How To Update WordPress Plugins

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

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How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In Your WP Admin DashboardIn another article, we provide a detailed explanation of what WP plugins are about and how you can use these to easily enhance your web site’s capabilities.

You can view the article here:

In this tutorial you will learn why plugins need to be kept up-to-date, how to update and uninstall plugins from your site, and discover some plugin management tips if you plan to run multiple WordPress sites.

Why Some Of Your Plugins Need Upgrading

New versions of WordPress are regularly released (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in older software releases, as well as to improve existing features or introduce new ones.

Depending on how many plugins you have installed on your site, you can expect to see at least some new new update notifications for WordPress plugins each time a new WordPress version is released.

This is because most plugins for WordPress are created by third-party developers, so sometimes the code in the new WordPress version conflicts with plugins that were built for a previous version. Whenever this happens, there is a potential for conflicts to sometimes develop.

Fortunately, most WordPress plugin developers (and the WordPress developer community itself) are very proactive when it comes to ensuring that plugins get updated when a new version of WordPress is released (if this is needed). All you need to do as a WordPress user, is just keep your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon discover, is very simple to do.

Important

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

The tutorial below explains how to update and delete plugins inside your WP admin dashboard without requiring web coding skills or knowledge.

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely – Tutorial

WordPress utilizes a few methods to inform you when plugins need updating.

For example, you can tell immediately how many plugins need to be updated as soon as you log into your WP Dashboard just by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

In the example below, you can see that nine plugins have older versions that need to be updated …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

You can also view how many plugins need updating from your WP Notification Toolbar (the example below shows that a number of plugins need updating) …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins

The Plugins page (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also provides information about plugins that need updating …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In The WordPress Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In The Dashboard

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

Upgrading Plugins One At A Time

Warning

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

From your admin menu, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins

The “Plugins” area will display in your browser. This screen can be quite long depending on how many plugins you have added to your site …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In The Dashboard

(WordPress Plugins Section)

Tip

Useful Information:

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 page and type in a smaller number of items per page (by default, all plugins display on the screen), then click the ‘Apply’ button …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely In 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 “Search” feature …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In Your Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

WordPress provides streamlined plugin updates, so that the process of updating your plugins happens with just “one click” without leaving your Plugins screen …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

Repeat this process for all plugins on your site that need updating, or refer to the section below if you have several plugins that are out-of-date and would like to update all plugins in bulk.

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

Bulk-Updating Plugins

To bulk-upgrade WordPress plugins simultaneously directly inside your dashboard, go to the “Plugins” page and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

Click Apply

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

Your selected plugins will automatically begin to update …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From The WordPress Admin Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

Once your plugins are all up-to-date, the update reminders will disappear (i.e. the “at-a-glance” indicators and “There is a new version of XYZ plugin available” messages no longer display) …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

You have updated all plugins on your site!

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

(When your site uses the latest version of all plugins, update notices no longer appear)

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

Deleting Plugins

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

In this section, you will learn how to safely remove unused plugins from your WordPress 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 delete a plugin, go to your WP admin menu and click on Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

If the plugin is active, click on Deactivate before going any further …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Once you have deactivated the plugin, click Delete

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

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” section …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

The entire list of files associated with the plugin that you are about to delete will be listed on your screen …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

How To Delete Multiple WP Plugins Simultaneously

You can bulk-delete all inactive plugins on your site, 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 Inside Your WP Dashboard

Once you have done this, choose Deactivate from the Bulk Actions drop-down menu …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

Click the Apply button …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

The selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

Click on the checkbox in the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select only the plugins you want to remove by checking its box …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Once you have selected all of the plugins that you want deleted, choose Delete from the Bulk Actions pull-down menu …

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Click Apply

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 sure that you would like to go ahead and delete all of the selected plugins …

How To Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your WP Admin Dashboard

WP Plugin Management – WordPress Tools

As well as 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 helps you manage your plugins with options that let you install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update on your Dashboard and also allows you to update multiple plugins with a single mouse-click …

Plugin Central - WP Plugin

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

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

Whenever plugin developers release a new plugin update, the best practice is to update the plugin as soon as possible.

What if you have multiple sites with the same plugin installed? Normally, you would need to login to your sites one by one and then update the plugin manually from that site’s own WordPress admin dashboard. If you run multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite a while to complete!

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

Below are a couple of WordPress management tools you should look at:

Jetpack

Jetpack By WordPress.com

Jetpack is a single plugin for WordPress that provides users with a powerful range of features, allowing self-hosted WordPress site owners to benefit from WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of things like robust stats, automated social sharing, and a whole lot more.

Jetpack - WordPress Plugin

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

One of these features is “Manage”.

Jetpack Manage lets you manage multiple WordPress sites from one simple dashboard.

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

To download and use the plugin, visit this site:

ManageWP.com

ManageWP.com

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

ManageWP lets you manage all of your sites from one dashboard, including upgrades, backups, security and more. The tool features easy one-click updates and instant login access to all of your WP sites.

To download the plugin, visit this site:

WP Pipeline.com

WP Pipeline - Update All Your WP Blogs From From A Single Dashboard

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

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 updates from a central installation.

Go here to learn more about using the plugin:

Congratulations! Now you know how to automatically update and delete your plugins using the dashboard.

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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

Originally published as How To Update WordPress Plugins.