Although Wordpress is one of the most stable website platforms out there – like any other software product – it is not perfect. At some point, it’s possible that you will run into an issue that demands a complete reinstallation of the core WordPress platform.
There are several reasons why you might need to uninstall WordPress and reinstall it. For example, you might encounter errors that are impossible to solve like a stuck MYSQL table, a corrupt file (that you aren’t able to identify), a persistent virus, and others.
The best course of action in such a situation is to start over with a blank canvas. This process needs to be done carefully to make sure that your website’s content remains intact.
This article should help users learn how they can uninstall WordPress and install a fresh version.Below you will find simplified explanations of this process that should help you carry out the process without hassle.
Before learning how to reinstall WordPress, you need to figure out why you should do it in the first place. It is crucial to understand what cases require uninstalling WordPress and what problems could be fixed through other methods. This will save you a lot of time and effort.
The most common reasons why people choose to uninstall WordPress are:
Once you’ve decided what stands behind your decision, it’s time to learn how to uninstall WordPress.
Before going further with making changes to your system, you should create a backup. This backup can keep you away from trouble in case something goes wrong with reinstalling WordPress.
You can use a WordPress plugin that lets you create a backup and import it to your new system once it’s installed. Don’t just rely on a plugin or backup program, though; always store your backup files in a secondary source, like Dropbox, Google Drive, or your computer.
Even though you won’t need this secondary backup for the actual WordPress reinstallation process, it’s best to have it near. Once you back up the site, you can move on to the next step.
Your website content is probably the most important part of your site. Before starting to uninstall WordPress, create an export file from your Dashboard. This file will contain all the content included on your current site: posts, pages, tags, and even comments.
You will restore most of your original WordPress site using this file, so pay tremendous attention to it. In order to create an export file, follow these steps:
1. Go to your WordPress Dashboard
2. Navigate to Tools
3. In the Export section, select the content that you want to export and hit Download
Move the filetoa safe, accessible location.
To uninstall WordPress, you will also need to download your existing wp-content folder. This folder contains your website’s plugins, media files, and themes. You are going to need all these files when you reinstall WordPress. This step is a little more complicated than the first.
You need to use an FTP client in order to access and download the wp-content folder. Any file manager like that found in cPanel should work well too. Either way, you need to reach this folder and hit download. Again, store it safely until it’s time to use it.
If there are other folders you added manually to your WordPress root folder for some reason, you might want to back up every file and folder in your WordPress root folder, just in case.
Knowing that all your files are safe, you can uninstall WordPress completely.
If you used a 1-click installer to install WordPress in the first place, you might be provided a 1-click option to uninstall WordPress somewhere on your hosting control panel.
If not, you will have to delete all the files in the WordPress root folder (usually public_html) as well as remove the MySQL database.
To remove the database, go to your hosting control panel account, log in, and navigate to MySQL Databases. Not all control panelsare the same and you will have to find your way around the platform provided by your web host. Find the option to remove it and confirm.
The next step is to create a fresh database for your new WordPress installation.
Once you reach the New Database page, scroll down to “MySQL Users” and create a new user. This user should be added to the database you’ve just created. To do so, click on the “Add user to database” option in the lower part of the page.
Obviously, you need to download a fresh copy of WordPress from the official website. Unzip the archive in a location on your computer. The respective folder will be used for the WordPress reinstallation.
Use an FTP client to upload the folder on your website. Navigate to your website and WordPress will ask you to provide some database information. This is the step where you have to be careful – provide the correct name of the database, the username and the password that you created during the previous step.
Check the information thoroughly and then proceed with the installation. If you did everything correctly, a confirmation message will pop up and you can hit “Run Install”. Then, you can just wait until the installation is complete.
Once the installation process is finished, you need to restore your website’s wp-content folder. Use your FTP client to navigate to the wp-content folder of your new WordPress installation and re-upload the wp-content folder than you saved in Step 3.
To import your posts and pages, navigate to Tools in your Dashboard and look for the Import ribbon. Under the WordPress section, click Install Now and select the files from the previous steps.
WordPress will deal with everything else using the in-built importing tool. Hit “Run Importer” and your website should begin importing the content. Wait until the files are completely uploaded on your site.
Finally, once your content is up and your settings are ready to go, you should direct your attention towards plugins. You will need to reactivate your plugins one by one.
After you uninstall WordPress, each plugin has to be activated individually. This is probably the most time-consuming task, but it is the safest way to make sure that your website will work properly.
If you want to reinstall WordPress without touching the database, you can use an FTP program to do so. The process is much easier in this situation: you need to download the latest version of WordPress, extract the files from the ZIP document, upload the content and you’re set.
Here’s how the basic process looks:
1. Head to WordPress.org, where you can download the version of WordPress that you want to install. The page should look like this:
2. Wait until the download is completed and proceed to unzip the file. Remember to delete the wp-content folder from this set of fresh WordPress files. It is crucial to delete this folder because otherwise it will overwrite your original wp-content folder, with all your existing plugins and other content.
3. Upload the remaining files to the original root WordPress folder. Overwrite the files that you want to replace. This is the final step and your website should be ready to use.
This article has covered the steps to uninstall WordPress in a simple manner that can help anyone, regardless of how tech-savvy they are. If you follow each step carefully, your newly-installed WordPress should work without any issues.
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