How To Update WordPress Plugins

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins From The WP Admin DashboardIn another blog post, we explain what plugins are and how you can use these to extend your site’s functionality.

You can view this article here:

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

Why Some Plugins Need To Be Frequently Upgraded

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, and to improve existing features or introduce new ones.

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.

This is because most plugins for WordPress are created by external developers, so sometimes code in the newly-released WordPress version conflict with plugins that were developed and tested with a previous version. When this happens, there is a potential for problems to sometimes occur.

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 this is needed). All you have to do on your end, is just maintain your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon discover, is very simple to do.

Important Info

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

The WordPress step-by-step tutorial below explains how to automatically upgrade and delete plugins safely with no web programming knowledge or skills necessary.

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins From The Dashboard – Step-By-Step Tutorial

WordPress uses a few ways to notify users when plugins need updating.

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

In the screenshot below, you can see that 9 WordPress plugins need to be updated …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

You can also view how many plugins need updating from your WP Toolbar (as shown below, 9 plugins need updating) …

How To Update And Delete Plugins From Your WordPress Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

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

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

Let’s start by showing you how to upgrade one WP plugin at a time.

Upgrading WordPress Plugins Individually

Warning

We recommend performing a complete backup of your site files and database before updating your blog or website.

From your admin menu, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

You will be taken to the “Plugins” screen. The table of plugins can be quite lengthy depending on the number of plugins you have added to your site …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins

(Plugins Page)

Tip

Useful Tips:

If you have too many plugins 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 page and type in a smaller number of items per page (all plugins show on the page by default, i.e. “999”), then click Apply …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

Your Plugins area will now be made more manageable with a pagination feature added. You can find an installed plugin by scrolling through the pages or using the “Search” box …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In The WordPress Dashboard

Locate the plugin that you want to update and click on the update now link …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

WordPress provides smooth and simple plugin updates, so that the process of updating your plugins happens “behind the scenes” without leaving your Plugins area …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

Repeat this process for any other plugins on your site that need to be updated, or see the section below if you have a number of plugins that are out-of-date and would like to update them all at once.

***

Now that you know how to upgrade plugins individually, it’s time to learn how to bulk-upgrade WP plugins.

Bulk-Updating Plugins

To bulk-upgrade WP plugins directly inside your dashboard, 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

Tick the check box in the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select only the plugins you want to update by checking their individual boxes …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Click Apply

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

The plugins you have selected will update all at once …

Updating And Deleting Plugins From The WP Admin Dashboard

Once all plugin updates are completed, 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 Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins In The Dashboard

All plugins have now been upgraded!

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

(When plugins on your site are up-to-date, notification icons do not display)

Now that you know how to automatically upgrade WordPress plugins, it’s time to learn how to safely delete plugins safely from your blog or website.

Deleting WP Plugins

As part of smart site management, it’s a good idea to uninstall plugins that you no longer need or are no longer using on your site. This helps to reduce server resources and also help to reduce problems.

In this section, we show you how to uninstall unused plugins from your site or blog.

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 remove a plugin, go to your admin menu and select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

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

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

Next, click Delete

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

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 …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

The entire list of files associated with the plugin selected for removalwill be listed on your screen …

Updating And Deleting Plugins From The WP Dashboard

If you are sure that you would like to proceed and delete the plugin, just click on the Yes, Delete these files button …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

The selected plugin(s) will be deleted from your server …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The WP Dashboard

Deleting Several Plugins Simultaneously

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

Info

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 check box, or selecting the checkbox next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins (warning: this will deactivate all plugins) …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins From The Dashboard

Click the Apply button …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

All selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From Your WordPress Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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 …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

Once you have ticked all the check boxes next to the plugins that you want deleted, specify Delete from the Bulk Actions pull-down menu …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Click Apply

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From 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 delete all of the selected plugins …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Tools For Managing WP Plugins

As well as 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 on the Dashboard and lets you update multiple plugins with one click …

Plugin Central - WP Plugin

For more details about this plugin, go here:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

Whenever a plugin update is released, the best practice is to upgrde the plugin as soon as possible.

What if you run multiple WordPress sites using the same plugin? Typically, you would need to login to each site individually and then go through the plugin update process from that site’s admin dashboard. With multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite a while to complete!

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

Below are a couple of WordPress management tools you can check out:

Jetpack Plugin By WordPress.com

Jetpack - WordPress Plugin

The Jetpack plugin is a versatile WordPress plugin that offers users a powerful range of added functionality, allowing self-hosted WordPress site owners to benefit from WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of things like stats reporting, easy social sharing, and a whole lot more.

Jetpack - WordPress Plugin

(The Jetpack Plugin 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 update automatically, 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.

For more information about using the plugin, go here:

ManageWP

ManageWP.com - Multiple WordPress Site Management Tool

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

ManageWP helps you easily manage all your sites and blogs from one place, including upgrades, backups, security and more. This application features easy one-click updates and instant login access to all of your sites.

Go here to download this plugin:

WP Pipeline – Update All Your WordPress Blogs From A Single Dashboard

WP Pipeline

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

WP Pipeline works in a similar way to ManageWP, but you only have to pay once to access the software. It lets you control and organize your entire portfolio of WordPress sites and perform multiple updates from one central WP installation.

For more information about using the plugin, go here:

Congratulations! Now you know how to update and delete plugins safely without web coding knowledge required.

***

"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now

***

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

Build An e-Commerce Store With WordPressBuild An e-Commerce Store With WordPress

Learn how to set up an e-commerce store on your WordPress site using e-commerce platforms like WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads.

More info: Build An e-Commerce Store With WordPress

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

Using S2 MemberUsing S2 Member

Learn how to set up and configure a WordPress membership site using the S2 Member free WordPress membership plugin.

More info: Using S2 Member

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

How To Optimize WordPressHow To Optimize WordPress

Learn how to optimize your WordPress site and improve your page loading speed.

More info: How To Optimize WordPress

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

How To Back Up & Restore WordPress SitesHow To Back Up & Restore WordPress Sites

Learn how to safely and automatically backup your WordPress files and database and how to easily restore your WordPress site if something were to happen.

More info: How To Back Up & Restore WordPress Sites

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.