How To Update WordPress Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside Your DashboardIn another blog post, we explain what plugins are and how you can use these to easily add new features to your website without touching code.

To read the article, go here:

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

Why Many Of Your WordPress Plugins Need To Be Regularly Upgraded

WordPress regularly updates its software (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in previous releases, as well as to improve existing features or introduce new functionality to users.

Depending on how many plugins you have installed on your site, there will typically be new new update notices for WordPress plugins when new versions of WordPress are 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, there is a potential for issues to sometimes occur.

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

Important Info

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

The step-by-step tutorial below explains how to automatically upgrade and delete plugins safely without editing web code.

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely – Step-By-Step Tutorial

WordPress utilizes a few methods to let users know when plugins need to be updated.

For example, you can instantly see how many plugins are out-of-date from your Administration panel simply by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

You can also check how many plugins need to be updated from your WP Administration Toolbar (as shown below, nine plugins should be brought up to date) …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

The Plugins screen (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also tells you what plugins need updating …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside The Dashboard

As well as providing information about plugins that have updates available, the Plugins screen provides links to the plugin download sites and gives you the option to update the plugins individually or in bulk …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From Your WordPress Dashboard

Let’s start by learning how to update individual plugins.

How To Upgrade Plugins Individually

Warning

Always make a backup of your website before updating your website.

From your WP admin menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From The WordPress Admin Dashboard

The “Plugins” section will display in your browser. This table of plugins can be quite long depending on the number of plugins you have added to your blog …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

(The WordPress Plugins Section)

Practical 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 area and type in a smaller number of items per page (all plugins show up on the page by default), then click Apply …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

Your Plugins page 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 …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

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

Plugins that require upgrading display the following notification message: “There is a new version of [Plugin Name] available”

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Repeat this process for any other plugins on your site that need to be updated, or see the section below if you have several plugins that are out-of-date and would like to update them all in one simple operation.

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Now that you know how to update one plugin at a time, let’s show you how to upgrade a bunch of WordPress plugins simultaneously.

Bulk-Upgrading WP Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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 …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In Your WordPress Dashboard

In the Bulk Actions drop-down menu above the table of plugins, select Update

How To Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins In The Dashboard

Click Apply

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside Your WordPress Dashboard

Your selected plugins will automatically begin updating …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Once all updates are done, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to the Plugins section, or choose another option from the WordPress dashboard menu …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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” messages no longer display) …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

All plugins have now been upgraded!

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

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

How To Delete Plugins

It’s a good idea to delete plugins that you no longer need or are no longer using on your site. This can help conserve resources on your server and also help to eliminate problems.

In this section, you will learn how to safely deactivate and delete unused plugins from your site.

Warning

We strongly recommend creating a full back up of your 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 choose Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

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

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

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

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins

Next, click on Delete

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

If you need to browse all the files that will be deleted before going ahead with the next step, then click on the “Click to view entire list of files which will be deleted” link in the “Delete Plugin” section …

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

The entire list of files belonging to the plugin selected for removalwill display on your screen …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

If you are certain that you would like to go ahead and delete these plugin, click on the Yes, Delete these files button …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

The selected plugin(s) will be deleted …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Deleting Multiple WP Plugins At Once

You can bulk-delete all inactive plugins on your site, or select a combination of active and inactive plugins to be deleted.

Useful Information

Note: To delete any plugins that are presently 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 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, specify Deactivate from the Bulk Actions pull-down menu …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In Your WP Dashboard

Click the Apply button …

Updating And Deleting Plugins From Your WP Admin Dashboard

The selected plugins will be deactivated …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete WordPress 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 checkbox next to the Plugin column header to select and delete all inactive plugins …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

Once you have ticked all the check boxes next to the plugins that you want deleted, select Delete from the Bulk Actions drop-down menu …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

Click Apply

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

A list of all selected plugins will show up 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 absolutely certain that you want to go ahead and remove all of the plugins listed …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your WP Admin Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Useful WordPress Tools For Managing Plugins

In addition to the methods shown above, you can install other WordPress plugins that help you manage your plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Management 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 in your Dashboard and also allows you to update multiple plugins with one click …

Plugin Central - WordPress Plugin

To learn more about this plugin, go here:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

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

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

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

Here are just a few great WordPress management tools you should look at:

Jetpack Plugin By WordPress.com

Jetpack By WordPress.com

The Jetpack plugin is a versatile WordPress plugin that offers users a wide range of features, allowing self-hosted WordPress site users to access WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of things like robust stats, automated social sharing, and a host of other great features.

Jetpack Manage

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

One of these features is “Manage”.

Jetpack Manage allows you to manage multiple WordPress sites from one simple interface.

With Manage, you can update plugins, set plugins to update automatically, and activate or deactivate plugins on a per-site basis or in bulk, whether you’re on your PC, tablet, or mobile phone.

Go here to learn more about this plugin:

ManageWP – WordPress Management Tool

ManageWP

(ManageWP is a widely used 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 and intuitive one-click management and instant login to your WP sites.

To download this plugin, go here:

WP Pipeline – Multiple WordPress Site Management Software

WP Pipeline.com

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

WP Pipeline works in a similar way to ManageWP, but sells for a one-time purchase fee instead of recurring payments. It lets you manage your entire portfolio of WordPress sites and perform multiple updates from one central WordPress installation.

To download and use this plugin, visit this site:

Congratulations! Now you know how to update and uninstall your plugins in WordPress.

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Originally published as How To Update WordPress Plugins.