How To Update WordPress Plugins

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

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How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins SafelyIn another blog post, we explain what plugins are and how you can use plugins to easily expand your site’s functionality.

You can read the article here:

In this tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping plugins up-to-date, how to automatically update and remove your WordPress plugins, and some great plugin management tools.

Why Some Of Your WordPress Plugins Need To Be Upgraded

New versions of WordPress are frequently being released (about every 3-4 months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities discovered in older software versions, as well as to improve existing features.

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

The reason for this, is because most WordPress plugins are created by 3rd-party developers, so sometimes the code in the newly-released 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 quite proactive when it comes to ensuring that plugins get updated when a new version of WordPress is released (if required). All you need to do on your end, is simply maintain your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is really simple, quick and easy to do.

Info

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

The step-by-step tutorial below explains how to automatically update and delete plugins safely without touching web code.

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins From The Dashboard – Tutorial

WordPress utilizes a number of different ways to inform users when plugins need updating.

For example, you can immediately see how many plugins need updating from your Admin area by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

In the example below, nine WordPress plugins have older versions that need updating …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

You can also check how many plugins need updating from your WP Toolbar (in the example below, you can see how many plugins require updating) …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

The Plugins section (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also tells you how many plugins need updating …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

In addition to providing information about which plugins have available updates, the Plugins page provides links to the plugin developer sites and gives you the option to update the plugins instantly …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins In Your Dashboard

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

Update Plugins Individually

Warning

We strongly recommend making a complete backup of your data and files before making any upgrades to your website or blog.

From your admin menu, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely Inside The WordPress Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

(Plugins Screen)

Practical Tip

Additional Information:

If you have too many plugins installed and would like to reduce the number of plugins showing on the 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 up on the screen by default), then click the ‘Apply’ button …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Your Plugins page 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 “Search Installed Plugins” field …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In Your Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

WordPress provides fast plugin updating, so that updating your plugins takes place “behind the scenes” without leaving your Plugins screen …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

Repeat the above process for all 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 update all plugins at the same time.

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

How To Bulk-Upgrade Plugins

To update multiple plugins in one go 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 …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Tick the checkbox in 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 Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

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

Click Apply

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In Your Dashboard

The plugins you have selected will all be updated at once …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

After all plugin updates are completed, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to your Plugins area, or choose another option from the main menu …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

Once all plugins are 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) …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

You have updated all plugins on your site to their latest version!

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

(When your site uses the latest version of all plugins, update notices no longer display)

Now that you know how to automatically update WP plugins, it’s time to learn how to delete plugins from your site.

How To Delete WP Plugins

At times, you may choose to delete WordPress plugins that you no longer need or are no longer using on your site. This can help to decrease server resources and will help you avoid potential problems.

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

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

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

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

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

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From The Dashboard

Once you have deactivated the plugin, click Delete

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

If you need 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” page …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

All files belonging to the plugin selected for deletionwill display on your screen …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside The WordPress Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

The selected plugin(s) will be deleted …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Bulk-Deleting Plugins

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

Important

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) …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In The WordPress Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Click the Apply button …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

The selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Tick the checkbox in 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 ticked all the checkboxes next to the plugins that you want to delete, select Delete from the Bulk Actions drop down menu …

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

Click Apply

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

A list of all selected plugins will be displayed 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 sure that you want to go ahead and remove all of the selected plugins …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The WP Dashboard

All plugins will be deleted …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

Tools For Managing Plugins

As well as the methods shown above, you can install WordPress plugins to manage your plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central

Plugin Central is a Free plugin that helps to improve the management of your plugins with options that let you install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update in the Dashboard and also allows you to update many plugins at once with one click …

Plugin Central

For more details about this plugin, visit the plugin site:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

As discussed earlier, when plugin developers release a new plugin update, the best practice is to upgrde that plugin as soon as possible.

What if you run 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 run multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite a while!

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

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

Jetpack By WordPress.com – Plugin For WordPress

Jetpack By WordPress.com

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

Jetpack Manage

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

One of these features is “Manage”.

Jetpack Manage lets you manage your WordPress sites from one 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 all at once, whether you’re on your PC, tablet, or mobile device.

For more information about the plugin, go here:

ManageWP – Update All Your Blogs From One Dashboard

ManageWP.com

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

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

To download and use this plugin, go here:

WP Pipeline.com

WP Pipeline.com

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

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

To download the plugin, go here:

Congratulations! Now you know how to update and uninstall WordPress plugins.

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Originally published as How To Update WordPress Plugins.