A bloated database that is active in the background is one of several factors that can cause your WordPress site to load slowly. Regular database optimisation is part of a professional WordPress maintenance routine, which involves clearing out extra data and finding and fixing database issues and inconsistencies.

Although you occasionally need to update the wp-config file, WordPress database optimisation doesn’t require special programming expertise. In this article, we’ll go over a few best practices for optimising your WordPress database and why it is necessary.

Why Do I Need to Optimise My WordPress Database?

WordPress keeps all of your website’s data and content. This implies that all of your content, posts, comments and pages are currently stored in your database. Your database will expand over time as you update and add to it. The longer it takes the server to look for and get data from your database tables, the bigger your database will be.

Your website’s database will function much more efficiently and deliver pages more quickly if you remove obsolete and pointless data. It’s crucial to ensure that your database is optimised regularly to guarantee consistent website performance.

Your website will function substantially slower if your WordPress database contains many irrelevant data. Users won’t stay on your website for very long in this scenario, especially if it loads slowly, leading to a greater bounce rate. Make sure your database is regularly optimised if you don’t want to lose any of your current or potential customers.

If your WordPress database is not optimised, search engines will also give your website a low ranking. Website speed is a factor that search engines take seriously. A poorly optimised WordPress database can negatively impact user experience and slow down server traffic. Optimising your database can reduce its size, get rid of any extra information, and speed up database operations. A website that performs better will attract more visitors and promote more conversions.

How Does Your WordPress Database Grow and Slow Down?

The database will gradually increase in size as a result of you using the website and end users using it over time. Here are some ways via which the WordPress database grows that will eventually cause it to slow down.

Spam Comments

If you allow comments on your website, you’ll probably get spam comments. This is frustratingly all too frequent on the web today, so it’s crucial to have a method of getting rid of them.

There are two primary reasons for removing such comments:

  1. It will negatively impact your website’s database and speed when these comments build up over time.
  2. Seeing many spam comments may give a terrible first impression, but it also hinders legitimate people from making real comments. They might think your website is unreliable and unprofessional, or their comment will get lost in the spam.

You may reduce the amount of spam on your website and encourage visitors to engage in genuine dialogues by implementing some simple procedures.

People frequently put links in spam comments that they want you to click on. These links often direct users to their websites or suspicious third-party advertisers and trackers that attempt to steal personal data. It is crucial to take action to stop this.

Spam bots submit links to websites while posing as actual users. You may significantly lower the amount of spam by limiting the number of links that can be included in a post. Spam bots won’t be able to publish as many links, even though users won’t be able to post as many links either. Your website may appear more trustworthy and professional as a result.

Post Revisions

WordPress is designed to be the greatest content management system (CMS) platform available. It retains post revisions so that you can go back and retrieve any content you may have erased from your post, undo changes, or load up an earlier version of the post to keep good track of blog post changes, revisions, and drafts.

WordPress will automatically store a version of your post while you are working on it. It can pile up quickly since this occurs for all posts and draughts.

WordPress keeps a chronological record of your updates and stores an auto-save every 60 seconds. Even though these post revisions are very helpful when creating and publishing posts if you have a lot of content, they may eventually take up space in your database and slow down your server.

It’s a good idea to manually delete outdated versions you no longer require and to set up rules that allow posts to expire after a specific time. They are available through the post editor.

Expired Transients

With transients, developers can save pertinent data in your WordPress database for a predetermined time. As a result, your website and any other websites you are connected to operate at optimal performance and server loads.

Plugins for social media employ a common type of transient. These transients allow WordPress to update share numbers for posts without requiring you to re authenticate your connection with the social networking platform each time. This would significantly slow down your website, and the transients speed up the process.

Transients may not always work as intended when making significant changes to your website or installing a new plugin. Therefore, being able to control them rather than waiting for them to expire is advantageous.

Additionally, it is best to practise removing expired transients from your database because WordPress does not erase them. Having a huge wp options table can cause your site to load slowly. Thus removing expired transients is a great idea.

Best Practices to Optimise Your WordPress Database

Now that you know why you need to optimise your website database and what factors make it grow and slow down, it’s time to know some of the best practices you can use to optimise your WordPress database.

Start by Creating a Backup of Your Database

Always make a backup of your database before beginning any optimisation task. If something goes wrong, you won’t lose any data and can go back to an earlier version of your website this way. The following are the most popular methods for backing up a WordPress website:

  • You may create a full site backup from the cPanel of your hosting account.
  • Using the Tools > Export option found in your WordPress admin area, you may export all of your content, including your posts, pages, comments, and other post types.
  • You can generate several sorts of customised backups by using a backup plugin like BackupBuddy or VaultPress.

Delete Any Contents That You No Longer Need

Deleting unnecessary content from your website is one of the most crucial aspects of database optimisation. Since each post, page, comment, and post revision creates an item in your database, deleting unnecessary, redundant, or duplicate content from your WordPress admin area will free up a significant amount of space.

If you’ve had a WordPress site for a time, you can find this type of stuff everywhere. First and foremost, it’s important to remove your Posts and Pages from the Trash folder (even if WordPress automatically deletes trashed posts after 30 days). You can also review your drafts and pending posts to determine whether you actually need them all.

Additionally, you can determine which taxonomy you don’t use. Tags and categories are the two taxonomies that WordPress, by default, uses; both may be found in the Posts menu. During database optimisation, this is the best time to consider your taxonomy structure, eliminate redundant tags and categories, and enhance post-discoverability.

Remove Themes and Plugins You Don’t Use

Even though WordPress stores themes and plugins in the wp-content folder rather than the database, getting rid of the ones you don’t use is still a smart idea. Many plugins and some of the more complex themes add extra tables to your database. Additionally, the wp-options table stores the configuration options for all plugins and themes.

When you remove them from your site, plugins and themes created under WordPress’ coding standards take care of any leftover clutter. In this situation, you must remove them from the Appearance and Plugins menus in the WordPress admin area. 

However, remember that you must also hit the Delete button because simply deactivating them is not enough. If your plugin doesn’t take care of cleanup, you can still use one of the techniques listed below to get rid of the associated database overhead.

Conduct PhpMyAdmin Table Optimisation

You can run a database optimisation query right from your phpMyAdmin interface. PhpMyAdmin is the application that allows you to access your raw database. You can reach phpMyAdmin from the cPanel of your hosting account from the Databases menu. From there, you can open the database for your WordPress site in phpMyAdmin and look for the tables you wish to optimise.

Use the Database Optimisation Tool in WordPress

A database optimisation tool is also a part of WordPress Core. You can turn it on by altering your wp-config.php file, even if it is disabled by default. The root directory of your WordPress installation on your server contains wp-config. Open the file in your code editor, then add the following option at the top of the file:

define( ‘WP_ALLOW_REPAIR’, true );

You may find the optimisation script at http://your-site.com/wp-admin/maint/repair.php, where your site.com should be changed to your own domain name.

Here, you can choose from two options:

  • Repair Database – it searches for and fixes common database issues.
  • Repair and Optimise Database – in addition to everything Repair Database does, it makes an effort to optimise your database to boost performance.

The first choice is usually sufficient, but choose the second if you want a thorough cleanup. Remove the option you put to your wp-config file once the programme fixes and/or optimises your database so that nobody on the internet may read sensitive data about it.

Make Use of a Database Cleaning Plugin

You can also utilise a plugin if you want to undertake complex database optimisation operations but don’t want to (or are unable to) access your raw database and your wp-config file. The top three database cleaning plugins that you can consider are as follows: 

  • WP-Optimise
  • Advance Database Cleaner
  • Optimise Database after Deleting Revisions

It’s important to keep in mind that using many database optimisation plugins at a time is not advised because they have similar features and may interact unexpectedly.

Optimise Your WordPress Database Today!

Every website owner must perform WordPress database optimisation at some point. In other words, the more time your database is active, the more useless data it will accumulate. But getting rid of this extra data doesn’t have to be difficult. You can do it on your own or entrust it to a reliable web design agency.

At Digital Rescue, we take care of all our client’s website needs. You don’t have to worry about this because we solve the problems for you! Get started now with your FREE chemistry call.