How To Update WordPress Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From The DashboardIn a previous article, we explain what plugins are and how you can use plugins to easily expand your site’s capabilities.

You can view this article here: Add New Features And Functionality To Your Blog With WordPress Plugins

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn why plugins need to be kept up-to-date, how to update and delete plugins, and useful tips to help you better manage your plugins.

Why Some Of Your 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 found in earlier versions, as well as to improve existing features or introduce new ones.

Depending on how many plugins you use on your site, you can expect to see at least some new updates for plugins each time a new version of WordPress is released.

The reason for this, is because most plugins for WordPress are created by third-party developers, so sometimes code in the new WordPress version conflicts with plugins that were created and tested to work with a previous version. When this happens, problems can 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 need to do on your end, is just keep your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon discover, is really easy and simple to do.

Important Info

Keeping your WordPress plugins up-to-date and deleting old plugins you no longer use is an essential aspect of good WordPress site management and helps to avoid any potential errors and problems.

The WordPress tutorial below explains how to automatically update and delete plugins safely in your WP admin dashboard with no coding skills needed.

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely – Step-By-Step Tutorial

WordPress uses a number of different ways to let users know when plugins need to be updated.

For example, you can see ‘at a glance’ how many plugins are out-of-date as soon as you log into your Administration panel simply by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

In the example below, nine WP plugins need updating …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your WP Admin Dashboard

You can also see how many plugins need updating from your WordPress Toolbar (in the example below, you can again see that nine plugins need updating) …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

The Plugins screen (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also provides information about plugins that need to be updated …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From Your WordPress Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Let’s start by learning how to upgrade one plugin at a time.

Updating Individual WordPress Plugins

Warning

We strongly recommend performing a backup of your data and files before upgrading your blog or website.

In your dashboard menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your WordPress Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

(The WordPress Plugins Screen)

Tip

Useful Information:

If you have too many plugins installed and would like to make this section more manageable, then click on the Screen Options tab at the top of your Plugins screen and type in a smaller number of items per page (all plugins show on the page by default, i.e. “999”), then click the ‘Apply’ button …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

Your Plugins area 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 “Search Plugins” feature …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

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

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

WordPress provides smooth & simple plugin updates, so that updating your plugins takes place with just “one click” without leaving your Plugins screen …

How To Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

Repeat this process for all 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 them all at once.

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Now that you know how to update one plugin at a time, it’s time to learn how to bulk-upgrade plugins.

How To Bulk-Update Plugins

To bulk-upgrade WordPress plugins simultaneously 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 …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

In the Bulk Actions drop-down menu above your plugin list, select Update

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

And then click Apply

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From The WP Dashboard

The plugins you have selected will automatically begin updating …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In The WP Admin Dashboard

Once all plugin updates are completed, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to go back to your Plugins area, or go to a different section of your dashboard …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

Once all plugins are up-to-date, the update reminders 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) …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

You have updated all plugins on your site!

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

(When your plugins are all up-to-date, the notification icons do not display)

Now that you know how to automatically upgrade WordPress in the admin dashboard, let’s take a look at how to remove plugins from your site or blog.

How To Delete Plugins

Occasionally, you may decide to remove WP plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This helps to reduce resource usage and also help you avoid potential problems.

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

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 restore your site.

To remove a plugin, go to your admin menu and click on Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your WP Admin Dashboard

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

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins In Your Dashboard

If the plugin is active, click on Deactivate before going any further …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

Click Delete

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From The WP Admin Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely From Your WP Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

The selected plugins and related files will be deleted …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

Bulk-Deleting Plugins

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

Useful Info

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Next, specify Deactivate from the Bulk Actions drop down menu …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Click Apply

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside The WordPress Admin Dashboard

Your selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

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 check box, or click on the check box next to the Plugin column header to select and delete all inactive plugins …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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 In WordPress

Click Apply

How To Automatically 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 absolutely certain that you would like to go ahead and delete all of the plugins listed …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Your plugins will be deleted …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Managing Plugins

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

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central

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

Plugin Central

For more details about this plugin, go here: Plugin Central – WP Plugin

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

Whenever plugin updates get released, the best practice is to update the plugin right away.

What if you have multiple sites using the same plugin? Normally, you would need to login to each site individually and then go through the plugin update process from that site’s dashboard. With multiple sites, this process can take quite a while to complete!

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

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

Jetpack Manage

Jetpack By WordPress.com - WordPress Plugin

The Jetpack plugin is a single plugin for WordPress that offers users a wide range of added functionality, allowing self-hosted WordPress site owners to access WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of stats reporting, automated social sharing, and so much more.

Jetpack Manage

(The Jetpack Plugin gives you access to range of powerful WordPress features)

One of these features is “Jetpack Manage”.

Jetpack Manage allows you to manage your WordPress sites from one dashboard on WordPress.com.

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

To download this plugin, go here: Jetpack By WordPress.com

ManageWP

ManageWP.com - Update All Your WordPress Blogs From One Dashboard

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

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

To download and use the plugin, go here: ManageWP

WP Pipeline – WordPress Management Tool

WP Pipeline

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

WP Pipeline is very similar to ManageWP, but sells for a one-time purchase fee instead of recurring payments. It lets you control and organize your entire online WordPress presence and perform multiple updates from one central dashboard.

Visit this site to learn more about this plugin: WP Pipeline – Upgrade All Your Sites From One Central Installation

Congratulations! Now you know how to upgrade and delete plugins safely in WordPress without requiring web coding skills or knowledge.

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"This is AMAZING! I had learnt about how to use WordPress previously, but this covers absolutely everything and more!! Incredible value! Thank you!" - Monique, Warrior Forum

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and has authored hundreds of FREE WordPress tutorials for beginners. WPCompendium.org provides detailed step-by-step tutorials that will teach you how to use WordPress with no coding skills required and at minimal cost!

Originally published as How To Update WordPress Plugins.