How To Update WordPress Plugins

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

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress PluginsIn a separate post, we provide an overview of what plugins are about and how you can use these to easily expand your website’s capabilities.

You can view the article here:

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping plugins up-to-date, how to safely upgrade and delete plugins, and some plugin management tips if you plan to manage multiple WordPress sites.

Why Some Plugins Need Upgrading

New WordPress versions are constantly being released (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in older releases, as well as to improve existing features.

Depending on how many plugins you have installed on your site, you can expect to see at least some new new update notifications for plugins every.

The reason for this, is because most WordPress plugins are created by third-party developers, so sometimes code in the new WordPress version conflict with plugins that were built for a previous version. When this happens, there is a potential for issues to sometimes develop.

Fortunately, most WordPress plugin developers (and the WordPress developer community itself) are fairly proactive when it comes to making sure that plugins get updated when a new version of WordPress is released (if updating is needed). All you have to do on your end, is simply maintain your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is really easy and simple to do.

Important Info

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

The WordPress step-by-step tutorial below explains how to automatically update and delete plugins safely without coding skills necessary.

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins In Your WP Admin Dashboard – Tutorial

WordPress uses several methods to alert users when plugins need to be updated.

For example, you can instantly see how many plugins need updating from your WordPress Dashboard by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, you can see that 9 WP plugins are out of date and need to be updated …

How To Update And Delete Plugins

You can also see how many plugins need updating from your WP Admin Toolbar (the example below shows that 9 plugins need updating) …

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

The Plugins page (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also notifies you about plugins that need updating …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

Let’s start by learning how to update individual WP plugins.

How To Upgrade Plugins Individually

Warning

We strongly recommend making a full backup of your website before upgrading your website or blog.

From your dashboard menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

The “Plugins” screen will display in your browser. The page can be quite long depending on how many plugins you have installed in your site …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

(Plugins Screen)

Useful Tip

Useful Tips:

If you have too many plugins installed 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 (by default, all plugins display on the screen), then click the ‘Apply’ button …

How To Update And Delete Plugins

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 “Search Plugins” function …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

WordPress has done away with the loading screen when updating plugins and streamlined the process, so that updating your plugins happens with just “one click” without leaving your Plugins screen …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

Repeat the above process for all plugins on your site that need to be updated, or see the section below if you have many plugins that are out-of-date and would like to upgrade all plugins in one simple operation.

***

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

How To Upgrade Several Plugins Simultaneously

To upgrade multiple WordPress plugins at the same time directly inside your dashboard, go to the “Plugins” screen and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

How To Update And Delete Plugins In Your Dashboard

Tick the check box next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select each plugin you want to update by checking its box …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

Click Apply

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

The plugins you have selected will begin to update automatically …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

After your plugins have all been updated, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to go back to the Plugins area, or visit a different section of your dashboard …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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” messages no longer display) …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside The WP Admin Dashboard

All plugins are now up-to-date!

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From The WordPress Dashboard

(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 your plugins, it’s time to learn how to uninstall plugins from your site or blog.

How To Delete WordPress Plugins

It’s a good idea to delete inactive plugins. This helps to decrease resource usage and help to eliminate problems.

In this section, you will learn how to remove unused plugins from your blog or site.

Warning

We strongly recommend creating a full back up of your 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 admin menu and choose Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

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

Hint: Inactive plugins use a different background color 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 proceeding with your plugin deletion …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Click on Delete

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

If you want to review a list of 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 Update And Delete Plugins In Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

A complete list of files belonging to the plugin that you are about to delete will be listed on your screen …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely Inside The WP Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Your plugin(s) will be deleted …

How To Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

How To Safely Bulk-Delete WP Plugins

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

Useful Information

Note: To delete any plugins that are currently active, you 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) …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Click Apply

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins In The Dashboard

Your selected plugins will be deactivated …

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

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

Click on the check box 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 …

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins In 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 …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Click the Apply button …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

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 want to proceed to the next step and delete all of the selected plugins …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

All plugins will be deleted …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your WordPress Dashboard

Managing WP Plugins – WordPress Tools

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

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central - WP Plugin

Plugin Central improves the management of your plugins with features that let you install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update in your WP Admin and also allows you to update many plugins at once with a single click …

Plugin Central

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

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

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

What if you have multiple sites with the same plugin installed? One option, is to login to your sites one by one and then update the plugin manually from that site’s own dashboard. If you manage multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite some time to complete!

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

Here are just some WordPress management tools that are worth knowing about:

Jetpack By WordPress.com – Plugin For WordPress

Jetpack By WordPress.com Plugin For WordPress

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

Jetpack Manage - Single WordPress Dashboard Management

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

One of these features is “Jetpack Manage”.

Jetpack Manage lets you manage your WordPress sites and plugins 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 computer, tablet, or mobile device.

To learn more about the plugin, go here:

ManageWP.com – Update All Your WordPress Blogs From One Central Dashboard

ManageWP - WordPress Management Tool

(ManageWP is a leading management tool for multiple WordPress sites)

ManageWP lets you easily manage all your sites from one dashboard, including updates, backups, security and more. The application features easy and intuitive one-click updates and instant login access to all of your WP sites.

Go here for more information about this plugin:

WP Pipeline.com

WP Pipeline - Update All Your WordPress Sites From From One Dashboard

(WP Pipeline lets you update all of your WordPress sites, plugins and themes from a 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 online WordPress presence and perform multiple upgrades from one central dashboard.

Go here to learn more about the plugin:

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

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"Your training is the best in the world! It is simple, yet detailed, direct, understandable, memorable, and complete." Andrea Adams, FinancialJourney.org

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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.