How To Update WordPress Plugins

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

How To Update And Delete PluginsIn another article, we provide an overview of what plugins are all about and how you can use these to increase your website’s capabilities.

To read the article, go here:

In this tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping all WordPress plugins up-to-date, how to upgrade and remove your WordPress plugins, and discover some great plugin management tools.

Why Many WordPress Plugins Need Updating

The WordPress software is constantly updated (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in previous 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 updates for plugins every.

This is because most WordPress plugins are created by third-party developers, so sometimes code in the new WordPress version conflicts with plugins that were developed for a previous version. When this happens, there is a potential for issues to 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 this 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 very simple and easy to do.

Important

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

The WordPress tutorial below explains how to automatically upgrade and delete WordPress plugins without web programming skills or knowledge needed.

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From The WordPress Admin Dashboard – Step-By-Step Tutorial

WordPress uses several methods to let users know when plugins on their blog need updating.

For example, you can instantly see how many plugins are out-of-date inside your WordPress Dashboard by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

In the screenshot below, 9 plugins are out of date and need updating …

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

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins In Your WP Dashboard

The Plugins section (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also lets you know which plugins need updating …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

As well as providing information about which plugins have updates available, the Plugins section provides links to the plugin download sites and gives you the option to update the plugin individually or in bulk …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

How To Update Plugins One At A Time

Warning

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

In your main menu, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

You will be taken to the “Plugins” screen. The list of plugins can flow down your screen for some length, depending on how many plugins you have installed in your blog …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In The WP Dashboard

(The WordPress Plugins Section)

Tip

Additional Info:

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

Your Plugins area will now be reduced in size with a page scrolling feature added. You can find an installed plugin by scrolling through the pages or using the “Search Installed Plugins” function …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

Repeat this process for all plugins on your site that need updating, or refer to the section below if you have several plugins that are out-of-date and would like to update them all at the same time.

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Now that you know how to update plugins individually, let’s show you how to update several WP plugins simultaneously.

How To Upgrade Multiple Plugins Simultaneously

To bulk-upgrade WordPress plugins using the automatic updating feature, 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 Safely

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 their individual boxes …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

In the Bulk Actions dropdown menu at the top of the page, choose Update

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely From The WordPress Dashboard

And then click Apply

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

Your selected plugins will begin updating …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins In Your WP Admin Dashboard

Once your plugins have been updated, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to the Plugins screen, or go to a different section of your dashboard …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins In Your WP Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

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

Deleting WP Plugins

At times, you may decide to delete WordPress plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This can conserve resources on your server and also help to minimize potential problems.

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

Warning

Always create 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 WP admin menu and choose Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins From Your Dashboard

Once you have deactivated the plugin, click Delete

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

If you need to review a list of 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” section …

How To Update And Delete Plugins In Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins In Your WP Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Your plugins and related files will be deleted …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Inside Your Dashboard

How To Safely Bulk-Delete Plugins

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

Important

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins From The WordPress Dashboard

Next, specify Deactivate from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

Click Apply

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins

All selected plugins will be deactivated …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your WP Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Once you have ticked all the check boxes next to the plugins that you want to delete, choose Delete from the Bulk Actions drop down menu …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

Click Apply

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

A list of all selected plugins will display 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 remove all of the selected plugins …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From Your Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Plugin Management – Useful WordPress Tools

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

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Management For WordPress

Plugin Central helps you manage your plugins by allowing you to install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update in your Dashboard and lets you update multiple plugins with one click …

Plugin Central - WP Plugin

To learn more about using this plugin, go here:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

When a plugin update gets released, the best practice is to upgrde the plugin right away.

What if you run 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 admin dashboard. If you manage 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 or blogs, you can install, upgrade or deactivate plugins on multiple sites automatically and simultaneously using various WordPress management tools.

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

Jetpack Plugin By WordPress.com

Jetpack Manage

Jetpack is a single plugin for WordPress that provides users with a powerful 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 a host of other features.

Jetpack Manage

(Jetpack gives you access to range of powerful WordPress.com features)

One of these features is “Manage”.

Jetpack Manage lets you manage multiple self-hosted WordPress sites and WordPress.com sites from a central dashboard on WordPress.com.

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 laptop, tablet, or smart phone.

Go here to download and use this plugin:

ManageWP.com

ManageWP

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

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

For more information about the plugin, visit this site:

WP Pipeline.com

WP Pipeline

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

WP Pipeline is very similar to ManageWP, but you only have to pay once to access the software. It lets you control and organize your entire online WordPress presence and perform multiple upgrades from one single WP installation.

To download this plugin, visit this site:

Congratulations! Now you know how to upgrade and delete plugins inside your dashboard without requiring web coding skills.

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"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

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and has authored hundreds of FREE WordPress tutorials for non-techies and beginners. WPCompendium.org provides detailed step-by-step tutorials that will teach you how to use WordPress with no coding skills required and grow your business online at minimal cost!