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How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

In a separate blog post, we explain what plugins are and how you can use plugins to add new features and functionality to your website or blog without editing code.

You can view this article here:

In this tutorial you will learn why plugins need to be kept up-to-date, how to update and remove your WordPress plugins, and discover some plugin management tools.

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Why Your 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 discovered in older releases, 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 updates for WordPress plugins every.

This is because most WordPress plugins are created by third-party developers, so sometimes features in the newly-released WordPress version conflict with plugins that were developed and tested with a previous version. When this happens, conflicts can sometimes develop.

Fortunately, most WordPress plugin developers (and the WordPress developer community itself) are quite 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 on your end, is just maintain your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is very simple to do.

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

The WordPress step-by-step tutorial below explains how to automatically update and delete plugins safely without requiring web programming skills.

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard – Step-By-Step Tutorial

WordPress employs a number of different methods of letting users know when plugins need to be updated.

For example, you can see ‘at a glance’ how many plugins are out-of-date from your Admin area by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, you can see that nine WP plugins have older versions that need updating …

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

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

As well as 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 individually or in bulk …

Let’s start by learning how to upgrade individual plugins.

How To Upgrade Single A Plugin

We strongly recommend making a backup of your website before updating your website.

In your dashboard menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

You will be taken to the “Plugins” screen. The table of plugins can be quite long depending on how many plugins you have installed in your site …

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

Your Plugins section will now be reduced in size with a pagination feature added. You can find an installed plugin by scrolling through the pages or using the “Plugin Search” box …

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

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

Select the plugin that needs to be updated 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 with just “one click” without leaving your Plugins screen …

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

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Now that you know how to update WP plugins individually, let’s show you how to upgrade many plugins simultaneously.

Bulk-Updating WordPress Plugins

To update multiple plugins at the same time using the automatic update feature, go to the “Plugins” area and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

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

In the Bulk Actions drop down menu above the list of plugins, select Update

Click Apply

The plugins you have selected will automatically begin to update …

Once all plugin upgrades are finished, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to go back to your Plugins screen, or visit a different section of your dashboard …

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

All plugins are now up-to-date!

(When your site uses the latest version of all plugins, update icons disappear)

Now that you know how to update plugins, let’s take a look at how to delete plugins safely from your blog or website.

How To Remove Plugins

Occasionally, you may choose to remove WordPress plugins that you no longer need or are no longer using on your site. This can help to conserve resource usage and also helps to eliminate potential problems.

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

We strongly recommend creating 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 delete a plugin, go to your main menu and select Plugins > Installed Plugins

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

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

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

Next, click on Delete

If you want to browse all the files that will be deleted before going ahead, then click on the “Click to view entire list of files which will be deleted” link in the “Delete Plugin” screen …

The entire list of files associated with the plugin that you are about to remove will be listed on your screen …

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

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

Deleting Multiple WordPress Plugins Simultaneously

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

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, choose Deactivate from the Bulk Actions pull-down menu …

Click Apply

The 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 check box, or click on the checkbox next to the Plugin column header to select and delete all inactive plugins …

Once you have selected all 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 be displayed 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 sure that you would like to proceed to the next step and remove all of the selected plugins …

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

Managing WordPress Plugins – WordPress Tools

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

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central is a Free WordPress 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 Admin area and also allows you to update many plugins at once with one click …

To learn more about this plugin, go here:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

Whenever plugin updates are released, the best practice is to update the plugin as soon as possible.

What if you have multiple WordPress sites using the same plugin? Normally, you would need to login to your sites one by one and then update the plugin from that site’s own dashboard. With multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite some time!

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

Below are a couple of WordPress management tools you may want to check out:

Jetpack By WordPress.com

The Jetpack plugin is a multifunctional plugin for WordPress that offers users a wide range of features, allowing self-hosted WordPress site owners to access WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of things like stats reporting, automated social sharing, and many other great features.

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

One of these features is “Jetpack Manage”.

Jetpack Manage lets you manage multiple self-hosted WordPress sites and WordPress.com sites from one simple interface.

With Manage, you can update plugins, set plugins to automatically update, and activate or deactivate plugins on a site-by-site basis or all at once, whether you’re on your PC, tablet, or smart device.

Visit this site to download this plugin:

ManageWP.com

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

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

To download this plugin, visit this site:

WP Pipeline – WordPress Mass Control Plugin

(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 control and organize your entire portfolio of WordPress sites and perform multiple upgrades from a central WP installation.

To download and use the plugin, go here:

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

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