How To Update WordPress Plugins

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

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How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside The DashboardIn another post, we provide a detailed explanation of what plugins are all about and how you can use plugins to enhance your site’s capabilities.

You can read the article here:

In this tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping all plugins up-to-date, how to safely upgrade and remove plugins, and discover useful tips to help you better manage your plugins if you need to run or manage multiple WordPress sites.

Why Some Of Your Plugins Need Upgrading

New versions of WordPress are regularly released (about every 3-4 months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in previous versions, and to improve existing features.

Depending on how many plugins you have installed on your site, you can expect to see at least some new new update notices for WordPress plugins whenever WordPress releases an updated version.

The reason for this, is because most WordPress plugins are created by third-party developers, so sometimes code or features 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 problems 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 required). All you need to do on your end, is just keep your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is very easy to do.

Useful Information

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

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins In The WordPress Dashboard – Tutorial

WordPress uses a few methods to inform users when plugins need to be updated.

For example, you can tell immediately how many plugins need updating as soon as you log into your Administration site just by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

In the example below, you can see that 9 plugins need updating …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside The Dashboard

You can also tell how many plugins need to be updated from your WordPress Notification Toolbar (the example below shows that a number of plugins require updating) …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside Your WordPress Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins From The Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade Plugins One At A Time

Warning

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

From your admin menu, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely Inside Your WP Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

(Plugins Screen)

Useful Tip

Additional Info:

If you have too many plugins 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 page), then click the ‘Apply’ button …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Your Plugins section will now be reduced in size with a pagination feature added. You can find an installed plugin by scrolling through the pages or using the “Plugin Search” box …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

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

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely Inside Your WordPress Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

WordPress provides streamlined plugin updates, so that the process of updating your plugins happens with just “one click” without leaving your Plugins area …

How To Update And Delete Plugins

Repeat the above process for all plugins on your site that need updating, or see the section below if you have a number of plugins that are out-of-date and would like to update all plugins at once.

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Now that you know how to update one plugin at a time, let’s show you how to upgrade several WordPress plugins simultaneously.

Bulk-Upgrading WP Plugins

To upgrade multiple WordPress plugins in a single operation directly inside your dashboard, go to the “Plugins” page and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Click 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 …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside The WP Dashboard

And then click Apply

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In The Dashboard

The plugins you have selected will all be updated at once …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The WP Admin Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins

Once all plugins are up-to-date, the plugin notifications disappear (i.e. the “at-a-glance” indicators and “There is a new version of XYZ plugin available” notices no longer display) …

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

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

(When your site or blog uses the latest version of all plugins, notification icons do not display)

Now that you know how to automatically update in the dashboard, let’s show you how to safely remove plugins from your site or blog.

Deleting Plugins

Occasionally, you may choose to remove plugins that you no longer need or are no longer using on your site. This helps to conserve server resources and help to eliminate problems.

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

Warning

We strongly recommend creating 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 remove a plugin, go to your WP admin menu and select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Hint: Inactive plugins are listed in a different colored background 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 …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

Click Delete

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

If you would like to have a look at all the files that will be deleted before proceeding any further, then click on the “Click to view entire list of files which will be deleted” link in the “Delete Plugin” screen …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The WP Admin Dashboard

The entire list of files associated with the plugin selected for removalwill be listed on your screen …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Your plugins and related files will be deleted from your server …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

Bulk-Deleting Plugins

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

Useful Info

Note: To delete any plugins that are presently active, you 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 WordPress Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely Inside The WP Admin Dashboard

Click the Apply button …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins From Your WP Admin Dashboard

Your selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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 WordPress Plugins In The WordPress Admin Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside The WordPress Dashboard

Click the Apply button …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

A list of all selected plugins will display 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 selected plugins …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

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

Management Tools For WordPress Plugins

As well as the methods shown above, you can install WordPress plugins that let you manage your WordPress 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 Admin area and also allows you to update many plugins at once in one click …

Plugin Central - WordPress Plugin

To learn more about using this plugin, go here:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

Whenever plugin developers release a new plugin update, the best practice is to update that plugin as soon as possible.

What if you run multiple WordPress sites with the same plugin installed? One option, is to login to your sites one by one and then update the plugin from that site’s dashboard. With multiple sites, this process can take quite some time to complete!

WordPress Power User Tip: If you manage multiple WordPress sites or blogs, you can install, upgrade or remove plugins on multiple sites automatically and simultaneously using various WordPress management tools.

Below are a couple of WordPress management tools that are worth knowing about:

Jetpack By WordPress.com

Jetpack By WordPress.com - WordPress Plugin

The Jetpack plugin is a multifunctional WordPress plugin 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 things like stats reporting, automated social sharing, and many other features.

Jetpack Manage - Single WP Dashboard Management

(The Jetpack Plugin 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 one simple interface.

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 device.

To download the plugin, go here:

ManageWP.com

ManageWP.com - Multiple WordPress Site Management Software

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

ManageWP lets you easily manage all your sites and blogs from one central location, including updates, backups, security and more. This tool features easy one-click upgrades and instant login access to all of your WP sites.

Go here for more information about the plugin:

WP Pipeline.com

WP Pipeline - Update All Your WP Blogs From From One Central Installation

(With WP Pipeline, you can update all of your WordPress sites, plugins and themes from one central location)

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

For more information about using the plugin, go here:

Congratulations! Now you know how to upgrade and safely uninstall WordPress plugins.

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"I was absolutely amazed at the scope and breadth of these tutorials! The most in-depth training I have ever received on any subject!" - Myke O'Neill, DailyGreenPost.com

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and the author of The Small Business Digital Manager. 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.