How To Update WordPress Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In The DashboardIn another post, we provide an overview of what WP plugins are all about and how you can use these to add new features or functionality to your web site without touching code.

To read the article, go here:

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping all WordPress plugins up-to-date, how to upgrade and uninstall plugins, and discover some great tools to help you better manage your plugins.

Why Your WordPress Plugins Need To Be Regularly Updated

The WordPress software is regularly updated (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities discovered in earlier releases, as well as to improve existing features.

Depending on how many plugins you have installed on your site, you can expect to see at least some new updates for plugins each time a new WordPress version is announced.

This is because most plugins for WordPress are created by third-party developers, so sometimes features in the newly-released WordPress version conflict with plugins that were created and tested to work with a previous version. Whenever this happens, there is a potential for issues to sometimes develop.

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 as a website owner, is just maintain your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is very simple and easy to do.

Info

Keeping your WordPress plugins regularly updated and removing old plugins you no longer need is an essential aspect of good WordPress site management and helps to avoid any errors or conflicts.

The WordPress tutorial below explains how to automatically upgrade and delete plugins without touching web code.

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

WordPress has a few ways to notify you when plugins need to be updated.

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

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

You can also view how many plugins need to be updated from your WP Admin Toolbar (the screenshot below shows that 9 plugins should be brought up to date) …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

The Plugins section (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also lets you know which plugins need to be updated …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

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

Updating WordPress Plugins Individually

Warning

We strongly recommend making a full backup of your website before updating your blog or website.

From your admin menu, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

You will be taken to the “Plugins” area. This page can be quite long depending on the number of plugins you have added to your site …

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

(Plugins Screen)

Practical Tip

Additional Info:

If you have too many plugins and would like to reduce the number of plugins displayed on the screen, 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 the ‘Apply’ button …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Your Plugins area 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 …

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside Your Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

WordPress provides fast plugin updating, so that updating your plugins happens with just “one click” without leaving your Plugins area …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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 several plugins that are out-of-date and would like to upgrade them all in one simple operation.

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Now that you know how to update one plugin at a time, it’s time to learn how to upgrade multiple plugins simultaneously.

Bulk-Updating Plugins

To bulk-upgrade plugins from your admin area, 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 In WordPress

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 …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

And then click Apply

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

The plugins you have selected will automatically begin to update …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From The WP Admin Dashboard

After all updates have completed, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to the Plugins section, or choose another option from the main menu …

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins In Your 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” notices no longer display) …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

All plugins are now up-to-date!

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

(When your site or blog uses the latest version of all plugins, update alerts no longer display)

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

How To Delete WordPress Plugins

Occasionally, you may decide to delete WordPress plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This decreases resource usage and also help to eliminate potential problems.

In this section, we show you how to deactivate and delete unused plugins from your WordPress 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 restore your site.

To delete a plugin, go to your WP admin menu and click on Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

If the plugin is active, click on Deactivate before going any further …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

Once you have deactivated the plugin, click Delete

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

If you need to review a list of 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 …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

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

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

The selected plugin(s) will be deleted …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins From Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

How To Bulk-Delete WordPress Plugins

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

Important

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) …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside The WordPress Dashboard

Next, select Deactivate from the Bulk Actions drop down menu …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely From The WordPress Dashboard

Click Apply

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Your selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely Inside The 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 …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely In The WP Dashboard

Once you have selected all of the plugins that you want deleted, select Delete from the Bulk Actions drop down menu …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Inside The Dashboard

Click the Apply button …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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 sure that you would like to proceed to the next step and delete all of the selected plugins …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

The selected plugins will be deleted …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

Managing WP Plugins

In addition to the methods shown above, you can use a range of tools to manage your plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central - WordPress Plugin

Plugin Central improves the management of your plugins by allowing you to install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update in the WP Admin and lets you update multiple plugins with a single click of the mouse …

Plugin Central - WP Plugin

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

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

As discussed earlier, when plugin developers release a new plugin update, the best practice is to upgrde the plugin to its most recent version ASAP.

What if you have multiple WordPress sites with the same plugin installed? One option, is 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 some time to complete!

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

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

Jetpack By WordPress.com Plugin For WordPress

Jetpack

The Jetpack plugin is a multifunctional plugin for WordPress that provides users with a wide range of features, 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 so much more.

Jetpack Manage - Single WP Dashboard Management

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

One of these features is “Jetpack Manage”.

Jetpack Manage allows you to manage multiple WordPress sites from one simple dashboard on WordPress.com.

With Manage, you can update 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 mobile phone.

Visit this site to download and use this plugin:

ManageWP – Multiple WordPress Site Management Tool

ManageWP

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

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

Go here to download the plugin:

WP Pipeline

WP Pipeline.com

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

WP Pipeline works in a similar way to ManageWP, but has a one-time purchase fee instead of recurring payments. It lets you manage your entire online WordPress presence and perform multiple upgrades from one central WordPress installation.

To download and use this plugin, visit this site:

Congratulations! Now you know how to upgrade and remove plugins via your dashboard.

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Originally published as How To Update WordPress Plugins.