All good things come to an end; that is nature’s way of life. No matter how good or bad anything is, it has an expiry date. In this case, we are talking about how to close a WordPress website correctly. Unpublishing a WordPress site is the term we use to refer to closing a WordPress website.
There are many reasons one might decide it’s time to close your website; maybe it’s negative feedback, copyright claims, or you want to start fresh. If you are not comfortable with the idea of leaving your website hanging out there, this article will provide you with a step-by-step process for deleting it.
To be clear, unpublishing a website will take your website offline. This means it will not be available on the internet, but it will still be accessible to you. The website will be accessible on third-party archives meaning it will still be available if you use it again. Read on to find out how to unpublish your WordPress website and blog based on a WordPress theme.
Step by step guide on how to unpublish your WordPress website.
To avoid confusion, we will break down this topic into different categories: Correctly unpublishing a site hosted on WordPress, Unpublishing a self-hosted network, deleting your website permanently and backing up your WordPress data.
Correctly unpublishing a site hosted on WordPress
The steps provided below will guide you on how to Unpublish a WordPress hosted website.
- To start, you need to log into your WordPress account.
- Navigate to your web host account and click on Select the site and choose the site you wish to unpublish
- From there, go to Manage > Settings and move down to Privacy.
- Once you select Privacy, three options will be provided by a pop-up screen that looks like this:
If you select the coming soon option, your website page will display a Coming soon page initiated by WordPress. Selecting the Public option will leave your website available to Visitors like they normally do. Therefore, any addition or changes made on your website will be visible to any visitors on your site. Finally, choosing the Private option will enable only the people you give access to your website to view it.
There is an alternative option to hide you from visitors who don’t already have your URL. You can do this by selecting the box under Private. This method prevents Search Engines from finding your site since your website will not be listed on SERPs. Only viewers who already have your URL will be able to access your website.
Unpublishing a self-hosted network
For users who have a self-hosted WordPress website, you can not apply the above method. The default privacy settings for a self-hosted WordPress website are different. You will have to use download and install a plugin to unpublish your website. A plugin is essential to generate an Under construction/Maintenance or Coming soon page to act as a stand-in when your site is offline. There are various plugins to choose from, but today we are going to focus on SeedProd. Here is a step-by-step process on how to unpublish a self-hosted WordPress website:
- Navigate to the Plugins option and select Add New Search for Coming Soon or Maintainance/Under Construction Mode plugin.
- Choose a plugin from a list provided; in this article, we are going to use SeedProd. Download, install and activate the SeedProd plugin.
Open the SeedProd plugin and select settings whereby you will find The General section providing you with the following options:
- Login Mode (no changes will be made).
- Coming soon mode (this option will generate a coming soon page to be displayed).
- Maintenance Mode (this option will generate a Maintenance page to be displayed).
Note: You can uniquely customize the holding pages and tailor the text to suit your brand depending on the circumstance you are facing.
Careful which option you pick since each option has a message it passes across to your visitors. A Maintenance /Under construction page informs visitors that your website is undergoing changes and will be back online after some time. This option also issues a 503 error to Search Engines stating that your website will be temporarily offline.
On the other hand, A Coming soon page passes out a message stating that your page is offline until further notice. This enables Search engines to index your webpage before your site goes online. Make sure you pick the option that aligns with the circumstance you are facing.
How to delete a WordPress site permanently.
You might decide to completely delete your WordPress website if you don’t plan to continue or want to exchange platforms. Before you decide to make such a drastic step, back up your site’s data. Steps on how you can back up data will be provided in the next section.
Here are the steps you can follow to Permanently delete your WordPress website:
- Start by logging into your WordPress account. Navigate to My site and select Manage then Settings.
- Next, move to the bottom page and click on Delete the site Permanently.
3. After selecting the delete option, a chance to export your data will be provided. You then have to confirm the deleting process by reentering the site address and selecting
Delete this site.
How to Back up your WordPress Website
It’s Important to always back up your site before deleting or making changes. This enables you to have a copy to refer to if you want to revisit changes and adopt the design or data for another platform.
Although some WordPress hosting providers offer periodic automatic backups, there are other options you can choose to use. You can choose to install a WordPress plugin or manually save your data in the MySQL database in your local directory using an FTP server.
Another alternative is to back up your data Using the Export Mode. You can do this by accessing the Tools on your WordPress dashboard.
Once you click on tools, you will be given an option to export & download files to the place of your specification.
When you are faced with the challenge of unpublishing your website, it’s good to know that there are many options you can consider. This article will provide you with the steps to correctly unpublish your WordPress website. Goodluck!