Using too many resources is one of the biggest complaints that a lot of hosts will bark at their clients for. There is a good chance that if you’re using too many resources on their servers, you’re likely to receive a message asking that you move your site to a VPS server. They have to protect their other paying customers, and when your site starts affecting other sites; performance issues are always likely to happen. I get questions all the time, about shared hosting and suspended accounts, so I figured I would write this article to help people out.
So, MySQL databases can get really cluttered at times. Meaning, that anyone who has ever worked on a WordPress site has probably made tons and tons of changes on their post/pages, plugins, themes, etc. Without getting too technical on you, MySQL databases write tables to store every change you have done. For instance, you install the Contact Form 7 plugin; this will write a table in your MySQL database. Then one day you decide you don’t want that plugin and switch to another one. You deactivate it and remove it. From a glance, it did remove the plugin, but there is some cleanup that needs to be done in your MySQL database. It does appear that the files are gone, but really you will be surprised just how much data is leftover.
I’m not all that technical either. So, logging in to PHPMyAdmin isn’t something I am exactly thrilled to do. Let’s face it you could really screw stuff up by poking around in PHPMyAdmin and removing stuff. However, there is hope for those of us that don’t want to mess around with MySQL databases but want to clean them up. Let me introduce to you a really cool plugin I found called “WP-Optimize.”
Here is a cool YouTube video I found on this plugin:
Obviously, to install the plugin, you’re going to have to do a search for “WP-Optimize” in our WordPress dashboard. It was developed by Ruhani Rabin from www.ruhanirabin.com Then you can install it and activate it.
When you log in to your dashboard you can find the settings which should be under “Settings” or you can go to Plugins > WP-Optimize. The controls are insanely simple with this plugin. In fact, if you can click the checkboxes and click “Process” you should be able to handle it. Here is a screenshot that shows you the options you can clean up:
I do recommend clicking all the boxes and then clicking “Process,” This will clean up the maximum amount of space in your MySQL database.
The status log will show you how big your database is and how much you have cleaned up.
Optionally, you can click on tables which are at the top, and it will show you all the databases for this plugin. You can see the path and how big each table is with the screenshot above. Very good information for finding out what plugins, themes, data, etc. are hogging your resources.
You can adjust your settings too. It’s located right next to tables. The settings are pretty self-explanatory, and you can save your options however you see fit.
There is an auto clean up setting which is really cool. All you need to do is set it up once, and you don’t have to mess with it again.
I actually did it on one of my sites recently and saved 24.8 MB. My original size for my database was over 27 MB. There was a lot of stuff in my database that I didn’t even need. Thanks to WP-Optimize its all gone now.
All and all, this is a great plugin for cleaning up your MySQL databases. You don’t have to know beans about databases or anything. It does get very good reviews from webmasters on WordPress.org. I do recommend that you install this plugin and optimize your databases at least once every couple months. If you want to check this plugin out, you can find out more at https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-optimize/ It is completely free and I highly recommend you start using it.
It’s very common that you can greatly reduce your databases by 10-500% which keeps everything clean and tidy. This can save you more resources. However, I highly recommend that you install a caching plugin like WP Super Cache to also reduce the server load.
Please let me know if you use this plugin or have any questions about using it down below.
I’ve used WP Optimize and like a few of its features. In order to keep my site speed efficient though, I’ll just install this plugin maybe once a month, do a cleanup and then remove it and I still get the same benefits with better speed. I learned a few things that I didn’t know it did though too, thanks.
Honestly, Sarah I just leave it on WordPress and run it once a week or so. Really don’t need to keep uninstalling it and reinstalling it. It’s a very lightweight plugin which I have checked with GTMetrix 🙂
Interesting… really important to optimise your sites it seems… can’t you just WRITE and be seen ??
Tim Murphy says
What a great article! As a database administrator I understand how errant data can affect performance. I have never heard of WP Optimize before but, I will definitely be trying it now.
Check it out it’s really an excellent lightweight plugin. I highly recommend that you run it at least once a month.
This has to do with optimizing your MySQL database. Not SEO.