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 In WordPressIn another article, we explain what plugins are and how you can use these to easily add new features to your blog with no coding skills required.

To view this article, go here:

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

Why Some Plugins Need To Be Regularly Updated

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 earlier 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, you can expect to see at least some new new update notices for WordPress plugins each time a new WordPress version is announced.

This is because most WordPress plugins are created by third-party developers, so sometimes the code in the new WordPress version conflict with plugins that were developed and tested with a previous version. When this happens, there is a potential for problems to sometimes occur.

Fortunately, most WordPress plugin developers (and the WordPress developer community itself) are fairly proactive when it comes to ensuring that plugins get updated when a new version of WordPress is released (if needed). All you have to do as a WordPress user, is simply maintain your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon discover, is really quick, simple and easy to do.

Info

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

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins – Tutorial

WordPress uses a few ways of letting you know when plugins on your site need updating.

For example, you can immediately see how many plugins are out-of-date from your Administration site just by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, 9 plugins are out of date and need updating …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

You can also check how many plugins need to be updated from your WordPress Toolbar (in the example below, you can again see that 9 plugins should be updated) …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

The Plugins section (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also lets you know which plugins need to be updated …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

As well as providing information about which plugins have updates available, the Plugins section provides links to the plugin developer pages and gives you the option to update the plugins instantly …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

Let’s start by learning how to upgrade individual plugins.

How To Upgrade Plugins One At A Time

Warning

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

In your admin menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

You will be taken to the “Plugins” screen. The page can be quite long depending on the number of plugins you have installed in your blog …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The WP Admin Dashboard

(The WordPress Plugins Page)

Tip

Notes:

If you have too many plugins installed 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 up on the screen by default), then click Apply …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

Your Plugins area 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 “Plugin Search” feature …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Inside Your WP Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

WordPress provides smoother plugin updating, so that updating your plugins happens “behind the scenes” without leaving your Plugins area …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

Repeat the above process for all plugins on your site that need updating, or refer to the section below if you have many 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 upgrade one plugin at a time, it’s time to learn how to update many WordPress plugins simultaneously.

How To Update Several WordPress Plugins

To upgrade multiple plugins at the same time using the automatic update 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

Click the check box in the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select each plugin you want to update by checking their individual boxes …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins From The Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

And then click Apply

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

Your selected plugins will automatically begin updating …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

After all plugins have been updated, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to the Plugins section, or go to another section of your dashboard …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Once all plugins are up-to-date, any plugin alerts 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) …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In The WP Dashboard

You have updated all plugins on your site!

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

(When plugins on your site are all up-to-date, notification icons no longer show)

Now that you know how to automatically upgrade WP in your admin dashboard, it’s time to learn how to remove plugins safely from your site or blog.

How To Delete Plugins

It’s a good idea to uninstall plugins that you no longer plan to use. This helps to reduce resource usage and also help you avoid potential problems.

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

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 WP admin menu and select Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting Plugins

In the Plugins page, locate the plugin you want to remove 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 …

How To Automatically Upgrade 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

Next, click on Delete

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

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 …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

A complete list of files belonging to the plugin that you are about to delete will display on your screen …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

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

The selected plugins and related files will be deleted …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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 deleted.

Important 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 check box next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins (warning: this will deactivate all plugins) …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Once you have done this, specify Deactivate from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

Click the Apply button …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

All selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely From The WordPress Dashboard

Once you have deactivated these 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 check box, or click on the check box next to the Plugin column header to select and delete all inactive plugins …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

Once you have selected all the plugins that you want to delete, specify Delete from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Click the Apply button …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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 want to go ahead and remove all of the plugins listed …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

All selected plugins will be deleted …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

Practical Management Tools For Plugins

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

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Management Plugin For WordPress

Plugin Central improves the management of your plugins by allowing you to install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update in your Dashboard and also allows you to update many plugins at once with a single click of the mouse …

Plugin Central - WordPress Plugin

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

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

When a plugin update gets released, the best practice is to upgrde the plugin right away.

What if you have multiple sites using the same plugin? Typically, you would need to login to every site and then update the plugin manually from that site’s own WP dashboard. If you run multiple sites, this process can take quite some time to complete!

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

Below are just a few great WordPress management tools that are worth knowing about:

Jetpack By WordPress.com

Jetpack Manage

The Jetpack plugin is a versatile 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 things like stats reporting, automated social sharing, and a host of other features.

Jetpack By WordPress.com

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

One of these features is “Manage”.

Jetpack Manage allows you to manage multiple WordPress sites and plugins from a single dashboard.

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 computer, tablet, or mobile device.

Visit this site to download the plugin:

ManageWP.com

ManageWP.com - Multiple WordPress Site Management Tool

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

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

To download and use this plugin, go here:

WP Pipeline – WordPress Management Software

WP Pipeline - WordPress Mass Control Plugin

(With WP Pipeline, you can update all of your WordPress sites, plugins and themes from one central dashboard)

WP Pipeline works in a similar way to ManageWP, but sells for a one-time license fee instead of monthly payments. It lets you control and organize your entire online WordPress presence and perform multiple updates from one single location.

To download the plugin, go here:

Congratulations! Now you know how to automatically update and delete plugins in WordPress with no coding skills or knowledge required.

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"This is an awesome training series. I have a pretty good understanding of WordPress already, but this is helping me to move somewhere from intermediate to advanced user!" - Kim Lednum