What happens if I accidentally delete some of my content?

WordPress is a great platform for managing your website content, but like any platform, you have to learn how it works to take full advantage of its features. Oftentimes we don’t even realize some features exist until we really need them, which might happen if you accidentally delete something you wanted to leave on your website. If that happens, what can you do? Let’s take a look at two methods of restoring deleted content on WordPress.

Trash in WordPress

If you delete a post or page in WordPress, it isn’t automatically gone forever. Much like your computer, if you delete a post or page in WordPress, it will be moved to the Trash. However, in WordPress, the Trash appears differently than it does on your computer. WordPress does not have one unified trash location where everything is stored, but instead, each content type has its own. Therefore, if you delete a post, it will appear in the Trash under your posts, but if you delete a page, it will appear in the Trash under pages. It’s also important to note that the Trash is invisible when it is empty, so you might not realize there’s even a Trash option in WordPress until you delete something.

To get to a deleted post or page, first navigate to your list of posts or pages, whichever you deleted. You’ll see lists of All and Published, with the numbers of each in parentheses. Then, if you have saved Drafts, you’ll see an option for Drafts, and if you have deleted content, you’ll see an option for Trash. Click on Trash and you’ll see the list of deleted posts or pages, which you can then either delete permanently or restore to their prior location.

Using backups to restore deleted content

Not every type of content has a Trash option, however. Your Media folder, for example, does not utilize Trash. Instead, any media you delete is instantly deleted from your site permanently. This means there’s not a way to restore this content later the way you can with deleted posts or pages.

However, if you back up your site, you can restore the deleted content. You can either revert your site to a previous version before the content was deleted, or — depending on the type of backup you use — you might even be able to pull out the file you need from the backup.

If you don’t want to revert your entire site back, you can restore the site to a different location and download the individual file. You can then re-upload it to your site. Use FTP to ensure the filename is the same if you have pages that link to or embed the file you’re restoring.

If you need help restoring deleted content, you can always reach out to us. We’re here to help!