How To Update WordPress Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins SafelyIn another blog post, we explain what plugins are and how you can use plugins to add new features or functionality to your website or blog without touching code.

You can read this article here:

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping all WordPress plugins up-to-date, how to easily update and delete your WordPress plugins, and discover practical plugin management tools.

Why Some WordPress Plugins Need Regular Upgrading

New versions of WordPress are regularly released (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in older versions, and to improve existing features.

Depending on how many plugins you use on your site, there will typically be new updates for plugins every.

The reason for this, is because most WordPress plugins are created by external developers, so sometimes code in the new WordPress version conflicts with plugins that were built for a previous version. Whenever 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 updating is needed). All you have to do as a WordPress user, is simply maintain your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon discover, is really easy to do.

Info

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

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From The Dashboard – Step-By-Step Tutorial

WordPress utilizes several ways to inform users when plugins need updating.

For example, you can immediately see how many plugins are out-of-date as soon as you log into your Administration area just by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins In The WordPress Dashboard

You can also tell how many plugins need to be updated from your WordPress Notification Toolbar (the screenshot below shows that nine plugins need updating) …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

The Plugins screen (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also tells you how many plugins need to be updated …

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

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Let’s start by showing you how to upgrade one WordPress plugin at a time.

Updating Plugins One At A Time

Warning

We recommend making a complete backup of your website before updating your website.

From your dashboard menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins

You will be taken to the “Plugins” screen. The list of plugins can run down your screen for some length, depending on the number of plugins you have added to your site …

How To Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

(WordPress Plugins Screen)

Tip

Useful Info:

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins

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” field …

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

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins From The Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

Locate the plugin that needs to be updated and click on the update now link …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From The WP Dashboard

Repeat the above process for all plugins on your site that need updating, or refer to 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 plugins individually, let’s show you how to bulk-update WordPress plugins.

Bulk-Upgrading WordPress Plugins

To update multiple 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 …

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

Tick the checkbox next to 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 Upgrade And Delete Plugins

In the Bulk Actions dropdown menu above the plugin list, select Update

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

Click Apply

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

Your selected plugins will update all at once …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Inside The WordPress Dashboard

Once your plugins are all up-to-date, the update reminders 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 upgraded!

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

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

Now that you know how to automatically upgrade your plugins, let’s show you how to safely remove plugins safely from your WordPress site.

How To Safely Delete WP Plugins

It’s a good idea to remove plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This conserves resource usage and help you avoid problems.

In this section, we show you how to remove 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 remove a plugin, go to your WP admin menu and choose Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Next, click Delete

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely From Your WordPress Dashboard

If you would like 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” section …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

The selected plugins and related files will be deleted from your server …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your WP Admin Dashboard

How To Delete Several WordPress Plugins Simultaneously

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

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins From The WordPress Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

Click the Apply button …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

All selected plugins will be deactivated …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

To delete all or some of the inactive plugins, go to the “Plugins” section and click on the Inactive link in the Plugins menu …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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 …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely From The WP Dashboard

Click Apply

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside 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 want to go ahead and remove all of the plugins listed …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

Managing WP Plugins – Tools

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

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Management Plugin 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 Admin area and lets you update multiple plugins in one click …

Plugin Central

To learn more about using this plugin, go here:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

As discussed earlier, when a plugin update gets released, the best practice is to upgrde the plugin to the most recent version ASAP.

What if you run multiple sites using the same plugin? Normally, you would need to login to your sites one by one and then update the plugin from that site’s own WP admin dashboard. With multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite some time to complete!

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

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

Jetpack By WordPress.com Plugin For WordPress

Jetpack By WordPress.com

The Jetpack plugin is a versatile WordPress plugin that provides users with a wide range of added functionality, allowing self-hosted WordPress site users to benefit from WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of robust stats, automated social sharing, and a host of other great features.

Jetpack

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

One of these features is “Manage”.

Jetpack Manage lets you manage multiple self-hosted WordPress sites and WordPress.com sites from a single interface.

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

Go here for more information about the plugin:

ManageWP

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

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

ManageWP lets you easily manage all your sites from one central location, including upgrades, backups, security and more. This tool features easy one-click upgrades and instant login to your WordPress sites.

To download the plugin, visit this site:

WP Pipeline – WordPress Mass Control Plugin

WP Pipeline.com

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

WP Pipeline is very similar 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 a single dashboard.

To learn more about the plugin, visit this site:

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

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"This is an awesome training series. I have a pretty good understanding of WordPress already, but this is helping me to move somewhere from intermediate to advanced user!" - Kim Lednum

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the owner of WPCompendium.org and the author of The WordPress User Manual. WPCompendium.org provides hundreds of FREE tutorials that show you how to use WordPress to grow your business online with no coding skills required! Get our FREE "101+ WordPress Tips, Tricks & Hacks For Non-Techies" e-course with loads of useful WordPress tips!

Originally published as How To Update WordPress Plugins.