How To Update WordPress Plugins

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From The DashboardIn a previous post, we explain what plugins are and how you can use these to easily add new features to your site without editing code.

To view this article, go here:

In this tutorial you will learn why WordPress plugins need to be kept up-to-date, how to safely update and delete your WordPress plugins, and useful plugin management tips if you currently own or manage multiple WordPress sites.

Why Your WordPress Plugins Need Upgrading

New versions of WordPress are regularly released (about every 3-4 months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in older releases, and to improve existing features.

Depending on how many plugins you have installed on your site, there will typically be new new update notices for plugins whenever new WordPress versions are announced.

The reason for 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 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 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 have to do on your end, is keep your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is very quick, simple and easy to do.

Important

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 conflicts and errors.

The WordPress step-by-step tutorial below explains how to automatically update and delete plugins safely inside the WordPress admin dashboard with no coding knowledge or skills needed.

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely – Tutorial

WordPress provides several methods to let users know when plugins need to be updated.

For example, you can tell immediately how many plugins are out-of-date as soon as you log into your WP Dashboard by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, 9 plugins are out of date and need updating …

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

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

Let’s start by showing you how to upgrade plugins one at a time.

How To Upgrade Single WordPress Plugins

Warning

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

From your WP admin menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins In Your Dashboard

You will be taken to the “Plugins” page. The list of plugins can be quite long depending on how many plugins you have installed on your site …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins In Your WP Dashboard

(Plugins Page)

Tip

Useful Information:

If you have too many plugins and would like to make this section more manageable, then click on the Screen Options tab at the top of your Plugins screen and enter a smaller number of items per page (by default, all plugins display on the page), then click Apply …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In The Dashboard

Your Plugins section will now be reduced in size with a pagination feature added. You can find an installed plugin by scrolling through the pages or using the “Search Plugins” feature …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins In The WP Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your WP Admin Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside The WP 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 several 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 one plugin at a time, the next step is to learn how to upgrade several WP plugins simultaneously.

How To Upgrade Various WordPress Plugins

To update 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 …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In The WordPress Dashboard

Tick the check box next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select each plugin you want to upgrade by checking their individual boxes …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In The WordPress Admin Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

Click Apply

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins In The WordPress Dashboard

The plugins you have selected will automatically begin to update …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

Once all plugin upgrades are completed, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to go back to your Plugins section, or visit another section of your dashboard …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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” notices no longer display) …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

All plugins have now been updated to their latest versions!

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

Now that you know how to automatically upgrade WP plugins, let’s show you how to remove plugins from your WordPress blog or website.

How To Safely Delete WP Plugins

Occasionally, you may choose to remove WordPress plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This helps to conserve server resources and will help you avoid potential problems.

In this section, we show you how to 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 main menu and select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

Hint: Inactive plugins appear 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 Your Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

Next, click on Delete

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In Your Dashboard

If you want to have a look at all the files that will be deleted before going ahead, then click on the “Click to view entire list of files which will be deleted” link in the “Delete Plugin” page …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely From Your WP Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins

If you are positively sure that you want to go ahead and delete the selected plugin, click on the Yes, Delete these files button …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

The selected plugins and related files will be deleted …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

Bulk-Deleting Plugins

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

Useful Information

Note: To delete any plugins that are currently active, your will 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 checkbox, or selecting the check box next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins (warning: this will deactivate all plugins) …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

Next, choose Deactivate from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu …

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

Click Apply

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins In Your Dashboard

All selected plugins will be deactivated …

Updating And Deleting Plugins From Your Dashboard

Once you have deactivated these plugins, click on the Inactive link on the menu at the top of the page …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Select all of the plugins you want to delete by either placing a tick next to their checkbox, or click on the checkbox next to the Plugin column header to select and delete all inactive plugins …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

Click the Apply button …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside Your WP Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Practical Management Tools For Plugins

In addition to the methods shown above, you can install a number of third-party tools to manage your WordPress plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin For WordPress

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

Plugin For WordPress

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 upgrde that plugin right away.

What if you have multiple sites using the same plugin? Normally, you would need to login to every site and then go through the plugin update process from that site’s admin dashboard. With multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite some time!

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

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

Jetpack Plugin By WordPress.com

Jetpack

The Jetpack plugin is a versatile WordPress plugin 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 robust stats, automated social sharing, and many other great features.

Jetpack  - Plugin For WordPress

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

One of these features is “Manage”.

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

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 device.

For more information about the plugin, visit this site:

ManageWP.com – Manage All Your WP Plugins From One Dashboard

ManageWP

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

ManageWP helps you easily manage all your sites and blogs from one place, including updates, backups, security and more. This tool features easy one-click upgrades and instant login to your WP sites.

Go here to download and use this plugin:

WP Pipeline – WordPress Mass Control Plugin

WP Pipeline - Multiple WordPress Site Management Software

(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 control and organize your entire portfolio of WordPress sites and perform multiple updates from a single location.

Go here for more information about this plugin:

Congratulations! Now you know how to update and remove your plugins.

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"I have used the tutorials to teach all of my clients and it has probably never been so easy for everyone to learn WordPress ... Now I don't need to buy all these very expensive video courses that often don't deliver what they promise." - Stefan Wendt, Internet Marketing Success Group

Originally published as How To Update WordPress Plugins.