How to Uninstall a WordPress Plugin Properly

One of the main things people would do is install plugins if they are using WordPress. In fact, many WordPress users, especially beginners, install many different plugins on their websites and compare and check out which one works for them in the best way. With the development of WordPress websites, people come to realize rapidly that some of the plugins just cannot fit their needs. So, as a website owner, people need to promptly deactivate or delete those plugins. In the following article, we are going to discuss the importance and show people how to uninstall a WordPress plugin properly.

The Importance of Uninstalling a WordPress Plugin

On the marketplace, there are hundreds of thousands of WordPress plugins available to use. It is quite simple and user-friendly, and people enable to install any plugin on their WordPress websites and they will run like applications. Plugin authors take responsible for keeping the plugins safe and secure.

Since any plugin that people are using on their WordPress websites has potential risk, it is important for them to uninstall those WordPress plugins they do not want to use anymore.

Keeping those unnecessary files on the websites will increase the size of WordPress backup. As the result, people have to take more time to download or restore backups. Moreover, if their websites have too many unused plugins, website speed will become slower and slower.

Difference Between Uninstall and Deactivate a WordPress Plugin

Instead of deleting them permanently, many WordPress users deactivate the plugins that they do not want to use. If in this way, it is convenient for them to debug and bug fix since it maintains the configurations and settings in place. People can back to the previous status by reactivating the plugins. However, most of the time, people will no longer use those plugins.

Since it will still be used to run malicious code on websites, a deactivated WordPress plugin can still make people’s websites vulnerable. If people want to keep those plugins, we suggest them to take security measures by adding disabling PHP execution, Sucuri and other firewall protections. If they do not intend to reactivate them any time soon, it would be better to uninstall the plugins.

How to Uninstall a WordPress Plugin

WordPress is the easiest content management system that allows people to uninstall plugins from the admin area. Login to WordPress dashboard and go the Plugin page, people will see the list of currently installed plugins on their WordPress website. Active plugins are emphasized with blue background color and have a link below to deactivate them.

Inactive plugins have links below to activate, edit and delete. People can click on delete link if they want to uninstall the plugin. WordPress will ask people to confirm their delete operation. If people click on “Yes, delete these files”, then WordPress would remove plugin from the web server safely.

That’s all people have uninstalled a plugin from their WordPress websites. Besides, they can always download and reinstall those plugins.

Removing Extra Files

In most case, delete a WordPress plugin just cannot uninstall it completely, and they store files outside of the plugin folder. When people uninstall the plugin, those files will not be deleted at the same time.

People enable to connect to their websites by using FTP, and then go to /wp-content/ folder. Simply check and delete files stored by the plugin using a FTP client. Remember, WordPress backup plugins, sliders and gallery plugins will create and store data in the wp-content folder directly. Those files can be used as backups.

Many WordPress plugins utilize shortcodes to add things into pages and posts. When people deactivate or uninstall them, those shortcodes would become visible in their posts, like [pluginshortcode]. While people can disable shortcodes simply by adding ‘pluginshorcode’, ‘_return_false’ in their theme’s functions.php files or site-specific WordPress plugin. If people decide to use the plugin again, then they have to remove this code.

Finally, people need to clean up the WordPress database because some plugins will create their own tables in WordPress database. It can increase WordPress backup size if these tables have too much data. By using phpMyAdmin, people can delete those tables easily. But people have to be careful about making any other changes to the WordPress database.

We hope this article can help WordPress users learn how to uninstall a WordPress plugin properly.

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