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Cleaning House: The Process of Deleting Your WordPress Blog

July 2, 2024

Felipe Gallo

“Cleaning house” in the digital world means reducing clutter and organizing your online profile. You may want to simplify your digital life, like cleaning up a cluttered room. Do it by eliminating accounts you don’t use or want. 

It can be a more permanent answer for your WordPress blog. This means deleting your blog and taking it down from the internet. It may be necessary for several reasons. Some reasons are a change in direction, a desire for a new start, or the simple fact that you no longer need the blog.

Are you planning to reduce your digital footprint? Say no more! If you are thinking of doing so, this guide will show you how to delete a WordPress blog strategically.

Now, let’s get started.

Why use WordPress for blog creation?

WordPress is a user-friendly, flexible, and powerful platform. It enables anyone to create a blog that looks professional and functions properly without requiring substantial technical knowledge or breaking the bank. These characteristics make it an obvious favorite among bloggers.

In fact, WordPress runs 42.7% of all websites on the internet, making it the world’s most famous content management system. Also, it runs 14.7% of the world’s top websites. 

Amazing right? 

creating-wordpress-blog
Source: HubSpot

It is just like choosing online certifications that pay well. They contain all the characteristics, and you can achieve something that returns your investment.

Why delete WordPress blog content?

There are different reasons why people are learning how to delete a WordPress blog. Most of the time, these things happen:

Shifting focus 

A blogger’s goals or hobbies can change over time. They might change their focus to a different niche or topic, making their old material useless. They can start with a blank page by removing the old blog.

Want to start over

The blogger may feel that their old posts need to show their current style or level of knowledge. They may want to create a new blog with a better look and feel. Getting rid of the old posts keeps their brand image uniform and transparent.

No longer needed 

A blog may have done what it was meant to do. For instance, it could have been a personal project documenting a trip or event. The blogger might delete the post once that journey ends because it is no longer critical.

Concerns about privacy

As time passes, a blog may contain personal details or thoughts that the writer no longer wants the public to see. By deleting the material, the writer can keep control of their online presence.

Security concerns

Bloggers may sometimes delete their posts because they are worried about security. For instance, if they think their blog has been hacked or stolen, they might need to delete the posts to ensure their data is safe.

Website maintenance

It takes time and work to keep a blog up to date. People who blog might delete their blogs if they aren’t using them, which will reduce their online profile and digital footprint.

WordPress Under Maintenance

Source: WPBeginner

Keep in mind that many writers will think about other options before deleting their blog posts, such as:

  • Pausing the blog: This lets them take a break from writing blogs without removing all of their work.
  • Setting the blog to private: This prevents everyone from seeing the content, but the writer can revisit it later or share it with a small group.

When you archive a blog, you save a copy of its content somewhere else for safety, even if the blog itself is no longer open to the public.

Ultimately, it’s up to the person who wants to delete information from their WordPress blog. Knowing why they did it can give you a better sense of the blogger’s intentions and the situation in which they chose.

delete-a-wordpress-blog

Source: Avada

Are you still choosing to delete your WordPress blog? If so, let’s proceed to the step-by-step process.

Before you begin

There are several important reasons why it is essential to create a backup of the content of your WordPress blog (posts, pages, comments, and media) before deleting it:

  • Safeguarding your work: Your blog’s content represents the time and effort you have put into creating valuable material. It is important to have a backup so you don’t lose any posts, pages, or comments you have written.
  • There is always the possibility of a change of heart: It is possible even when making arrangements with the greatest intentions. If you have a backup, you will be able to restore your blog at a later time. It is if you decide you missed it or want to reread the content you posted before.
  • Protecting recollections and documents: Your blog may contain personal experiences, creative works, thoughts, and ideas over time. Having a backup gives you the ability to keep these memories safe or revisit them at a later time.
  • Using content in other places: Some of your created content could be useful for future initiatives, even if you delete the blog. This allows you to retrieve and maybe reuse your well-written pieces. With a backup, you can quickly recover and reuse your well-written articles or media on other websites.
backing-up-a-wordpress-blog

Source: Elementor

Different backup methods

You can back your WordPress blog material in two primary ways, which are as follows:

  • Utilizing backup plugins: WordPress provides a wide variety of backup plugins. You can install it on your blog as part of its platform. These plugins can do a lot of things. They can automate the process. It can also generate backups of your database and files at predetermined intervals.
  • Manual export: If you would like to have greater control over your content, you have the option to export it manually. As part of this process, you will export your posts, pages, comments, and media assets directly from the dashboard of your WordPress account. Even though this method requires a more hands-on approach, it allows you to select which content to back up.

Before you delete your WordPress site, you should think about the alternatives. It might be more suitable for your requirements:

  • You can pause the blog: You can pause it if you are concerned about completely deleting it or want to take a break. In this case, it may be necessary to cease the production of fresh material or terminate any hosting subscriptions (for self-hosted blogs). By doing so, the blog will remain accessible but no longer require any active upkeep. If you so choose, you can always restart it later.
  • Configuring the blog to be private: This option allows you to restrict blog access to the general public. You need not worry about altering your content since only authorized users with login credentials or a password can read it. This is a handy feature if you wish to save your work for reference or to share it with a particular set of individuals.

The deletion process: a step-by-step guide

Whether you have a self-hosted WordPress site or a blog hosted on WordPress.com, two primary scenarios can occur when you delete a WordPress blog.

deleting-a-wordpress-blog

Source: WPBeginner

Self-hosted WordPress (users with their own hosting and domain)

Accessing your hosting control panel

  • You should log in to the control panel that your web hosting company provides (cPanel, Plesk, etc.).
  • In most cases, you can enter your login information by going to a URL your hosting company provided.

Locating your WordPress files and database

  • You can find the portion of your control panel that deals with managing files (for example, “File Manager” in cPanel or something similar).
  • To access your WordPress files, navigate to the directory where you keep them, typically the public_html or www directory.

Deleting WordPress files using FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

One of two choices is available here:

  • Option 1: Use the File Manager: Some control panels have a built-in file manager that enables you to remove files within the interface. Choose all WordPress files and folders within the directory and then delete them permanently.
  • Option 2: Use a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) client: If you want more control over your hosting space, consider using a dedicated FTP client like FileZilla. If you require a backup, download all the files and folders to your personal computer and then delete them from the server.

Deleting the WordPress database

  • To access the database management section, return to your control panel and look for it (e.g., “MySQL Databases” in cPanel).
  • You will need to identify the connected database to your WordPress installation. Your username or website is usually the name of this database.
  • You should select the database and choose the option to remove it permanently.

Wordpress.com hosted blogs

Logging in to your Wordpress.com account

You can log in to your WordPress.com account associated with the blog you want to remove. Go to https://wordpress.com/ and enter your login information.

login-wordpress

Source: Jetpack

Navigating to the appropriate settings section

Once you have successfully logged in, click on your dashboard. The precise location of the deletion option may be slightly different based on any modifications made to the layout or theme. Still, you can locate it under the “Settings” or “Tools” area of the interface. Search for alternatives that mention “Delete Site” or other phrases with a similar meaning.

Initiating the blog deletion process (may involve confirmation steps):

  • Select the “Delete Site” option, and then follow the instructions on the screen.
  • If you permanently delete your content, WordPress.com will ask you to decide and may provide you with the option to export your content.

Important note: You must delete files and databases. This is to follow the instructions provided by your particular hosting provider. Although the broad methods described above guide you, you should consult their documentation. You can also support resources to get specific instructions tailored to your control panel.

After deletion (optional considerations)

After deletion, there may be a few further actions to consider. It will depend on the circumstances surrounding your hosting:

Self-hosted WordPress

  • Cancellation of Domain Name: If you have a different domain name registrar and have used a custom domain name for your blog (for example, yourblog.com), you may need to terminate your domain name registration if you no longer need it. You must contact the domain name registrar and follow their cancellation processes to do this.
  • Hosting plan: If you were utilizing a paid hosting plan, especially for your WordPress blog, and you do not have any other websites hosted on that plan, you should consider canceling the plan if it is no longer required.

WordPress.com-hosted blogs

Following the deletion of your site, you will not need extra procedures because WordPress.com is responsible for hosting your blog.

General considerations

  • Visibility in search engines: Although your blog’s material will no longer be available, it may take some time for search engines to remove it entirely from their listings in their indexes. This procedure can change depending on how frequently search engines crawl and update their indexes.
  • Backups from Third Parties: If you have utilized any backup services (other than those provided by your hosting provider), it is best that you manually delete any backups of your WordPress blog that those third parties created.

Clear out your digital footprints effectively

Deleting a WordPress blog can be an effective method for clearing out your digital footprint or beginning a new chapter in your life. The information in this guide has given you the knowledge necessary to successfully remove the content from your blog, regardless of whether you are self-hosted or using WordPress.com. 

It would help to remember that creating a backup of your stuff is essential before you delete it. Having this precaution in place assures that you will not lose valuable work or later regret your decision.

complete-Wordpress-blog-deletion

Source: Fixrunner

After the deletion procedure, it is essential to remember that it may take some time for search engines to erase your blog from their listings database. The frequency with which search engines crawl and update their indexes will determine how quickly this removal happens. Be patient and give them some time to catch up with the deletion you made.

This is the final step: Take care of any backups you might have stored with third-party providers. These backups may continue to exist even after you remove your blog from the site where you stored it. You should search for and delete any backups stored with these external services to guarantee complete removal.

If you follow these procedures and consider these things, you can successfully erase your WordPress site and effectively clean up your house. This approach will streamline your internet presence and allow you to proceed in a manner that is appropriate to you.

Felipe Gallo

Felipe Gallo

Felipe Gallo is the Partnerships Team Lead at uSERP. He’s been involved in all things marketing for over 6 years, founding his own agency and working with a wide variety of clients. He is passionate about music and hopes to open his own academy some day.