WordPress For Non-Techies: Free WordPress Tutorials – WPCompendium.org

How To Update WordPress Plugins

In a previous blog post, we provide a detailed explanation of what plugins are all about and how you can use plugins to easily add new features or functionality to your web site with no software programming skills required.

To view this article, go here:

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping WordPress plugins up-to-date, how to easily update and delete plugins from your site, and discover some tips to help you better manage your plugins.

Why Your Plugins Need Updating

New WordPress versions are constantly being released (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in earlier software versions, as well as to improve existing features.

Depending on how many plugins you have installed on your site, there will typically be new new update notices for WordPress plugins every.

This is because most WordPress plugins are created by external 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 quite proactive when it comes to ensuring that plugins get updated when a new version of WordPress is released (if updating is required). All you have to do as a website owner, is just keep your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is very easy to do.

Keeping your WordPress plugins up-to-date and deleting old plugins you no longer use is an essential aspect of good WordPress site management and helps to avoid any potential problems and errors.

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely – Tutorial

WordPress uses several ways to notify you when plugins need to be updated.

For example, you can instantly see how many plugins are out-of-date as soon as you log into your Admin area simply by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, you can see that nine WordPress plugins are out of date and need to be updated …

You can also tell how many plugins need to be updated from your WordPress Admin Toolbar (the screenshot below shows that nine plugins should be updated) …

The Plugins section (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also tells you what plugins need to be updated …

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

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

Upgrading Single WordPress Plugins

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

In your WP admin menu, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins

The “Plugins” area will display in your browser. This screen can be quite lengthy depending on the number of plugins you have added to your site …

(WordPress Plugins Screen)


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 type in a smaller number of items per page (by default, all plugins display on the screen), then click the ‘Apply’ button …

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

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

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

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

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

Repeat this process for any other 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 in one simple operation.


Now that you know how to update WordPress plugins individually, let’s show you how to bulk-upgrade WP plugins.

Bulk-Updating WP Plugins

To update multiple plugins in one go using the automatic upgrading feature, go to the “Plugins” screen and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

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

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

Click Apply

The plugins you have selected will begin the update process …

After all upgrades are completed, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to go back to your Plugins section, or select another option from the main menu …

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

All plugins are now up-to-date!

(When your site or blog uses the latest version of all plugins, the notification icons disappear)

Now that you know how to automatically update WordPress inside the dashboard, let’s show you how to remove plugins from your WordPress blog or website.

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 helps to conserve resource usage and eliminates potential problems.

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

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

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

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

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

Click on Delete

If you need to browse all the files that will be deleted before taking the next step, then click on the “Click to view entire list of files which will be deleted” link in the “Delete Plugin” page …

All files associated with the plugin selected for deletionwill display on your screen …

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

The selected plugins and related files will be removed from your server …

Bulk-Deleting Plugins

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

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

Once you have done this, select Deactivate from the Bulk Actions drop down menu …

Click the Apply button …

All selected plugins will be deactivated …

To delete all or some of the inactive plugins on your site, go to the “Plugins” screen and click on the Inactive link in the Plugins menu …

Click on 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 …

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 …

Click the Apply button …

A list of all selected plugins will be displayed 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 sure that you would like to proceed to the next step and delete all of the plugins listed …

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

WordPress Plugin Management – Tools

As well as the methods shown above, you can install WordPress plugins to manage your plugins.


Plugin Central is a Free WordPress plugin that helps to improve the management of 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 many plugins at once with a single click …

For more details about this plugin, go here:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

As discussed earlier, when plugin developers release a new plugin update, the best practice is to update the plugin as soon as possible.

What if you run multiple sites using the same plugin? Normally, you would need to login to every site and then update the plugin manually from that site’s own admin dashboard. If you plan to manage multiple sites, this process can take quite a while!

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

Here are just some WordPress management tools you should check out:

Jetpack Manage – Single WP Dashboard Management

The Jetpack plugin is a multifunctional WordPress plugin that offers users a powerful range of features, allowing self-hosted WordPress site owners to benefit from WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of robust stats, automated social sharing, and a host of other great features.

(The Jetpack Plugin lets you access a range of powerful WordPress features)

One of these features is “Jetpack Manage”.

Jetpack Manage lets you manage your self-hosted WordPress sites and WordPress.com sites from a single interface.

With Manage, you can upgrade 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 computer, tablet, or smart device.

Visit this site to download and use the plugin:


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

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

Go here to learn more about using this plugin:

WP Pipeline

(WP Pipeline lets you 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 manage your entire portfolio of WordPress sites and perform multiple upgrades from one single dashboard.

Visit this site to download the plugin:

Congratulations! Now you know how to automatically update and delete plugins safely in WordPress without touching web code.


"I have used the tutorials to teach all of my clients and it has probably never been so easy for everyone to learn WordPress ... Now I don't need to buy all these very expensive video courses that often don't deliver what they promise." - Stefan Wendt, Internet Marketing Success Group

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