WordPress works hand in hand with a MySQL database. Maintaining your database is a difficult task if you’re not a programmer. But ignoring it not a great idea. With every change you make to your site you are adding more data. When you are experimenting with plugins and/or content, each version is being saved to the database. When you delete plugins not all the data is removed from the database. Your database gets bulked up and a bulked up database can slow down your site.
Clean-up your database
WP-Optimize is a free plugin that will automate the clean-up process. It cleans up post revisions, spam comments, and other extraneous information. You can also set it to auto clean your database once a week.
If your site is fairly new you probably won’t see a big difference in file size but if your site is a few years old you will save a lot of storage space.
Go to >> Add New in the Plugins section of your WP admin and search for WP-Optimize. Run the install. After the install you will have a new tab for WP-Optimize.
I recommend the default settings. Make sure that Optimize database tables is checked under “Actions”. Now hit the “Process” button. It takes less than a minute.
To schedule regular clean-ups select the settings tab and select the General Settings as you like and Save Settings. Enable the Scheduled Clean-up for every week, every other week or every month and don’t forget to Save your Auto Clean-up Settings.
You will now have the peace of mind that your database is regularly maintained. Don’t forget to backup your database on a regular basis. Wp-Optimize only keeps your database clean. There are other plugins that you can use to backup your database and keep it safe. A free plugin you can use is WP-DB-Backup. You can schedule backups to be emailed to you as needed. This depends on how frequently you update your site. You should always backup your data before every WordPress update. If your hosting company does auto-updates on WordPress then it is imperative that you run scheduled backups, keeping your data safe!
Backing up your database
Go to >> Add New in the Plugins section of your WP admin and search for WP-DB-Backup. Run the install. After your have installed and activated the plugin you can find it under “Tools”. Select Backup and check all the tables you wish to include in your backup and click the button to “Backup now!”.
You can then schedule all future backups to be sent to your email address.