Function and usage of delete_site_meta_by_key() in wordpress


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    The delete_site_meta_by_key() function in WordPress is used for managing site metadata at a network level in a WordPress multisite installation. This function specifically allows you to delete all entries from the site meta table that match a given meta key. Here's a detailed explanation:

    Function Signature:

    delete_site_meta_by_key( string $meta_key ): bool


    • $meta_key (string, required): The metadata key you want to search for when deleting. This function will delete all metadata entries that have this key.

    Return Value:

    • bool: The function returns true if the meta key was successfully deleted from the database. Otherwise, it returns false.


    When using delete_site_meta_by_key(), you provide it with a meta key string. This meta key is used to identify all site meta entries in the database that should be deleted. It's particularly useful in scenarios where you need to clean up or remove specific metadata entries from all sites in a multisite network.

    Example Usage:

    Here's a simple example to illustrate how you might use delete_site_meta_by_key():

    $meta_key = 'custom_site_setting';
    $deleted = delete_site_meta_by_key($meta_key);
    if ($deleted) {
        echo 'All site meta entries with the key "custom_site_setting" have been deleted.';
    } else {
        echo 'Failed to delete the specified site meta entries.';

    In this example, the function attempts to delete all site meta entries with the key custom_site_setting. If the operation is successful, it prints a confirmation message; otherwise, it prints a failure message.

    Important Notes:

    1. Network Level: This function operates at the network level in a multisite installation. It doesn't affect metadata associated with individual sites beyond the network level metadata.
    2. Use with Caution: Since this function can delete multiple entries from the database, it should be used with caution. Incorrect usage can lead to loss of important data.
    3. Capabilities: Ensure that the code using this function has the necessary capabilities and permissions within the WordPress multisite network.


    The delete_site_meta_by_key() function is a powerful tool for managing network-wide site metadata in WordPress multisite installations. It allows for the efficient deletion of metadata entries based on a specified meta key but should be used judiciously to avoid unintended data loss.

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