How To Update WordPress Plugins

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins SafelyIn a separate blog post, we provide a detailed explanation of what WP plugins are all about and how you can use these to enhance your site’s capabilities.

You can read the article here:

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn why WordPress plugins need to be kept up-to-date, how to automatically upgrade and uninstall your WordPress plugins, and some great plugin management tips if you need to run or manage multiple WordPress sites or blogs.

Why Many Of Your Plugins Need Frequent Updating

The WordPress software is constantly updated (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 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 whenever new versions of WordPress are announced.

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 built for 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 making sure that plugins get updated when a new version of WordPress is released (if updating is required). All you have to do on your end, is simply maintain your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon discover, is really quick, simple and easy to do.

Important

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 potential errors and problems.

The WordPress step-by-step tutorial below explains how to automatically upgrade and delete plugins safely in WordPress with no web programming knowledge or skills needed.

How To Update And Delete Plugins – Tutorial

WordPress provides a number of different methods to alert you when plugins need to be updated.

For example, you can immediately see how many plugins need to be updated inside your Administration site just by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

In the example below, you can see that nine WordPress plugins are out of date and need to be updated …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

You can also tell how many plugins need updating from your WordPress Administration Toolbar (the screenshot below shows that a number of plugins should be updated) …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins In Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

The Plugins screen (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also tells you which plugins need updating …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

In addition to providing information about which plugins have updates available, the Plugins page provides links to the plugin developer sites and gives you the option to update the plugin with one-click …

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

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

How To Upgrade Individual A Plugin

Warning

Always make a full backup of your site files and database before making any upgrades to your blog or website.

From your main menu, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

You will be taken to the “Plugins” section. This page can be quite lengthy depending on how many plugins you have added to your blog …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In Your Dashboard

(Plugins Page)

Useful Tip

Useful Information:

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 screen and enter a smaller number of items per page (all plugins show up on the page by default, i.e. “999”), then click Apply …

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely From The WP Dashboard

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 Plugins” function …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

Select the plugin that you want to update and click on the update now link …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

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Now that you know how to update individual WordPress plugins, the next step is to learn how to bulk-update plugins.

Bulk-Upgrading WP Plugins

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

How To Automatically 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 update by checking their individual boxes …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

And then click Apply

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

The plugins you have selected will automatically begin to update …

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

After the update process has completed, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to go back to the Plugins section, or choose another option from the WP admin menu …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

You have updated all plugins on your site!

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Now that you know how to automatically upgrade inside your admin dashboard, let’s take a look at how to safely uninstall plugins from your WordPress site.

How To Safely Remove Plugins

At times, you may decide to delete plugins that you no longer need or are no longer using on your site. This conserves resources on your server and also eliminate causes of some problems.

In this section, we show you how to safely delete unused plugins from your WordPress 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 reinstall your site.

To remove a plugin, go to your dashboard menu and click on Plugins > Installed Plugins

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In The Dashboard

Next, click Delete

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

If you need to have a look at all the files that will be deleted before going ahead, then click on the “Click to view entire list of files which will be deleted” link in the “Delete Plugin” section …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

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

The selected plugin(s) will be deleted from your server …

How To Update And Delete Plugins

How To Delete Several WordPress Plugins At Once

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, 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 checkbox, 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 Safely Inside The Dashboard

Once you have done this, specify Deactivate from the Bulk Actions pull-down menu …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

Click Apply

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

The selected plugins will be deactivated …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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 Plugins In WordPress

Once you have ticked all the check boxes next to the plugins that you want deleted, select Delete from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Click Apply

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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 sure that you would like to go ahead and delete all of the selected plugins …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

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

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

Managing WordPress Plugins – Useful Tools

As well as the methods shown above, you can use Free and Premium WordPress plugins to manage your plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Management Plugin For WordPress

Plugin Central helps you manage your plugins with options that let you install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update on your WP Dashboard and also allows you to update many plugins at once with a single mouse-click …

Plugin Central - WordPress Plugin

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

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

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

What if you run multiple WordPress sites using the same plugin? One option, is to login to each site individually and then go through the plugin update process from that site’s own WP dashboard. If you own multiple sites, this process can take quite some time!

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

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

Jetpack

Jetpack By WordPress.com  - Plugin For WordPress

Jetpack is a single plugin for WordPress 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 so much more.

Jetpack

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

One of these features is “Manage”.

Jetpack Manage lets you manage your WordPress sites and plugins from a central dashboard.

With Manage, you can update plugins, set plugins to update automatically, and activate or deactivate plugins on a per-site basis or all at once, whether you’re on your laptop, tablet, or smart phone.

To download and use this plugin, go here:

ManageWP

ManageWP.com - Manage All Your WordPress Blogs From One Central Dashboard

(ManageWP is a leading management tool for multiple WP sites)

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

Visit this site for more information about using the plugin:

WP Pipeline

WP Pipeline - WordPress Management Software

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

WP Pipeline works in a similar way to ManageWP, but sells for a one-time license fee instead of recurring payments. It lets you control and organize your entire portfolio of WordPress sites and perform multiple updates from a central installation.

Go here to download and use the plugin:

Congratulations! Now you know how to automatically upgrade and uninstall plugins using the WP admin dashboard.

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Originally published as How To Update WordPress Plugins.