WordPress Tutorial

How to Reinstall WordPress (The Correct Way)

There might be several reasons on why you stumbled upon this article. Maybe you’re having issues with your WordPress website like errors you don’t know how to fix, or worse, maybe your site got hacked. Or, you just want a fresh start for your site. Whichever the reason, we got your back! Continue reading to find out how to reinstall WordPress.

There are two major ways to uninstall and reinstall WordPress. You can either reinstall WordPress while keeping all of your existing content or deleting all of your files and install a fresh new copy. We shall be looking at both ways of doing this, and then looking at all the different methods of doing so.

Now, whatever you decide to do, we highly recommend doing a backup of your WordPress files before attempting anything. You can do this by simply copying all of your WordPress files into your computer or a cloud drive. As you never know when something might go wrong, having a failsafe just in case is simply the best practice.

Reinstalling WordPress via Administrative Dashboard

This method both reinstalls and keeps all of your content and is probably the most straightforward. This is done using your WordPress dashboard. If you can’t access the dashboard, don’t fret! You will be able to do this manually using the FTP method which we will cover later on in the article.

In any case, using the dashboard is a real breeze. All you need to do is look at the sidebar, then click on Dashboard -> Updates and tap the Re-install Now button.

WordPress reinstall instructions

The process is fully automatic, all you need to do is wait several seconds and you’re all set.

Reinstalling WordPress using FTP

If pesky errors or whatever else is keeping you from accessing your dashboard, you can use the FTP method (or maybe you just simply prefer it). It’s a very similar method to the one mentioned above, the only difference is that using FTP, you will be doing the process manually instead of using a one-click installer.

Here’s a list of the steps to reinstall WordPress:

  1. Download a fresh copy of WordPress.
  2. Extract the ZIP file
  3. Upload all the files except the /wp-content/ folder

Now, let’s figure out how to actually do each step individually.

Start off by going to WordPress.org and downloading the latest version.

WordPress download pageOnce the download finishes, extract the contents of the ZIP file on your computer and delete the wp-content folder. This step is crucial as otherwise, your content may be overwritten.

WordPress content folder deletion process

When that’s finished, you’ll need to connect to your account with FTP client and upload your files to where WordPress is installed. By default, it’s going to be your root folder named public or public_html. Whilst doing so a prompt will appear that states that the target file already exists. You will need to overwrite the existing files at that point.

WordPress overwrite existing files via FTP

What this does exactly is it replaces the core files for WordPress, making it a fresh new copy. And since you deleted the wp-content folder, your content files like themes and plugins won’t be altered.

Reinstalling WordPress using WP-CLI

WordPress can also be reinstalled using WP-CLI. It is a command line tool that is used to customize the installation of your WordPress. It’s capable of adding/removing users, categories, posts, inserting test data as well as replacing or just simply searching in the database. WP-CLI has more features, but we won’t be covering them here. And just below is a command line which you can freely use to reinstall WordPress without affecting themes and plugins. By the way, WP-CLI is fully installed and supported on all Hostinger WordPress hosting plans.

wp core download --skip-content --force

How to completely reinstall WordPress (delete all files)

Before saying any more, please bear in mind the following: using this method, all of your content files will be permanently deleted. Be absolutely sure there’s no content worth saving, as once this is done, you won’t be able to undo it.

You might want to this if you encountered WordPress errors you can’t fix for example. Maybe you just want a clean slate and start everything anew.

With that being out of the way there’s really only two steps involved in the process. First, delete all of your existing WordPress files. Secondly, install a fresh new copy using whichever method you prefer. It’s really that simple. To delete the files use a file manager or connect via FTP and delete the files that way.

WordPress delete all content via ftp for a fresh start

Deleting your existing WordPress database is not necessary, even you plan using a new one. However, if you want to completely start over, we don’t blame you! On Hostinger, you can delete the database by navigating to the MySQL Databases section.

Wordpress how to delete mysql databaseLikewise, you can use phpMyAdmin to Drop the database which also wipes out your database completely.

After that’s done, there will be nothing left. Now you can go ahead and start by installing a fresh WordPress copy as if it were a brand new website. Like with reinstalling WordPress itself, there are a few ways of doing this, either automatically or manually depending on your host. If you’re with a host like Hostinger, there’s a prepared 1-click auto installer that installs WordPress in a matter of seconds. Alternatively, you can do this manually which would set you back about 5 minutes. We have covered all ways you can install WordPress here. Congratulations, at this point you have an absolutely blank canvas for your website!

Conclusion

Taking all things into account, reinstalling WordPress is a pretty simple process. For a quick recap, here’s how:

  • By using the in-built WordPress dashboard’s Re-install now button.
  • By downloading and then uploading the WordPress files, while excluding the wp-content folder into your server.

And if you’re aiming for the clean slate approach, you just need to delete all the WordPress files and (or) the database. Then simply install a new copy with a method of your choosing.

We hope you enjoyed our guide and if you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment down below.

About the author

Artūras B.

Artūras is an experienced content writer that is working for Hostinger. Bringing in a lot of knowledge about WordPress and web hosting to the team, he strives to write pristine content about any IT related subject. He also loves dogs!

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