So you really messed something up and need to delete a WordPress blog, but don’t know how?

Don’t feel bad, we’ve all done it before.

The story usually goes something like this…

You’re working away on your website, and you add a new plugin, or make a configuration change. Then all of a sudden, your website no longer looks like a website.

It might be something wrong with the appearance, or you might have an error message you can’t get rid of.

Either way, you’ve decided that you need to delete your current WordPress installation and start over with a new one.

There are 4 different options we’re going to cover in this article, and we’ll start with the easiest one first and save the hardest for last.

Note: With ALL options below, you should assume your data will be lost. These methods are just to help you delete everything on your site so you can start over again.

Option #1 Use the “WordPress Reset” Plugin.

I have to be honest and say that before today, I’d never given this plugin a try. But after testing it a couple of times, and seeing how simple it is, I decided I absolutely had to put it at the top of the list.

It’s important to note that the WordPress Reset plugin will only reset your database. So any changes that you’ve made to WordPress will be reset back to the default.

It won’t, however, touch any of the files on your server. If you installed themes or plugins, they will remain in tact, but will be disabled when you run this plugin.

So here’s the procedure…

1. Log in to WordPress at, http://www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin

wordpress-login

2. Click on, “Plugins” > “Add New” in the left-hand column.

wordpress-plugins

3. Type in, “WordPress Reset” into the search field.
4. Click on the, “Search” button.

wordpress-reset-plugin

5. Click, “Install Now” right below the plugin name.
6. Click, “OK” when prompted to confirm the installation.

wordpress-reset-plugin

7. You’ll see a message saying that the plugin was successfully installed.
8. Click the, “Activate” link to activate the plugin.

wordpress-reset-plugin-activate

9. Go to, “Tools” > “Reset”.
10. Type the word, “Reset” in the confirmation field.
11. Click the, “Reset” button.
12. Click, “OK” to confirm.

delete-wordpress-blog

13. After the reset is complete, you’ll be taken back to your WordPress dashboard.

*Note that your WordPress Username and Password will still be the same.

You now have a blank slate to start over again with WordPress.

Option #2 Uninstall WordPress With A Script

If you use a common web hosting provider such as: Hostgator, Bluehost or GoDaddy, then more than likely, you can uninstall WordPress through the cPanel interface options they provide.

The three most popular “one-click” WordPress installation programs are, QuickInstall, SimpleScripts Fantastico. All are very straightforward to use and allow you to easily delete a WordPress blog with the click of a button.

We’re not going to demonstrate the use of all of them, but I will go through the process of using QuickInstall to uninstall WordPress on HostGator.

Just follow along…

1. Log in to your server’s control panel.

cpanel-login

2. Scroll down to the “Software/Services” section.
3. Click on the “QuickInstall” icon

cpanel

4. You should then see the main “QuickInstall” page appear.
(Note – It should look like the image below, only yours may only have fewer WordPress installations on the right)
5. Then, click on the “X” in the bottom right-hand corner of the box WordPress blog you want to delete.
6. Finally, click on, “Uninstall” when prompted.

quickinstall

After you do that, you should be good to go, and can install a completely fresh version of WordPress on your domain using QuickInstall again if you wish.

The process for using SimpleScripts or Fantastico to delete a WordPress blog should be very similar to to QuickInstall and easy to figure out.

If you have any questions about those two, please ask in the Forums, and I’ll be happy to answer them.

Option #3 Delete A WordPress Blog Through The cPanel Interface

This option is still quite easy to do as it doesn’t involve special, third-party software and can be accomplished with the click of a mouse. We’ll be working again in the cPanel interface, so let’s go there and get started.

1. Log in to your server’s control panel.

cpanel-login

2. Scroll down to the “Files” section.
3. Click on the, “Files Manager” icon.

go-to-file-manager

4. First, make sure to the “public_html” folder is selected on the left.
5. Then, double-click the folder for the domain you want to delete on the right.

Note: If you only have one domain on a shared hosting account, your domain files will all be located in the “public_html” folder, and you should therefore select all of the files and folders located there. If you’re not sure whether or not a certain file belongs to WordPress, you can check here.

cpanel-file-manager

6. Click on the, “Select All” button above the right-hand column.
7. Make sure all of the files on the right are selected.
8. Click the, “Delete” button at the top of the page.

file-manager-select-files

9. Confirm that the files to be deleted are correct.
10. Click the, “Delete File(s)” button in the bottom, right-hand corner of the window.

file-manager-confirm-delete

And you’re done! All of the files that WordPress installs have been deleted, and you’re free to reinstall WordPress however you’d like.

Option #4 Delete Your Website Files Through An FTP Client

The last options will be a little more complex for some because it requires the setup of an FTP client. I’m not going to cover the details of installing such software, but I’d recommend FileZilla to get the job done.

After you install the client on your computer, you’ll have to get the configuration settings from your hosting provider. Then, once you have the client connected to the server, just do the following.

1. Select the folder of the domain you want to delete on your server.
2. In the lower server window, select one of the files and then CTRL-A or CMD-A on a Mac.
3. Right click on the selected files and choose, “Delete” from the menu.
4. Click on the, “Yes” button when asked to confirm the deletion.

filezilla-delete-wordpress-blog

 

And you’re done!

If you’re using this option to delete a WordPress blog, you’re completely ready to upload your new WordPress files via FTP and then go through the install.

Good luck!

In Conclusion

As you can see, you have many options if you need to delete WordPress.

As stated in the beginning of this tutorial, the first one is the easiest, and the last the most difficult.

Really, they’ll all work equally well. You just need to select the one that’s easiest for you.

Your Turn

Let us know which option you picked and why. Then tell us how it went for you. Did it go smoothly, or did you run into some bumps along the way.

And as always, if you have any specific questions about this topic, please don’t hesitate to ask them in the forums.

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Comments

14 Responses

  1. Thanks! I’m glad you like it.

    Feel free to post any questions that you might have, either here or in the forums.

  2. What if you want to uninstall WordPress and start over but you want to keep the blog posts. Would you have a suggestion for the best way to do that?
    I have been trying to fix a problem where I no longer have sufficient permissions to access my dashboard and some other features that an admin should be able to access. I have been given some things to try in the WordPress support forum but none have worked. I feel this might be the only option left since I’ve had this issue for quite a while now.

    1. Hi Nanette,

      Thanks for your great question! I’ve been there before, and I’m sure you’re really frustrated.

      Since this is more of a technical issue, can I get you to post your question in the forums? It’ll be much easier to troubleshoot it there, and will be a good resource for others with the same problem in the future.

      Thanks so much!

      Todd

  3. I have been struggling to follow along with a YouTube video instructing how to set up a website. Things kept happening that I didn’t understand, his screen didn’t look like my screen, buttons weren’t where they should be, and on and on. So tonight I decided to just give up and start over. So I googled “What’s the best way to start over on a Word Press site?” and your site came up first. So I looked it over, easily used the first option, and now I have a nice clean slate to mess up again as I try to set up my website. Thanks for making the reset easy. I really needed something to go right!

  4. thanks so much for all your help! you really know a lot about websites and un-building them! but i did find a slightly easier way of deleting a site. i’m not sure if this only applies to updated versions of wordpress but try and see!: first do to dashboard, then go down to tools, hover or click tools button, there should be a list that appears below the word “tools”, on the list find “delete site” then a button will appear that says “delete my site permanently” please click on that only if you are sure, that will send you an email, you must click on the link in the email in order to finish and completely delete a site, p.s. make sure you look at your site’s link title to make sure that’s the one you really wish to delete!

  5. Thank you. The uninstall script makes me embarrassed of how I had been doing it before. Aaargh! Thank you.

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Todd
Todd has been building his own websites for ten years, and now wants to help others do the same. He believes that anyone can make a website with a little help, and is on a mission to simplify the process for you. More...

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