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Fresh Install WordPress without losing data

WordPress errors are often resolved by troubleshooting. When you exhaust all troubleshooting tips to no result, the next step is to uninstall WordPress and reinstall a fresh version. Take note that this should be your last resort, not your go-to solution when you encounter issues.

Reinstalling WordPress does not mean going back to square one. All of your contents, themes, plugins, etc. can be saved and restored once you have successfully install the latest version of WordPress. Below are the necessary steps required to reinstall WordPress successfully.

Table of Contents

  1. Export all WordPress content
  2. Download all wp-content files
  3. Uninstall your WordPress site
  4. Install latest version of WordPress
  5. Delete default contents
  6. Restore wp-content files
  7. Import WordPress content
  8. Install and activate plugins

Important Note: Before making any changes, please make sure to back up your website first.

1. Export all WordPress content

You can export your WordPress contents by creating an export file, which will contain your site’s comments, posts, categories, pages, and tags.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to create an export file:

  1. Enter YourDomainName/wp-admin on a browser.

    Important Note: Replace YourDomainName with your actual website.

  2. On the left-hand corner, click Tools.
  3. Select Export.
  4. Under Choose what to export, select All Content.
  5. Click Download Export File.

2. Download all wp-content files

You can download wp-content folder to save your website’s themes, images, uploads, and plugins.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to download all wp-content files:

  1. Access your FTP Client, and provide the following on the necessary fields:

  2. Hostname ftp.yourdomain.com
    Username Hosting Username
    Password Hosting Password
    Port 21
  3. Go to public_html folder.
  4. Right click wp-content folder, and select Download.

Important Note: Further steps need an FTP client. To save time, do not close your FTP client until you finish all the steps.

3. Uninstall your WordPress site

To uninstall your WordPress site, it is necessary to delete your entire website files. However, you don’t need to delete existing databases. If your Hosting plan offers unlimited database, you may create a new one instead.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to delete your website files:

  1. Using your FTP client, select all website files (Ctrl + A), right click, and then select Delete.
  2. Confirm deletion by selecting Yes in case a pop-up box follows.

Important Note: A new database is necessary once you have the latest version of WordPress. Please create a new one  before you proceed.

4. Install latest version of WordPress

You can manually install the latest version of WordPress by downloading a fresh copy on WordPress.org and uploading its files to your site.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to reinstall a fresh copy of WordPress:

  1. Download latest version of WordPress.
  2. Double-click the zip file downloaded and Extract it.
  3. Open your FTP client.
  4. From your computer files, drag fresh copy of WordPress to your public_html folder.
  5. After uploading all files, go to your website.
  6. Enter new database information you created earlier.
  7. Click Submit button to proceed.
  8. On the success message, click Run Install button.
  9. On Information Needed page, enter required information.
  10. Click Install WordPress.

5. Delete default contents

There are default contents under Posts, Pages, and Comments section of your WordPress site. These contents need deletion so it won’t overlap with your original contents.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to delete default contents:

  1. Enter YourDomainName/wp-admin on a browser.

    Important Note: Replace YourDomainName with your actual website.

  2. Enter new login credentials.
  3. Delete default post by following these steps:
    1. On the left-hand corner, click Post.
    2. Hover over Hello World! post, and click Trash link.
  4. Delete default comment by following these steps:
    1. On the left-hand corner, click Comments.
    2. Hover over default comment, and click Trash link.
  5. Delete sample pages by following these steps:
    1. On the left-hand corner, click Pages.
    2. Select all sample pages.
    3. From the Bulk Action menu, select Move to trash.
    4. Click Apply.

6. Restore wp-content files

In this step, you will download the wp-content folder you have saved earlier to the server. This way, your themes, plugins, images and other uploads will be restored in your site.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to restore wp-content files:

  1. Using your FTP client, click public_html folder.
  2. Go to wp-content folder.
  3. From your computer files, select /wp-content/uploads/ folder, and drag it inside wp-content folder of your website files.
    If you have changes in your theme or child theme, go to /wp-content/themes/ folder in your computer files, and drag it inside wp-content folder of your website files.

7. Import WordPress content

In this step, you will import the posts, tags, pages, categories and other content you saved earlier.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to import WordPress content:

  1. Go to your admin section.
  2. On the left-hand corner, click Tools.
  3. Select Import.
  4. Under WordPress, click Install Now link.
  5. After installing the WordPress importer, click Run Importer link.
  6. Click Choose File button on the next page that follows.
  7. Select the Export File (XML file) you downloaded during Step 1.
  8. Click Upload File and Import to proceed.
  9. On the next page, assign all posts to you if you are a single author. Otherwise, leave Assign Authors blank.
  10. Tick box for Download and import file attachments to import images to the media library.
  11. Click Submit.

8. Install and activate plugins

After you have successfully reinstalled WordPress and restore your data, you can continue to activating plugins. It is recommended to install and activate plugins one at a time. You can install and activate plugin by clicking the link below:

Congratulations! You have successfully reinstalled fresh version of WordPress without losing your existing data.

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