How To Update WordPress Plugins

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

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Upgrading And Deleting PluginsIn a previous article, we explain what plugins are and how you can use these to easily enhance your blog’s functionality.

You can view this article here:

In this tutorial you will learn why plugins need to be kept up-to-date, how to easily upgrade and uninstall your WordPress plugins, and discover some great tips to help you better manage your plugins.

Why Some Of Your Plugins Need To Be Regularly Updated

New versions of WordPress are frequently being released (about every 3-4 months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in earlier software versions, 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 plugins every.

This is because most WordPress plugins are created by external developers, so sometimes code in the newly-released WordPress version conflicts with plugins that were developed and tested with a previous version. When this happens, problems can sometimes develop.

Fortunately, most WordPress plugin developers (and the WordPress developer community itself) are fairly proactive when it comes to making sure that plugins get updated when a new version of WordPress is released (if this is required). All you need to do on your end, is simply maintain your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon discover, is very easy to do.

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

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress – Step-By-Step Tutorial

WordPress utilizes a number of different ways to let users know when plugins on their site need updating.

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

For example, in the screenshot below, you can see that nine plugins have older versions that need updating …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From Your WP Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

Updating Plugins Individually

Warning

We recommend making a full backup of your site files and database before updating your website.

From your WP admin menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely Inside The WP Dashboard

The “Plugins” area will display in your browser. The table of plugins can run 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

(The WordPress Plugins Page)

Practical Tip

Useful Tips:

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 page by default), then click the ‘Apply’ button …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

Your Plugins page will now be made more manageable with a ’numbered pages’ feature added. You can find an installed plugin by scrolling through the pages or using the “Plugin Search” feature …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Repeat this process for all 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 all plugins at once.

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Now that you know how to update plugins individually, the next step is to learn how to upgrade multiple WP plugins simultaneously.

Bulk-Upgrading WordPress Plugins

To upgrade multiple plugins in a single operation from your admin area, go to the “Plugins” section and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

How To Upgrade And Delete 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 Plugins

In the Bulk Actions drop down menu above the list of plugins, select Update

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Click Apply

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

Your selected plugins will begin to update automatically …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

Once your plugins have all been updated, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to go back to the Plugins section, or go to a different section of your dashboard …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins In The WordPress Dashboard

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) …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

All plugins have now been updated to their latest versions!

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

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

Now that you know how to update plugins, let’s take a look at how to safely uninstall plugins safely from your WordPress site.

Deleting Plugins

At times, you may want to remove WP plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This helps to decrease resources on your server and help to eliminate problems.

In this section, you will learn how to deactivate and delete unused plugins from your site.

Warning

Always create 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 restore your site.

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your WP Dashboard

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

Hint: Inactive plugins are listed in a different background color than active plugins and display an “Activate” link below the plugin name …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Click Delete

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Bulk-Deleting WP Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Next, select Deactivate from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

Click the Apply button …

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

Your selected plugins will be deactivated …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In The WP Admin Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

Click on the check box next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select only the plugins you want to delete by checking its box …

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

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Click the Apply button …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

A list of all selected plugins will show up 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 go ahead and delete all of the selected plugins …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside The WP Dashboard

Practical Management Tools For WP Plugins

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

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central - WordPress Plugin

Plugin Central improves the management of your plugins with options that let you install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update on your Admin area and lets you update multiple plugins in one click …

Plugin Central - WP Plugin

For more details about using this plugin, go here:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

Whenever plugin updates get released, the best practice is to update the plugin right away.

What if you have multiple WordPress sites with the same plugin installed? One option, is to login to every site and then update the plugin manually from that site’s dashboard. If you plan to run multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite some time!

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

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

Jetpack Manage – Single WordPress Dashboard Management

Jetpack Manage

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

Jetpack By WordPress.com - WordPress Plugin

(The Jetpack Plugin gives you access to 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 dashboard.

With Manage, you can upgrade 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 computer, tablet, or smart device.

To download and use this plugin, go here:

ManageWP

ManageWP

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

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

To download the plugin, go here:

WP Pipeline.com

WP Pipeline.com

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

WP Pipeline is very similar to ManageWP, but sells for a one-time purchase fee instead of recurring payments. It lets you manage your entire portfolio of WordPress sites and perform multiple upgrades from a central installation.

Go here to learn more about this plugin:

Congratulations! Now you know how to upgrade and delete plugins safely inside your dashboard without coding knowledge or skills necessary.

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"These tutorials have so much information and are easy to understand. If you use WordPress or plan to in the future these will help you with everything you need to know." - Valisa (Mesa, Arizona)