It can push the traffic away, even before your business has taken a peak. Your WordPress website can be running slow for various reasons, one of which is a bloated database running in the background. It is essential to have regular maintenance checks for your WordPress website, and an often overlooked part of it is database optimization. During this process, you remove the unnecessary database and locate and fix the errors and/or inconsistencies in your database that might slow down your website.
This database optimization does not require specialized programming languages, although it could be helpful, especially when you need to edit the wp-config file. The following article gives you a glimpse of some of the best ways to optimize your WordPress database.
Start by Backing up your data
Before starting with the database optimization process, always make sure to create a backup of your existing database. This will help you if things go haywire during the optimization process, and you will not lose any data. You can back up your data in several ways, including:
Create a backup for the whole site from the cPanel of your hosting account
Export all your data such as posts, pages, comments, etc., and by using Tools followed by export menu, available in your WordPress admin area.
Use a plugin to backup your data. The most used plugins for it are BackupBuddy or VaultPress. These allow you to create custom backups as per your requirements.
Get rid of the unnecessary content
One of the most important things during the database optimization process includes getting rid of the unnecessary content on your site. Each post, page, comment, edit, etc., acts as a new entry to the database and can end up taking a lot of space. You can easily remove this extra data in your database from your WordPress admin area and free up space that will help in a smoother running of the website.
On your WordPress website, such content can be found in various places. The first would be in the trash folder. You must empty the trash folder of your posts and pages periodically (even though WordPress automatically empties your trash folder after 30 days).
Check your drafts and pending posts and see what is necessary and what can be removed.
Also, check for taxonomies if you have any and do not use them. WordPress majorly has two types of taxonomies, namely tags and categories. Both of these can be found in the posts menu. Database optimization can also be used to rethink your taxonomy structure and get rid of extra tags and categories, which will improve the visibility of your posts.
Remove themes and plugins that you do not use
Although themes and plugins are saved in the wp-content folder and not the database, it is suggested to remove the themes you do not use. There might be various plugins and some complicated themes that could create extra tables within your database. As usual, all plugins and themes store their configuration options in the wp-options table.
The plugins and themes developed by following the coding standards of WordPress usually clean up after themselves once they have been removed from your website. If your plugins and themes are designed according to these standards, you only need to remove them from the WordPress admin area in the Appearance and Plugins menus. It is essential that you delete them and not just deactivate them.
Optimize your tables in PHPmyadmin
You have the option to run the database optimization directly from your phpMyAdmin interface. This is an application that gives you access to a raw database of your WordPress website. To access phpMyAdmin from the cPanel of your hosting account, available in the Databases menu.
After that, open the database of your WordPress website and go through the tables you want to optimize. You can also choose to check all the tables by clicking on the check all option. From there, scroll through the dropdown list, and you will find below the tables. From the Table maintenance group, select the Optimize table option and run the query.
Run WordPress’ Database Optimization Tool
WordPress also offers a built-in database optimization tool. Open your code editor and add the (‘WP_ALLOW_REPAIR,’ true); option to the top of the file.
There are two options to choose from:
Repair Database that finds and amends common database problems.
Repair and Optimize database includes repairing the database and attempts to optimize your database and help improve the website’s performance.
Using a Database Cleanup Plugin
If you cannot access your raw database or your wp-config file and want to perform an advanced database optimization process, you can use a plugin. Here is the list of the three most suggested database cleanup plugins available:
- Advanced Database Cleaner
- Optimize Database After Deleting Revisions
You can use these Cleanup plugins to optimize your website’s database. They help you delete unnecessary posts, pages, etc., and help make your website run more smoothly.
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