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How to Permanently Delete a WordPress Site From the Internet

Recently, one of our readers asked if it was possible to permanently delete a WordPress site from the internet.

Simply deleting your WordPress installation does not completely remove it from the internet.

In this article, we will show you how to permanently delete a WordPress site from the internet.

Permanently delete a WordPress site from Internet

When and Why Permanently Delete a WordPress Site From the Internet

Sometimes, you may need to completely remove a WordPress website from the internet. You can simply delete WordPress files from your server, which will make your website unavailable.

However, it may still appear in the search results, cached snapshots, and the Wayback Machine (a library archive of the web).

It is quite challenging to remove all traces of a website from the internet. There are thousands of websites that aggregate content from other sites, publish screenshots, and offer statistics and comparisons.

With the steps highlighted in this article, you can make it difficult to find your deleted website and its content.

Please note that this article is about deleting your self-hosted website. See our guide on the difference between self-hosted site vs. blog.

If you want to delete a blog, then see this article on how to delete your blog.

Having said that, let’s take a look at how to properly and permanently delete a WordPress site from the internet.

Permanently Deleting a WordPress Site from the Internet

Here are the steps you can take to properly delete a WordPress site and make it difficult to find.

Step 1: Back Up Your WordPress Site

Backup your WordPress site

The first thing you need to do is to create a complete backup of your WordPress site.

Even though you want to delete your site completely, you should still make a backup.

This will come in handy in case you change your mind in the future or want to access a piece of content that you have already deleted.

Step 2: Delete Your WordPress Files

Now, you need to delete WordPress files stored on your server. Deleting these files will erase WordPress software and your themes, plugins, images, and other media files.

You can do that by visiting your WordPress hosting account’s dashboard. Upon login, locate and click the ‘File Manager’ icon.

Go file manager in cPanel

File Manager provides a web-based interface to manage files stored on your server. You need to go to the root directory and delete all files.

You can also delete your WordPress files using an FTP client. If you are unfamiliar with FTP, then take a look at our beginner’s guide on using FTP.

Step 3: Block Search Engines Using Robots.txt

Now that you have deleted your website, it is time to block search engines from crawling your website.

You’ll use the robots.txt file to tell search engines that you don’t want your pages to be crawled.

Remember, that robots.txt file is just a directive. Most search engines respect it, but some lesser-known crawlers may completely ignore it. Don’t worry, we will show you how to deal with those as well.

First, you will need to create a new robots.txt file using the File Manager in cPanel or FTP.

After creating the file, you need to edit it and add the following lines:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /

These two lines disallow all user agents (crawlers like Googlebot) from accessing all URLs under your domain name.

Step 4: Removing Content From Search Engines

Even though your content does not exist anymore, search engines may keep showing it for some time.

Search engines understand that websites can go down due to technical faults. This is why they keep showing the content for a while, hoping that your website will come back.

You will need to explicitly tell search engines that your content is no longer available and it is removed permanently.

The easiest way to do this is by using the .htaccess file. You will need to create a new file in your website’s root directory and name it .htaccess.

Next, you need to edit the .htaccess file and add this code inside it:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/robots.txt
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www\.example\.com$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ - [L,G]

Don’t forget to replace with your own domain name.

This code will redirect all requests to your website and show a 410 error. However, it will allow crawlers to access your robots.txt file.

410 error on a website

Despite taking all the steps, this process can still take some time. You can speed it up further by submitting a cache removal request.

Removing Website Snapshots from Wayback Machine’s Wayback Machine is the world’s largest archive of websites. It crawls and stores cached versions of billions of web pages.

Anyone can visit Wayback Machine and look for cached snapshots of any website.

Wayback Machine

The best way to permanently remove your website from Wayback Machine is by contacting and requesting them to remove snapshots of your content.

Removing your website from Wayback Machine by emailing will ensure that your past snapshots are never included again.

Even when your domain registration has expired and transferred to a new owner, will not enable archiving for that domain ever again.

That’s all. We hope this article helped you learn how to permanently delete a WordPress site from the internet. In case you want to start a different website, check out our guide on how to start a WordPress blog for detailed instructions.

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Reader Interactions

16 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. I have two sites hosted by Bluehost. Can I delete the one site without causing problems on the second site?

    • Yes, you should be able to delete one site without causing problems on your other site.


  2. I have more than one site on my blog. I want to delete just one site, but I’m afraid that if I go and press delete in one site it will delete my other sites also. Please help…

  3. Nice guide ! but when i want to delete permanently my site, i will also shut down this hosting (it cost money), so where to put robot.txt and htaccess ?

    • If you are removing your domain and hosting then you wouldn’t need to worry about the robots.txt step if you wanted.


  4. RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www\.example\.com$ [NC]

    When you say replace with your own domain are you still leaving the \.com$ ?

    • You would replace the .com only if your domain did not end in .com. If your domain ends in something like .net you would replace the .com.


    • Hey Paul,

      No, we didn’t. Once you have uninstalled WordPress it wouldn’t be possible for others to access the database by visiting your website. However, if you want to drop the database, make sure you first create a backup before deleting it.


  5. Hello, after delete wp on my old site and If I redirect it another new domain than what’s to be happened, because old domain had some reputation or popularity. Thanks

  6. Isn’t google itself check if site is no longer available then remove all the indexed links?

    • Yes but if you just deleted the files your site will return 404 error which means your page is not found. Search engines will keep crawling back to see if it has come back online. On the other hand with 410 error you explicitly tell search engines that these pages are gone forever.


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