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 Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your WordPress DashboardIn another article, we provide an overview of what WP plugins are about and how you can use plugins to extend your blog’s capabilities.

To view this article, go here:

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

Why Many Of Your Plugins Need Upgrading

WordPress constantly updates its software (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in previous software 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 new update notifications for WordPress plugins every.

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

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 required). All you need to do on your end, is simply keep your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon discover, is really easy to do.

Important

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

The WordPress step-by-step tutorial below explains how to upgrade and delete WordPress plugins safely with no web coding knowledge required.

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely – Tutorial

WordPress provides a few methods to inform users when plugins need to be updated.

For example, you can instantly see how many plugins are out-of-date as soon as you log into your WP Dashboard by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

In the example below, you can see that nine plugins are out of date and need to be updated …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

You can also tell how many plugins need to be updated from your WordPress Administration Toolbar (as shown below, 9 plugins need to be updated) …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

The Plugins section (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also provides information about plugins that need to be updated …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your WP Admin Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside The Dashboard

Let’s start by learning how to upgrade WP plugins individually.

Upgrading Individual A Plugin

Warning

Always make a complete backup of your data and files before upgrading your website.

In your WP admin menu, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

You will be taken to the “Plugins” screen. This page can be quite lengthy depending on how many plugins you have added to your blog …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

(Plugins Page)

Practical Tip

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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” box …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Repeat the above 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 upgrade all plugins at once.

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Now that you know how to update individual plugins, let’s show you how to upgrade many plugins simultaneously.

Bulk-Upgrading WordPress Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The WP Dashboard

Click Apply

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

The plugins you have selected will begin updating …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside Your WP Admin Dashboard

Once all plugins are 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” notices no longer display) …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins

(When your site uses the latest version of all plugins, update messages do not display)

Now that you know how to automatically upgrade your plugins, let’s take a look at how to safely remove plugins safely from your WordPress blog or website.

Deleting Plugins

At times, you may decide to delete WordPress plugins that you no longer need or are no longer using on your site. This can help to reduce server resources and also help to eliminate problems.

In this section, we show you how to uninstall unused plugins from your 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 dashboard menu and click on Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins In The WP Admin Dashboard

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

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Inside The Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

Once you have deactivated the plugin, click Delete

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

If you need to have a look at 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” section …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

A complete list of files associated with the plugin selected for removalwill display on your screen …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In The WP Dashboard

If you are absolutely sure about going ahead and deleting the plugin files, then click on the Yes, Delete these files button …

How To Update And Delete Plugins

Your plugin(s) will be deleted …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

Bulk-Deleting WordPress Plugins

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

Useful Information

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 check box, 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 From Your WP Admin Dashboard

Once you have done this, specify Deactivate from the Bulk Actions pull-down menu …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From Your Dashboard

Click the Apply button …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Your selected plugins will be deactivated …

Upgrading And Deleting 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 …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From The WordPress Admin Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside Your Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Click the Apply button …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely In Your WP Admin Dashboard

A list of all selected plugins will display 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 want to proceed to the next step and delete all of the plugins listed …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

Your plugins will be deleted …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Practical Management Tools For WordPress Plugins

As well as the methods shown above, you can install a range of third-party tools that help you manage your WordPress plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central - WordPress Plugin

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

Management Plugin For WordPress

For more details about using this plugin, go here:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

As discussed earlier, when plugin developers release a new plugin update, the best practice is to update that plugin right away.

What if you run multiple WordPress sites with the same plugin installed? One option, is to login to each site individually and then go through the plugin update process from that site’s own admin dashboard. If you run multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite some time!

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

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

Jetpack - WordPress Plugin

Jetpack Manage - Single WP Dashboard Management

The Jetpack plugin is a versatile plugin for WordPress that offers users a powerful range of added functionality, 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 great features.

Jetpack Manage

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

One of these features is “Jetpack Manage”.

Jetpack Manage lets you manage your WordPress sites from a single dashboard on WordPress.com.

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 smart device.

Go here for more information about this plugin:

ManageWP.com

ManageWP.com - Update All Your WP Sites From One Dashboard

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

ManageWP lets you manage all of your WordPress sites from one dashboard, including upgrades, backups, security and more. This application features easy one-click management and instant login access to all of your WordPress sites.

Go here to download this plugin:

WP Pipeline.com

WP Pipeline

(WP Pipeline lets you 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 purchase fee instead of monthly payments. It lets you control and organize your entire portfolio of WordPress sites and perform multiple upgrades from one central WordPress installation.

To download and use the plugin, go here:

Congratulations! Now you know how to upgrade and delete plugins safely without editing web code.

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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.