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 WordPress Admin DashboardIn a separate post, we provide an overview of what WP plugins are all about and how you can use these to easily add new features to your website or blog with no software programming skills required.

To view this article, go here:

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn why WordPress plugins need to be kept up-to-date, how to easily upgrade and remove your WordPress plugins, and practical plugin management tools.

Why Your WordPress Plugins Need Updating

WordPress constantly updates its software (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities discovered in older releases, and to improve existing features.

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

The reason for this, is because most plugins for WordPress are created by external developers, so sometimes code in the new WordPress version conflict with plugins that were developed for a previous version. When this happens, conflicts can sometimes occur.

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 this is needed). All you have to do on your end, is maintain your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is very easy to do.

Useful Info

Keeping your WordPress plugins regularly updated and removing old plugins you no longer use is part of good WordPress site management and helps to avoid potential errors and conflicts.

The WordPress step-by-step tutorial below explains how to update and delete plugins in WordPress without coding skills needed.

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

WordPress has a number of different ways of letting users know when plugins on their blog need to be updated.

For example, you can see ‘at a glance’ how many plugins are out-of-date inside your Administration panel simply by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, nine WordPress plugins need updating …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

You can also tell how many plugins need updating from your WP Admin Toolbar (in the screenshot below, you can again see that 9 plugins require updating) …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins

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

Updating Single WordPress Plugins

Warning

Always make a full backup of your site files and database before updating your website or blog.

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

You will be taken to the “Plugins” section. The table of plugins can run down your screen for some length, depending on how many plugins you have installed in your site …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In The WordPress Admin Dashboard

(WordPress Plugins Section)

Useful Tip

Additional Info:

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Your Plugins section 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 “Plugin Search” field …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

WordPress provides smooth and fast plugin updates, so that updating your plugins happens “behind the scenes” without leaving your Plugins area …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The WP Dashboard

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 all plugins at once.

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

Bulk-Upgrading WP Plugins

To update multiple plugins at the same time using the automatic updating feature, go to the “Plugins” section and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

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

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

And then click Apply

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

Your selected plugins will automatically begin updating …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

After all updates have been completed, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to your Plugins screen, or go to a different section of your dashboard …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

Once your plugins are all up-to-date, the plugin notifications will disappear (i.e. the “at-a-glance” indicators and “There is a new version of XYZ plugin available” notices no longer display) …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

All plugins are now up-to-date!

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

(When plugins on your site are all up-to-date, update alerts disappear)

Now that you know how to update your in the admin dashboard, let’s take a look at how to delete plugins from your WordPress site.

How To Delete Plugins

Occasionally, you may choose to remove plugins that you no longer need or are no longer using on your site. This helps to reduce resource usage and help to reduce potential problems.

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

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 restore your site.

To delete a plugin, go to your main menu and select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

Once you have deactivated the plugin, click Delete

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In The WP Admin Dashboard

If you need to browse 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 Upgrade And Delete Plugins

The entire list of files belonging to the plugin that you are about to remove will be listed on your screen …

How To Update And Delete Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

How To Safely Delete Multiple WP Plugins Simultaneously

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

Useful 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 checkbox, 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 Safely

Next, choose Deactivate from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Click Apply

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

Your selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins From The WP Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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 …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Once you have selected all of the plugins that you want to delete, select Delete from the Bulk Actions drop down menu …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins In The WP Admin Dashboard

Click Apply

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From Your WP Admin Dashboard

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 certain that you would like to go ahead and remove all of the selected plugins …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

WordPress Tools For Managing Plugins

In addition to the methods shown above, you can install a number of 3rd-party tools that let you manage your WordPress plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central

Plugin Central is a Free WordPress plugin that improves the management of your plugins by allowing you to 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

To learn more about using this plugin, go here:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

Whenever plugin developers release a new plugin update, the best practice is to upgrde the plugin as soon as possible.

What if you have multiple WordPress sites with the same plugin installed? Typically, you would have to login to each site individually and then update the plugin from that site’s admin dashboard. If you plan to run multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite some time!

WordPress Power User Tip: If you manage multiple WordPress sites or blogs, you can install, update or deactivate 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 – Single WordPress Dashboard Management

Jetpack Manage - Single WP Dashboard Management

The Jetpack plugin is a multifunctional plugin for WordPress that offers users a wide range of added functionality, allowing self-hosted WordPress site users to benefit from WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of things like stats reporting, easy social sharing, and a whole lot more.

Jetpack Manage

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

One of these features is “Jetpack Manage”.

Jetpack Manage allows you to manage multiple self-hosted WordPress sites and WordPress.com sites 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 laptop, tablet, or smart device.

Go here to download this plugin:

ManageWP

ManageWP

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

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

Visit this site to download and use this plugin:

WP Pipeline – Upgrade All Your WordPress Plugins From One Central Dashboard

WP Pipeline

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

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 a single installation.

To download this plugin, visit this site:

Congratulations! Now you know how to automatically update and delete plugins safely without web coding skills required.

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"I have used the tutorials to teach all of my clients and it has probably never been so easy for everyone to learn WordPress ... Now I don't need to buy all these very expensive video courses that often don't deliver what they promise." - Stefan Wendt, Internet Marketing Success Group

Originally published as How To Update WordPress Plugins.