If you’ve been running your website for a while, there’s a high chance that your database has accumulated a lot of useless information such as data from old plugins, post revisions, spam comments or pingbacks. This reduces the performance of your website because it takes longer for your server to locate the resource it needs while also consuming more space on your server.
You can improve the speed and performance of your website by making regular cleanups of your WordPress database. This also leads to smaller, more manageable backups.
Before you begin, backup your database
This one is compulsory. You need to back up your database, or preferably, make a full backup of your website before attempting to clean up your database. It allows you to restore your website to a previous working state in case something goes wrong during the cleanup process.
We have already covered WordPress backups before, so make sure to check out our selection of the best backup plugins you can use to back up your website quickly and securely.
Best Plugins to clean up WordPress database
1. WP Optimize
WP Optimize is the most popular and trusted option on this list with half-a-million active installations and a 4.9/5 average rating. I do not know if the plugin is still in active development, as it has been nine months since the last update at the time of writing.
The plugin helps you remove all clutter from your MySQL tables including spam or trashed comments, automatic drafts, stale post revisions, pingbacks and trackbacks, etc. You can also schedule weekly cleanups if you want this action performed for you automatically and receive notifications via email.
After installing and activating the plugin, it will analyze your database and show you how much space can be optimized. Once you’ve selected the data you want to remove, just click the big “Process” button to allow the plugin to take care of the rest.
2. WP Sweep
WP Sweep is another highly-rated database cleaner which you can also install for free from the WordPress repository. As with WP Optimize, the plugin will analyze your database and provide a report of how much useless data can be removed. You can choose to clean items individually or clean them all at once by scrolling to the bottom and clicking the “sweep all” button.
The plugin will help you clean orphaned metadata from posts, comments and users as well as post revisions, spam and more. The major difference between WP Sweep and WP Optimize is that the latter uses direct SQL queries to perform cleanups while WP Sweep uses native WordPress delete functions for its cleanups.
Using either of the two plugins should help you get rid of the clutter in your database. I’ve used both of them, and they both worked fine for me, so whichever you go for should be able to get the job done for you, too. Don’t forget to leave a comment or share if this article helped you clear the clutter in your WordPress database.