At some point, you might find yourself in a position where you want (or need) to change your WordPress username. This should be an easy task by all accounts, but unfortunately, the platform doesn’t make it as simple as it could be.
However, where there’s a will, there’s a way – or two, in this case. Our recommended approaches aren’t complicated, and getting acquainted with them may save you some trouble in the future if, for example, your credentials get compromised.
In this article, we’ll first discuss the reasons why someone might want to change their WordPress username. Then, we’ll explain what the two different methods are. Let’s get started!
Why Would I Want to Change My WordPress Username?
With more sites than ever relying on WordPress, it should come as no surprise that hackers see the platform as a juicy target. Furthermore, if malicious attackers do gain access to your site, they might use it as a platform to distribute nefarious code or even try to steal your user credentials.
That means you need to stay a step ahead of them at all times and prioritize security, which brings us to the two main reasons why you’d want to change your WordPress username:
- Your login credentials were compromised. Even the most secure of websites can fall prey to hackers. If you ever run into a situation where your login credentials might have been compromised, you’ll want to change both your username and password to prevent further attacks down the road.
- You’re still using the default WordPress username. Depending on how your WordPress website was set up, you may have been provided with a default username, such as admin or user. While these types of usernames have the advantage of being easy to remember, they’re also easy to guess, which leaves you vulnerable from a security standpoint.
Of course, some of you might simply want to change your username because you’ve grown tired of it – or maybe you forgot your login credentials, and you’ve got no choice but to reset them. If you fall into the former category, you’re free to use either of the methods we’ll cover in this article. However, if you’re looking to change your username to regain access to your own site, you’ll have no choice but to do so from your hosting account’s control panel (which is the second method we’ll discuss).
Finally, regardless of your reasons for changing your username, you’ll want to pick one that’s both easy to remember while still fulfilling some basic security criteria. For example, you shouldn’t use the same username across multiple platforms, and it shouldn’t be related to your real name. Furthermore, you’ll want to include at least one or two special characters, as well as numbers, which will make it harder for hackers to guess what it is.
With that out of the way, let’s go over the two methods you can use to change your WordPress username.
How Can I Change My Username Using a WordPress Plugin?
In most cases, using a plugin to change your WordPress username is the option that makes the most sense. After all, updating your username requires you to tweak the WordPress database, which is something you may not feel comfortable doing.
A plugin, on the other hand, takes care of the entire process for you, usually in a matter of minutes. Let’s find out how.
Step #1: Install and Activate the Username Changer Plugin
This isn’t the only plugin that enables you to change your WordPress username, but it’s one of the easiest to use (and most well-reviewed) options out there.
Username Changer integrates a name-changing feature right into WordPress, and it does so nearly seamlessly. To set it up, go to your WordPress dashboard and then head to Plugins > Add New. Now type the plugin’s name on the search bar that comes up on the top right side of the screen, and wait for the results to appear:
Select the Install Now option and wait for the text on that same button to change to Activate – give it another click and the plugin will be ready to go. Now you’re ready to change your username.
Step #2: Change Your Username
On the left side of your dashboard, you’ll find the Users menu option. Hover over it and click on the My Profile tab. This page contains a few personal settings, as well as your contact and biographical information.
Once you’re in, scroll down to the Names section. If you’re familiar with this screen, you’ll notice a new option to the right of the Username field, which reads Change Username. Click on it whenever you’re ready to make the change:
Now, type your new username in the corresponding field and click on Save Username when you’re done.
Once the change is made, you’ll still be logged in, and you’ll be able to continue working on your dashboard. However, the next time you want to log in, you’ll need to use your new credentials to do so.
How Can I Change My Username Using phpMyAdmin?
While most of you might prefer to use a plugin to change your usernames, others will probably want to do so manually. Furthermore, this process will still work even if you can’t log into WordPress for one reason or another, as long as you still have access to your hosting panel.
Step #1: Locate Your WordPress Database Using phpMyAdmin
The first thing you’ll need to do is log into your web hosting account and access your cPanel. When you’ve made your way inside, look around for the phpMyAdmin option and access it using your hosting credentials:
Once you’re in, you’ll have to choose the database that you want to edit. If you’ve got a single WordPress installation on your account, then there should only be one option available.
If you find yourself facing multiple databases and you’re not sure which one you need to edit, make your way back to your cPanel. From there, you’ll be able to reach your WordPress site’s wp-config.php file and use the information within to identify the database you need to modify.
Step #2: Change Your Username Within the WordPress Database
After you’ve found and selected the right database within phpMyAdmin, you’ll find yourself face to face with several tables. Scroll down until you find the wp_users (or some variation of it, if you’ve changed your database’s prefix) option. In the example below, you’ll notice we’re using a custom prefix:
Click on your version of the wp_users table, and then select the Edit option that will appear next to it:
Afterward, you will be presented with a list of fields that you can modify. Locate the user_login option, and look for the Value field to its right. Your current username will appear within, and all you have to do is replace it with a new one:
At this point, we feel it’s pertinent to reiterate the need to follow good security practices for your new username. The harder it is to guess, the more secure your WordPress website will be as a whole.
Once you’ve chosen a new username, hit the Go button at the bottom of the page to save your changes and you’re done!
Changing your WordPress username to a more secure alternative is one of the simplest ways to protect your website from potential attackers. While the platform doesn’t enable you to make this change from your dashboard, it’s still easy enough to accomplish, either manually or using a plugin.
Before we wrap things up, let’s recap the two best ways to change your WordPress username:
- Using the Username Changer plugin.
- Modifying your database manually using the phpMyAdmin tool.
Do you have any questions about how to change your WordPress username? Let us know in the comments below!