WordPress database tips and best practices to keep it healthy

Written by Bogdan Sandu on 21 Jun 2021
32,787 Views • WordPress

If you've ever thought about creating a website, you've most likely heard about WordPress; after all, it is the content management system that approximately 30% of the sites on the Internet are hosted on. Its success is attributed to how easy it is to use to create, edit and customize pages. However, this does not mean that some knowledge is not required to get the most out of the tool. Something fundamental is to keep the WordPress database free of imperfections and junk data that can compromise your site.

Having a bug-free system not only translates into faster load times for Internet users visiting your site but also makes it less prone to hacker attacks. You must bear in mind that the database is made up of texts, images, and other types of multimedia data. Even important data like passwords, emails, and addresses are in this database.

As your site grows in popularity, it accumulates garbage or becomes more attractive for attacks. If you want to prevent any of these from happening, there are many things you can do. As the list can be very extensive if you search on the internet, we have abbreviated some of the tips that you should follow to improve the security levels present on the site, as well as optimize its operation.

Update WordPress components to the latest version - Staying updated brings great benefits


WordPress is a system that, despite being extremely easy to use and understand for almost everyone, can be quite complex if you want to use its maximum potential. It has a huge number of components that can be modified by the user. These, at a minimum, can be divided into 3 categories: the WordPress base, Themes, and Plugins or Add-ons.


You must bear in mind that each of them receives updates. As with any software, some are simple bug fixes, while others fix large security or performance gaps. That is why you should always look for them to be in their latest version to achieve not only better performance but also greater data protection.

It seems like an insignificant step, but just by having every component updated, your WordPress database and the different components that make it up will work optimally.

Conduct database backups on regular basis - Backups can save you on more than one occasion


It may seem obvious, but one of the fundamentals of computing is to always have one or more up-to-date backups of everything, including the WordPress database.

In this way, in case of suffering some type of computer attack, or that during the process of editing a plugin something goes wrong and damages the code of the page, it will be possible to return to the previous version and in this way minimize the loss of information. 

It is recommended to do them on a daily basis, or at least, in very short periods between one and the other, since you never know when something bad may happen.

Harden your WordPress security - Small details that can make a big difference


The methods of hacking a website are known to become more and more effective and accessible. This is why security methods to protect information should not be left behind. Due to the enormous amount of data that is stored in the WordPress database, it is mandatory to look for some plugins that offer additional security measures to the standards offered by WordPress. For example, some plugins add security questions when entering the site, in the same way that banks or other entities do.

However, keep in mind that this only protects the home page of your website. Other evils must also be fought, such as DDoS attacks, bots, or malware. The good news is that with a quick search in the add-on store, you will find solutions for all these problems.

Remove unnecessary plugins and themes - Discard what will no longer be used


While it is true that it is extremely important to keep up to date with the themes and plugins that are being used, you must also remember to get rid of those components that you no longer use and will probably never use again.

This is mainly because it is common for all the unused content to be forgotten and choose not to update, leaving spaces within the code of your site that can be broken. Moreover, you should also keep in mind that everything you install in your WordPress database will require some computational power to be used. The more data you have, the slower the reaction of the site will become, and this will hurt visits and SEO.

If you use a one-page website, for example, you won’t need too many plugins to install.  On the other hand, if you have a photography website, you’ll have a plethora of plugins that will drag your server down from simple SEO or spam protection plugins, to more industry specific ones like gallery plugins, sliders, or a photography booking app that will handle the client appointments. 

Optimize WordPress database - For speed and efficiency


The WordPress database is very similar to a car or a smartphone: when it is new, it works perfectly, but with use, it begins to lose performance. The cause of this is going hand in hand with the previous point: all content that is installed or created will be stored on the site. 

Deleting Plugins and Themes is just one of the things you need to do to get rid of the garbage. Not only will you avoid other WP related errors like having an unable to handle this request error, but deleting old and unnecessary plugins or themes will also make your site faster. 

Images, texts, videos, all this can be erased if it is no longer used, or, failing that, compressed so that it is not so heavy.

So that you don't have to do this impossible task manually, some add-ons help clean caches and all unnecessary data from the system, as well as optimize the content that will remain active. WP-Optimize is perhaps the best option out there, as it helps to keep the program fluid in any situation, storing or removing unnecessary information with the push of a button.

Manage comments on WordPress website - It is important to make a good impression on the world


Working on user feedback doesn't necessarily seem to have anything to do with website security, but that's a mistake. If a hacker enters a site that sees does not have adequate comment control, it may realize that it is a page completely neglected by its owner, so it knows that it will be much easier to attack, especially with spam.

This is perhaps the most tedious task out there since, to make sure it is done correctly, it has to be done manually. Some plugins are responsible for detecting spam, but there is always the possibility they remove real comments.

As if that were not enough, spam is stored in the WordPress database, so if left unchecked, it will fill up and become disorganized, causing slowness and greater vulnerability for the site. Due to all this, it is important to maintain adequate control of the comments that appear on the site, not only for the aesthetic and visual value that this offers but also for its security against hackers. The best solution, especially on high-volume sites, is with human moderators.

WordPress continues to be one of the most complex and complete systems when designing and managing a website, as it has a huge number of tools to solve any problem. 

However, we must be aware that the content manager does not do everything by itself, the sites’ owners must know its functions well and keep their site safe and optimized through all the facilities that it offers. Otherwise, the page will begin to crash, problems will accumulate, and it will be almost impossible to return to an optimal state for the site. 

Taking care of the WordPress database from its conception can make the difference between having a positive site that offers great benefits to the business, or on the contrary, having a page that only brings problems and ruins the image of the company.

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