How To Update WordPress Plugins

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete PluginsIn a previous post, we provide an overview of what plugins are about and how you can use these to easily add new features to your website with no technical knowledge required.

To read the article, go here:

In this tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping your plugins up-to-date, how to safely update and delete plugins, and some great tips to help you better manage your plugins if you need to manage multiple WordPress sites or blogs.

Why Many Of Your Plugins Need Regular Upgrading

WordPress constantly updates its software (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in older software releases, and 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 notices for WordPress plugins each time a new WordPress version is made available.

The reason for this, is because most plugins for WordPress are created by 3rd-party developers, so sometimes the code in the new WordPress version conflicts with plugins that were created and tested to work with a previous version. When this happens, problems can sometimes occur.

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 updating is required). All you need to do on your end, is just keep your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon discover, is very simple, quick and easy to do.

Important Info

Keeping your WordPress plugins up-to-date and deleting old plugins you no longer use is part of good WordPress management and helps to avoid conflicts or errors.

The tutorial below explains how to upgrade and delete plugins safely in WordPress without web programming skills necessary.

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins – Step-By-Step Tutorial

WordPress provides a number of different ways of letting users know when plugins need updating.

For example, you can see ‘at a glance’ how many plugins need to be updated as soon as you log into your Administration panel just by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, you can see that nine WordPress plugins need to be updated …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins In The WP Dashboard

You can also check how many plugins need to be updated from your WordPress Admin Toolbar (as shown below, a number of plugins should be updated) …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

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

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 your plugin instantly …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

Let’s start by learning how to update one WP plugin at a time.

How To Upgrade WordPress Plugins Individually

Warning

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

From your WP admin menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

(Plugins Section)

Useful Tip

Useful Tips:

If you have too many plugins and would like to reduce the number of plugins showing 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 up on the screen by default, i.e. “999”), then click Apply …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins From The Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From Your Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In The WP Admin Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely In Your WordPress Dashboard

Locate the plugin that needs updating and click on the update now link …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins In Your Dashboard

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 update them all at once.

***

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

How To Update Multiple WP Plugins Simultaneously

To upgrade multiple WP plugins at the same time using the automatic upgrade feature, go to the “Plugins” screen and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

Click the checkbox next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select each plugin you want to upgrade by checking its box …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your WP Dashboard

In the Bulk Actions pull-down menu above the list of plugins, select Update

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In The WordPress Dashboard

Click Apply

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside Your WP Dashboard

Your selected plugins will automatically begin updating …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

Once the update process has been completed, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to go back to the Plugins area, or select another option from the dashboard menu …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

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 on your screen, toolbar and menus) …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins In The Dashboard

All plugins are now up-to-date!

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

(When your plugins are all up-to-date, update icons disappear)

Now that you know how to upgrade your plugins, it’s time to learn how to uninstall plugins safely from your WordPress site.

How To Remove WP Plugins

At times, you may choose to remove plugins that you no longer need or are no longer using on your site. This helps to decrease server resources and eliminates problems.

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

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

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

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Next, click on Delete

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

If you want to browse all the files that will be deleted before proceeding, then click on the “Click to view entire list of files which will be deleted” link in the “Delete Plugin” screen …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

The entire list of files associated with the plugin that you are about to remove will be listed on your screen …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

Your plugins and related files will be deleted …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

How To Bulk-Delete Plugins

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

Important Info

Note: To delete any plugins that are currently 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 check box next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins (warning: this will deactivate all plugins) …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Click Apply

How To Update And Delete Plugins

The selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Click the check box in the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select each plugin you want to delete by checking their individual boxes …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

Click the Apply button …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In The 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 proceed to the next step and delete all of the selected plugins …

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

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

Managing WordPress Plugins – Tools

As well as the methods shown above, you can install a range of tools to manage your plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central

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

Plugin Central - WP Plugin

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

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

As discussed earlier, when a plugin update gets released, the best practice is to update the plugin to its newest version ASAP.

What if you have multiple WordPress sites using the same plugin? One option, is to login to each site individually and then update the plugin manually 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 a number of WordPress sites or blogs, you can install, update and deactivate plugins on all of your sites automatically and simultaneously using a number of WordPress management tools.

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

Jetpack Manage

Jetpack Manage - Single WP Dashboard Management

The Jetpack plugin is a single WordPress plugin that provides users with a powerful range of features, allowing self-hosted WordPress site owners to access WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of stats reporting, automated social sharing, and a host of other features.

Jetpack By WordPress.com

(The Jetpack Plugin lets you access a range of powerful WordPress.com features)

One of these features is “Manage”.

Jetpack Manage lets you manage multiple WordPress sites and plugins from a single dashboard.

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

For more information about this plugin, visit this site:

ManageWP.com – Update All Your WordPress Plugins From One Central Location

ManageWP.com

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

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

Go here to download and use this plugin:

WP Pipeline – WordPress Management Tool

WP Pipeline - WordPress Management Tool

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

WP Pipeline is very similar to ManageWP, but has a one-time license fee instead of recurring payments. It lets you control and organize your entire portfolio of WordPress sites and perform multiple upgrades from one single WordPress installation.

To download and use the plugin, go here:

Congratulations! Now you know how to automatically upgrade and delete WordPress plugins safely without editing web code.

***

"This is an awesome training series. I have a pretty good understanding of WordPress already, but this is helping me to move somewhere from intermediate to advanced user!" - Kim Lednum

Originally published as How To Update WordPress Plugins.