How to Search and Replace Text in WordPress

Even though you might be investing hours upon hours of hard work into making sure every post/page on your WordPress website is golden, sometimes, mistakes are bound to happen. What happens when you realize that you have been writing a frequently used word with the wrong spelling? Or that you have inserted a wrong URL into many of your posts? Hey, you might not have even done anything wrong! You could simply have a few ideas about improving your content and you want to implement them. You know that maintaining your WordPress website is constant vigilance, so you are careful about doing your part of the job. In any case, all of these situations entail that you search and replace text in WordPress.

What happens when you want to search and replace text in WordPress for a single post

If you only need to replace a certain word or a link in a single post, then you can feel free to count your blessings. This will be a relatively easy undertaking. When it comes to WordPress experts and developers, their specialized skills allow them to use DQL queries to find data. But considering the fact that you might be a complete beginner, you don’t have to worry about anything more complicated than learning how to handle a plugin.

A girl trying to search and replace text in WordPress.
Not everything has to be complicated! That certainly goes for searching and replacing text in WordPress.

Tiny MCE Advanced Plugin

The Tiny MCE Advanced Plugin has over 2 million active installations. This plugin is certainly going to give your editor a boost of power that it needs. It can offer you a good collection of tools that can be placed into the visual text editor.

It goes without saying that the first step is installing and activating the plugin. Once you accomplish this simple task, you will see a number of taskbars and a couple of ‘unused buttons.’ Your job is to drag the icon that looks like binoculars and drop it onto the taskbar. Once you save changes and once you click on the ‘find and replace’ icon, you will be able to effortlessly locate any word/URL/phrase in your text. Didn’t we tell you it can be that easy?

Replace text in an even easier way by using keyboard shortcuts

Do you feel like there is such a thing as too many plugins? And do you think you’ve reached that limit? In case you only have to search and replace text in WordPress for one post, you will be able to avoid the installation of yet another plugin. You can find the text you want to replace by using keyboard shortcuts.

A woman typing on a computer.
The easiest solution to search and replace text in WordPress is by using keyboard shortcuts.

What you should do is press and hold the control key on your keyboard which is usually labelled as ‘Ctrl’ and then press ‘F’ while holding the control key. A ‘Find’ text bar will be opened in the upper right corner of your browsers and you will be able to find the text you are looking for. This might be the easiest solution if you are just learning how to use WordPress. Unfortunately, if you need to replace text in multiple posts, the solution won’t be as simple as this one!

What happens when you want to search and replace text in WordPress for multiple posts

Before you make a change that will impact a big portion of your content, any expert that’s worth their salt will suggest you do a complete website backup. Make sure that you back up both your files and database. This way, if you run into any problems, you will have a recent restore point to turn to. Of course, website backup is a practice that is recommended as a part of your constant website maintenance, and it’s definitely a step that should never be skipped.

The Better Search Replace plugin

The truth is that there are many plugins out there that will help you search and replace text in WordPress. We are certainly not being biased when we say that the Better Search Replace plugin is one of the easiest ones you can use for this purpose.

First things first – you will have to find and install the plugin. Once this step is over, you should go to ‘Tools’ and click on the ‘Better Search Replace.’ The next step will be the one that will actually allow you to conduct your search for a word/URL. In the Search/Replace tab, you will see a ‘select tables’ field. Here, you will be able to choose in which location you want to conduct your search.

A magnifying glass held over a piece of text.
The Better Search Replace plugin is easy to use and it brings reliable results.

Let’s imagine you want to scan through your posts. Then you will have to choose the wp_posts option which will allow you to find a word you are looking for and replace it with another one. In all of your posts – ever. But bear in mind that the posts section can be the larges one on your list if you already have a lot of published content. So searching and replacing text might take some time! We are inclined to advise patience here.

Don’t worry about searching and replacing text in WordPress

Not all problems related to your website are easily solvable. But this is certainly a problem you don’t have to worry about so much. Whether you need to search and replace text in WordPress in a single post or across multiple sources, you can do it easily by installing a dedicated plugin. Bear in mind that we gave you only a few suggestions when it comes to the best plugins that serve this purpose. There are many other on the market. If you don’t feel too satisfied with our suggestions, you can always feel free to conduct your own search for the best plugins. We hope your search will prove fruitful and you will find what you are looking for.