAP.

What if you have multiple sites with the same plugin installed? Normally, you would need to login to each site individually and then update the plugin manually from that site’s admin dashboard. With multiple sites, this process can take quite a while!

WordPress Power User Tip: If you manage multiple WordPress sites, you can install, update or remove plugins on all of your sites automatically and simultaneously using various WordPress management tools.

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

Jetpack

Jetpack Manage - Single WordPress Dashboard Management

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

Jetpack Manage

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

One of these features is “Manage”.

Jetpack Manage allows you to manage your self-hosted WordPress sites and WordPress.com sites from one dashboard on WordPress.com.

With Manage, you can update plugins, set plugins to update automatically, and activate or deactivate plugins on a per-site basis or all at once, whether you’re on your laptop, tablet, or mobile phone.

Visit this site to learn more about using this plugin:

ManageWP – WordPress Management Software

ManageWP

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

ManageWP helps you manage all your sites and blogs from one central location, including upgrades, backups, security and more. The tool features easy and intuitive one-click upgrades and instant login access to all of your WP sites.

To download the plugin, visit this site:

WP Pipeline

WP Pipeline

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

WP Pipeline works in a similar way to ManageWP, but sells for a one-time license fee instead of recurring payments. It lets you manage your entire portfolio of WordPress sites and perform multiple upgrades from one single installation.

For more information about the plugin, visit this site:

Congratulations! Now you know how to upgrade and safely remove WordPress plugins via your dashboard.

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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