How to Delete Websites

By Robert Karr

There are multiple ways in which a user can delete an owned website. All require legitimate access to the directories and files on the website or an authenticated conversation with the Web hosting service. UNIX hosted sites are less complicated to remove than websites running Microsoft Server.

Step 1

Delete the website files on a UNIX server by using Telnet to access the top directory of the files that make up your website. Enter the UNIX command rm --r [directory] where directory is the name of the parent directory. This will delete all the sub-directories under the website at once. If the parent directory is still there, change to a higher level directory by entering cd followed by to periods. Then type rmdir [directory] where directory is the name of the parent.

Step 2

Use an FTP program like WS_FTP to access the website files. With this method you will have to work from the bottom up, deleting files in sub-directories and then parent directories, so it is more cumbersome and in the case of a complicated website, can take quite a while.

Step 3

Delete a website using Adobe Dreamweaver by clicking on "Site," then "Manage Sites." Highlight the website to be removed and click on "Remove." Confirm the action when asked. Microsoft Expression should have a similar function.

Step 4

Check with the Web host to see if they have a file management system where the user can remove web files directly. You may be able to direct them to remove the website for you with the appropriate authorization. Alternatively, cancel the hosting plan. When you stop paying for the website, the Web hosting company will remove the website for you. Not renewing the domain name when it is due would accomplish the same thing.

Step 5

Disable a website temporarily by changing the name of the index.html file to something else like index.old. Since most links to a website start at the index.html or index.htm page, even though this isn't typed in the URL box, this will effectively remove the website from access. This won't work if the starting page of the website does not have index.html or index.htm page.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always make a backup of the files on your PC unless absolutely certain there will be no resurrection of the site.
  • Steps One through Four are non-reversible unless backups have been made, so it is not an action to take lightly.