How to Delete a WordPress Account (and Site): Step-By-Step

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After MySpace ushered in the era of social media back in 2005, the internet underwent a revolution as people around the world jumped onto social media and blogging platforms. Since then, hundreds of thousands of blogs have been written in nearly every language on the planet. People of all ages jumped on the bandwagon to publish their thoughts using different content management systems like WordPress.

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Online storefronts and content management systems such as WordPress are often forgotten about when they’re no longer in use. Unfortunately, these unattended accounts can be low-hanging targets for hackers to try and access. If you are not regularly using or updating your accounts, any personal data could potentially be exposed and used without your knowledge. To keep your information safe and protect your online presence, it’s always best to close down and delete unused accounts.

How to Delete Your Own WordPress Account

WordPress is a content management system that has helped people design websites for over a decade. It is also a platform that powers nearly 40 percent of the internet. That’s a huge reach given its popularity, to the point where perhaps you or someone you know might have set up a WordPress account.

Whether you’ve let it lapse, no longer intend to sell your handmade bowties, or simply lost interest in blogging, it’s important to close an unused account. Thankfully, true to WordPress form, closing your account is simple and straightforward.

Log in to your account

To do anything with your account, you must log in. If you’ve forgotten your password or sign-in, you can choose to reset your password. 

Forgot your password?

If you have trouble remembering your password, you can reset it by using your username or email address on file with WordPress. Select “forgot password” from the sign-in page, enter your username or email address, and hit enter. 

Step-by-step instructions will be sent to your WordPress account email address that will walk you through reconfiguring your password.

Forgot your email and username too?

If you forgot your email and username as well, you can click, “Need more help” from the password reset page. Here, you’ll be taken to a page where you can enter information about your website, a contact email, and answer a few other questions. 

Export all data

Unless you want your blog posts to disappear once you delete your account, you should export all of your posts and media so you have them downloaded to your computer, a cloud backup such as DropBox, or another non-WordPress blog site instead.

To do this, you’ll need to be logged into your account then follow these few steps:

  • Click on the website you want to export
  • Scroll down to the “tools” tab and click
  • Click “export” from the dropdown menu
  • Choose the “export all media” option to download a full copy of your website
  • Wait for the confirmation window to appear notifying you of a successful export
  • Check email for your download link
  • Click the “download” button in the email to transfer the exported zip file directly to your computer

Request account deletion

Once you’ve downloaded all your blog posts or store information and you’ve backed it up to the cloud or another source, you’re ready to delete your account. Once you request deletion and the site is deleted, there’s no going back.

To request account deletion, you’ll need to fill out the WordPress Data Erasure Request form. To request deletion of your account and all personal data, enter the email address associated with your account then click the button to “request account deletion.”

Verify ownership of account and email

WordPress will ask you to log in to verify your account ownership and will send an email to the address listed to ensure you also own the email address. 

Complete account deletion

Once you’ve verified ownership of both your account and the associated email, WordPress will complete the account deletion. This is irreversible and once your account is deleted, there is no accessing any part of it.

ยป MORE: Are you helping someone through a loss? Make sure you're on the right track with this post-loss checklist.

 

How to Delete Your Own WordPress Site or Blog

Deleting your WordPress website or blog without deleting your account is a far simpler process than deleting your entire account. These steps work for most WordPress sites, though there may be some exceptions.

Log in

Log in to your WordPress account to edit or delete websites hosted directly on WordPress.

Export all blogs

Deletion is permanent, so if you want to keep information or blogs, be sure to export or download all blogs by following the export steps listed in the steps above.

Access tools to delete

After you log in and export your data, click on the “tools” tab on your dashboard. From the Tools dropdown menu, you should see an option to delete your website. Click on this, choose the website you want to delete, then confirm deletion. At this point, your website will be deleted and you’ll no longer have access to the site. You may still have the domain name if you pay for one, but all info on the website will be deleted.

Update personal records

After your WordPress account is deleted, you should update your records to reflect the deletion. If you’ve stored information in a password manager, either delete the information or update the file with the date of deletion and any confirmation number provided.

How to Delete a Deceased Loved One’s WordPress Account

Accounts like these are just as much a part of someone’s digital afterlife and as such, it should be taken care of before too much time elapses. 

Multiple hosting sites can host WordPress websites and they might even have a domain name registered with a domain host. Because there are so many steps, you might need to contact WordPress in addition to the web host and the domain host associated with the website. If you’re unsure of where to start, complete the following steps and start by contacting WordPress. 

Contact WordPress

To start the process, contact WordPress support. Whether you call or email, a representative will be able to help you figure out who you need to contact to close down your loved one’s website. You can also request a data export at the same time if you want a copy of your loved one’s blogs and media.

Gather information

To close an account or a website, you’ll need to gather documents related to your loved one’s death and your executorship. Though you have the right to close accounts such as this as part of your executor duties, you’ll need proof of your executorship and your identity.

Proof of executorship can include:

  • Court-obtained executorship document
  • Court-obtained small estate affidavit
  • Court-obtained letter of administration
  • Court-obtained letters testamentary

Proof of your ID may include:

  • Valid driver’s license
  • Valid passport
  • Valid green card
  • Valid military ID

In addition to the above documents, you’ll also need a certified death certificate. Getting a death certificate is a simple process and one can be obtained with just a few clicks online. Contact the state’s Office of Vital Records in the state where your loved one died online or by phone. The office will provide you certified copies of their death certificate for around $10-15 for the first one or two, with potentially decreasing prices per copy. This expense can be reimbursed to you from your loved one’s estate.

Send documents to WordPress 

Once you’ve gathered the above documents, send them to the address WordPress provides. Ask the post office for a tracking number so you can be sure it reaches WordPress.

Confirm account closure

Once the packet is received, a WordPress representative will contact you to confirm account closure. Once you give approval, WordPress will permanently delete the account.

How to Delete a Deceased Loved One’s WordPress Site or Blog

If you have the login information for your loved one’s account, you can log in and follow the steps above as if you were deleting your site or blog.

If you want to make sure their blog gets deleted, complete the steps as if you were deleting your own blog. Once the account is deleted, the website and blogs will be deleted as well.

Closing Out Accounts

The process of closing out accounts can be wearisome and lengthy. However, once steps are followed, and the account is deleted, you won’t have to worry about a hacker accessing your loved one’s site and using it for their own purposes. Take it one step at a time and you’ll check this off your list before you know it. 


Sources

  1. “How to Export a WordPress Site.” General WordPress Questions, Kinsta WordPress Hosting, 20 October 2020. kinsta.com/knowledgebase/export-wordpress-site/
  2. “Data Erasure Request.” Privacy Policy, WordPress, 2021. wordpress.org/about/privacy/data-erasure-request/
  3. “Delete Site.” Fixing WordPress, WordPress, 2021. wordpress.org/support/topic/delete-site-6/
  4. “Contact WordPress.com.” Expert Tips, WordPress, 22 August 2018. wordpress.com/go/wordpresscom/contact-wordpress-com-support/

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