It is important to keep all your WordPress plugins updated to the latest version to get the new features and security patches for your WordPress website. The developers make constant upgrades to their plugins to benefit the users, enhance performance, add new features, and improve its security. There are several possible ways to update plugins on your WordPress website. So let’s see all the possible ways and how it needs to be done here in this article.
Before updating any plugins on WordPress check out the following.
- Before updating any plugin on your WordPress, make sure to have a backup of your WordPress Data, in case if something goes wrong.
- Make sure whether the plugin is stable, if not wait until it gets a stable update.
- Ensure whether the update of your plugin is compatible with the version of your WordPress.
- Check the WordPress support forum about the plugin and what are the issues faced by the users after they update.
- If you have updated the plugin and it starts misbehaving, then rollback WordPress plugins to the older version as soon as possible.
Ways to Update Plugins in WordPress
There are 2 possible ways to update plugins on WordPress and they are
- From Dashboard
- Manually via the FTP
Update Plugins in WordPress from Dashboard
If there is any update on any plugins or WordPress itself, you will get a numbered icon (orange colored) near the update section (both WordPress and Plugin updates) and the Plugin section (only for plugins updates).
From Update Section From your WordPress Dashboard, click on Updates from the left panel.  On the updates page, you can see all the updates available for your WordPress.  Scroll down to the Plugins section, select the plugin which you wish to update.
Note: Check the select all check box to select all the plugins that are available for update. Click on Update Plugins and this will update all the available plugins.
From Plugins section From the WordPress Dashboard, click on the Plugins section.  Choose Installed plugins to view all the available plugins.  The plugin with the update will have a text below the plugin name stating “There is a new version of (plugin name) available” quoted in yellow.  In the Quoted line, you can see Update Now highlighted in blue.  Click on it to Start updating the plugin.
In order to update multiple plugins at a time, then Check the boxes near Plugins that you wish to update.
Note: Check the box near the plugin title to select all the available plugins. Choose Update from the dropbox above the list of plugins.  Click on Update to start updating multiple plugins at a time.
Update Plugins in WordPress Manually via the FTP Open the FTP of your WordPress site.  Go to Plugins folder from the FTP (Public >> wp-content >> Plugins).  Inside the plugin folder, you can see all the available plugin folders.
Note: You can remove and add the plugin folder you are about to download directly, but in case if the updated plugin makes some error you should roll back to the old version. Instead, we are making a slight detouring to make the process safer and replaceable. Rename the Plugin folder to the Plugin folder old (For example: Contact Form 7 to Contact Form 7 Old).  Now go to the plugin page and download the updated plugin file.  The plugin will be available in the Zip format.  Extract the downloaded zip file.  Copy the Plugin folder from the extracted file and paste it into the wp-content >> Plugins folder.  Once pasted, you can see the plugin updated to the latest version.
Once all done and if the plugin works fine, then remove the old folder from the plugin. In case if the plugin causes any error or trouble then remove the newly added plugin folder and remove the word old from the renamed folder.
These are some of the possible ways to update WordPress plugins safely. There are also several other complicated ways to update Plugins on WordPress using programming and via WP-CLI which is possible but not preferred. Even users with a high level of knowledge on this will stammer at times, so it is better to go with the above-mentioned ways to update any of the free, paid, or even third-party plugins. If you have any queries make use of the comments section below.