How to Mass Delete Content From Posts in WordPress

How to Mass Delete Content From Posts in WordPress
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Hey there, Vaughn Bullard here again! Here’s a little riddle for ya: What happens when you get a whole bunch of posts with repeated content? A mess that’s what! Let’s take a scenario for example: You have twenty posts all with repeated content, for example, your company name, but you’ve changed your company name! Do you want to sit there and edit twenty posts? Short answer would be nooooo, because that would be a waste of your time. So we can do this with a plugin called unbelievably “Search and Replace”.

Now this plugin can be downloaded from the WordPress plugins repository at http://www.wordpress.org/plugins/search-and-replace or how we’re going to do it.

We’re gonna go to the WordPress administration pages. This is done by typing in the url of your blog followed by forward slash wp-admin. You will be prompted for your administrative username and password. Type that in and press the “Login” button.

So we’re gonna go all the way to the down to the bottom of our administrative menu. We’re gonna hover over this “Plugins” menu and up will pop the hover menu and we’re gonna choose “Add New”. This will obviously bring up the “Install Plugins” administrative page. Now what you’re gonna do is type in “Search and Replace” in the Search field and press the button that says “Search Plugins”.

You’ll see a list of plugins. The one that I am demonstrating is from Frank Bültge. It is a fantastic plugin. Go ahead and click “Install Now”. After it is installed, you’re going to have actually ‘Activate the Plugin’.

Now once that is installed you’re going to have go looking for the Search and Replace plugin. That is under the “Tools” menu and there it goes “Search and Replace”. However, that might be a bit premature to use until we figure out what we want kind of text we want to search and replace.

So, I’ve taken the liberty of preparing 3 similar posts here. They are all copies of each other, just for demonstration purposes. So this post here is obviously some text we copied off of eHow.com. It’s about physical fitness. So what happens if we want to change the word “physical” to “emotional”? Well, we could certainly change that right here in the text editor but that would be wasteful if we wanted to edit a whole bunch of posts.

So that’s why we’re gonna roll right back over to here to the Search and Replace plugin. Click Search and Replace. We’re going to go down to the second section of the Search and Replace administrative page. We’re going to select ‘Content’ then scrolls down to “Search for” and type in “physical” and then tab to the “Replace with” field and enter “emotional”. Now click “Go”.
Now you’ll see that the search and replace editor replaced 6 occurrences of the word “physical” with “emotional”.

Now to show you what it did, we’ll roll back over there to the posts and select each one of them. “Search and Replace Post 1” now has emotional instead of physical. We’ll check Post 2 and Post 3 and there you have it! It’s a great tool, especially if you find that you have to replace SERIOUS amounts of data.

So how do you mass delete content? Simple, remember that Replace With field? Instead of entering “emotional” in there, you can simply enter nothing in there! Since we changed those posts to “emotional”, we’re going to simply enter nothing to replace it with. Then click “Go” and it is gone! See here?

TIP: One of the great things about the Search and Replace plugin is the ability to change content in all types of fields from titles to comments. This is a power user’s tool. Be careful on your search terms, you could end up deleting stuff you didn’t want deleted! And remember, BACK UP YOUR DATA!

That’s how easy it is! For more info on doing other cool things with WordPress, check out my other WordPress Lessons on eHow.com and check out Build.Automate’s innovative WordPress plugins at www.buildautomate.com .

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