This is part four of a five part series which will explore the ways in which you can improve the speed of your WordPress blog without having to delve in to your code.

Read Part 1 – ‘Removing ‘Render Blocking’ scripts from your header
Read Part 2 – ‘Compress (‘Minify’) Your Code’
Read Part 3 – Optimise Your Images

Optimise Your Database

What does that mean?
The database is the background part of the website that stores all of the data which you enter. Whenever you edit or update a page within WordPress, it creates a ‘revision’. This is a duplicate copy of the page that is stored in the database. If you make a mistake or decide you want to go back to that page, you can restore a revision and continue working. As well as this, old comments are stored, as well as spam ones, and any trashed items.

What can I do then? 
The simplest thing to do is to purge all this unnecessary data. Unless you update your website on a regular basis (or you don’t use the built-in preview function!) then these revisions will just grow the size of your database, whilst serving no other real purpose. If you get a lot of spam comments (which are hopefully being blocked by Akismet), this will purge them. Think of it as a service of your database, cleaning it up and getting the optimal performance from it.

“Databases also need regular ‘repair’ and ‘optimisation’ to get rid of any excess data which may be leaked during normal operation.”

Anything I should know?
Unless you are prone to mistakes, or you aren’t one to use the preview function, then you have nothing to worry about. This will simply remove old data that serves no purpose to you or your websites users.

I have WordPress!
We are on part four here, so this is probably a given by now. The following plugin is recommended for this purpose:

  • WP-Optimize. A simple plug-and-play plugin which can be run straight after install with the default settings. You can also schedule the plugin to automagically do a clean-up every day, week or month.

Having troubles with getting your plugins to work? Don’t have a website which runs WordPress? No worries – the same rules apply, but you will need a coder to make the changes for you.

Get in touch today to see how I can improve the loading times of your website, keeping potential customers on your website for longer.

Databases also need regular ‘repair’ and ‘optimisation’ to get rid of any excess data.

Pete is a designer and developer based on the sunny south coast of the UK in Exmouth. He built his first website 15 years ago whilst at school, and has been dedicated to improving and advancing his knowledge ever since.

Posted on , in Responsive Design, Website Development, Wordpress

Leave a Comment

Want to join the discussion? Please fill out the form below to leave your comments on this article.