How to Delete a WordPress Website?
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How to Delete a WordPress Website?

Did you want to wipe out your business WordPress website? You’ve come to the right place.

In this resource, you’ll learn how to delete a WordPress site – temporarily or permanently.

Deleting a WordPress site is not rocket science. If you know how to install a WordPress package, you can quickly tackle deleting a WordPress site – without learning to code or take complex maneuvers.

In this case – deleting a site doesn’t require additional measures. However, there is a difference between deleting a self-hosted WordPress site and one hosted on WordPress.com.

Let’s proceed to address how beginners can remove WordPress core altogether.

How to Delete a WordPress Website?

In this write-up, you’ll learn how to delete a self-hosted WordPress website and one hosted on WordPress.com.

In this case, practical steps may vary on WordPress.com compared to WordPress.org.

WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com

WordPress.org is the WordPress’ official resource – helping users download the WordPress ZIP package for manual installation.

Conversely, WordPress.com is a company that helps users create free accounts, set up a WordPress site, and experience how WordPress works in real scenarios. However, WordPress.com’s accounts come with limited functionality for WordPress users.

Note: Installing WordPress with a ZIP package from an official resource refers to a self-hosted WordPress site. On the other hand, WordPress.com helps users experience WordPress on a sub-domain.

Finally – let’s proceed to learn how to delete a WordPress website.

Delete a Self-Hosted WordPress website

Note: Make sure you’ve taken your site’s backup before you’re ready to proceed and delete your WordPress website.

Delete your Site’s Files in the Hosting File Manager

STEP 1 – Log into Hosting cPanel

Depending on Hosting companies, the cPanel interface may differ from one to another.

Sometimes, you can access a cPanel Login directly from a link. Conversely, you can log into the Hosting Admin Area and access a site’s cPanel area.

In this case, there are two ways to log into the Hosting cPanel area.

You can use Hosting’s web interface to log into cPanel options. However, you can also use an FTP client from a Desktop, such as File Zilla.

You can proceed to the next step once you’ve successfully logged into Hosting cPanel.

STEP 2 – Browse to the Public_HTML Directory

You can browse to the Public_HTML directory after successfully logging into Hosting cPanel.

Here, the Public_HTML directory helps users keep a WordPress site online. In simple words, everything present in the Public_HTML directory is accessible – depending on the server’s configuration.

In the Hosting cPanel options, find the File Management option. Once loaded, you can see directories created on the Hosting plan.

Here – you can see if the left panel indicates the Public_HTML directory.

In this regard, if you’re managing the Hosting Files with File Zilla, you should experience a different interface.

Once you’ve entered into Public_HTML, you can proceed to the next step.

STEP 3 – Remove all Files

Inside the Public_HTML directory, select all files by choosing options on the Top Bar – as shown in the screenshot below.

Delete a WordPress Website

Once selected, you can use the Delete option on the top bar.

Clicking the DELETE button displays a dialogue box. Here, you can also choose whether to remove files from the Trash.

Once appropriate options are set, proceed with the Trash option.

To this line, you’ve removed your site’s files from the Public_HTML directory. If you visit your site’s address or homepage, you should see a blank page now.

A blank screen shows you’ve successfully deleted your WordPress site, although the site’s database and usernames may need separate attention.

Once completed, you’re ready to proceed and take your next move.

STEP 4 – Create an Index File

As described above, your site’s address should now display a blank screen—or a list of the site’s files in the Public_HTML directory, if any—as shown in the screenshot below.

Delete a WordPress Website

You must create an Index file showing users appropriate messages about your site’s address. Once users land on the main page, you can let visitors know if your site is offline permanently or temporarily.

Let’s create a new Index file in the File Manager -> Public_HTML directory.

Inside the Public_HTML directory, the File option on the top bar helps users create new files.

Please create a new file naming it (index.html) in the dialogue box. Once completed, you can refresh the directory’s content by clicking the Go button – as shown in the screenshot below.

Delete a WordPress Website

Note: The interface may be slightly different from Hosting to Hosting. However, the basic procedure for taking steps is similar for most companies.

You should see the newly created (index.html) file under the Public_HTML directory.

Here – you should choose, edit, and save the file with an appropriate message for end users who visit your WordPress website.

In this case, use appropriate options on the Top Bar, such as Edit. Once completed, don’t forget to save changes at the end.

Note: Once completed, you can visit your site’s address and see the changes you’ve made.

Delete your Site’s Database

In Hosting cPanel options, look for an option That lists your site’s database(s).

Once you have listed your site’s database(s), you can manage database options with a point-and-click interface.

Here – you can proceed to remove your site’s database.

The same page also helps you delete your database’s users. Make sure you have removed your site’s database user.

De-index your Public_HTML Directory

As described above, de-indexing helps your site vanish from Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) – helping you stop users from finding your site’s pages with relevant search queries.

To de-index your site’s core directory, create a new Robots.TXT file, as shown in the above lines. You can also edit an existing Robots.TXT file – if any.

Once created, edit the file and save changes with the following code snippet inside the file.

User-agent: *
Disallow

Note: When creating a new file, ensure your Robots file has an extension of TXT.

Once completed, search engines like Google will crawl your site’s Robots.TXT file and de-index your site’s pages from search pages.

Remove Google Properties

For a WordPress site, Google properties refer to Google Search Console and Analytics.

In this case, Google Search Console helps webmasters improve site rankings. Similarly, Google Analytics is used to see a site’s traffic sources.

After you’ve removed your site’s files and database, you need to kill your site’s properties – too.

Let’s address the steps to remove Google Analytics and Search Console.

Once logged into your GSC account, click Settings on the left panel.

The next page shows your site added as a property. To proceed, click Remove Property and follow the instructions, as shown in the screenshot below.

Delete a WordPress Website

Similarly – you can log into your Google Analytics account and click Admin on the left panel.

The next screen helps you click on Property Settings – followed by clicking on Move to Trash Can on the next screen.

Note: To this line, you’ve successfully removed Google properties for your WordPress website. Make sure you have chosen your site from the list of available properties before you’re ready to click on Remove.

Remove your site’s records from the Web

Now – let’s learn how to wipe out your site’s records from the Internet.

Wayback Machine – the system stores websites’ information, screenshots, and historical changes over time and helps you see if your site’s data has been cached in the system.

In this case, head to Wayback Machine’s portal and enter your site’s address in the search bar. You can see a list of cached pages if your site’s data is stored in Wayback’s cache.

Here – you need to see nothing if you don’t want to expose your site’s data, screenshots, or historical changes on Wayback Machine.

Let’s proceed and learn how to ensure Wayback has removed your site’s data from its database.

After you have searched and confirmed your site’s data in Wayback’s system, you can contact system administrators for assistance.

In this regard, contact info@archive.org and let them know your site needs to be removed from the Wayback Machine’s database.

After reviewing several emails, I noticed your site was removed from Wayback’s records.

You can also change the Robots.TXT file on your site to disallow Wayback’s crawling bot from indexing your site.

In this case – disallowing Wayback’s crawling bots with a line of code helps you properly instruct Wayback’s crawling bots.

Here is the code snippet for the Robots.TXT file, which helps you disallow Wayback’s crawling bots from indexing your site’s data.

User-agent: archive.org_bot
Disallow: /

User-agent: ia_archiver
Disallow: /

Note: After submitting a removal request to info@archive.org, follow up until your site’s data is removed from the records.

Delete a WordPress site on WordPress.com

After you’ve logged into your WordPress.com account, the Settings option helps you manage your account settings.

Once clicked, you will see the option on the next page to close your account permanently, as shown in the screenshot below.

Delete a WordPress Website

The mentioned option helps users delete WordPress sites and close their WordPress.com account permanently.

After you’ve studied confirmation statements on the next screen, you can delete your account.

Please note that the action cannot be undone once you remove your WordPress.com account.

Having That clarified, once you’re ready and know the consequences, you can proceed by clicking the Close Account button at the end.

As shown in the screenshot below, clicking on Close account triggers a dialogue box where you can choose the following option to proceed.

Delete a WordPress Website

Ensure you’ve clicked the Delete a Site option in the dialogue box. The next page helps users export content to back up your site’s pages and posts.

The Export content button here can lead you elsewhere, where you can back up and export your site’s content.

On the other hand, you can delete your WordPress.com immediately if you don’t prefer backing up your site’s data.

Once clicked, a confirmation dialogue box appears on the screen. As shown in the screenshot below, you can follow the on-screen instructions to proceed and delete your WordPress.com account.

Delete a WordPress Website

In the end, clicking Delete Site initiates the deletion process. Once completed, the system redirects you to the home feed screen.

Here – you can confirm if the process went as usual and if your site has been deleted successfully.

On the left panel, click My Sites at the top corner. The option helps you see if your account includes WordPress sites.

The screenshot below shows that the page no longer shows an entry after we removed our WordPress.com site.

Delete a WordPress Website

To this line, you’ve successfully removed your site on WordPress.com.

Delete a WordPress website: Best Practices

  • Deleting your WordPress site wipes out everything. Users can’t access your site’s pages, and there is nothing. However, before you delete your WordPress site, taking backups helps you restore it to a new hosting plan if you need to do so.
  • There is a difference between deleting a site on WordPress.com and a self-hosted one. A self-hosted site based on the package from WordPress.org represents removing official core files on WordPress. On the other hand, removing a site on WordPress.com means managing the site’s files on the hosting company. In this case, users can’t access WordPress core files or directories. Instead, you can use the options on WordPress.com’s account to help you delete your sites from your WordPress.com account.
  • Remember – de-indexing a site is different from deleting it. In de-indexing, you can make your site’s data invisible from search engines. Conversely, deleting a site wipes out everything, from the site’s data to its database and media records.
  • After you’ve removed your WordPress site (permanently), removing its Google properties is mandatory. There is no point in keeping or managing a site’s Google properties if you’ve wiped out everything. In this case, Google properties include Search Console and Analytics.
  • If you’re using a page builder in WordPress, you should have exported your site’s templates before deleting your WordPress website. Page Builder Templates help you restore and design a new site in minutes if you’ve planned to start over from scratch. For example, after creating a site with Divi Builder, the export option helps you export Divi’s templates and restore them on a new site with the same design by using Divi’s point-and-click options in the WordPress dashboard.
  • When deleting a WordPress website, its files must be removed. However, removing your site’s records from the Internet is more critical. After removing your site’s files, making your site’s pages disappear from search engine pages is also mandatory.
  • Automated scripts in Hosting cPanel can also help users remove a WordPress website with point-and-click options. In this case, you may still need to kill or back up WordPress databases.
  • If you’ve used specific tools to back up your WordPress site, you will need to use the particular tools to restore your site to a new hosting plan. In this case, using different tools for the same tasks may create WordPress issues. For example, if you have used UpDraft Plus for backups, other plugins may fail to pick ZIP packages and restore your site correctly.

Summing up

If you know how to create a WordPress.com account, you can quickly delete a WordPress site in Settings.

Similarly, if you know how to set up a self-hosted WordPress site, deleting WordPress will be a matter of moments.

To delete a WordPress site, you should have access to the WordPress.com account. On the other hand – deleting a self-hosted WordPress site requires access to the Hosting -> cPanel options.

Lastly, WordPress backups help users safely delete a WordPress website. With a backup plan, you can quickly restore a WordPress site in a disaster.

For more information on managing, deleting, or migrating a WordPress site, ask your Hosting support professionals or let us know for one-time fixes, WordPress maintenance, and site backups.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why would users delete a WordPress site?

If removing a business’ identity is undeniable, deleting a WordPress site would become mandatory.

Users may delete WordPress sites if re-installing WordPress from scratch is undeniable for some reasons.

Also, if a site is experiencing issues or developing, WordPress deletion may become undisputable for administrators.

What should I do before deleting a WordPress website?

Taking your site’s backup is necessary if you’ve decided to delete your WordPress website.

A backup plan helps restore your site if you can proceed with the previous site’s data.

A backup plan helps once you have planned to remove WordPress for migration purposes – moving your site from one location to another.

How can you delete a WordPress.com site?

Yes – WordPress.com provides the option to delete a site.

Once logged into your WordPress.com account, you can delete a site in account Settings. In this regard, the WordPress dashboard may also provide an option to delete a site.

What’s the difference between deleting a WordPress.com and WordPress.org site?

WordPress.org and WordPress.com are different from each other yet provide similar functionality for WordPress users.

As described above, WordPress.org represents WordPress’ official resource, while WordPress.com refers to the Hosting Company That provides free WordPress accounts for beginners.

In WordPress.org, deleting a WordPress site requires logging into Hosting cPanel. On the other hand – WordPress.com has built-in options to remove a WordPress website from the account.

How can beginners delete a WordPress website?

Beginners can delete a WordPress site by removing its files from the Hosting Public_HTML directory.

Taking your site’s backup with a WordPress plugin is recommended before you perform removal procedures.

Once ready, log into Hosting -> cPanel -> File Manager or use File Zilla to log into Hosting – without leaving your PC desktop.

De-indexing a WordPress site and deleting permanently: What’s the difference?

Deleting a WordPress site permanently wipes out everything from the Internet. Deleting a site removes your site’s files from the Hosting account, database, and users.

On the other hand, de-indexing a site is a different Thing.

De-indexing a WordPress site hides its pages from search engines. However, users can still view its pages if they know its address.

To permanently delete a site, users must use options in the Hosting cPanel. Conversely – de-indexing a WordPress site requires changing the Robots.TXT file.

Can you recover a deleted WordPress site?

If you’ve planned to restore a WordPress site after deleting it, you can proceed to recover.

Simply put, taking your site’s backup helps you restore a WordPress site after you’ve deleted one.

Use a specific WordPress plugin for backup and restoration, such as Up Draft Plus.

How to delete a WordPress site without having access to the WordPress dashboard?

You can delete a WordPress site without having access to the WordPress dashboard by logging into Hosting cPanel -> File Manager.

In this case, you can also use an FTP client to help manage hosting directories on your desktop.

However, you’ll need access to the Hosting cPanel options to remove the WordPress database and users.

When should you delete your WordPress website?

You should delete your site under the following conditions.

  • If your business infrastructure doesn’t require a WordPress website – anymore.
  • If you’ve changed your brand, identity, or business name.
  • If you think your site’s content doesn’t reflect your business vision.
  • If you want to start over from scratch and build a new WordPress installation,
  • If your current site is affected by malware, is hacked, or needs maintenance.

What to do after you have deleted your WordPress website?

After you have deleted your WordPress site, you should remove your business instance of evidence from the Internet.

For example, remove your site’s analytics and search console properties, such as Google Analytics and Search Console. In the same manner, make sure you’ve de-indexed your site with the Robots.TXT file.

Similarly, remove your site’s social media profiles. In this case, deleting everything will help you wipe out your business infrastructure and the WordPress website.

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