Meaning, if I install WordPress in the /wp folder... would any files in the main root of the domain folder "/" be accessed, or any other folder outside of the /wp folder for that matter? Meaning, are all of the WordPress files continuously self-contained to just the install folder (/wp in my case) and it's subfolders?

(Thus, if this is true, to remove WordPress, can we just delete the install folder...and vice-versa, if we install into a particular folder, we know no other files/folder would be affected?)

Thank you!

1 Answer 1


The short answer is no, WordPress does not refer to any files outside of the main install folder. When WordPress loads (via /wp-load.php), it sets the constant ABSPATH to the current directory path and points all further includes relative to that.

However, since you are asking, there are some notable special cases:

These are all options and not default behavior. So the answer remains no.

  • Great, thank you for this as I'm just getting started with WP and trying to understand the basic way files integrate. I believe in your first bullet-point, you're referring to, if I want to use my main domain for the site, but run WP from a subfolder. I've been able to test this successfully. Side question, if you might know, would that effect search engines being able to find my links ... meaning, is it "better" seo to have your WP site run from the main / folder and not "re-path" everything? Or does WP simply not work that way? I'm used to "folders" by design being the direct link name.
    – Michael
    Commented Mar 28, 2015 at 1:36
  • @Michae if your Domain is example.com and you install WordPress inside a directory called "wp" it will be publicly visible as example.com/wp There is nothing wrong with this approach and any search engine that would rank you lower for that, would be shooting its own foot. However some people don't like it simply for aesthetical reasons and don't want the WP files clutter their root directory. That's what the first link is for. Your site will be publicly visible as example.com but WP files are still in the /wp/ directory behind the scenes.
    – Jan Beck
    Commented Mar 28, 2015 at 1:47
  • It's also possible to install WordPress within a directory and serve it from the root of your domain, you just need to move the index.php file in the first level of the install directory up one level, and edit the include statement to point to the directory you installed in. See Giving WordPress Its Own Directory in Codex.
    – Milo
    Commented Mar 28, 2015 at 1:53
  • Thank you, all. Yes, that all makes sense. I was just concerned that this approach, keeping WP in a subfolder, but running it from the root as noted above, would somehow be "bad" coding...meaning, it would be better to have WP in the root, but I believe it just doesn't make a difference and is meant to function fine out of a subfolder. Do any browsers have issue with this method? I like it because I can build a new site on the same domain while keeping the old site active.
    – Michael
    Commented Mar 28, 2015 at 3:10

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