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How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

In another post, we provide an overview of what WordPress plugins are all about and how you can use these to easily enhance your web site’s capabilities.

To view this article, go here:

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping all WordPress plugins up-to-date, how to automatically upgrade and remove plugins from your site, and discover useful tips to help you better manage your plugins if you currently run or manage multiple WordPress sites or blogs.

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Why Your Plugins Need Frequent Updating

New WordPress versions are constantly being released (about every 3-4 months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in older software releases, as well as to improve existing features.

Depending on how many plugins you use on your site, there will typically be new new update notifications for plugins each time a new WordPress version is made available.

The reason for this, is because most plugins for WordPress are created by third-party developers, so sometimes the code in the new WordPress version conflict with plugins that were built for a previous version. Whenever this happens, problems can sometimes develop.

Fortunately, most WordPress plugin developers (and the WordPress developer community itself) are fairly proactive when it comes to ensuring that plugins get updated when a new version of WordPress is released (if updating is required). All you need to do as a WordPress user, is just maintain your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon discover, is very quick, simple and easy to do.

Keeping your plugins up-to-date and removing old plugins you no longer need is an essential aspect of good WordPress management and helps to avoid any conflicts and errors.

The tutorial below explains how to automatically update and delete plugins safely without editing web code.

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely – Step-By-Step Tutorial

WordPress uses a few ways of letting users know when plugins need updating.

For example, you can instantly see how many plugins need to be updated as soon as you log into your WordPress Dashboard simply by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

In the screenshot below, 9 plugins have older versions that need to be updated …

You can also see how many plugins need updating from your WP Administration Toolbar (in the example below, you can again see that 9 plugins should be updated) …

The Plugins section (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also lets you know which plugins need to be updated …

As well as providing information about which plugins have updates available, the Plugins section provides links to the plugin developer pages and gives you the option to update your plugins instantly …

Let’s start by learning how to update one plugin at a time.

How To Upgrade Plugins Individually

We strongly recommend performing a backup of your site files and database before making any updates to your blog or website.

In your dashboard menu, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins

The “Plugins” section will display in your browser. The table of plugins can flow down your screen for a while, depending on the number of plugins you have installed on your site …

(Plugins Section)

Notes:

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 (all plugins show up on the page by default, i.e. “999”), then click the ‘Apply’ button …

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

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

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

Find 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 area …

Repeat the above process for all 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 update them all at the same time.

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Now that you know how to upgrade one WP plugin at a time, the next step is to learn how to bulk-update plugins.

Bulk-Updating Plugins

To bulk-upgrade plugins simultaneously 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 …

Tick the checkbox next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select only the plugins you want to upgrade by checking their individual boxes …

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

And then click Apply

The plugins you have selected will automatically begin updating …

After all updates are done, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to your Plugins screen, or choose another option from the admin 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” messages no longer display on your screen, toolbar and menus) …

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

(When your plugins are up-to-date, update messages no longer display)

Now that you know how to automatically upgrade your plugins, it’s time to learn how to remove plugins from your WordPress site or blog.

Deleting Plugins

As part of smart WordPress site management, it’s a good idea to remove inactive plugins. This can conserve server resources and eliminates problems.

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

Always create 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 reinstall your site.

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

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

Hint: Inactive plugins have 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 continuing with your plugin deletion …

Next, click on Delete

If you want to have a look at 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” section …

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

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

The selected plugins and related files will be deleted …

Deleting Multiple Plugins In Bulk

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

Note: To delete any plugins that are currently 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 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 dropdown menu …

Click the Apply button …

Your selected plugins will be deactivated …

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

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 …

Once you have selected all of the plugins that you want to delete, select Delete from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu …

Click the Apply button …

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

The plugins will be deleted …

Managing Plugins

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

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central improves the management of your plugins with options that let you install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update in the WP Admin and lets you update multiple plugins with one click …

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 upgrde the plugin as soon as possible.

What if you run multiple sites using the same plugin? Normally, you would have to login to every site and then update the plugin manually from that site’s admin dashboard. With multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite some time to complete!

WordPress Power User Tip: If you own multiple WordPress sites, you can install, update and deactivate plugins on multiple sites automatically and simultaneously using various WordPress management tools.

Below are a few WordPress management tools you should look at:

Jetpack By WordPress.com Plugin

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

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

One of these features is “Jetpack Manage”.

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

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

Visit this site to download this plugin:

ManageWP – WordPress Management Tool

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

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

Visit this site to download this plugin:

WP Pipeline

(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 you only have to pay once to access the software. It lets you control and organize your entire portfolio of WordPress sites and perform multiple upgrades from one single location.

Visit this site to download and use this plugin:

Congratulations! Now you know how to update and delete plugins.

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