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 Safely In WordPressIn another post, we explain what plugins are and how you can use plugins to extend your website’s functionality.

You can view the article here:

In this tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping your plugins up-to-date, how to automatically update and delete plugins, and some tips to help you better manage your plugins.

Why Some Plugins Need Updating

New versions of WordPress are frequently being released (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities discovered in older software versions, as well as to improve existing features or introduce new ones.

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

The reason for this, is because most plugins for WordPress are created by external developers, so sometimes the code in the newly-released WordPress version conflict with plugins that were developed and tested with a previous version. Whenever this happens, problems can 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 need to do on your end, is just keep your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is really easy to do.

Useful Info

Keeping your WordPress plugins up-to-date and deleting old plugins you no longer use is part of good WordPress site management and helps to avoid any conflicts or errors.

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard – Step-By-Step Tutorial

WordPress uses several ways of letting you know when your plugins need updating.

For example, you can instantly see how many plugins need to be updated inside your WordPress Dashboard by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

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

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

You can also check how many plugins need updating from your WordPress Admin Toolbar (as shown below, a number of plugins should be brought up to date) …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

The Plugins page (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also lets you know which plugins need updating …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Let’s start by learning how to upgrade plugins individually.

Updating Plugins One At A Time

Warning

Always make a complete backup of your data and files before making any upgrades to your website.

From your dashboard menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

The “Plugins” page will display in your browser. The list of plugins can flow down your screen for a while, depending on how many plugins you have installed in your site …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Inside The WP Dashboard

(Plugins Section)

Tip

Tips:

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins From Your Dashboard

Your Plugins page 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” function …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside The WP Admin Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From The WordPress Dashboard

Select the plugin that needs updating and click on the update now link …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In The Dashboard

WordPress provides streamlined plugin updates, so that the process of updating your plugins happens with just “one click” without leaving your Plugins area …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

Repeat this 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 at the same time.

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

How To Bulk-Upgrade Plugins

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

Click the checkbox in 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 Plugins Safely In Your WP Admin Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In Your WordPress Dashboard

Click Apply

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

The plugins you have selected will begin to update automatically …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins From The Dashboard

All plugins are now up-to-date!

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

(When your site uses the latest version of all plugins, notification icons no longer show)

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

How To Remove WordPress Plugins

As part of smart WordPress management practices, it’s a good idea to delete plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This conserves resource usage and help you avoid potential problems.

In this section, you will learn how to deactivate and delete unused plugins from your WordPress 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 restore your site.

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins

In the Plugins area, find 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 display an “Activate” link below the plugin name …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins From The WordPress Admin Dashboard

Click Delete

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

If you need to browse all the files that will be deleted before going ahead with the next step, then click on the “Click to view entire list of files which will be deleted” link in the “Delete Plugin” section …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

All files associated with the plugin selected for deletionwill be listed on your screen …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In The WP Admin Dashboard

The selected plugins and related files will be deleted …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Deleting Several WP Plugins At Once

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

Important

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 WordPress Plugins Safely

Once you have done this, select Deactivate from the Bulk Actions pull-down menu …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Click Apply

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside The WordPress Dashboard

All selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Tick the checkbox next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select only the plugins you want to delete by checking their individual boxes …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Click the Apply button …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely In The WP Admin Dashboard

A list of all selected plugins will be displayed 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 sure that you want to proceed to the next step and remove all of the plugins listed …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In Your Dashboard

Managing WordPress Plugins

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

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central

Plugin Central is a Free plugin that improves the management of your plugins with features that let you install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update in the Dashboard and also allows you to update multiple plugins in one click …

Plugin Central - WordPress Plugin

To learn more about this plugin, visit the plugin site:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

When a plugin update is released, the best practice is to update that plugin right away.

What if you run multiple WordPress sites with the same plugin installed? One option, is to login to every site and then update the plugin manually from that site’s own WP dashboard. With multiple sites, this process can take quite a while!

WordPress Power User Tip: If you own 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.

Here are just a few great WordPress management tools you may want to check out:

Jetpack Manage – Single WP Dashboard Management

Jetpack - WordPress Plugin

The Jetpack plugin is a versatile WordPress plugin 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 robust stats, easy social sharing, and many other great features.

Jetpack Manage

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

One of these features is “Manage”.

Jetpack Manage allows you to manage multiple WordPress sites from a central dashboard on WordPress.com.

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

Go here to learn more about using the plugin:

ManageWP.com – WordPress Management Software

ManageWP

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

ManageWP lets you easily manage all your sites and blogs from one central location, including updates, backups, security and more. The application features easy one-click upgrades and instant login access to your sites.

To download and use this plugin, go here:

WP Pipeline

WP Pipeline

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

WP Pipeline is very similar to ManageWP, but you only have to pay once to access the software. It lets you control and organize your entire online WordPress presence and perform multiple updates from one central installation.

Visit this site to learn more about using this plugin:

Congratulations! Now you know how to automatically update and uninstall WordPress plugins using your dashboard.

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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 detailed step-by-step tutorials that will teach you how to use WordPress to grow your business online at minimal cost with no coding skills required!

Originally published as How To Update WordPress Plugins.