How to Optimize WordPress Database?



Are you dealing with a website that is low-performing? Is it taking a long time for your platform to load up? Only a few extra seconds makes a significant difference. That’s right, because the bounce rate rises with every extra second it takes to load a page on your web. Does it look overwhelming to you? Do you need a simple way to boost your site’s performance? The perfect approach to your worries might be upgrading your servers. Cleaning and optimizing your database will improve the efficiency of your site and decrease its bounce rate if your WordPress website has been around for longer than a few months.


What is WordPress Database?

WordPress, too, is based on its servers, equivalent to any interactive web application. The database forms the central basis of your website on which each and every activity is recorded. Each behavior uses the database to carry out the desired features, from WordPress themes to plugins and from comments to posts.

However, the tables within your WordPress database appear to get cluttered over the course of time. As a consequence, memory and consistency difficulties are starting to arise. That is why it is important to regularly optimize and clean up your database so that your WordPress platform performs well.

Understanding the WordPress Database Structure

Your WordPress database stores all the content of your website. It has eleven core tables, which include:

  • wp_commentmeta, wp_comments – Stores information about comments.
  • wp_links – Stores blogroll links.
  • wp_options – Records the options defined in the admin settings area.
  • wp_post, wp_postmeta – Stores information related to posts.
  • wp_terms – Stores post tags and categories for the respective posts and links.
  • wp_term_relationships – Stores the association between posts and categories.
  • wp_term_taxonomy – Stores the description of the category, link or tag used in the post.
  • wp_users and wp_usermeta – Stores information about the WordPress users.

Apart from these, other databases can be created manually or while installing a WordPress theme or Plugin.


The Importance of Optimizing your Database

Think your directory like a warehouse where the tables are the racks and everything in those racks is well sorted. Unnecessary data is piled on the shelf over time or due to lack of upkeep, leaving too much clutter. So, instead, it becomes a challenge to reach out to what you need and takes more time than it’s meant to.

Although you put in a lot of time and effort to make your website’s front end appealing, you still need to work on getting your WordPress databases streamlined such that they react quicker to requests and keep your customers happy.

Advantages of optimizing WordPress databases:

Less Clutter, More Space

The bigger and more cluttered your disk is, the longer it takes for it to access data from your computer. If you have been using WordPress for a long time, then there is likely to be a lot of material, such as post ratings, spam comments, orphaned metadata, and more, that might not even be important for your website to work. Optimizing the servers will give you extra memory space that can be used for other duties.

High Performance

A well-managed and clean database leads directly to the overall website output on your site. To fetch the necessary data, queries run faster. It also increases the website’s reaction time.

Great User Experience

A better performance and high-speed website means a great experience for the customers. They’re going to find the web easier to access. Users are not going to leave the website and keep coming back for more.

Now that you know why optimizing your WordPress database is critical, we’re going to look at how exactly it can be done.

But first…

Backup your Database!

Your WordPress database, as already mentioned, includes essential details required to operate your web. Therefore, it’s important for you to build a backup and know how to recover your site from a backup before you start the clean-up process.

Working on your servers without first taking a backup is not recommended as even a single error could end up destroying your website. You can backup your WordPress database using the BlogVault Backup Feature. You can take a complete backup of your website and recover it with a single click with BlogVault’s automatic plugin solution, if you inadvertently delete anything.

Furthermore, you can also verify the improvements you have made in your database using BlogVault’s staging site after taking a backup copy. This will help you ensure that the testing environment is running well on your web. You will then switch to live production with maximum trust.


Before you continue to the next steps, always take a backup, as this will help you roll back your page if anything goes wrong. Once in a while, those incidents happen, but it is safer to be careful than to be sorry.

How to customize the database for your WordPress?

Now that you’ve made a copy, let’s look into how your database can be streamlined. The two common ways to customize your database are below:

Optimize WordPress Database Using phpMyAdmin

You may use this tool from your host’s cPanel under databases. It is used to build, change and uninstall the WordPress PHP server databases. To simplify your database, here are the following activities you can perform in phpMyAdmin.

Note: To carry this out, you would need some technological expertise!

Database Table Optimization

By running a simple SQL order, you can start optimizing your tables. This will help optimize the overhead-affected tables (actual size of a table datafile relative to the ideal size of the same datafile). For starters, by running the following SQL command, you can optimize the links table:

Optimize Table ‘wp_links’;

You can also optimize tables without running this command from the main drop-down menu on the table page. All you need to do is check the table box that you want to optimize or check everything. Then, from the drop-down menu, select Table Optimization and click the Go button.

Clean-up Data of Old Plugins, Themes and Posts

Sometimes it’s not enough to just uninstall WordPress plugins or themes or to delete posts from the WordPress admin. It still leaves useless information behind that can lie around in your database. Apart from the core tables, you need to identify the unused tables of plugins and themes clearly and delete them using phpMyAdmin. The following SQL command can be run for posts:

Delete From wp_postmeta where meta_key = ‘META-KEY-NAME’;

Replace ‘META-KEY-NAME’ with your desired value.

Delete Post Revisions

The revised edits continue to mount up space inside your tables as you make revisions to your posts. All post revisions have to be deleted using MySQL commands. The number of revisions to be allowed for your posts can also be defined. You need to add the following code to your wp-config.php file for this purpose:

define ( ‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, 3);

You can change the number 3 within the code to your preferred number of allowable revisions.

Removing Spam Comments

It’s common for your WordPress site to have spam comments. This can be prevented by removing all spam comments from the database table:

Delete From wp_comments Where comment_approved = ‘spam’;

Clearing the Trash History

Deleted items are still stored in the database for 30 days, such as posts, images, comments or links. In particular, when you have to delete hundreds or thousands of items from your WordPress site, this can take up unnecessary space. By adding the following code to your wp-config.php file, you can configure the number of days before emptying the trash:

define( 'EMPTY_TRASH_DAYS', 5 ); // 5 days

Optimizing Database Using Plugins

You can use a WordPress Plugin to optimize your database if the thought of using coding and phpMyAdmin is not your thing. Several options are available. For example, to eliminate post revisions, drafts, spam comments, transient options, pingbacks and trackbacks, WP-Optimize can be used. It also contains a page that shows each database table’s data size, index size, and overhead.

WP Clean Up and WP-DBManager are other plugin alternatives. All these plugins help you to optimize and easily repair the database. It is essential, as always, to take a backup of your data before you run the plugin.

Ultimate Thoughts

At some point in time, every WordPress database will require a form of maintenance to help fuel the performance of your website. This is like changing your car’s oil and getting a fine tune-up.

You may think you don’t really need it, but by doing it you may gain a whole lot of advantages. So, periodically optimize your database and don’t forget to make a backup before you do that. Use BlogVault to backup your site and then get on to tuning-up your database!