How To Update WordPress Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress PluginsIn a previous article, we provide a detailed explanation of what plugins are about and how you can use plugins to easily add new features to your website without editing code.

You can view the article here:

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping plugins up-to-date, how to automatically upgrade and remove your WordPress plugins, and discover some great tools to help you better manage your plugins.

Why Some Plugins Need Upgrading

New WordPress versions are regularly released (about every 3-4 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 use on your site, there will typically be new updates for plugins each time a new version of WordPress is announced.

The reason for this, is because most WordPress plugins are created by 3rd-party developers, so sometimes the code in the new WordPress version conflicts with plugins that were built for a previous version. Whenever this happens, problems can sometimes develop.

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 this is needed). All you need to do as a WordPress user, is simply keep your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is really simple and easy to do.

Info

Keeping your plugins regularly updated and removing old plugins you no longer need is an essential aspect of good WordPress site management and helps to avoid potential problems and errors.

The WordPress tutorial below explains how to automatically upgrade and delete WordPress plugins without touching web code.

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In The WP Admin Dashboard – Tutorial

WordPress uses several ways to inform you when plugins need to be updated.

For example, you can tell immediately how many plugins need updating as soon as you log into your Admin area just by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

You can also check how many plugins need updating from your WP Admin Toolbar (as shown below, a number of plugins should be updated) …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

In addition to providing information about which plugins have updates available, the Plugins section provides links to the plugin download sites and gives you the option to update the plugins individually or in bulk …

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

Let’s start by showing you how to update one plugin at a time.

Upgrading Individual A Plugin

Warning

We recommend making a complete backup of your data and files before making any updates to your website.

From your dashboard menu, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins From Your WP Dashboard

You will be taken to the “Plugins” page. The list of plugins can flow down your screen for some length, depending on the number of plugins you have installed in your blog …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

(Plugins Page)

Tip

Useful Info:

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 enter a smaller number of items per page (all plugins show up on the screen by default, i.e. “999”), then click the ‘Apply’ button …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

Your Plugins section 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

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The WordPress Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

Repeat this process for any other plugins on your site that need updating, or see the section below if you have many 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 one plugin at a time, it’s time to learn how to upgrade a bunch of plugins simultaneously.

How To Bulk-Upgrade WordPress Plugins

To upgrade multiple plugins simultaneously 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 Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Tick the checkbox 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 Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

And then click Apply

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

Your selected plugins will automatically begin updating …

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

Once the update process has completed, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to go back to the Plugins area, or select another option from the sidebar menu …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In The WordPress Dashboard

Once your plugins are all up-to-date, any plugin alerts disappear (i.e. the “at-a-glance” indicators and “There is a new version of XYZ plugin available” notices no longer display on your screen, toolbar and menus) …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins In The WordPress Admin Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

Now that you know how to automatically upgrade plugins, it’s time to learn how to remove plugins safely from your WordPress blog or website.

How To Safely Delete WP Plugins

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

In this section, we show you how to safely deactivate and delete unused plugins from your 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 Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your WordPress Dashboard

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

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

If the plugin is active, then click on Deactivate before proceeding with your plugin deletion …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Next, click on Delete

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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 …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside The Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From The WordPress Dashboard

The selected plugins and related files will be deleted …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From The Dashboard

How To Safely Delete Multiple Plugins In Bulk

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

Important

Note: To delete any plugins that are currently 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

Next, specify Deactivate from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Click Apply

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

Your selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Update And Delete Plugins

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 …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your WP Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Click the Apply button …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely From Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

A list of all selected plugins will be displayed 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 absolutely sure that you want to go ahead and delete all of the selected plugins …

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

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In The Dashboard

Tools For Managing WP Plugins

As well as the methods shown above, you can install Free and Premium WordPress plugins to manage your plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central - WP 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 in the WP Dashboard and also allows you to update multiple plugins with one click …

Plugin For WordPress

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

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

Whenever plugin updates get released, the best practice is to upgrde that plugin as soon as possible.

What if you have multiple WordPress sites using the same plugin? One option, is to login to your sites one by one and then go through the plugin update process from that site’s own WordPress dashboard. If you have to update plugins on multiple sites, this process can take quite a while!

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

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

Jetpack Manage – Single WP Dashboard Management

Jetpack

Jetpack is a versatile WordPress plugin that provides users with a wide range of features, allowing self-hosted WordPress site users to access WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of robust stats, automated social sharing, and many other features.

Jetpack Manage - Single WordPress Dashboard Management

(Jetpack gives you access to range of powerful WordPress features)

One of these features is “Jetpack Manage”.

Jetpack Manage allows you to manage multiple self-hosted WordPress sites and WordPress.com sites from a central interface.

With Manage, you can update 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 PC, tablet, or smart phone.

To download the plugin, go here:

ManageWP

ManageWP

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

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

Go here for more information about using this plugin:

WP Pipeline.com

WP Pipeline - Update All Your Sites From From One Central Dashboard

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

WP Pipeline is very similar to ManageWP, but has a one-time license fee instead of recurring payments. It lets you control and organize your entire portfolio of WordPress sites and perform multiple upgrades from one single location.

Visit this site to download this plugin:

Congratulations! Now you know how to update and remove plugins using the WordPress dashboard.

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"I am beyond impressed with what you have put together. I can tell that you put a ton of hard work into building what you have. You have the absolute best content on WordPress I have ever seen!" - Robert T. Jillie

Originally published as How To Update WordPress Plugins.