WP TutorialIn a previous article, we explain what plugins are and how you can use plugins to easily enhance your site’s capabilities.

To read the article, go here: Using WP Plugins Extend Your Blog’s Features

In this tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping your WordPress plugins up-to-date, how to automatically update and uninstall plugins, and useful tools to help you better manage your plugins.

Why Some Of Your Plugins Need To Be Frequently Upgraded

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

Depending on how many plugins you use on your site, there will typically be new new update notices for WordPress plugins whenever new versions of WordPress are released.

The reason for this is because most WordPress plugins are created by external developers, so sometimes code in the newly-released WordPress version conflicts 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 quite proactive when it comes to making sure that plugins get updated when a new version of WordPress is released (if this is required). All you need to do on your end, is simply maintain your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon discover, is really simple to do.

Useful Information

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

The WordPress tutorial below explains how to automatically upgrade and delete plugins safely without requiring web coding skills.

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely – Tutorial

WordPress utilizes a number of different methods to notify you when plugins need updating.

For example, you can instantly see how many plugins are out-of-date from your Administration area simply by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, nine plugins are out of date and need updating …

How To Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

You can also view how many plugins need updating from your WP Administration Toolbar (the example below shows how many plugins should be brought up to date) …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins In Your WordPress Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins From The WordPress Dashboard

Let’s start by learning how to update WordPress plugins individually.

Upgrading Individual Plugins

Warning

Always make a complete backup of your site files and database before updating your blog or website.

You can get Backup Creator here. See my review of it here.

In your WP admin menu, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins From Your Dashboard

You will be taken to the “Plugins” section. The list of plugins can go down your page for some length, depending on the number of plugins you have added to your site …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

( Plugins Section)

Tip

Tips:

If you have too many plugins installed and would like to reduce the number of plugins showing on your page, then click on the Screen Options tab at the top of your Plugins area and type in a smaller number of items per page (all plugins show on the screen by default, i.e. “999”), then click the ‘Apply’ button …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Your Plugins area 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 “Search Plugins” function …

How To Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Locate the plugin that you want to update and click on the update now link …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

Repeat this process for any other 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 all plugins at the same time.

***

Now that you know how to upgrade individual plugins, let’s show you how to bulk-upgrade WP plugins.

Bulk-Updating Plugins

To bulk-upgrade plugins simultaneously using the automatic updating feature, go to the “Plugins” page and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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 …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

Click Apply

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

The plugins you have selected will begin to update automatically …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Once your plugins have been updated, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to your Plugins screen, or choose another option from the main menu …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Once your plugins are all 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) …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

You have updated all plugins on your site!

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

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

Now that you know how to update WP plugins, it’s time to learn how to uninstall plugins from your site.

Deleting Plugins

As part of good site management, it’s a good idea to remove plugins that you no longer need. This can help to decrease server resources and also help to reduce problems.

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

Warning

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 dashboard menu and select Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In The WP Dashboard

If the plugin is active, then click on Deactivate before continuing with your plugin deletion …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside The Dashboard

Click on Delete

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins In Your WP Admin Dashboard

If you would like to review a list of 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 …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

A complete list of files associated with the plugin selected for removal will be listed on your screen …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins

If you are absolutely certain that you would like to go ahead and delete the plugin files, click on the Yes, Delete these files button …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Inside The Dashboard

Your plugin(s) will be deleted …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

How To Safely Bulk-Delete Plugins

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

Important Info

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Once you have done this, specify Deactivate from the Bulk Actions pull-down menu …

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

Click the Apply button …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

The selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins From Your WP Admin Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

Click on the checkbox in the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select each plugin you want to delete by checking their individual boxes …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In Your WP Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

Click Apply

Updating And Deleting Plugins From The Dashboard

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 sure that you would like to proceed to the next step and delete all of the selected plugins …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your WordPress Dashboard

All selected plugins will be deleted …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely In Your WP Admin Dashboard

Managing Plugins

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

Plugin Central - WP Plugin

For example, Plugin Central is a Free WordPress plugin that improves the management of your plugins by allowing you to install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update in the Dashboard and also allows you to update many plugins at once with a single click of the mouse …

Plugin Central - WP Plugin

To learn more about this plugin, go here: Plugin Central

Managing Plugins On Multiple Sites

When a plugin update is released, the best practice is to update that plugin right away.

What if you have multiple sites using the same plugin? One option, is to login to your sites one by one and then update the plugin manually from that site’s own admin dashboard. If you manage multiple sites, this process can take quite some time to complete!

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

Below are just some WordPress management tools that are worth knowing about:

Jetpack Manage

Jetpack

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

Jetpack By WordPress.com

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

One of these features is “Manage”.

Jetpack Manage lets you manage your WordPress sites and plugins from a central interface.

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 phone.

Go here to download the plugin: Jetpack Manage – Single WP Dashboard Management

ManageWP.com – Update All Your Plugins From One Central Dashboard

ManageWP.com

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

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

Go here to download and use this plugin: ManageWP.com

WP Pipeline

WP Pipeline

(WP Pipeline lets you update all of your WordPress sites, plugins and themes from a single location)

WP Pipeline works in a similar way 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 single WordPress installation.

To learn more about this plugin, go here: WP Pipeline.com

Congratulations! Now you know how to update and delete plugins with no coding knowledge required.