How To Update WordPress Plugins

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPressIn a separate blog post, we provide an overview of what WordPress plugins are all about and how you can use these to easily enhance your web site’s functionality.

To read the article, go here:

In this tutorial you will learn why WordPress plugins need to be kept up-to-date, how to safely upgrade and uninstall plugins, and discover useful plugin management tools.

Why WordPress Plugins Need To Be Regularly Updated

WordPress frequently updates its software (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in older software releases, and 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 WordPress plugins when new versions of WordPress are released.

This is because most plugins for WordPress 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, there is a potential for problems to sometimes develop.

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 needed). All you have to do as a website owner, is just maintain your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon discover, is really quick, simple and easy to do.

Important

Keeping your WordPress plugins regularly updated and removing old plugins you no longer need is part of good WordPress site management and helps to avoid errors or problems.

The tutorial below explains how to automatically upgrade and delete plugins safely in the dashboard without touching web code.

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress – Tutorial

WordPress utilizes several ways to notify users when plugins need to be updated.

For example, you can tell immediately how many plugins are out-of-date from your Admin area simply by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, you can see that nine WP plugins have older versions that need updating …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

You can also tell how many plugins need to be updated from your WordPress Toolbar (as shown below, several plugins have to be updated) …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The WordPress Admin Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

Update Individual A Plugin

Warning

Always make a complete backup of your website before updating your website or blog.

In your admin menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins In Your WP Dashboard

(Plugins Page)

Practical Tip

Useful Info:

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

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins In The Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Find the plugin that needs to be updated 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 plugin updating process, so that the process of updating your plugins takes place “behind the scenes” without leaving your Plugins screen …

How To Update And Delete Plugins

Repeat the above process for any other plugins on your site that need to be updated, or refer to the section below if you have many plugins that are out-of-date and would like to upgrade them all in bulk.

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

How To Bulk-Upgrade WP Plugins

To upgrade multiple plugins in a single operation 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 …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside Your Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In The WordPress Admin Dashboard

In the Bulk Actions dropdown menu at the top of the page, select Update

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

And then click Apply

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Your selected plugins will begin the update process …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely From Your 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 on your screen, toolbar and menus) …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

You have updated all plugins on your site!

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

(When your site or blog uses the latest version of all plugins, the notification icons do not display)

Now that you know how to automatically update WP plugins, let’s show you how to remove plugins from your blog or website.

How To Delete Plugins

As part of smart WordPress management practices, it’s a good idea to delete plugins that you no longer need or are no longer using on your site. This helps to conserve server resources and help to eliminate problems.

In this section, we show you how to delete unused plugins from your blog or site.

Warning

Always create 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 WP admin menu and choose Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Inside The WordPress Dashboard

Next, click Delete

Updating And Deleting Plugins

If you would like to browse all the files that will be deleted before proceeding any further, then click on the “Click to view entire list of files which will be deleted” link in the “Delete Plugin” screen …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

The entire list of files associated with the plugin that you are about to delete will display on your screen …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Bulk-Deleting WP Plugins

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

Useful Information

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

Click the Apply button …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In The WP Admin Dashboard

Your selected plugins will be deactivated …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Select all of the plugins you want to delete by either placing a tick next to their checkbox, or click on the check box next to the Plugin column header to select and delete all inactive plugins …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your WP Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

Click Apply

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In The WP Admin Dashboard

A list of all selected plugins will show up 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 …

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside The WordPress Admin Dashboard

Practical Management Tools For Plugins

As well as the methods shown above, you can install a number of third-party tools to manage your WordPress plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Management 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 the Dashboard and lets you update many plugins at once in one click …

Plugin Central - WordPress Plugin

For more details about using this plugin, go here:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

When plugin updates get released, the best practice is to upgrde that plugin to the latest version ASAP.

What if you run multiple WordPress sites with the same plugin installed? One option, is to login to each site individually and then update the plugin from that site’s dashboard. With multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite a while!

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

Below are a couple of WordPress management tools that are worth knowing about:

Jetpack Manage – Single WordPress Dashboard Management

Jetpack By WordPress.com

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

Jetpack Plugin For WordPress

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

One of these features is “Manage”.

Jetpack Manage lets you manage your WordPress sites and plugins from one simple interface.

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

To download the plugin, visit this site:

ManageWP

ManageWP

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

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

Go here to download the plugin:

WP Pipeline.com

WP Pipeline - Manage All Your Blogs From From A Single Dashboard

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

WP Pipeline is very similar to ManageWP, but has a one-time purchase fee instead of monthly payments. It lets you control and organize your entire online WordPress presence and perform multiple upgrades from a central WordPress installation.

Visit this site to download this plugin:

Congratulations! Now you know how to upgrade and delete plugins without coding knowledge or skills needed.

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"I am beyond impressed with what you have put together. I can tell that you put a ton of hard work into building what you have. You have the absolute best content on WordPress I have ever seen!" - Robert T. Jillie

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and the author of The Small Business Digital Manager. 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.