After installing WordPress, it is natural for anyone to install the plugins. The plugins help to add more impressive features and gain greater control over the sites. In course of time, when both the site and the site owner’s skills expand, certain plugins prove to be useless. Thus, those unnecessary plugins should better be deactivated and deleted from the site.

Let us go through this blog post to learn how to uninstall a WordPress plugin properly and why is it important to do so?

The importance of uninstalling the WordPress plugins

Before discussing the proper way of uninstalling the unnecessary WordPress plugins, it is important to understand the importance of uninstalling those from any WordPress site.

WordPress plugins are just like those apps running on your smartphone. Any plugin, which you’re not currently using, is a potential liability to your site. This unnecessarily increases the size of your WordPress backup. The unbelievable flexibility of WordPress allows you install an innumerable number of plugins to a site. But, remember to properly uninstall any and every plugin that you’re not currently using to help your site perform better.

Deactivating vs. Uninstalling a WordPress plugin

Most users deactivate an unused plugin, instead of uninstalling it. This is a good practice, as it keeps the settings and configurations intact. Thus, it is easier for you to reactivate the plugin in future. However, nine out of every ten times, most users don’t use that same plugin but, select a different one.

 

Remember, a deactivated WordPress plugin can be used to execute malicious codes on your site. Most WordPress site owners neglect the proper security measures and do not install security firewalls like Sucuri. Thus, you should only deactivate a plugin when you just don’t want using it temporarily. If you intend not to reactivate it in the near future, just play safe and uninstall it. WordPress will always let you reinstall that plugin anytime in future.

Remember, a deactivated WordPress plugin can be used to execute malicious codes on your site. Most WordPress site owners neglect the proper security measures and do not install security firewalls like Sucuri. Thus, you should only deactivate a plugin when you just don’t want using it temporarily. If you intend not to reactivate it in the near future, just play safe and uninstall it. WordPress will always let you reinstall that plugin anytime in future.

Uninstalling a WordPress plugin properly

The user-friendly features of the WordPress is really fascinating. Log into your WordPress dashboard and click on the Plugins at the left-hand side of the page. It will display the entire list of plugins on your site. The inactivated plugins will show links below to activate, delete or edit them.


If you want to uninstall, just click on the Delete link. WordPress will ask for your confirmation, before taking any action.

Just click the button that reads ‘Yes, delete these files’ and then, WordPress will safely remove the plugin from your chosen server. This is how you safely uninstall a plugin from your WordPress site.

However, there are a few things more you need to attend to remove all the residual traces of the uninstalled plugin. Please, note that these are optional steps and not usually recommended for WordPress beginners.

Removing the residual files while uninstalling a WordPress plugin

There are some WordPress plugins that store files beyond the Plugins folder. You need to delete these files too. Use an FTP client to connect to the site and access the /wp-content/ folder.


Many such residual files are stored here and you can delete those files from here directly.

Removing the unused shortcodes

There are many WordPress plugins that use shortcodes to your pages or posts. Once those plugins are uninstalled, the shortcodes make themselves visible in your posts. Add these codes to the functions.php file in your theme. As such, you may even add them to a site-dependent WordPress plugin too. But, do not forget to replace the plugin shortcode with the shortcode tag that the plugin you intend to remove uses.

add_shortcode( ‘pluginshortcode‘, ‘__return_false’ );

WordPress database cleaning

Certain plugins are known to create their own tables in the WordPress database. Too much data in these tables increase the WordPress backup size. Here is a quick guide on how to uninstall WordPress plugin from the database. Use phpMyAdmin to delete these unwanted tables. Get a thorough backup before working on the WordPress database.

Click on the relevant database and then select the tables that you want to delete. See the drop-down box below, which reads “With selected”. Just click the drop-down and select Drop from its menu. WordPress will ask you for a confirmation and here you need to press yes.

 

Thus, phpMyAdmin releases the unnecessary tables, deleting all data entered in them.

Uninstalling WordPress plugins is very easy. But, you need to be cautious and walk the extra mile to make the most out of it.

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