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I haven't been able to find an answer on whether or not this can happen. If there is a poorly built plugin that hasn't been updated in two years, and I make the poor decision to install it anyway - is it possible that even after complete deletion in the FTP this plugin could still be effecting my site? Has anyone ever dealt with something like this before and how did you fix it? I imagine I might have to check out the database if the plugin is causing this funky behavior, but I'm not sure where to start to rule this out.

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  • what does the plugin do and what issue are you having now? – Milo Aug 18 '15 at 17:17
  • I'm wondering not so much about the plugin itself but whether or not it's possible a plugin can alter your site even after deletion, but my specific situation is this: The plugin is this: link and it was meant to take the Custom Post Type slug out of the permalink for my CPTs. Which it did, but that resulted in a 404. So I deleted it via FTP and reset my permalinks and I'm still getting 404's on all of my custom post types. I suspect the plugin is the culprit but I don't know. – amandathewebdev Aug 18 '15 at 17:39
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Yes, a plugin that does not properly clean up after itself can continue to affect your site even after deletion. It can leave stuff behind in the database, or make alterations to your .htaccess file, which is probably the case in your scenario.

You might need to restore your .htaccess file - look here for help with that.

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  • Thank you - I really need to think twice before downloading plugins like this. I reset my .htaccess file to what is was before the plugin, but I'm still having issues. Do you know how I could find it's mess left behind in a database? I mean to ask where to start - maybe a search for the plugin name? – amandathewebdev Aug 18 '15 at 20:39
  • It turned out in my case that .htaccess rules were effected by this plugin. So I'm going to mark this as the answer :) I'm still curious though how you would track it down in a db. – amandathewebdev Aug 19 '15 at 20:25
  • Thanks. There's no catch-all method of tracking down DB changes made by a plugin - you'd need to study the plugin's code to see what it was up to. – vancoder Aug 19 '15 at 21:47

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