How To Update WordPress Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From The DashboardIn another blog post, we provide an overview of what WordPress plugins are about and how you can use these to easily enhance your web site’s capabilities.

You can read this article here:

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping WordPress plugins up-to-date, how to automatically upgrade and remove your WordPress plugins, and discover useful plugin management tips if you need to manage multiple WordPress sites or blogs.

Why Your WordPress Plugins Need Upgrading

WordPress regularly updates its software (about every 3-4 months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in earlier releases, 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 WordPress plugins when new versions of WordPress are released.

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

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 needed). All you need to do on your end, is maintain your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is really simple and easy to do.

Important

Keeping your plugins regularly updated and deleting old plugins you no longer use is an essential aspect of good WordPress management and helps to avoid problems and errors.

The tutorial below explains how to update and delete plugins with no web coding skills or knowledge required.

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress – Step-By-Step Tutorial

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

For example, you can tell immediately how many plugins need updating from your WP Dashboard by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

In the example below, nine WP plugins need to be updated …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins

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

Upgrade WordPress Plugins Individually

Warning

Always make a backup of your site files and database before upgrading your website or blog.

In your main menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

The “Plugins” page will display in your browser. The table of plugins can be quite long depending on the number of plugins you have added to your site …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

(The WordPress Plugins Screen)

Practical Tip

Tips:

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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 …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

Plugins that require upgrading display the following notification message: “There is a new version of [Insert Plugin Name] available”

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your WP Admin Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From The WP Admin Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

Repeat this process for any other plugins on your site that need to be updated, or refer to the section below if you have a number of plugins that are out-of-date and would like to upgrade all plugins in bulk.

***

Now that you know how to update individual plugins, the next step is to learn how to bulk-update WordPress plugins.

Bulk-Upgrading WordPress Plugins

To upgrade multiple plugins at the same time from your admin area, 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 In The Dashboard

Tick the checkbox next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select each plugin you want to update by checking their individual boxes …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

And then click Apply

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In Your Dashboard

The plugins you have selected will automatically begin to update …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

After all plugins have been updated, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to the Plugins area, or select another option from the dashboard menu …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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” messages no longer display) …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

(When your site or blog uses the latest version of all plugins, the notification icons no longer appear)

Now that you know how to automatically update WordPress plugins, let’s take a look at how to delete plugins from your site.

Deleting Plugins

At times, you may decide to remove plugins that you no longer need or are no longer using on your site. This helps to reduce resources on your server and help to minimize causes of some problems.

In this section, you will learn how to deactivate and delete unused plugins from your site.

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 reinstall your site.

To remove a plugin, go to your dashboard menu and choose Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting Plugins In The WordPress Dashboard

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

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins From The Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From The WordPress Dashboard

Click Delete

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

If you need to browse all the files that will be deleted before going ahead with 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 Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

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

Your plugins and related files will be deleted …

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Bulk-Deleting Plugins

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

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Click Apply

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins In The Dashboard

All selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

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

Click Apply

How To Update And Delete Plugins

A list of all selected plugins will show up 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 sure that you would like to go ahead and remove all of the plugins listed …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Your plugins will be deleted …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

Managing WP Plugins

In addition to the methods shown above, you can use WordPress plugins that help you manage your WordPress plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central - WP Plugin

Plugin Central helps you manage your plugins by allowing you to install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update on your Admin area and also allows you to update multiple plugins in one click …

Management Plugin For WordPress

For more details about using 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 that plugin as soon as possible.

What if you have multiple sites using the same plugin? Normally, you would need to login to every site and then go through the plugin update process from that site’s own WordPress admin dashboard. With multiple sites, this process can take quite some time!

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

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

Jetpack Manage

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 benefit from WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of stats reporting, automated social sharing, and many other great features.

Jetpack Manage

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

One of these features is “Manage”.

Jetpack Manage allows you to manage your WordPress sites from one simple dashboard.

With Manage, you can upgrade plugins, set plugins to update automatically, and activate or deactivate plugins on a per-site basis or in bulk, whether you’re on your computer, tablet, or smart device.

To download and use the plugin, visit this site:

ManageWP

ManageWP.com

(ManageWP is a very popular WordPress management tool for multiple WordPress sites)

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

Visit this site to download this plugin:

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 sells for a one-time purchase fee instead of monthly payments. It lets you control and organize your entire portfolio of WordPress sites and perform multiple updates from one single WordPress installation.

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

Congratulations! Now you know how to update and delete plugins safely from the dashboard without editing web code.

***

"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 owner of WPCompendium.org and the author of The WordPress User Manual. 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.