One of the biggest hurdles to replacing an old plugin is finding all of the places it’s currently being used.
There’s an easy way to search all of your site content and find where that plugin’s code is lurking.
And you can even print out a spreadsheet with all of the page and post titles too.
This post is part of the Seriously Old Plugin Challenge for the month of May.
Join us and get your site ready for PHP 7 and get rid of all those old plugins.
Replace Those Old and Unused Plugins
We’ve all done this.
You install a plugin someone recommended, and then only use it a handful of times.
Then that plugin falls out of vogue and becomes unsupported.
And that becomes a security issue on your site.
But, you leave those plugins there, security holes and all, because it seems too daunting of a task to look back through your old posts and guess which ones might have used that plugin.
There’s an easier way to search through your content to discover where that plugin is used.
Just run a database query on your content.
Where Your Site Content is Stored
All of your WordPress site content is held in rows of the Posts table in your database.
Your content includes more than just your words.
It also includes all of the HTML markup, tags, and shortcode within the post or page too.
The trick to finding where a plugin is used is to identify the unique markup, tag, or shortcode that it uses.
Search the Database
Then you can create a query that searches through the content rows in the Posts table of your database that matches that unique identifier.
The query can be made to output a list of each post or page title.
There’s even an easy way to export that list of titles as a .csv file for Excel, or just a plain .csv file, or even a PDF or other type of file.
Search and Replace
If you already know what you want to replace that unique plugin markup, tag, or shortcode with, you can easily do what’s called a search and replace query on the database.
That way you don’t have to manually edit the posts at all.
It’s a Techie Thing
Working with the database at this level is a techie job and not one I suggest non-geek DIY site owners try.
It’s something worth paying a webmaster to do.
It’s a quick job for them, and there is no risk of them blowing up your database in the process.
Need to Learn How?
Level 2 of the Webmaster Training courses has tutorials for working with the WordPress database, including how to run this plugin search query.
If you’re a designer, or maintain sites for clients, this training is specifically created for you!!
It’s so easy once you know how. You won’t be intimidated by the database any more.
And the training will pay for itself on the first jobs you can take now that you know how to do this stuff.
Talk about separating yourself from the pack!