How To Update WordPress Plugins

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete PluginsIn a separate post, we provide a detailed explanation of what WP plugins are about and how you can use plugins to easily add new features or functionality to your website or blog without touching code.

You can view the article here:

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping your plugins up-to-date, how to update and uninstall plugins, and discover some plugin management tools if you need to own or manage multiple WordPress sites or blogs.

Why Many Of Your WordPress Plugins Need Upgrading

New WordPress versions are constantly being released (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities discovered in earlier software versions, as well as to improve existing features or introduce new ones.

Depending on how many plugins you have installed on your site, you can expect to see at least some new updates for plugins whenever new versions of WordPress are announced.

This is because most plugins for WordPress are created by 3rd-party developers, so sometimes the code in the new WordPress version conflict with plugins that were developed and tested with a previous version. When this happens, issues can sometimes develop.

Fortunately, most WordPress plugin developers (and the WordPress developer community itself) are quite proactive when it comes to making sure that plugins get updated when a new version of WordPress is released (if updating is required). All you need to do on your end, is keep your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is really simple and easy to do.

Useful 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 errors or problems.

The WordPress tutorial below explains how to automatically update and delete plugins safely in the dashboard without coding knowledge needed.

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside Your Dashboard – Step-By-Step Tutorial

WordPress uses a few methods to inform you when plugins need updating.

For example, you can tell immediately how many plugins need to be updated from your Administration area simply by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, 9 plugins need updating …

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

You can also check how many plugins need to be updated from your WordPress Toolbar (in the example below, you can see how many plugins should be updated) …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

In addition to providing information about plugins that have updates available, the Plugins section provides links to the plugin download pages and gives you the option to update the plugins instantly …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

Let’s start by learning how to update plugins one at a time.

Update WordPress Plugins Individually

Warning

Always make a backup of your data and files before making any changes to your website or blog.

From your WP admin menu, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting Plugins From The WordPress Dashboard

The “Plugins” screen will display in your browser. The list of plugins can run down your page for some length, depending on how many plugins you have added to your blog …

How To Update And Delete Plugins In Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

(Plugins Screen)

Useful Tip

Additional Information:

If you have too many plugins installed and would like to reduce the number of plugins displayed on your screen, then click on the Screen Options tab at the top of your Plugins area and type in a smaller number of items per page (by default, all plugins display on the page), then click the ‘Apply’ button …

How To Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins In The Dashboard

Repeat this process for any other plugins on your site that need updating, or refer to the section below if you have several plugins that are out-of-date and would like to upgrade all plugins at the same time.

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Now that you know how to upgrade WP plugins one at a time, the next step is to learn how to update multiple WordPress plugins simultaneously.

Bulk-Updating WP Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins In The Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

Click Apply

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

The plugins you have selected will begin updating …

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

All plugins have now been updated!

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

Now that you know how to update WP plugins, let’s take a look at how to safely remove plugins safely from your WordPress site or blog.

Deleting Plugins

It’s a good idea to remove inactive plugins. This conserves resources on your server and help you avoid problems.

In this section, we show you how to safely remove 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 reinstall your site.

To remove a plugin, go to your WP admin menu and select Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside Your Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The WP Dashboard

Next, click Delete

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

If you need to browse 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” page …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

All files associated with the plugin selected for deletionwill be listed on your screen …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

Your plugin(s) will be deleted from your server …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

How To Safely Delete Several WP Plugins In Bulk

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

Important Info

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 checkbox next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins (warning: this will deactivate all plugins) …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Once you have done this, specify Deactivate from the Bulk Actions pull-down menu …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

Click the Apply button …

How To Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Your selected plugins will be deactivated …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins

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

How To Automatically 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 …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Once you have selected all of the plugins that you want deleted, choose Delete from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu …

How To Update And Delete Plugins

Click the Apply button …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

A list of all selected plugins will show up 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 remove all of the selected plugins …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Useful Tools For Managing Plugins

As well as the methods shown above, you can use WordPress plugins that help you manage your WordPress plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central

Plugin Central is a Free plugin that helps you manage your plugins with options that let you install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update on your Dashboard and also allows you to update multiple plugins with a single click of the mouse …

Management Plugin For WordPress

To learn more about this plugin, go here:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

When plugin developers release a new plugin update, the best practice is to upgrde that plugin right away.

What if you run multiple sites with the same plugin installed? One option, is to login to every site and then update the plugin manually from that site’s dashboard. With multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite some time to complete!

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

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

Jetpack By WordPress.com

Jetpack By WordPress.com Plugin For WordPress

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

Jetpack

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

One of these features is “Jetpack Manage”.

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

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

Go here to download the plugin:

ManageWP.com

ManageWP - Update All Your WordPress Plugins From One Central Dashboard

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

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

For more information about the plugin, visit this site:

WP Pipeline

WP Pipeline - WordPress Mass Control Plugin

(With WP Pipeline, you can update all of your WordPress sites, plugins and themes from a single WP 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 updates from one single location.

To download this plugin, visit this site:

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

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"Learning WordPress has been a huge stumbling block for me. I've been looking for something that covers absolutely everything but doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Thank you so much ... you have just provided me with what I have been looking for! Truly appreciated!" - Tanya

Originally published as How To Update WordPress Plugins.