How To Update WordPress Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The WP DashboardIn a previous article, we provide an overview of what plugins are about and how you can use these to add new features and functionality to your website without editing code.

To view this article, go here:

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn why plugins need to be kept up-to-date, how to upgrade and delete plugins, and some tools to help you better manage your plugins.

Why Some Plugins Need Upgrading

New versions of WordPress are frequently being released (about every 3-4 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 have installed on your site, there will typically be new new update notifications for plugins when new versions of WordPress are released.

This is because most WordPress plugins are created by 3rd-party developers, so sometimes the code in the new WordPress version conflicts with plugins that were developed and tested with a previous version. When this happens, issues 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 this is needed). All you have to do as a website owner, is keep your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is really simple to do.

Important 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 conflicts or errors.

The WordPress step-by-step tutorial below explains how to upgrade and delete WordPress plugins without requiring web coding knowledge or skills.

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From Your WP Dashboard – Tutorial

WordPress uses a few methods to inform users when plugins need to be updated.

For example, you can see ‘at a glance’ how many plugins need to be updated as soon as you log into your Admin area just by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

In the example below, you can see that 9 plugins have older versions that need updating …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

You can also see how many plugins need to be updated from your WP Admin Toolbar (as shown below, a number of plugins need updating) …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

The Plugins section (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also provides information about plugins that need to be updated …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

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

Upgrade Individual WordPress Plugins

Warning

Always make a complete backup of your site files and database before updating your website.

From your main menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

The “Plugins” page will display in your browser. The table of plugins can run down your page for some length, depending on the number of plugins you have installed in your blog …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

(Plugins Section)

Practical Tip

Notes:

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In Your WP Admin Dashboard

Your Plugins section will now be reduced in size with a ’numbered pages’ feature added. You can find an installed plugin by scrolling through the pages or using the “Plugin Search” function …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In The Dashboard

You will see information about plugins in different backgrounds depending on the status of the plugins (inactive vs. active and out-of-date vs up-to-date) …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

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

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

WordPress provides simpler plugin updating, so that updating your plugins takes place with just “one click” without leaving your Plugins area …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

Repeat this process for all plugins on your site that need updating, or see the section below if you have many plugins that are out-of-date and would like to upgrade them all at once.

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Now that you know how to upgrade WP plugins one at a time, let’s show you how to update multiple plugins simultaneously.

How To Update Many WP Plugins Simultaneously

To update multiple plugins at the same time directly inside your dashboard, 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 Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

In the Bulk Actions dropdown menu above the plugin table, choose Update

Updating And Deleting Plugins In Your Dashboard

And then click Apply

Updating And Deleting Plugins From The Dashboard

The plugins you have selected will begin updating …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Once all upgrades are done, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to the Plugins area, or choose another option from the admin menu …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In The Dashboard

Once all plugins are 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) …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

You have updated all plugins on your site!

Updating And Deleting Plugins From Your Dashboard

(When your site or blog uses the latest version of all plugins, update messages disappear)

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

Deleting Plugins

Occasionally, you may want to remove WordPress plugins that you no longer need or are no longer using on your site. This can help reduce server resources and also help to eliminate potential problems.

In this section, we show you how to safely delete unused plugins from your 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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In Your WP Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins From Your Dashboard

Next, click on Delete

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

All files belonging to the plugin that you are about to delete will be listed on your screen …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

The selected plugins and related files will be deleted …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

Bulk-Deleting Plugins

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

Info

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

Click the Apply button …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

Your selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Click on the check box next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select each plugin you want to delete by checking their individual boxes …

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

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 Inside Your WP Dashboard

Click Apply

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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 sure that you want to go ahead and remove all of the selected plugins …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your WP Dashboard

Useful Management Tools For WP Plugins

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

PLUGIN CENTRAL

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

Plugin Central

For more details about using this plugin, go here:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

When a plugin update is released, the best practice is to update that plugin to the most recent version ASAP.

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

WordPress Power User Tip: If you manage multiple WordPress sites, you can install, upgrade and delete plugins on multiple sites automatically and simultaneously using various WordPress management tools.

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

Jetpack By WordPress.com

Jetpack

Jetpack is a single WordPress plugin that offers users a powerful range of features, allowing self-hosted WordPress site users to access WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of stats reporting, automated social sharing, and so much more.

Jetpack Manage

(Jetpack gives you access to range of powerful WordPress features)

One of these features is “Jetpack Manage”.

Jetpack Manage allows you to manage your WordPress sites from a single 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 laptop, tablet, or mobile phone.

Visit this site for more information about the plugin:

ManageWP

ManageWP.com

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

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

Visit this site to download the plugin:

WP Pipeline.com

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 upgrades from a central dashboard.

Go here to download this plugin:

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

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"I was absolutely amazed at the scope and breadth of these tutorials! The most in-depth training I have ever received on any subject!" - Myke O'Neill, DailyGreenPost.com

Originally published as How To Update WordPress Plugins.