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

How To Update WordPress Plugins

In a separate blog post, we explain what plugins are and how you can use plugins to easily enhance your website’s capabilities.

You can read this article here:

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn why plugins need to be kept up-to-date, how to easily upgrade and uninstall plugins from your site, and practical tips to help you better manage your plugins.

Why Many Plugins Need Frequent Upgrading

New versions of WordPress are regularly released (about every 3-4 months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in older versions, as well as 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 notifications for plugins every.

This is because most plugins for WordPress are created by 3rd-party developers, so sometimes the code in the newly-released WordPress version conflicts with plugins that were developed for a previous version. When this happens, conflicts 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 need to do on your end, is keep your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon discover, is really simple, quick and easy to do.

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

The tutorial below explains how to update and delete plugins safely in the dashboard without touching web code.

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely – Tutorial

WordPress utilizes several methods to alert users when plugins need updating.

For example, you can instantly see how many plugins need updating from your Administration site simply by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

In the example below, you can see that 9 plugins are out of date and need to be updated …

You can also view how many plugins need updating from your WordPress Toolbar (as shown below, a number of plugins should be updated) …

The Plugins page (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also tells you what plugins need updating …

In addition to 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 with one-click …

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

Updating Individual A Plugin

Always make a full backup of your site files and database before upgrading your website.

From your dashboard menu, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins

The “Plugins” page will display in your browser. The list of plugins can run down your screen for some length, depending on how many plugins you have installed in your blog …

(Plugins Page)

Useful Tips:

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

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 …

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

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

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

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

Repeat the above process for all plugins on your site that need updating, or see the section below if you have many plugins that are out-of-date and would like to update them all in one simple operation.


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

How To Upgrade Various WordPress Plugins

To upgrade multiple WordPress plugins simultaneously from your admin area, go to the “Plugins” screen and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

Click on the check box next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select only the plugins you want to update by checking their individual boxes …

In the Bulk Actions drop down menu at the top of the page, choose Update

And then click Apply

The plugins you have selected will automatically begin updating …

Once all upgrades are completed, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to the Plugins screen, or choose 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 upgrade your plugins, let’s show you how to safely uninstall plugins safely from your site.

How To Safely Delete WP Plugins

It’s a good idea to remove inactive plugins. This conserves resources on your server and also help to minimize causes of problems.

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

We strongly recommend creating a full back up of your 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 admin menu and select Plugins > Installed Plugins

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

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

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

Once you have deactivated the plugin, click Delete

If you want to review a list of 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 …

A complete list of files belonging to the plugin selected for deletionwill be listed on your screen …

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

Your plugins and related files will be deleted …

How To Delete Multiple WordPress Plugins At Once

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

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 check box next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins (warning: this will deactivate all plugins) …

Next, specify Deactivate from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu …

Click Apply

Your selected plugins will be deactivated …

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

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

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

Click Apply

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 certain that you would like to go ahead and remove all of the plugins listed …

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

Plugin Management – WordPress Tools

As well as the methods shown above, you can install a range of third-party tools to manage your plugins.


Plugin Central is a Free plugin that helps you manage your plugins with options that let you install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update on the Admin area and also allows you to update many plugins at once with a single click …

To learn more about using this plugin, go here:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

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 WordPress sites using the same plugin? Typically, you would need to login to your sites one by one and then go through the plugin update process from that site’s own admin dashboard. If you have to update plugins on multiple sites, this process can take quite a while to complete!

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

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

Jetpack Manage

The Jetpack plugin is a single WordPress plugin that offers users a wide range of features, allowing self-hosted WordPress site owners to benefit from WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of stats reporting, easy social sharing, and so much more.

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

One of these features is “Manage”.

Jetpack Manage lets you manage your WordPress sites from one dashboard.

With Manage, you can upgrade plugins, set plugins to automatically update, and activate or deactivate plugins on a per-site basis or in bulk, whether you’re on your PC, tablet, or mobile phone.

Visit this site for more information about using this plugin:


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

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

To download and use this plugin, go here:

WP Pipeline.com

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

WP Pipeline is very similar to ManageWP, but you only have to pay once to access the software. It lets you manage your entire online WordPress presence and perform multiple updates from one central installation.

To download and use the plugin, visit this site:

Congratulations! Now you know how to automatically update and safely remove plugins.


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