A client deleted the the main administrator account. All the site’s core pages linked to the account, so they disappeared as well. The last known backup was in February, so can’t roll the database back to the backup without loosing new users and posts.

The client has started rebuilding the core pages by copying and pasting content from Google cached pages into new pages on a new administrator account. The permalinks cannot be set to the deleted pages permalink and an increment (-2) is always placed at the end of the link.

Is there a way to:

  1. Attach the old pages to a new user account. Do they still exist in the database? How would I find them?

  2. Or, how do I scrape the record of the original pages out of the database so that the permalinks can be used for the new reconstructed pages?

2 Answers 2


If WordPress is appending an incremental number to the end of the permalink, that means that the original page still exists in the database. Several options:

  1. Try looking in the Trash.
  2. Try re-adding an administrator account with the same username, email, etc. as the one that was deleted.
  3. Go into the DB, using PHPMyAdmin, and change the post_author of the Pages in question to an existing username, in the wp_postmeta table.
  • Thanks Chip. A browse through the wp_posts found the page content. I tried changing the post_status from trash to inherit and the post_author to an active id did not bring us any joy, but we have the content! May 10, 2012 at 17:44

Look in the trash. If the pages are getting incremented with a number - i.e., "-2" - that means there is a page in the Trash with the same permalink.

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