WordPress Database Optimization for Newbies

Andrei Iordache

Andrei Iordache

WordPress Developer

🚀 I Help People Get Found Online | WordPress Development, Core Web Vitals, Security&Maintenance

What is the WordPress database? What is it good for?

All of a website’s data is kept in a database. All page and post content, information about themes and plugins, and several other settings, choices, and relational data are all included in here. Any website that has been up for a while has probably developed database bloat over time.

Database bloat may harm a website’s performance and any backend activities in addition to using unneeded storage space. As a result, purging any superfluous data from your WordPress database might make your website function more effectively. This post will cover all the methods that your database may get extra data and how to optimize it appropriately.

Before we begin, it is important to note that you should always backup your WordPress database before making any changes. This will ensure that you can revert back to a previous version if something goes wrong.

To backup your WordPress database, you can use a plugin like BackupBuddy or WP Database Backup. Alternatively, you can manually backup your database via phpMyAdmin.

Once you have backed up your database, you are ready to begin optimizing it.

WordPress database optimization: Why you must do this?


The benefits of optimizing your WordPress database are numerous. The most apparent ones are enhancing your website’s performance and making your server work more effectively. As a consequence, visitors to your website will find it easier to browse through your material, which might result in improved engagement and conversion rates.

In addition, there are other advantages to take into account. Users with limited storage on their hosting plans need to have an efficient database. Additionally, you should optimize your database if you intend to move your website to a new server because some migration plugins have storage restrictions on the volume of data that can be moved.

We’ll now quickly go through all the ways that database bloat might accumulate on your website in order to better understand what has to be removed. This includes unused post revisions, auto-draft posts and posts you’ve deleted unnecessarily, spam, deleted and disapproved comments, out-of-date transients, pingbacks, and trackbacks, leftover or inefficient database tables, and unused data. Below, we’ll provide a quick description of each of those.

Revisions to posts were first made in the WordPress 2.6 upgrade. They stand in for earlier iterations of your revised posts and drafts, to which you may go back. However, because all of this information is kept in your database, it may soon accumulate. As a result, limiting the number of changes stored in the database or eliminating them entirely can help minimize its size.

The database can bulge significantly as a result of items in the garbage. Those objects will stay in the trash for 30 days before being permanently eliminated if they aren’t restored. As a result, if you manage a busy website, your garbage may be overflowing with objects, making it difficult to remove them all at once in a permanent manner.

If your website allows comments, you have almost likely had trouble removing spam from both human people and, most frequently, automated bots. Fortunately, WordPress gives you some tools to partially address this problem. To prevent a remark from being seen by website visitors, you can disapprove it, delete it, or designate it as spam. Nevertheless, such remarks will continue to be kept in the database, increasing the already excessive database bloat. You have the option to do so, which will considerably lessen the database bloat.

Transients let WordPress developers save data that has an expiration date rather than having to load it every time a page loads, which would slow down your website. They function similarly to the browser cache in that regard. However, if you are testing a capability, for example, you should remove transients once they expire in order to eliminate that superfluous data from your database and to observe the actual outcome on your website.

The use of pingbacks and trackbacks, a function of WordPress, has mostly declined over time. If you use them, eliminating the ones in your database will help your WordPress database run more efficiently and reduce bloat. Check read the page we linked above if you want to learn more about pingbacks and trackbacks or if you don’t know what they are. You may choose whether to utilize them initially after you are informed of all the benefits and drawbacks.

WordPress Database Optimization with Plugins

Some plugins could expand your database’s existing tables and add useful data to them. However, those additional tables might not also be deleted if you deactivate and delete those plugins. Your website may wind up being affected by this and becoming slower than it should be. As a result, it’s critical to periodically optimize your database by getting rid of those unused, residual tables. Simply deleting anything from one table might leave behind orphaned data since MySQL depends on relationships between the data. This is information that was connected to whatever you erased, such as being entangled in the plugin’s database tables. To shrink your database and improve its efficiency, you must remove any orphaned data. The metadata about orphaned posts, comments, and relationships is included here.

Additionally, you may restructure the current data such that it uses less storage space and is easier to retrieve. This is accomplished by utilizing phpMyAdmin’s Optimize table option or a comparable plugin option that depends on it.

A short recap: Why Optimize the WordPress Database?

There are a few reasons why it’s important to optimize your WordPress database:

  1. First, as your site grows, your database will become increasingly bloated with useless data. This can lead to decreased performance and even database errors.
  2. Second, if you ever need to restore your site from a backup, you’ll want to make sure that your database is as clean and lean as possible. A bloated database can cause your restore process to take longer than necessary and can even lead to errors.
  3. Third, optimizing your database can help improve your site’s security. A WordPress site that isn’t regularly optimized is more susceptible to SQL injection attacks.
  4. Fourth, optimizing your database can help you troubleshoot issues on your site. If you’re having a problem with your site, a good first step is to check your database for errors.

Finally, optimizing your database is just good practice. Like any other type of database, a WordPress database needs to be regularly optimized to keep it running smoothly.

How To Optimize your WordPress Database and Get a Performance’s Boost


Now that you know why it’s important to optimize your WordPress database, let’s take a look at some of the best plugins for the job.. We strongly advise creating a database backup in advance since messing with the database might potentially damage your website. Regular database and website backups are generally a good idea. So with that, let’s get started.

Using a plugin for WordPress optimization

There are many WordPress plugins available, making it simple to pick one that works for practically any need. You may either seek for plugins made specifically for database optimization or those made to increase the efficiency of your website as a whole when it comes to optimizing your WordPress database.

WP-Optimize

WP-Optimize is a popular plugin that helps you clean up your WordPress database. It can delete unnecessary data, such as trashed posts, revisions, and spam comments. It also helps you optimize your database tables.

Download

WP-DB Manager

WP-DB Manager is a great plugin for optimizing your WordPress database. It allows you to run database queries and repair database tables. It also helps you backup your database and provides a number of other features.

Download

Advanced Database Cleaner

Advanced Database Cleaner is another excellent plugin for optimizing your WordPress database. It helps you clean up your database by deleting unnecessary data. It also allows you to optimize your database tables and repair corrupt tables.

Download

How to Optimize the WordPress Database

Now that you know why it’s important to optimize your WordPress database and you’ve seen some of the best plugins for the job, let’s walk through the process of using a plugin to optimize your database.

For the purposes of this tutorial, we’ll use the WP-Optimize plugin. However, the process is similar for other plugins.

First, you’ll need to install and activate the WP-Optimize plugin. For more information, see our guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Once the plugin is activated, you’ll need to visit the WP-Optimize page in your WordPress admin area. You should see a list of options, as well as a button that says “Start Cleaning.”

Before you start cleaning, we recommend that you backup your database. That way, if something goes wrong, you can restore your database from the backup.

To backup your database, scroll down to the ” Database Options” section and click on the “Backup Database” button.

Now that you’ve backed up your database, you’re ready to start cleaning. Scroll back up to the top of the page and click on the “Start Cleaning” button.

WP-Optimize will now scan your database and delete any unnecessary data. Once it’s finished, you’ll see a message that says “Database cleaned successfully.”

And that’s it! You’ve successfully optimized your WordPress database using the WP-Optimize plugin.

If you want to learn more about WP-Optimize, we recommend checking out the plugin’s documentation.


Conclusion

We hope this article helped you learn how to optimize the WordPress database with a plugin. Remember, keeping your database clean and lean is important for performance, security, and troubleshooting.

If you’re looking for more ways to speed up your site, then we recommend checking out our guide on how to speed up WordPress.

And if you want to learn more about WordPress databases in general, then we recommend checking out our WordPress database tutorial.

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