How To Update WordPress Plugins

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

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How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins SafelyIn a previous article, we provide an overview of what WP plugins are all about and how you can use plugins to easily enhance your blog’s functionality.

You can view this article here: Add New Functionality To Your WP Web Site With Plugins

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn why plugins need to be kept up-to-date, how to easily update and delete your WordPress plugins, and discover practical plugin management tools if you run multiple WordPress sites.

Why Some Of Your Plugins Need Updating

The WordPress software is constantly updated (about every 3-4 months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities discovered in earlier releases, and to improve existing features.

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

This is because most WordPress plugins are created by 3rd-party developers, so sometimes the code in the newly-released WordPress version conflict with plugins that were created and tested to work with a previous version. Whenever this happens, issues can sometimes develop.

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

Info

Keeping your WordPress plugins up-to-date and removing old plugins you no longer need is an essential aspect of good WordPress management and helps to avoid any errors or problems.

The WordPress step-by-step tutorial below explains how to update and delete WordPress plugins without touching web code.

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

WordPress provides several methods to notify users when plugins need updating.

For example, you can tell immediately how many plugins are out-of-date inside your Administration site by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, you can see that 9 plugins need to be updated …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

You can also tell how many plugins need updating from your WordPress Administration Toolbar (the screenshot below shows that several plugins require updating) …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

As well as providing information about which plugins have updates available, the Plugins section provides links to the plugin developer sites and gives you the option to update the plugin with one-click …

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Let’s start by learning how to update WordPress plugins individually.

Update Single A Plugin

Warning

We recommend performing a full backup of your website before updating your website or blog.

From your admin menu, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins

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

You will be taken to the “Plugins” section. The list of plugins can be quite lengthy depending on the number of plugins you have added to your blog …

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

(The WordPress Plugins Section)

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins

WordPress has done away with the loading screen when updating plugins and streamlined the process, so that the process of updating your plugins happens with just “one click” without leaving your Plugins area …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The WP Dashboard

Repeat the above process for all plugins on your site that need updating, or see the section below if you have a number of plugins that are out-of-date and would like to upgrade them all in one simple operation.

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Now that you know how to upgrade one WP plugin at a time, it’s time to learn how to upgrade multiple plugins simultaneously.

Bulk-Updating WordPress Plugins

To bulk-update WordPress plugins using the automatic updating feature, go to the “Plugins” page and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

Tick the checkbox 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 …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely From The WordPress Dashboard

In the Bulk Actions pull-down menu at the top of the page, choose Update

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In The Dashboard

Click Apply

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

The plugins you have selected will automatically begin updating …

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins In Your Dashboard

After your plugins have all been updated, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to your Plugins section, or select another section of your dashboard …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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) …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

All plugins have now been updated!

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

(When plugins on your site are up-to-date, update alerts do not display)

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

Deleting Plugins

It’s a good idea to delete plugins that you no longer plan to use. This can help conserve resource usage and helps to eliminate potential problems.

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

Warning

Always create 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 delete a plugin, go to your admin menu and select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

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

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Next, click on Delete

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

If you need to review a list of all the files that will be deleted before proceeding, 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

A complete list of files associated with the plugin selected for deletionwill display on your screen …

How To Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

The selected plugin(s) will be deleted from your WordPress installation …

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Deleting Several Plugins In Bulk

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

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins

Once you have done this, choose Deactivate from the Bulk Actions drop down menu …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins From The Dashboard

Click Apply

Updating And Deleting Plugins

All selected plugins will be deactivated …

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

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 …

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In The WP Dashboard

Click the Apply button …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins In The Dashboard

A list of all selected plugins will display 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 would like to go ahead and remove all of the plugins listed …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins

Managing WP Plugins – Tools

As well as the methods shown above, you can install a number of tools that let you manage your WordPress plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin For WordPress

Plugin Central is a Free plugin that helps you manage your plugins by allowing you to install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update in your Admin area and also allows you to update many plugins at once with a single click of the mouse …

Plugin Central - WP Plugin

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

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

Whenever plugin developers release a new plugin update, the best practice is to update that plugin to its latest version as soon as possible.

What if you run multiple sites with the same plugin installed? Typically, you would have to login to your sites one by one and then go through the plugin update process from that site’s own WordPress dashboard. If you own or manage multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite a while to complete!

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

Here are a few WordPress management tools you should check out:

Jetpack By WordPress.com

Jetpack By WordPress.com Plugin For WordPress

Jetpack is a multifunctional WordPress plugin 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 a whole lot more.

Jetpack Manage - Single WP Dashboard Management

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

One of these features is “Jetpack Manage”.

Jetpack Manage allows you to manage your WordPress sites and plugins from a central dashboard on WordPress.com.

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

Go here to download and use the plugin: Jetpack Plugin For WordPress

ManageWP

ManageWP.com

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

ManageWP helps you easily manage all of your sites from one place, including updates, backups, security and more. The application features easy and intuitive one-click upgrades and instant login access to all of your WordPress sites.

Visit this site to download and use the plugin: ManageWP

WP Pipeline – WordPress Mass Control Plugin

WP Pipeline

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

WP Pipeline works in a similar way to ManageWP, but sells for a one-time purchase fee instead of monthly payments. It lets you control and organize your entire online WordPress presence and perform multiple updates from a central location.

To download the plugin, go here: WP Pipeline – WordPress Mass Control Plugin

Congratulations! Now you know how to update and safely uninstall your plugins via your dashboard.

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

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

Originally published as How To Update WordPress Plugins.