Search and Replace in WordPress Blogs

Search and replace is never fun.  Being a former programmer, I’ve always hated it — editors are not smart they don’t know what you mean and act literally.  Now that’s a text file – how do you go about searching and replacing blog posts in a database that may be 100mb in size!!!

It’s not an easy task.  But thankfully, someone thought of that.

Then I switched to the latest version if WordPress and switched to a new theme that was narrower than the previous one I had a dilema.  My graphic signatures were too long!  Aaaack!  What is a former programmer and IT guru to do?

I dug down and started playing with PHPMyAdmin and writing up MySQL statements.  Ugggh.  Not fun.  I love IT, but I don’t want to have to do the grunt work anymore – unless it’s something that I’m passionate about, then I’ll get my hands dirty.

So while the code isn’t too complex:

UPDATE wp_posts SET post_content = REPLACE (
‘Item to replace here’,
‘Replacement text here’);

I’m thinking to myself – sure this is one time change… or is it?  I don’t want to have to be writing SQL statements all the time.

Solution – PLUGIN!  Luckily WordPress has thousands of plugins out there, and I found an ideal plug-in.

Pop into the PLUGINS box on your WordPress install (2.8 or higher) and click on the ADD NEW menu item.  Then search for the plug-in you want.

You can even install directly from that screen.

I picked the first one in the list written by Frank Bultge – and installed it and activated it.


The only thing I found goofy is that I have to go back to the PLUGIN page to use the plug-in.  But that’s minor.

Click on SETTINGS and you are ready to start.


First select which areas of the WP database you want to search.

Next – enter the old text in REPLACE and the NEW text in WITH.

Finally cross your fingers, say a prayer and hit GO!

Within seconds the search and replace should be completed.

…I am joking about the prayer.  But you should back-up your database, just in case!

That was simple.  I don’t need to mess around with SQL statements and since many bloggers may not be technically savvy to mess with SQL this plug-in is a great way to take care of your blog without having to spend hours learning something new when you may only use it a few times.


About Rob 'n Mo

I'm a man of mystery. I like anonymity, but on the WWW there is not much of it...
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