How To Update WordPress Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting PluginsIn another article, we provide a detailed explanation of what plugins are about and how you can use plugins to easily extend your web site’s functionality.

You can read the article here:

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

Why Some WordPress Plugins Need Upgrading

New versions of WordPress are frequently being released (about every 3-4 months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities discovered in earlier versions, as well as to improve existing features or introduce new functionality to WordPress users.

Depending on how many plugins you have installed on your site, you can expect to see at least some new new update notices for WordPress plugins when new WordPress versions are released.

The reason for this, is because most WordPress plugins are created by third-party developers, so sometimes code or features in the new WordPress version conflict 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 very proactive when it comes to making sure that plugins get updated when a new version of WordPress is released (if updating is needed). All you have to do as a WordPress user, is maintain your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon discover, is very simple and easy to do.

Info

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

The WordPress step-by-step tutorial below explains how to automatically update and delete plugins safely inside the dashboard without editing web code.

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

WordPress utilizes several methods to let users know when plugins on their blog need to be updated.

For example, you can tell immediately how many plugins need to be updated as soon as you log into your WP Dashboard just by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

In the example below, you can see that 9 WordPress plugins have older versions that need to be updated …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From The WP Admin Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

Upgrade Plugins Individually

Warning

Always make a backup of your website before making any updates to your website.

In your dashboard menu, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

(The WordPress Plugins Screen)

Practical Tip

Notes:

If you have too many plugins and would like to reduce the number of plugins showing on your page, then click on the Screen Options tab at the top of your Plugins area and enter a smaller number of items per page (all plugins show up on the page by default), then click Apply …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside The WordPress Admin 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 “Plugin Search” box …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In The WP Dashboard

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

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

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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 Plugins

Repeat the above process for all 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 upgrade all plugins in one simple operation.

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Now that you know how to upgrade individual WordPress plugins, the next step is to learn how to update many plugins simultaneously.

Bulk-Upgrading WP Plugins

To bulk-upgrade WP plugins from your admin area, go to the “Plugins” area and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

Click on 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 Bulk Actions drop down menu at the top of the page, select Update

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Click Apply

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Your selected plugins will update all at once …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside Your WordPress Dashboard

After your plugins have all been updated, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to the Plugins area, or choose another option from the WP admin menu …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins From Your 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” notices no longer display) …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

All plugins are now up-to-date!

Updating And Deleting Plugins In The WordPress Admin Dashboard

(When plugins on your site are all up-to-date, the notification icons no longer display)

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

Deleting WordPress Plugins

It’s a good idea to uninstall plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This can help to decrease resource usage and eliminate causes of problems.

In this section, you will learn how to safely uninstall unused plugins from your WordPress 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 Plugins

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

Hint: Inactive plugins have a different colored background than active plugins and show an “Activate” link below the plugin name …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

If the plugin is active, then click on Deactivate before continuing …

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

Once you have deactivated the plugin, click Delete

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

If you would like to review a list of 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” page …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

All files belonging to the plugin that you are about to remove will display on your screen …

How To Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely Inside Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

Your plugin(s) will be deleted …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

How To Bulk-Delete WP Plugins

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

Useful Info

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 checkbox, or selecting the check box next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins (warning: this will deactivate all plugins) …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

Next, select Deactivate from the Bulk Actions pull-down menu …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Click the Apply button …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Your selected plugins will be deactivated …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

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 dropdown menu …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Click the Apply button …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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 sure that you would like to proceed to the next step and remove all of the selected plugins …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In Your Dashboard

The plugins will be deleted …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins In The Dashboard

WordPress Management Tools For Plugins

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

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin For WordPress

Plugin Central helps you manage your plugins by allowing you to install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update in your WP Dashboard and lets you update multiple plugins in one click …

Plugin Central - WordPress Plugin

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

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

As discussed earlier, when plugin updates get released, the best practice is to update the plugin right away.

What if you have multiple 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 WordPress admin dashboard. With multiple sites, this process can take quite some time to complete!

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

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

Jetpack By WordPress.com

Jetpack Plugin For WordPress

Jetpack is a versatile plugin for WordPress 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 features.

Jetpack Manage

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

One of these features is “Manage”.

Jetpack Manage allows you to manage your self-hosted WordPress sites and WordPress.com sites from one simple interface.

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

To learn more about using the plugin, visit this site:

ManageWP.com

ManageWP

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

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

To download and use the plugin, visit this site:

WP Pipeline – Multiple WordPress Site Management Software

WP Pipeline.com

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

WP Pipeline works in a similar way to ManageWP, but you only have to pay once to access the software. It lets you manage your entire portfolio of WordPress sites and perform multiple upgrades from one single WP installation.

To download and use this plugin, go here:

Congratulations! Now you know how to upgrade and delete your plugins in WordPress.

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"I was absolutely amazed at the scope and breadth of these tutorials! The most in-depth training I have ever received on any subject!" - Myke O'Neill, DailyGreenPost.com

Originally published as How To Update WordPress Plugins.