Updating And Deleting Plugins SafelyIn another post, we explain what plugins are and how you can use plugins to easily add new features or functionality to your web site with no technical knowledge required.

You can read the article here:

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping your plugins up-to-date, how to upgrade and remove plugins from your site, and discover some great tools to help you better manage your plugins if you need to run or manage multiple WordPress sites.

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Why WordPress Plugins Need Frequent Updating

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

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 every.

This is because most plugins for WordPress are created by 3rd-party developers, so sometimes code in the newly-released WordPress version conflicts with plugins that were developed for a previous version. Whenever this happens, there is a potential for issues to sometimes develop.

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 required). All you have to do as a WordPress user, is maintain your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is very quick, simple and easy to do.

Info

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

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

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

WordPress provides a number of different methods to let you know when plugins on your site need to be updated.

For example, you can tell immediately how many plugins need to be updated as soon as you log into your Administration panel simply by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your WordPress Dashboard

You can also check how many plugins need updating from your WordPress Notification Toolbar (the example below shows that nine plugins should be brought up to date) …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins In Your Dashboard

The Plugins section (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also provides information about plugins that need to be updated …

How To Update And Delete Plugins From Your WP Dashboard

In addition to providing information about plugins that have available updates, the Plugins screen provides links to the plugin download pages and gives you the option to update the plugin instantly …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

Let’s start by learning how to update individual WP plugins.

Upgrade Individual A Plugin

Warning

We strongly recommend performing a full backup of your site files and database before upgrading your blog or website.

From your dashboard menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

You will be taken to the “Plugins” page. The list of plugins can run down your screen for a while, depending on how many plugins you have added to your site …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

(Plugins Section)

Practical Tip

Useful Info:

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 screen and enter a smaller number of items per page (all plugins show on the screen by default), then click Apply …

How To Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

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” box …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In The WordPress Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

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

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

WordPress provides smooth and simpler plugin updates, so that the process of updating your plugins takes place “behind the scenes” without leaving your Plugins area …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

Repeat this 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 update all plugins in one simple operation.

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

Bulk-Upgrading Plugins

To bulk-update WP plugins 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 …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Click the check box in the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select each plugin you want to update by checking its box …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside Your WP Admin Dashboard

In the Bulk Actions pull-down menu at the top of the page, select Update

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From The WordPress Admin Dashboard

Click Apply

How To Update And Delete Plugins

Your selected plugins will begin to update automatically …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

After all plugins have been updated, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to your Plugins area, or visit another section of your dashboard …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

All plugins are now up-to-date!

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

(When plugins on your site are up-to-date, update messages no longer show)

Now that you know how to update your inside the dashboard, it’s time to learn how to safely uninstall plugins from your WordPress blog or website.

How To Safely Delete WP Plugins

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

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

Warning

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 reinstall your site.

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins

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

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

If the plugin is active, then click on Deactivate before going any further …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your WordPress Dashboard

Next, click on Delete

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

A complete list of files belonging to the plugin that you are about to remove will be listed on your screen …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Your plugins and related files will be deleted …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Deleting Several WP Plugins At Once

You can bulk-delete all inactive plugins on your site, or select a combination of active and inactive plugins to be removed.

Useful Information

Note: To delete any plugins that are presently 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) …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

Once you have done this, choose Deactivate from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Click Apply

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

All selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

To delete all or some of the inactive plugins, go to the “Plugins” area and click on the Inactive link on the main menu …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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 …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins In The Dashboard

Once you have selected all the plugins that you want deleted, choose Delete from the Bulk Actions pull-down menu …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins From The WordPress Dashboard

Click Apply

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins

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 …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely From The WP Admin Dashboard

Your plugins will be deleted …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Managing WP Plugins – WordPress Tools

In addition to the methods shown above, you can install other WordPress plugins to manage your WordPress plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central

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 multiple plugins in one click …

Plugin Management For WordPress

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 update the plugin to the newest version ASAP.

What if you have multiple WordPress sites with the same plugin installed? One option, is to login to every site and then go through the plugin update process from that site’s dashboard. If you have to update plugins on multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite a while!

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

Here are just a few great WordPress management tools that are worth knowing about:

Jetpack Manage – Single WP Dashboard Management

Jetpack By WordPress.com  - Plugin For WordPress

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

Jetpack

(Jetpack 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 central dashboard.

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 laptop, tablet, or mobile phone.

Visit this site to download and use the plugin:

ManageWP

ManageWP.com

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

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

Visit this site to download the plugin:

WP Pipeline – Multiple WordPress Site Management Tool

WP Pipeline - Update All Your WP Plugins From From One Central Dashboard

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

WP Pipeline is very similar to ManageWP, but has a one-time license fee instead of monthly payments. It lets you control and organize your entire online WordPress presence and perform multiple upgrades from one single WP installation.

For more information about using this plugin, visit this site:

Congratulations! Now you know how to automatically upgrade and safely remove your plugins via your dashboard.

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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