How To Update WordPress Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress PluginsIn a previous post, we explain what plugins are and how you can use plugins to add new features to your blog without touching code.

You can read the article here:

In this tutorial you will learn why plugins need to be kept up-to-date, how to easily upgrade and delete your WordPress plugins, and some great plugin management tools if you manage multiple WordPress sites.

Why Some Of Your Plugins Need To Be Upgraded

New versions of WordPress are regularly released (about every 3-4 months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities discovered in previous releases, and to improve existing features or introduce new functionality to WordPress users.

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

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 issues to sometimes occur.

Fortunately, most WordPress plugin developers (and the WordPress developer community itself) are quite proactive when it comes to making sure that plugins get updated when a new version of WordPress is released (if updating 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, quick and easy to do.

Useful Info

Keeping your WordPress plugins regularly updated and deleting old plugins you no longer need is part of good WordPress management and helps to avoid potential problems or errors.

The step-by-step tutorial below explains how to automatically upgrade and delete WordPress plugins in your WordPress admin dashboard without requiring web programming skills or knowledge.

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

WordPress employs a few 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 Admin area simply by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

In the example below, 9 plugins have older versions that need updating …

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

You can also tell how many plugins need to be updated from your WP Notification Toolbar (as shown below, a number of plugins need updating) …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

How To Automatically 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 plugins individually or in bulk …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

Let’s start by showing you how to update individual plugins.

How To Update WordPress Plugins Individually

Warning

Always make a complete backup of your website before making any changes to your blog or website.

In your main menu, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins

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

You will be taken to the “Plugins” section. The screen can be quite lengthy depending on how many plugins you have installed in your blog …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins In The WP Dashboard

(WordPress Plugins Page)

Tip

Tips:

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 screen and enter a smaller number of items per page (by default, all plugins display on the page), then click Apply …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins In The WordPress Admin Dashboard

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 Plugins” box …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

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

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

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

WordPress has done away with the loading screen when updating plugins and streamlined the process, so that updating your plugins happens “behind the scenes” without leaving your Plugins screen …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

Repeat the above process for all plugins on your site that need updating, or refer to the section below if you have a number of 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 individual plugins, the next step is to learn how to bulk-upgrade plugins.

How To Bulk-Update WordPress Plugins

To update multiple plugins simultaneously using the automatic updating feature, 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 Safely In Your Dashboard

Tick the checkbox in the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select only the plugins you want to update by checking its box …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

In the Bulk Actions drop-down menu above your plugin table, select Update

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

And then click Apply

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From The WordPress Admin Dashboard

The plugins you have selected will automatically begin updating …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

Once your plugins have all been updated, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to go back to the Plugins section, or select another option from the WordPress 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” messages no longer display) …

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

You have updated all plugins on your site!

Updating And Deleting Plugins From Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

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

Now that you know how to update your in your WP dashboard, let’s show you how to safely delete plugins safely from your WordPress site.

Deleting WP Plugins

Occasionally, you may want to remove WP plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This helps to reduce resource usage and help to reduce potential problems.

In this section, you will learn how to 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 main menu and choose Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside Your Dashboard

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

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

Click on Delete

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

If you would like 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” page …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

All files associated with the plugin selected for removalwill be listed on your screen …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

If you are certain about going ahead and deleting these plugin, just click on the Yes, Delete these files button …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From The WP Admin Dashboard

Your plugin(s) will be removed from your server …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

How To Safely Delete Several Plugins In Bulk

You can bulk-delete all inactive plugins on your site, or select a combination of active and inactive plugins to be removed.

Important Info

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Next, select Deactivate from the Bulk Actions pull-down menu …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Click the Apply button …

How To Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

The selected plugins will be deactivated …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your WordPress Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From The WordPress Admin Dashboard

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 Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From The WP Admin Dashboard

Once you have selected all of the plugins that you want deleted, choose Delete from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu …

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

Click Apply

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside Your WordPress Dashboard

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 certain that you want to proceed to the next step and remove all of the plugins listed …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside Your WordPress Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

WordPress Management Tools For WP Plugins

As well as the methods shown above, you can use a range of tools that let you manage your plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin For WordPress

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 your WordPress Dashboard and also allows you to update many plugins at once in one click …

Plugin Central - WP Plugin

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

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

When plugin updates are released, the best practice is to upgrde the plugin as soon as possible.

What if you run multiple WordPress sites using the same plugin? Normally, you would have to login to your sites one by one and then go through the plugin update process from that site’s dashboard. If you have to update plugins on multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite a while to complete!

WordPress Power User Tip: If you manage multiple WordPress sites, you can install, upgrade and remove plugins on all of your sites automatically and simultaneously using a number of WordPress management tools.

Here are a few WordPress management tools you may want to look at:

Jetpack Manage – Single WP Dashboard Management

Jetpack Manage - Single WP Dashboard Management

Jetpack is a versatile 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, automated social sharing, and a host of other features.

Jetpack By WordPress.com  - Plugin For WordPress

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

One of these features is “Jetpack Manage”.

Jetpack Manage allows you to manage multiple self-hosted WordPress sites and WordPress.com sites 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 computer, tablet, or smart device.

Go here to download and use this plugin:

ManageWP.com

ManageWP

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

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

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

WP Pipeline – WordPress Management Software

WP Pipeline - Multiple WordPress Site Management Tool

(WP Pipeline lets you 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 license fee instead of recurring payments. It lets you control and organize your entire online WordPress presence and perform multiple updates from one central dashboard.

Go here to download this plugin:

Congratulations! Now you know how to automatically update and safely uninstall your plugins in WordPress.

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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!