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How To Optimise Your WordPress Database

Written by Reece
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intro.

Think of your WordPress database as a house… good housekeeping will make sure that your home is in the best condition it can be, leaving it in the best place to fetch a higher price in the property market. A WordPress database is just like this – keeping your database clean and tidy, gives your website the best chance to fetch a higher rank in the SERPs.

Simple, right?

Well, just as you would complete regular chores around the house, there are a few which you’ll need to carry out on your WordPress Database. To help you keep your site in tip-top condition, we’ve outlined a few of the key things you can do to keep things running smoothly.

Cook Your Spam

Bots, in this case, are your worst enemy. We’re not talking about the Terminator specifically, but imagine if instead of trying to kill Sarah Connor, his purpose was to relentlessly comment on your blogs? How annoying.

Although these comments will technically be deleted after 30 days, they can still take up space in your wp_comments table. So, instead of letting them build up and bog down your site, cook those fools!

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Optimise Image Size

Pictures speak a thousand words… and if you don’t compress them, they can weigh a whole lot more!

For the most part, it’s unlikely that images will be displayed huge on your web pages and when the image itself is a big’un the difference can amount to a lot of wasted space. By carrying out a review of the size of image you need and how big the files are currently sitting in your database, you’ll likely be able to find quite a few which can be compressed.

For quick image compression, check out compressor.io – it’s one of our faves.

Take Out The Trash

Growing up you may have had your parents shout “the bin won’t empty itself!” at you after you’ve left it full for an unspeakable amount of time. Well, a WordPress bin will actually empty itself but only after 30 days, which if you’re regularly trashing items, can amount to a continuous mound of rubbish. 

You can either dip into your bin regularly and empty the trash if you’d like to double-check there’s nothing you may need to fish out, or if you’re looking for a more automated approach, you can simply upload ‘define( ‘EMPTY_TRASH_DAYS’, 5 ); // 5 days’ to your wp-config.php file.

Job done!

Load Lazily

Although the name of this method may sound counterproductive to a task which is supposed to improve site speed, it can actually be a great way of oiling your WordPress machine. Enabling this will mean that only the content on the page which is currently being viewed will load, rather than the entire page at once.

This can dramatically decrease the number of server requests needed and speed things up. If this sounds like something you’d like to get your mitts on, check out wp-rocket.me.

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Unplug Your Unused Plugins

Stick your database on the scales and see if there are a few pounds you can shed. If a particular plugin is using a lot of storage in your database or slowing your website down considerably, get rid! Think of removing your plugins just like turning off a switch when you leave the house (cheeky cost of living tip for you there too).

There are a few WordPress plugins which include an option on their settings page to remove all data but the majority of plugins do not have this option. If you need to scrap an unused table from your database, you can do it manually through a database management tool such as phpMyAdmin and mySQL. There’s also functionality for this within the WordPress cms, so you can get stuck in adding, editing and deleting plugins there too. 

If a WordPress plugin has been installed and is essential to your website’s success, we’d recommend sparing it the chop but there are alot of alternatives available to WordPress users, so it’s definitely worth a hunt around…

Revise Your Revisions

One of the quickest ways your database can become bloated is due to revisions, which are created every time a page is edited. Now, a few Rennies won’t solve this one but a nifty plugin called WP-Sweep will help prevent any database-related indigestion. 

Need A Hand?

If you’re looking for a man in blue tights and a red cape (often mistaken for a bird or a plane) to swoop in and save the day, we’re sorry to tell you that’s unlikely. However, Flaunt Digital in a dashing shade of purple is on hand to help you with any WordPress woes.

We don’t have an FD symbol you can shine into the night sky but we do have a phone number (+44 113 460 1232) and a blog which you can follow for all the latest top tips and industry updates.

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