Techniques to Optimize WordPress Database for Improved Performance

As in case of any functional web, WordPress applications also largely depend on its database. Each functional task is directly or indirectly connected to the database. Using various plug-ins and themes for different purposes also use the database to run the desired function. Techniques to Optimize WordPress Database for Improved Performance

Techniques to Optimize WordPress Database for Improved Performance
Techniques to Optimize WordPress Database for Improved Performance


Over time, the tables of WordPress database may get cluttered and crate many junks which will largely occupy the memory and show up as performance issues. This mandates timely cleanup and optimization of WordPress database to run it smoothly.

Your database needed to be considered as a warehouse in which things are sorted and stacked in shelves. With the lack of proper maintenance and timely cleanup, unnecessary or unwanted items may also get stacked, which will consume unnecessary space. This also makes it difficult to reach the actual product on searching, a waste of time, space, and money.

So, when you are putting in constant efforts to keep the front-end of a WordPress application clean and up-to-date for performance optimization, it is also essential to keep the WordPress database also optimized to process the queries faster, which also contributes to overall site optimization. Further, in this article, we are trying to discuss the structure of the WordPress database and some smart techniques to optimize the WordPress database.

Structure of WordPress database

When you log in to the phpMyAdmin panel to customize your WordPress site, you may see the option for database tables also. All these DB tables are interlinked with mutual relationships and provide the required data when the WordPress PHP files raise a query. If you are website owner or a WordPress developer, it is important to know the underlying structure of WordPress DB.Techniques to Optimize WordPress Database for Improved Performance

The WordPress version 4.4.2 has twelve tables in the database. All these tables are meant to perform the default functionalities of different types of WordPress sites. In fact, this number may vary based on the various plugins and themes installed for your WordPress site. Each of these plugins may create its own tables and the more plugins you install; the more database tables will be created.

Next, let us see some of the basic database table terminologies to have a better understanding of the concept.

wp_users: All the new user data is stored in it with all the details and status of each.

wp_usermeta: This table stores all meta information about the users.

wp_posts: Stores custom posts, post types, post data, and page data, etc.

wp_postmeta: Meta data about the posts.

wp_comments: Stores all comments placed on the site or blog.

wp_commentmeta: Meta information of the abovementioned comments.

wp_terms: To store categories and tags of posts and the links.

wp_termmeta: Meta information of terms.

wp_term_relationships: Table to store the relationships between entries of wp_terms.

wp_term_texonomy: storing descriptions of different categories, links, and tags at a wp_term.

wp_links: Stores the depreciated blogroll links, to be activated with Link Manager.

wp_options: Options set by admins.

Benefits of WordPress database optimization

  • More space and less mess

If unwanted data gets removed, then you have the database more organized and clutter free. As RemoteDBA.com reiterates, database optimization gives you more space also to store more data and more memory space to be spent on other productive tasks. Techniques to Optimize WordPress Database for Improved Performance

  • Better performance

The clean database also contributes to better performance. As we can see, the DB queries need to run through the entire database to fetch the needed data. So, maintaining only relevant and optimized data will make this process quicker and reduce the response time for your website.

  • Better user experience

The optimized database can also help improve the website performance and speed, which will ensure better user experience. On finding the website responsive and quick, users tend to spend more time on your website, which will further contribute to better search engine rankings too.


Database optimization with phpMyAdmin

Site admins may use the phpMyAdmin interface to create, delete, or alter the delete databases for WordPress applications. There are many tools as described below to be accessed from the control panel (cPanel) for database management. Techniques to Optimize WordPress Database for Improved Performance

Phpmyadmin – It can be accessed directly from the dashboard.

launch DB manager – to open the window of database manager where all tables and options are listed.

DB tables – You can see the option for putting SQL commands on the left-hand side corner like import and export databases and for the creation of new tables.

Optimization of table ‘wp_name’

This can be easily done without writing SQL commands. Access the Cloudways database manager, and you can see an option called ‘Optimize.’ Just mark the desired table and then click on this button to run it. Techniques to Optimize WordPress Database for Improved Performance

Sometimes it may not be enough to delete the plugins from the admin panel. They may even leave useless data even after being uninstalled from the system. In a similar way, post data is also present at the same table. Then, you can run SQL command as:

In order to delete all post revisions, one may run the following command:

Remove the spam comments

Another big issue which messes up the WordPress database is spam comments. This can be eradicated by using plug-ins like Akismet, which is pre-installed in WordPress. In order to delete the spam comments in tables, simply run the command as:


Unused themes and plugins

Many of the WordPress site owners tend to install plugins and themes regularly and also deactivate them. As we have seen above, these plugins too rely on the WordPress database and even on getting deactivated, they leave back chunks of data on the website, which requires timely clean up to free the space. This data may be needed if the plugin needs to be reactivated in the future, but useless if you don’t want to consider it anymore. Techniques to Optimize WordPress Database for Improved Performance

Similar to it, the themes for WordPress also store data in the general database, which is left inside the tables even when you change themes. So, it is essential to track these data too and remove when necessary. You can use phpMyAdmin or use the plugins like WP-DBmanager to do it.

We discussed a few techniques for WordPress database optimization above and also seen why it is important to the frequent cleanup of the WP database for better performance. It is important for the WordPress website admin to keep these needs in mind while handling the database.