How To Optimize WordPress Database To Improve Performance

If you have been using WordPress for a while now, you have to give your database proper attention.

Over the period of time, it gets loaded up with unwanted junk which has to be removed. A database full of junk can result in slow wp-admin loading time, slow back-end dashboard and plugin errors.

In this post, I’ll cover two things.

First, how to clean and maintain your database.

Second, changes to make your database load fast. Because if your database loads slow, it will negatively affect your WordPress site drastically.

With a fast and clean database, your site will load fast as well as you’ll face much less memory and fatal errors.

Before you follow any of the methods below, make sure to create and store a backup of your complete website online and offline, as well. If something goes wrong, this one thing will help you save years of your hard work.

You can use plugins like BackupBuddy and UpDraftPlus to take a full backup before you begin optimizing your database.

Let’s start talking about several ways you can begin cleaning up your database and make your WordPress back-end/front-end load fast:

1. WordPress Plugins to Optimize WordPress Database

There hundreds of WordPress plugins that can help you clean your database. But the thing is, only a couple few of them can literally, clean as well as optimize ANY WordPress database without breaking the site.

A) WP-Optimize

WP-Optimize is a popular plugin for cleaning up your database. It works with every WordPress installation, no matter how complicated it may be.

If you are someone who does a lot of customization pretty often, you should use this plugin regularly.

WP-optimize comes with a cleanup schedule option. Once you set a preferred time for optimizing your database, you won’t have to worry about it, unless things go south.

It is a free plugin but comes with a premium version, as well. The premium version allows you to control multiple WordPress sites with a single dashboard, premium support, and orphaned image removal.

B) WP Rocket

WP Rocket is primarily known as a cache plugin. But if you haven’t used it, you won’t know it is a complete speed optimization WordPress plugin.

It comes with a default module to clean your database and optimize it. WP Rocket comes with a routine cleaning option that you can turn on to make sure your database is kept clean even if you forget to do so manually.

It also helps you clean post revisions, transients, tables, drafts, and spam comments.

The automatic mode set to default setting is the easiest way to optimize your database. If you are a complete beginner, the WP Rocket plugin is incredibly useful for you.

C) Advanced Database Cleaner

Advanced Database Cleaner is one of the oldest WP database plugins, that’s still active and regularly updated. It is also the most simplistic plugin for database management.

It has the core features of a suitable back-end junk cleaner and speed optimization WordPress plugin. It helps you to clean database tables, orphan metadata, transients, drafts, and revisions.

You can select and specify which particular data has to be cleaned using Advanced Database Cleaner. It will then automatically clean those specific data chunks and leave the rest of the database untouched.

It comes in both free and premium versions. Advanced Database Cleaner premium will help you to specify Cron jobs individually, and you’ll get premium support too.

2. Use PhpMyAdmin

PhpMyAdmin allows you to access your MySQL database pretty quickly.

If you are hosting your WordPress website on a web host that offers C-panel, you can access the PhpMyAdmin software by logging into your C-panel dashboard.

If you’re using a web host that uses a custom control panel, either ask your support on how to access your database or check your hosting dashboard for “Database options.”

For instance, I use WPX hosting here on BforBloggers, and my dashboard has a link to my database and PhpMyAdmin access:

You’ll have to select all of the tables by clicking “Check All.” Then click on the options field and select Optimize Table option to execute the optimization program.

Here’s what it looks like:

3. Change your Web Host

What happens when you access your website from any device?

In layman terms:

The web browser pings your server for data, and your server has to run database queries, look for files such as images, and execute codes such as Javascript.

How fast your website loads is mostly dependent on the Time To First Byte. Because that’s when the server and browser actually connect and your website loads on their screen.

If your web hosting servers are slow, the TTFB will be pretty low too. Which generally results in slow loading speed and pathetic user experience. TTFB is also referred to as wait time in web performance testing tools like Pingdom and GtMetrix.

Migrating to a better web host can fix this issue to a great extent. Database performance on SSD web hosting servers improves dramatically.

Useful Tips To Keep Your Database Healthy & Fast

There’s a lot of stuff that keeps happening in the backend of your WordPress site. Not everything is visible for you to notice.

You may install one plugin today and delete it after a few hours. But the data that plugin stored in your database remains unchanged. It won’t vanish itself, which is why it is so important to keep checking it periodically.

I usually go through my database changes once in a month. Following a routine like that will help you keep your website as healthy and fast as possible.

Below are a few tips you can use to keep your WordPress database healthy:

Keep your WordPress version updated

Recently WordPress released the auto-cleanup function for expired/obsolete transients. Updating your WordPress installation will also update your database to the latest improvements.

All the latest security updates, bugs identification, and resolutions for many errors are released in periodic updates.

So, make sure your WordPress installation is the latest, and you keep updating your database regularly. You can keep an eye on the latest WordPress version here.

Use a spam protection service

You might also get fake traffic at times, which results in existing query limits. Although it is not very common, it happens, and when it does, it literally breaks your site and makes it inaccessible to real users.

One solution to tackle this situation is using a spam protection firewall. You can also use a CDN combined with a web application firewall for even faster performance.

Sucuri and CleanTalk are two of the best services for spam and hack protection. You can use any of them, and it will help save bandwidth and reduce server queries.

A few more guides you would like to check out:

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If you have any questions regarding your WP database, leave it in the comments.

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