How To Update WordPress Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting PluginsIn another post, we provide a detailed explanation of what plugins are all about and how you can use these to add new features and functionality to your website or blog with no software programming skills required.

To read this article, go here:

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn why WordPress plugins need to be kept up-to-date, how to upgrade and remove plugins, and some great plugin management tips if you currently manage multiple WordPress sites or blogs.

Why Some Of Your Plugins Need To Be Upgraded

New WordPress versions are constantly being released (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in previous versions, and to improve existing features.

Depending on how many plugins you use on your site, there will typically be new new update notices for WordPress plugins each time a new version of WordPress is released.

This is because most WordPress plugins are created by 3rd-party developers, so sometimes code in the newly-released WordPress version conflicts with plugins that were developed 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 quite proactive when it comes to ensuring that plugins get updated when a new version of WordPress is released (if updating is needed). All you have to do on your end, is just maintain your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is really easy to do.

Useful Info

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

The tutorial below explains how to automatically update and delete plugins from your WordPress admin dashboard without web coding knowledge necessary.

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress – Tutorial

WordPress employs a few ways to inform users when plugins need updating.

For example, you can see ‘at a glance’ how many plugins are out-of-date as soon as you log into your Administration site just by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, you can see that 9 WP plugins are out of date and need to be updated …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In The Dashboard

As well as 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 your plugin instantly …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In The WordPress Dashboard

Let’s start by showing you how to update WP plugins individually.

Update Plugins One At A Time

Warning

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

From your admin menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins From Your WP Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

(Plugins Page)

Tip

Tips:

If you have too many plugins and would like to reduce the number of plugins showing on the screen, 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 on the page by default, i.e. “999”), then click Apply …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In The Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your WordPress Dashboard

Locate the plugin that you want to update and click on the update now link …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside The WordPress Admin Dashboard

Repeat this process for any other plugins on your site that need to be updated, or refer to the section below if you have a number of 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 plugins one at a time, let’s show you how to upgrade a bunch of WP plugins simultaneously.

Bulk-Updating WP Plugins

To bulk-update plugins using the automatic upgrading feature, go to the “Plugins” page and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

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 upgrade by checking its box …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely In The WordPress Admin Dashboard

In the Bulk Actions dropdown menu above the table of plugins, select Update

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

Click Apply

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins In The WP Dashboard

The plugins you have selected will automatically begin to update …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

Once all plugins have been updated, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to the Plugins screen, or select another option from the dashboard menu …

Updating And Deleting Plugins From The Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In The WordPress Admin Dashboard

(When your plugins are all up-to-date, update alerts do not display)

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

Deleting Plugins

Occasionally, you may want to delete plugins that you no longer need or are no longer using on your site. This can decrease resources on your server and help you avoid problems.

In this section, we show you how to safely deactivate and delete 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 dashboard menu and select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

In the Plugins screen, 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 …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

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

Next, click on Delete

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins From The Dashboard

If you would like to review a list of all the files that will be deleted before taking the next step, then click on the “Click to view entire list of files which will be deleted” link in the “Delete Plugin” screen …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

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

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

Deleting Multiple WordPress Plugins Simultaneously

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

Important Info

Note: To delete any plugins that are currently active, you 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 check box, 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

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Click Apply

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In The Dashboard

The selected plugins will be deactivated …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From The WordPress Admin Dashboard

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 …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In Your Dashboard

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

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

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Click Apply

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside The 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 certain that you want to proceed to the next step and remove all of the plugins listed …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins In The WordPress Admin Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins

WordPress Management Tools For WP Plugins

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

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central - WP Plugin

Plugin Central helps you manage your plugins by allowing you to install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update on the Admin area and also allows you to update multiple plugins with one click …

Plugin Central

For more details about using this plugin, go here:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

When a plugin update gets released, the best practice is to update the plugin as soon as possible.

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 dashboard. If you own or manage multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite a while!

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

Here are just a few great WordPress management tools you may want to check out:

Jetpack Manage – Single WP Dashboard Management

Jetpack Manage - Single WordPress Dashboard Management

Jetpack is a multifunctional WordPress plugin that offers users a powerful range of features, allowing self-hosted WordPress site users to benefit from WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of stats reporting, easy social sharing, and a whole lot more.

Jetpack By WordPress.com  - Plugin For WordPress

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

One of these features is “Jetpack Manage”.

Jetpack Manage lets you manage multiple self-hosted WordPress sites and WordPress.com sites from one simple dashboard on WordPress.com.

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

To download and use the plugin, go here:

ManageWP

ManageWP.com - Multiple WordPress Site Management Software

(ManageWP is a very popular WordPress management tool for multiple WordPress sites)

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

To download this plugin, go here:

WP Pipeline.com

WP Pipeline

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

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

To download this plugin, visit this site:

Congratulations! Now you know how to automatically update and delete plugins without editing web code.

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"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now

Originally published as How To Update WordPress Plugins.