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How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

You can read the article here:

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn why plugins need to be kept up-to-date, how to upgrade and uninstall plugins, and discover useful tips to help you better manage your plugins if you plan to run multiple WordPress sites.

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Why Some Of Your WordPress Plugins Need Upgrading

WordPress regularly updates its software (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in older software versions, and to improve existing features or introduce new ones.

Depending on how many plugins you use on your site, you can expect to see at least some new updates for plugins every.

This is because most plugins for WordPress are created by external developers, so sometimes code or features in the newly-released WordPress version conflict with plugins that were developed for a previous version. Whenever this happens, there is a potential for conflicts to sometimes develop.

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

Keeping your plugins up-to-date and deleting old plugins you no longer need is part of good WordPress site management and helps to avoid potential errors and problems.

The tutorial below explains how to update and delete plugins safely inside the WP admin dashboard without editing web code.

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely From The Dashboard – Step-By-Step Tutorial

WordPress employs a few ways to alert users when plugins need updating.

For example, you can see ‘at a glance’ how many plugins are out-of-date inside your Administration panel just by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, 9 plugins have older versions that need updating …

You can also check how many plugins need updating from your WP Administration Toolbar (in the example below, you can see how many plugins need updating) …

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

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

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

Upgrading Plugins One At A Time

Always make a full backup of your website before updating your blog or website.

In your main menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

You will be taken to the “Plugins” page. The list of plugins can flow down your page for a while, depending on how many plugins you have installed in your blog …

(The WordPress Plugins Section)

Useful Information:

If you have too many plugins installed and would like to make this section more manageable, then click on the Screen Options tab at the top of your Plugins screen and enter a smaller number of items per page (by default, all plugins display on the page), then click the ‘Apply’ button …

Your Plugins area 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” feature …

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

Plugins that need upgrading have a distinctive notification message: “There is a new version of [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 plugin update process, so that the process of updating your plugins takes place with just “one click” without leaving your Plugins screen …

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

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Now that you know how to update one plugin at a time, it’s time to learn how to bulk-upgrade plugins.

How To Upgrade Various Plugins

To upgrade multiple WordPress plugins in one go 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 …

Click the check box 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 …

In the Bulk Actions dropdown menu above the plugin list, select Update

Click Apply

Your selected plugins will begin the update process …

After all updates are finished, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to the Plugins screen, or select another option from the admin menu …

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” messages no longer display on your screen, toolbar and menus) …

You have updated all plugins on your site!

(When your site uses the latest version of all plugins, the notification icons no longer appear)

Now that you know how to automatically update WordPress plugins, let’s take a look at how to safely delete plugins safely from your site.

How To Remove Plugins

Occasionally, you may decide to delete plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This can conserve resources on your server and will help you avoid problems.

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

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 dashboard menu and click on Plugins > Installed Plugins

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 show an “Activate” link below the plugin name …

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

Once you have deactivated the plugin, click Delete

If you need 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 …

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

If you are sure that you would like to proceed and delete the plugin, click on the Yes, Delete these files button …

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

How To Safely Bulk-Delete WP Plugins

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

Next, specify Deactivate from the Bulk Actions drop down menu …

Click Apply

Your 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 …

Tick the check box next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select each plugin you want to delete by checking its box …

Once you have ticked all the checkboxes next to the plugins that you want deleted, specify Delete from the Bulk Actions pull-down menu …

Click the Apply button …

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 sure that you want to go ahead and delete all of the plugins listed …

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

Managing WP Plugins – Useful Tools

As well as the methods shown above, you can use Free and Paid WordPress plugins that let you manage your plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central is a Free plugin that helps you manage your plugins by allowing you to install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update in your Dashboard 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

Whenever a plugin update is released, the best practice is to update that plugin to its newest version ASAP.

What if you have multiple sites with the same plugin installed? Normally, you would need to login to each site individually and then go through the plugin update process from that site’s own dashboard. With multiple sites, this process can take quite some time!

WordPress Power User Tip: If you own multiple WordPress sites, you can install, upgrade and delete plugins on all of your sites automatically and simultaneously using various WordPress management tools.

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

Jetpack Manage

The Jetpack plugin is a multifunctional WordPress plugin that provides users with a wide range of features, allowing self-hosted WordPress site users to access WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of things like robust stats, automated social sharing, and a whole lot more.

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

One of these features is “Manage”.

Jetpack Manage allows you to manage multiple self-hosted WordPress sites and WordPress.com sites from one dashboard on WordPress.com.

With Manage, you can update 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 device.

Visit this site to learn more about this plugin:

ManageWP.com

(ManageWP is a widely used management tool for multiple WordPress sites)

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

For more information about this plugin, go here:

WP Pipeline

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

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.

For more information about the plugin, visit this site:

Congratulations! Now you know how to automatically upgrade and delete plugins in your WP admin dashboard without requiring web coding or programming knowledge or skills.

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"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now