WordPress Database Optimization for Performance Boost

In the ever-evolving world of web development, speed and performance are crucial. WordPress, as one of the most popular content management systems, powers millions of websites around the globe.

Indeed, there are numerous WordPress development tools you can count on to enhance its efficiency. But at the core, its database optimization is a must to get the site running smoothly and ensure a positive user experience.

This database is where all data, including usernames, passwords, posts, and comments, get stored. As such, by optimizing the WordPress database, you can ensure increased website speed and overall performance.

Fortunately, there are various methods to achieve an optimal WordPress database. In this blog, we will go through the best two methods to conduct so. First, by using the WordPress Database optimization plugin and then via ‘phpMyAdmin’, which is a bit advanced method and mostly suggested for experienced technoids.

Understanding WordPress Database

The WordPress Database is a fundamental component of the WordPress content management system (CMS). It serves as a structured repository of data stored within a MySQL database management system.

This database plays a pivotal role in managing and organizing various data types that collectively constitute a WordPress website. One of the primary data categories stored in the WordPress database is content.

WordPress database contains all the textual and multimedia elements added to your website, including posts, pages, custom post types, and their associated attributes like titles, content, publication dates, categories, and tags.

Furthermore, the database also houses user-generated queries. When a web visitor visits the website – the web browser requests the server to transmit the necessary data required to display and run your content.

Each new piece of information added to the WordPress site will gradually occupy your database size. You can also carry out these commands manually or via a database manager.

Introduction to WordPress Database Table

Structurization is something that can make each content and its navigation well-formatted.

Following the same, the WordPress database also includes containers within that store specific types of data related to your website’s content, configuration, and user interactions.

Here’s a brief explanation of some common WordPress database tables:

  1. wp_posts: This table stores essential information about WordPress posts/pages, and even custom post types. It includes attributes such as content, titles, authors, and publication dates.
  2. wp_comments: Responsible for managing user comments in WordPress, this table stores data about comment authors, text, timestamps, and other relevant comment details.
  3. wp_users: User-related information is stored in this table. It includes usernames, email addresses, hashed passwords for security, and user roles.
  4. wp_options: Site settings and configuration data are stored here. This includes settings for themes, plugins, and general site options.
  5. wp_terms and wp_term_taxonomy: These tables are used to categorize and organize content through taxonomies like categories and tags.
  6. wp_postmeta and wp_commentmeta: These tables store metadata associated with posts and comments, respectively.
  7. wp_links: Historically used to manage website links and blogrolls, this table has become less relevant in modern WordPress sites.
  8. wp_commentmeta: Similar to post meta, this table stores metadata associated with comments.
  9. wp_termmeta: It authorizes the storage of additional information about categories and tags.
  10. wp_term_relationships: This table defines the relationships between terms (categories and tags) and posts. It specifies which posts are associated with specific terms.
  11. wp_term_taxonomy: This table stores information about taxonomies, including the hierarchical structure of categories and the relationships between terms and taxonomies.
  12. wp_usermeta: Similar to post and comment meta, this table stores metadata associated with users. It’s often used by plugins and themes to store additional user-related information.

Understanding these database tables is essential, especially when it comes to database optimization and troubleshooting issues on your WordPress site. Each table plays a specific role in managing and organizing your site’s data, ensuring its smooth operation.

As we will be stepping on optimizing WordPress databases foremost by using the plugins, let’s understand the importance of choosing the best WordPress plugin and how it can benefit database optimization in WordPress sites.

Benefits of Using the Right WordPress Database Plugin

Using the right WordPress database plugin can bring several significant benefits to your website management and performance. Here are a few key advantages of using a reliable WordPress database plugin:

1. Faster Website Performance

  • A well-chosen WordPress database plugin, such as WP-Optimize, can help you optimize your database with ease and can result in faster page load times.
  • Optimization removes redundant data, minimizes database bloat, and improves query efficiency, leading to a speedier user experience.

2. Optimizing Resources

  • Database plugins help you manage your website’s resources more efficiently.
  • By eliminating unnecessary data and optimizing queries, you reduce server resource usage, ensuring your website runs smoothly even during traffic spikes.

3. Data Security

  • The right database plugin can contribute to WordPress security by identifying and fixing potential security vulnerabilities.
  • Regular optimization and cleanup help maintain the integrity of your data and reduce the risk of security breaches.

4. User-Friendly

  • Most WordPress database plugins are designed with user-friendliness in mind.
  • They often feature intuitive interfaces, scheduling options, and automation, making it easy for website owners, even those with limited technical expertise, to optimize their databases.

5. Resource Efficiency

  • Database plugins can reduce the storage footprint of your website by eliminating unnecessary data and optimizing tables.
  • This efficient use of resources is particularly valuable if you have limited hosting space or if you want to reduce backup sizes.

Using the right WordPress database plugin can significantly enhance the performance, security, and manageability of your website. All while providing a user-friendly experience for website admins.

Methods to Optimize WordPress Database

Now that we are familiar with the WordPress Database table and the importance of choosing the right WordPress database optimization plugin – let’s move on to the guide to ‘How to Optimize WordPress Database?

Method 1: Optimizing WordPress Database Using Plugin

Before you start, make sure to fully back up the WordPress website and database before performing any optimization, as in case anything goes wrong, you can restore the previous website version.

Install a Backup Plugin and Optimize Database Table

Below, we covered a curated list of WordPress database plugins that cover various uses.

All these plugins are available in the WordPress plugin inventory, where you can download and use them for free. If you need advanced features, premium options are also available in all of its pro versions.

1. UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin

UpdraftPlus is the most popular WordPress backup plugin that integrates with various cloud storage platforms. Using this plugin, you can also schedule backups for website files and the database has separate settings. Thus, you can set a different backup frequency for the database.

Key Features of UpdraftPlus:

  • UpdraftPlus enables separate automatic backups for both website files and databases.
  • It offers multiple cloud storage options like Google Drive, Dropbox, and UpdraftPlus Vault for secure data storage.
  • UpdraftPlus uses incremental backups, saving time and resources by only storing recent changes made on the WordPress site.
  • Encrypted database backups enhance security, especially during data transfer to the cloud.
  • The UpdraftPlus Migrator simplifies importing databases from other WordPress sites.

2. WP-Optimize – Cache, Clean, Compress

WP-Optimize stands as an all-in-one plugin, featuring twelve optimization tasks that can be conducted individually or simultaneously. These tasks can include table optimization, old post revision, and spam comment removal.

To provide seamless support, WP-Optimize is well-developed to work with UpdraftPlus, covering both database backup and optimization for WordPress sites.

WP-Optimize works seamlessly with UpdraftPlus to provide database backup and optimization for WordPress sites.

Key Features of WP-Optimize – Cache, Clean, Compress:

  • WP-Optimize is a comprehensive plugin that serves as a one-stop solution for optimizing your WordPress website.
  • It offers functionalities such as database optimization, and media file compressions – preventing issues such as image upload error in WordPress and animated GIF not working.
  • With WP-Optimize, you have the flexibility to initiate optimization tasks either individually or in bulk, making it easy to tailor the optimization process to your specific needs.
  • The plugin provides a clear overview of all your database tables directly on the WordPress dashboard, enhancing transparency and ease of management.
  • WP-Optimize allows you to retain the most recent revisions of your content. Utilizing it, and having access to previous versions if needed gets way easier, without cluttering your database.

3. BackWPup – WordPress Backup Plugin

BackWPup provides a comprehensive solution for creating backups of your WordPress website. This plugin allows you to schedule automated backups of your website’s files and database, ensuring the data is safe and can be restored in case of data loss or website issues.

Additionally, BackWPup includes features for optimizing and repairing your database, further enhancing its utility for WordPress website maintenance.

Key Features of BackWPup:

  • Scheduled automated backups for your WordPress site.
  • Multiple backup destination options, including cloud storage platforms such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and Amazon S3.
  • Ability to choose a custom table, files, and data for backup.
  • Tools for maintaining and optimizing your database.
  • Easy restoration options to recover your website data when needed.

4. Better Search Replace

When migrating a WordPress website or database, the URLs, links, and media files may not have the correct references to take their place. Better Search Replace is an excellent plugin that performs search-and-replace tasks for your database.

Key Features of Better Search Replace:

  • Easily correct WordPress database issues post-migration with the search and replace function.
  • Its dry-run feature lets you preview changes before applying them.
  • Supports serialized data for comprehensive search and replace capabilities.
  • Access detailed reports, available in the premium version, to review all changes made by the plugin.
  • Simplifies the process of fixing database problems after migrating your WordPress site.

5. Advanced Database Cleaner

The Advanced Database Cleaner is an optimizer plugin designed for WordPress websites. It is used to optimize and maintain 14 different elements; such as database cleanup, unnecessary data removal, and optimize tables associated with the database in a WordPress installation.

Not only that, the Advanced Database Cleaner plugin benefits with numerous other tasks – including removing old revisions, eliminating spam comments, and preventing unnecessary data. By doing so, it helps reduce the size of the database, which can lead to faster website loading times and improved efficiency.

This plugin is particularly beneficial for website administrators who want to keep their WordPress database organized and streamlined, ultimately enhancing the user experience and site performance.

Key Features of Advanced Database Cleaner:

  • Flexible scheduler for automating tasks at different intervals.
  • Detailed element view to identify items for deletion.
  • Efficient organization of themes, plugins, and unnecessary tables in the database.
  • Improve database performance through optimization.
  • Improved user experience with faster website loading and responsiveness.

6. Database Backup for WordPress

Database Backup for WordPress is a free plugin to back up your WordPress database. This plugin is particularly useful for website owners and admins who want to safeguard their website data by regularly creating copies of the database.

This plugin is specifically useful for website owners and administrators who want to safeguard their website data by regularly creating copies of the database. By utilizing this plugin, you can establish a robust backup strategy to protect their valuable content and data.

Key Features of Database Backup for WordPress:

  • Automated backups for your WordPress database, ensuring data safety.
  • Multiple storage options, including local servers and cloud services for backup files.
  • Include selectable custom tables, allowing you to choose which data to include, and limit post-revision, optimizing the complete backup process.
  • Email notifications to keep you informed about the status of the backups.
  • Easy restoration process for quickly recovering your website in case of data loss or errors.

Method 2: WordPress Database Optimization via phpMyAdmin

WordPress Database Optimization via phpMyAdmin is a bit of an advanced process of improving the efficiency of your WordPress website by optimizing the underlying MySQL database using the phpMyAdmin tool.

By using phpMyAdmin, a web-based database management tool, you can access and interact with your website’s database directly, having greater control over the database cleanup process.

WordPress Database Optimization via phpMyAdmin reduces the database’s size and makes queries more efficient, resulting in faster web page loading times and improved user experience.

Steps to Perform WordPress Database Optimization via phpMyAdmin

Database optimization via phpMyAdmin is especially useful when the website administrator wants to have complete control over the optimization process or optimize the table that is covered by the WordPress optimization plugins.

However, it’s important to exercise caution and back up your database before making any changes in phpMyAdmin to avoid unintended data loss or errors. Once, you are done with that you can get started on the steps mentioned below:

Step 1: Access phpMyAdmin

  • Log in to your hosting control panel (usually cPanel or a similar interface).
  • Find the phpMyAdmin icon and click on it to access the phpMyAdmin interface.

Step 2: Select Your WordPress Database

  • In the phpMyAdmin interface, you’ll see a tab of the database. Tap on it.
  • Click to select the database associated with your WordPress website.

Step 3: Choose Tables to Optimize

  • Once you’ve selected your WordPress database, you’ll see a list of tables within that database. These tables may include wp_posts, wp_comments, and others.
  • Select the tables you want to optimize. You can choose all tables by clicking the checkbox next to ‘Check All,’ or you can select specific tables.

Step 4: Optimize Tables

  • After selecting the tables, scroll down and look for the ‘With selected‘ dropdown menu.
  • From the dropdown, choose ‘Optimize Table.’ This action will initiate the optimization process for the selected tables.

Step 5: Review Optimization Results

  • phpMyAdmin will optimize the tables, and you’ll see the progress and results on the screen.
  • It will display a message confirming that the selected tables have been optimized.

Step 6: Repeat as Needed

  • If you have other tables that you want to optimize, repeat the process by selecting those tables. 
  • You can do so by using the ‘Optimize Table‘ option from the ‘With selected‘ dropdown.

Measures to Optimize WordPress Database

Great, that you learned ‘How to Optimize WordPress Database‘ – with both the methods of using and without using a WordPress plugin for database optimization. But taking timely measures is as important as that – here are several must-add measures for your index:

1. Optimize Media Files

When it comes to database optimization, by including media files such as images and video WordPress media library plays a vital role. The files included in this library can accumulate over time and take up a significant amount of storage space.

To optimize them, consider using image compression plugins such as EWWW Image Optimizer, ShortPixel Image Optimizer, and WP-Optimize which can automatically reduce file sizes while maintaining image quality.

2. Manage Post Revisions

WordPress automatically saves revisions of both posts and pages as you work on them. While this is useful for tracking changes, it can result in a bloated database.

To limit post revisions, you can add code to your wp-config.php file to define the number of revisions stored, reducing the database’s size and improving performance.

3. Monitor Database Queries

Understanding how your website interacts with the database is crucial for optimization. Plugins like Query Monitor can help you out for keeping a close watch on database queries. It helps you identify slow or resource-intensive queries. Once identified, you can work on optimizing them for better performance.

4. Consider Content Delivery Networks (CDNs)

CDNs are networks of servers distributed across various geographic locations. They can clear WordPress cache and serve static content like images, CSS, and JavaScript files from servers closest to your website visitors.

By offloading this content to CDNs, you reduce the strain on your primary server and the database, resulting in faster content delivery and improved user experience.

5. Delete Unnecessary Plugins and Themes

Over time, websites tend to accumulate unused plugins and themes. These not only occupy valuable server space but can also introduce security vulnerabilities.

To prevent multiple themes on your WordPress dashboard, you can consider creating a child theme. By the time, to keep your database streamlined – you should also regularly review and delete unnecessary plugins and themes.

6. Delete Pingbacks and Trackbacks

Pingbacks and trackbacks are features that notify your site when another site links to your content. While they can be valuable for engagement, they can also create unnecessary database clutter.

By regularly reviewing and deleting old or spammy pingbacks and trackbacks, you maintain a more efficient database and prevent the accumulation of irrelevant data. This practice contributes to a streamlined and responsive website experience.

You can do this by heading to Settings > Discussion in WordPress, and deactivating the first two settings:

discussion settings for wordpress database optimization

7. Implement Caching

Caching is a technique that temporarily stores web pages and their elements, reducing the need to repeatedly generate content from scratch.

By implementing caching, you can significantly improve page load times, reduce server load, and optimize your database’s performance.

8. WordPress Transients

Transients are a form of temporary data storage in WordPress. They are often used to store and retrieve cached data. However, poorly managed transients can accumulate and bloat your database.

It’s essential to regularly review and clean up transient data to prevent database clutter and improve website efficiency.

9. Remove Spam Comments and Revisions

Spam comments and multiple post revisions can bloat your database. As a prevention, you should regularly delete spam comments and limit the number of post revisions stored. Considering Plugins like WP-Optimize or WP-Sweep can be a great adorning to conduct this.

10. Remove Spam Comments and Pages/Post Revisions:

Spam comments and multiple post revisions can bloat your database. As a prevention, you should regularly delete spam comments and limit the number of post revisions stored. Considering Plugins like WP-Optimize or WP-Sweep can be a great adorning to conduct this.

Remove Pages/Post Revisions

WordPress database diligently records revisions of all your posts and pages, offering a useful history for content tracking and rollbacks. However, as your content evolves, these revisions can accumulate, potentially leading to database clutter.

One effective approach is to consider controlling the number of post revisions WordPress stores. By implementing this, you can maintain a well-organized database and prevent it from becoming overcrowded.

To get started, access your wp-config.php file via FTP, and insert the following code:

define( 'WP_POST_REVISIONS', X );

Alternatively, if you prefer to disable post revisions altogether, you can use this code:

define( 'WP_POST_REVISIONS', false );

Remove Spam Comments

Eliminating spam comments from your WordPress site is essential for two key reasons.

Firstly, over time, accumulating spam comments can negatively impact your database and overall site speed. Moreover, they create a poor user experience and may deter genuine users from engaging with your content.

While WordPress will eventually delete spam comments after 30 days, they can still occupy your database during that period. You can swiftly delete these unwanted comments by selecting and using the ‘Empty Spam‘ button.

Furthermore, many anti-spam WordPress plugins, such as Akismet, offer the convenience of automatically filtering and permanently removing spam comments from your database.

11. Reduce Database Overhead

Including the redundant data can accumulate overhead in the WordPress database. There are multiple aspects that get involved in it such as post revisions, spam comments, and transient options. To minimize it you can run manual SQL queries or through plugins such as WP-Optimize.

12. Limit External Requests

External requests from your website to external services, such as social media platforms, analytics tools, or external APIs, can slow down your site’s loading times.

Limiting external requests involves optimizing your website by reducing or consolidating these requests. This enhances the user experience and decreases the load on your database and server, resulting in faster page loading and better performance.

13. Take out the Trash

However, deleted items don’t disappear from your database immediately. They will be posted in your website’s trash folder for 30 days. If you delete many items regularly, you might want to consider emptying your database’s trash more frequently.

Note that this is a core file for your WordPress website. As such, you’ll want to save a backup before you make any changes to it. Then, access your site via File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and open the wp-config.php file with your text editor.

Finally, add this code to the file:

define( 'EMPTY_TRASH_DAYS', X )

FAQs About WordPress Database Optimization

What is the maximum database size for WordPress?
WordPress does not impose a specific maximum database size. The database size is primarily determined by the WordPress hosting plan and server resources you choose. Most web hosting providers offer various plans with different database size limits, so the maximum size can vary widely. If your database approaches its size limit, it's advisable to consider upgrading your hosting plan to accommodate more data.
What SQL does WordPress use?
WordPress uses MySQL as its primary relational database management system (RDBMS). MySQL is a widely used open-source RDBMS known for its reliability and performance. WordPress relies on SQL queries written in MySQL syntax to interact with the database and retrieve or store data.
Can WordPress handle large databases?
WordPress is capable of handling large databases, but the ability to do so depends on several factors. These include your hosting environment, server resources, and the efficiency of your database queries and structure.


Thus, there are primarily two methods and thirteen additional measures you can consider to optimize your WordPress database.

As a result, by following the steps outlined in this article – you can ensure a better user experience, superior performance, and higher search engine ratings. Need further assistance? drop it to us, our proficient WordPress developer will be right there to help you with the best of all solutions.

Mehul Patel is a seasoned IT Engineer with expertise as a WordPress Developer. With a strong background in Core PHP and WordPress, he has excelled in website development, theme customization, and plugin development.

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