It seems that more and more frequently WordPress removes plugins from their repository. In many cases, this is because the plugin ownership has changed hands and the new owner has injected some malicious code into the plugin. In some cases, it is because the plugin has been implemented into the core features of WordPress.
In either case, you will want to get into the backend of your website and remove the plugin from your list. When a plugin has been removed from the repository, you do not want it on your site. It leaves you open to all sorts of problems if you don’t keep on top of this.
In this post, I’ll cover how to uninstall a WordPress Plugin so that you can keep your site safe.
It can be difficult to discover if your plugin has been removed from the repository. WordPress doesn’t have a good solution for notifying people of this. Wordfence has implemented a solution in their update from June of 217 (New in Wordfence 6.3.11: Abandoned and Removed Plugin Alerts) so if you need to keep informed as to what plugins have been removed, the Wordfence plugin will do this for you.
One quick note though, if you are a member of Wealthy Affiliate, the site security that Wordfence provides is already included in your hosting package. The only reason to add this plugin (I only use the free version) is to see what sort of hackers are trying to access your site. Wealthy Affiliate Site Security will handle keeping your site safe.
Why Remove a Plugin
I opened up an old site to show you what may happen if you don’t keep up with the installed plugins. In this case, I have a plugin called Exclude pages from Navigation. A custom menu will take care of the need for this plugin so I don’t need it installed anymore.
In the left section of the description, there is a link, view Details. When I click this a window opens giving me details on the plugin.
Immediately, you will see a warning at the top of the page that this plugin hasn’t been tested with my current version of WordPress. This is the first red flag.
On the right, you will see that this plugin hasn’t been updated in 6 years. Whew, I’ve been a real slacker with this site.
This plugin is compatible with version 3.4.2 and the current version is 4.9.2. If I didn’t have the Wealthy Affiliate security in the background this site would have been hacked years ago.
So, Exclude pages from Navigation has got to go.
On other sites that I own, I used a plugin called Google XML sitemaps. This plugin is not working well anymore and the functionality of this plugin is included in the All in One SEO pack that I install on all of my sites. In this case, I have a redundant plugin, so it also can be removed.
Access Your WordPress Plugins
On the right side menu of your WordPress site, about 2/3 of the way down you will see the plugin option.
When you hover over this option it will open a menu. If you click on it, it will open the installed plugins list and pull the expanded menu into the main menu.
From here, you can view the plugins that you have installed on your website.
Deactivate the WordPress Plugin
To begin the process of removing a WordPress Plugin, first, it must be deactivated.
On the list of plugins, you will see links under the title of the plugin. Deactivate is one of the options. Click on this.
You will see the menu item change to Activate and the bar on the left side of the list will be turned off when the Plugin is disabled. You will see an additional menu item delete.
Delete the WordPress Plugin
Once your plugin is disabled, click on the delete menu item under the Plugin Title. You will see a box pop up that asks you to confirm that you actually want to delete this plugin.
This will remove the plugin from the list of plugins. A confirmation will appear on the plugin list that the plugin has been removed.
You have now removed the plugin from your website.
Do You Need More Help
Plugins can be a sticking point for some new website builders.
There are quite a few things that might come up when you are new to building websites. WordPress is very forgiving but there are a few difficulties when you are learning.
I’d love to help you with any problems you are having. You can ask questions in the comments below or contact me through my contact page here or even leave me a message on the Wealthy Affiliate Platform.
I’d love to help you work through your problems.