How To Update WordPress Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside The DashboardIn another blog post, we explain what plugins are and how you can use plugins to easily add new features and functionality to your web site with no coding knowledge required.

To view this article, go here:

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping your plugins up-to-date, how to update and uninstall plugins from your site, and discover some great plugin management tips.

Why Some Of Your Plugins Need Updating

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

Depending on how many plugins you use 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 plugins for WordPress are created by external developers, so sometimes code or features in the new WordPress version conflict with plugins that were created and tested to work with a previous version. Whenever this happens, there is a potential for conflicts to sometimes develop.

Fortunately, most WordPress plugin developers (and the WordPress developer community itself) are fairly proactive when it comes to ensuring that plugins get updated when a new version of WordPress is released (if this is needed). All you need to do as a WordPress user, is keep your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is very easy and simple to do.

Info

Keeping your plugins up-to-date and removing old plugins you no longer need is an essential aspect of good WordPress site management and helps to avoid errors or problems.

The WordPress step-by-step tutorial below explains how to upgrade and delete plugins from the WP dashboard without touching web code.

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely – Step-By-Step Tutorial

WordPress provides a few ways of letting users know when plugins need to be updated.

For example, you can see how many plugins need updating inside your Administration area simply by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, 9 plugins need updating …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins In The Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

In addition to providing information about plugins that have available updates, the Plugins page provides links to the plugin developer sites and gives you the option to update the plugins individually or in bulk …

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

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

Updating Individual A Plugin

Warning

We strongly recommend performing a full backup of your site files and database before updating your website.

In your main menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

(The WordPress Plugins Screen)

Useful Tip

Additional Info:

If you have too many plugins and would like to make this section more manageable, then click on the Screen Options tab at the top of your Plugins screen and enter a smaller number of items per page (by default, all plugins display on the page), then click the ‘Apply’ button …

Updating And Deleting Plugins 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 “Search Installed Plugins” feature …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins In Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

WordPress provides smooth & simpler plugin updates, so that the process of updating your plugins takes place with just “one click” without leaving your Plugins screen …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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 in one simple operation.

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Now that you know how to update WordPress plugins one at a time, let’s show you how to update a bunch of plugins simultaneously.

How To Upgrade Many Plugins Simultaneously

To update multiple WP plugins in one go 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 …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Click 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 Update And Delete Plugins Safely In Your WP Admin Dashboard

In the Bulk Actions dropdown menu above the table of plugins, choose Update

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Click Apply

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

The plugins you have selected will automatically begin to update …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

After all plugins have been updated, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to your Plugins section, or visit another section of your dashboard …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

Once your plugins are all up-to-date, the plugin notifications 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 In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside Your WP Dashboard

(When your plugins are all up-to-date, the notification icons no longer appear)

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

Deleting WP Plugins

It’s a good idea to delete plugins that you no longer plan to use. This reduces resources on your server and also will help you avoid problems.

In this section, we show you how to uninstall unused plugins from your WordPress 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 admin menu and click on Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

If the plugin is active, click on Deactivate before continuing …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In The WordPress Dashboard

Next, click Delete

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The WP Admin Dashboard

If you need 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” section …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

All files belonging to the plugin selected for removalwill be listed on your screen …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

If you are absolutely sure that you would like to go ahead and delete the selected plugin, then click on the Yes, Delete these files button …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

Your plugin(s) will be deleted …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins In Your Dashboard

How To Delete Multiple WP Plugins At Once

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

Important 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 Update And Delete WordPress Plugins In The WP Admin Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Click the Apply button …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

All selected plugins will be deactivated …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

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

Select all of the plugins you want to delete by either placing a tick next to their check box, or click on the checkbox next to the Plugin column header to select and delete all inactive plugins …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Once you have selected all of the plugins that you want deleted, choose Delete from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In Your Dashboard

Click Apply

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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 absolutely certain that you want to proceed to the next step and delete all of the selected plugins …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

Tools For Managing WordPress Plugins

In addition to the methods shown above, you can install WordPress plugins to manage your plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central

Plugin Central helps you manage your plugins with options that let you install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update in the WordPress Dashboard and also allows you to update multiple plugins in one click …

Plugin Central

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

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

As discussed earlier, when plugin updates get released, the best practice is to upgrde the plugin to the most recent version as soon as possible.

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

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

Here are just a few great WordPress management tools you can look at:

Jetpack Manage

Jetpack

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

Jetpack Manage - Single WP 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 one simple dashboard on WordPress.com.

With Manage, you can upgrade 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 download and use the plugin, go here:

ManageWP

ManageWP

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

ManageWP helps you easily manage all your sites from one place, including upgrades, backups, security and more. This tool features easy and intuitive one-click management and instant login access to your WP sites.

Visit this site to download and use the plugin:

WP Pipeline

WP Pipeline - Multiple WordPress Site Management Tool

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

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 upgrades from a single location.

For more information about using this plugin, go here:

Congratulations! Now you know how to update and delete WordPress plugins in your dashboard with no coding skills required.

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"These tutorials have so much information and are easy to understand. If you use WordPress or plan to in the future these will help you with everything you need to know." - Valisa (Mesa, Arizona)

Originally published as How To Update WordPress Plugins.