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How to Let Users Delete Their WordPress Accounts

Do you want to give your users the option to delete their own accounts? It’s very common to give visitors the option to register an account or membership on your WordPress website, but it usually falls on the web developer to actually delete accounts if requested. Another option is to give visitors the option to delete their own account.

This option has advantages, but it also has some disadvantages associated with it. This is why you do not see the option to delete an account on every website. WordPress user accounts contain important information like email addresses and user-created content. Today, I will demonstrate how to give your users the option to delete their WordPress accounts using the Delete Me plugin.

Why Give Users the Option to Delete Their WordPress Accounts

There are many reasons why someone would want to delete their WordPress user account. They may include receiving email spam, a dispute in the comments section, not agreeing with the content creators’ opinion, not liking their current username, and many other reasons, but it is not within the visitor’s power to delete the account. The visitor must then contact the web developer to have their account terminated. That just ends up being more work for the web developer. Giving the option is a great way to make sure it is not your responsibility to delete their information.

On the other end, it might not be the best thing to give a visitor the option to delete the account. Visitors can be very erratic and might delete their account on a whim for any reason. They will then try to contact you to somehow get their account restored. It is also one less subscriber in your email subscription list. This can hurt your email marketing campaign since it is very difficult to get people to sign up in the first place. Having an individual’s email is very valuable to a web developer and giving the visitor the option to take it away is not a popular choice.

How to Give Users the Option to Delete Their WordPress Accounts

Today, I will demonstrate how to give your users the option to delete their WordPress accounts using the Delete Me plugin. The plugin is very simple to use and will allow you to give specific user roles the option to delete their account. You can set the role to subscribers or what most registered users are located under. All user content will be deleted and moved into the trash as well, which could be problematic if their posts were very popular.

Click on Plugins and select the Add New option on the left-hand admin panel.

Add New

Search for Delete Me in the available search box. This will pull up additional plugins that you may find helpful.

Search for Delete Me in the available search box.

Scroll down until you find the Delete Me plugin and click the “Install Now” button and activate the plugin for use.

Click the "Install Now" button.

On the left-hand admin panel click on Settings and select the Delete Me option. This will pull up the main settings page.

Click on Settings and select the Delete Me option.

The first series of check boxes represent the roles on your website. Any checked boxes will allow that particular role to be able to delete their own account. By default, Admin level roles already have the ability to delete their own accounts so it is not an option you can choose. Check the appropriate box for the desired role to enable their delete account option.

Check the appropriate box.

The user will then have the option to delete their account, but the plugin will direct the user to your website’s homepage when complete. Instead, you should set up a “Thank You” or “Goodbye” page to redirect users to afterward. Once you have a page created, insert the URL into the Landing URL text box.

Insert the URL into the Landing URL text box.

Once you have made all of the necessary changes, scroll down to the bottom and click on the “Save Changes” button. You can also use the “Restore Default Settings” button to reset the plugin’s settings if something goes wrong.

Click on the "Save Changes" button.

Congratulations, you have successfully given users the option to delete their own accounts. Upon deletions, users will be able to register again using the same email address. Any content associated with the old account will be deleted and cannot be restored if it was permanently deleted. Unfortunately, if you are using a custom user profile page, you will have to add a shortcode.

Custom User Profile Page Method

Like most plugins, Delete Me comes with many shortcodes to choose from. All of the shortcodes are located on the settings page in the Shortcode section. Copy the following shortcode:

[plugin_delete_me]Delete Your Account[/plugin_delete_me]

Simply paste the code into your custom user profile page template. This will now provide the same option to delete someone’s account. Remember to update the redirect URL with your “Thank You” or “Goodbye” page because it is different in the shortcode section.

Give Your Users Control Over Their Account

It’s very easy to give a visitor the option to delete their account, but it is very difficult to get them to sign up. The number of subscribers your website has is very important and most web developers do not like to see that number go down. In fact, plenty of websites do not give the option to delete user accounts and actually make it more trouble than it’s worth to get an account deleted. This will ensure that the number of subscribers will not go down.

This may help a struggling website keep their subscriber numbers looking good, but once your website grows, getting subscribers is not as hard and it is a good practice to get rid of abandoned accounts. Popular usernames are selected when an account system is introduced. Deleting the account will allow for these usernames be used once again.

Why do you want to give your users the option to delete their own account? Do you expect a lot of users to delete their account?

Author: Chris Racicot

Chris is the Support Manager at GreenGeeks and has been with the company since 2010. He has a passion for gaming, scripting and WordPress. When he’s not enjoying his sleep, he’s working on his guitar skills and fiddling with 3d printing.

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