Have you ever wanted to start your site from scratch ? Ever felt like to completely replace the website content and give a new fresh start ? Or are you just looking for testing your site with newer theme and plugins with completely fresh data ? Well it can be hassle for finding the best way to do it and this can be so true for the newcomers to the WordPress. Well in this article, we will guide you step by step on resetting your WordPress Site completely. Your website will look like a fresh installation by the end of this article. We have divided the article into two parts that will answer you why and how to reset your WordPress site.
Why would you want to reset your WordPress site ?
One would rarely be resetting the WordPress site for the reasons like rebuilding the site from scratch or removing the contents from the test site. It is commonly used by developers for testing the theme or plugins. However, the process is irreversible so, it is always a good idea to back up the site using some WordPress site backup plugin before resetting. UpdraftPlus, iThemes Security, etc. are some plugins that provides the backup services. Resetting WordPress site includes the process of removing all the database entries like posts, pages, comments, users, etc. and the added media files and themes/plugins and reverting the site back to its fresh installation state. However, you may partially or full reset your website as per your requirement.
Main reasons you would be resetting your website:
- Rebuilding the website.
- Website restore from a backup.
- Tidying up a test environment.
How to Reset your WordPress Site ?
Based on your expertise level you may either choose to reset your website manually or using a third party WordPress plugin. We will walk you through both of these process so, you could meet your goal on your journey to reset a WordPress Website successfully.
Manually Resetting WordPress Site
Beforehand you’ll need the access to the file system via some ftp client or cPanel and You will also need the access to your website’s database with full control. Try contacting your host provider about these details if you are unsure about these details:
Step #1: Couldn’t emphasis more on making a backup copy of the website in case you choose to revert your site back to its old state. Once the reset process takes place, there is no going back. Use some WordPress backup plugins to handle the task of Backing up the WordPress website.
Step #2: Connect your site via ftp and inside /public_html folder open the wp-config.php file. This file contains website database information. Locate your Website database name.
Step #3: Now, Login to your site cPanel and open the PhpMyAdmin option. This will open the list of all the existing database for your site. Find the one that you located earlier in wp-config.php file and open the database with that name.
Step #4: Opening the database will give you all the list of the tables inside. Select all the tables and Drop it. Now you will be left with the empty database.
Dropping all the tables inside the database will delete all the posts, pages, comments, users, etc from the site. Next we will be deleting all the Media files & Additional Plugins & Themes from the site.
Step #5: Now access the site via ftp and navigate to the /public_html/wp-content/uploads folder. This folder contains all the images and other files that you added. Select all the content inside and delete all the files, and folders inside uploads folder.
Step #6: Once media files has been deleted go to /public_html/wp-content/themes/ folder and delete all the unnecessary themes keeping except one that you tend to use.
Step #7: Finally, go to /public_html/wp-content/plugins folder and delete all the unnecessary plugins folders keeping only the ones that you tend to use in your site.
Earlier, we deleted all the database contents and selectively deleted the media files, themes & plugins from the site too. Deleting database contents will delete all the earlier settings from the site. So, we will need to run the initial setup process one more time. This will be the last step in manually resetting the WordPress site.
Step #8: Now, Open up your website URL in the browser. If you have properly followed all the previous steps properly, You will be introduced to the WordPress setup wizard with option to choose language settings for your website. Choose your language and follow all the setup wizard process.
Once Done, you’ll be presented with a fresh WordPress website.
Resetting the site using the plugin
The main differences between manually resetting your WordPress site and using some third party plugin is that, In manual process you need to access the database information from the wp-config file and search for that name in your PhpMyAdmin page and reset all the contents of that database. But using WordPress plugin you don’t need to run overall these hassles. All that needs to be done is click reset button, and all the database contents will be reset on the click of a button.
However, you’ll need to manually delete the media files, themes & plugin files. The process is the same as the above for removing these files.
We will be using WP Reset plugin by WebFactory Ltd and I personally recommend this plugin for you too as this plugin is one of the best reset tool. It is regularly updated to the WordPress repository, and it has a larger group of active users. However, you are free to use any reset plugins, the process should be self-explanatory on other plugins too. Else you might want to look at the plugin’s documentation for using the other reset plugins. Let’s break the reset process into following five steps:
Step #1: Login to your website Dashboard, and backup the site if necessary as the resetting process is irreversible.
Step #2: Go to Plugins > Add New. Search for the WordPress Reset keyword, now install and activate the WP Reset plugin by WebFactory Ltd from the search result.
Step #3: Once the plugin has been installed and activated, Go to Dashboard > Tools > WP Reset. You will be provided with the options page Instructions on consequences and results of using the plugin. If you are sure about all the instructions and warning on this page head below.
Step #4: Scrolling to the bottom gives you the option to Reactive current theme you are using, Reactivate WP Reset plugin & Reactivate all currently active plugins. Checking these options will save you the hassle of activating the themes & plugins by going the themes, and plugins page after resetting the site. This could be a time saver for you.
Step #5: And inside text field with Type in ‘reset’ placeholder text, type in reset text and click the Reset Site button.
All the database contents will be reset i.e. all the posts, pages, users, comments theme & plugin settings, etc will get deleted.
However, the media files, and the theme/plugin files will remain intact you will need to delete these files manually.
The bottom line is anyone can reset the WordPress site either manually or using third party plugins if you follow along these easy steps. Hope this article has been a helpful guide in achieving your goal to start a fresh new WordPress site. And it is always a good idea to have a site backup prior resetting your WordPress site as these process is irreversible.