Function and usage of delete_theme() in wordpress


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    The delete_theme() function in WordPress is a utility for removing a theme from your WordPress installation. Here's a detailed explanation of its usage and parameters:

    Function Signature

    delete_theme( string $stylesheet, string $redirect = '' ): bool|null|WP_Error

    Function Purpose

    • Removes a Theme: This function is used to delete a specific theme from your WordPress site.


    1. $stylesheet (string, required):

      • This is the stylesheet name of the theme you want to delete.
      • In WordPress, each theme is typically identified by its stylesheet's name, which is usually the folder name of the theme.
    2. $redirect (string, optional):

      • This parameter specifies a URL to which the user will be redirected after the theme is deleted.
      • It's optional and if not provided, it defaults to an empty string (''), meaning no redirection.

    Return Values

    • The function returns different types of values based on the outcome:
      1. bool:
        • Returns true if the theme deletion is successful.
      2. null:
        • Returns null if filesystem credentials are required to proceed with the deletion. This usually happens when WordPress cannot directly delete the theme without additional permissions.
      3. WP_Error:
        • Returns a WP_Error object if the deletion fails. This can happen due to several reasons, like if the specified theme does not exist, or there are permission issues, etc.
      4. false:
        • Returns false if the $stylesheet parameter is empty.

    Sample Usage

    // Sample code to delete a theme named 'twentytwenty'
    $result = delete_theme('twentytwenty');
    if ( is_wp_error( $result ) ) {
        // Handle the error
        echo 'Error: ' . $result->get_error_message();
    } elseif ( $result === true ) {
        echo 'Theme deleted successfully.';
    } elseif ( $result === null ) {
        echo 'Filesystem credentials required to proceed.';
    } else {
        echo 'Deletion failed or stylesheet is empty.';

    In this example, the delete_theme() function attempts to delete the 'twentytwenty' theme. The result is then checked to see if it's a WP_Error, true, null, or false, and appropriate actions or messages are displayed based on the result.

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