Having a messy desk makes productive work difficult, even impossible at times. Similarly, your WordPress website is comprised of physical files and content that are saved in a database. A poorly managed database can have a slew of negative consequences, including operating inefficiencies which can ultimately slow down and even crash your website.
Every time your WordPress handles a request by a user, it has to gather the necessary data needed to display it which is located on your website’s database. The longer it takes for WordPress to get this data, the longer a visitor on your website has to wait.
In an era where “time is money”, a sluggish website can cost you big time. On average, it should take your website 5 seconds or less to render. Any longer than 5 seconds and you are risking your user leaving your website for one of your competitors. This can leave you with poor user engagement that will lower your Google search rankings. Poor user experience and declining search rankings don’t sound like what most people want from their website.
Each time the content on your site is revised, WordPress keeps the old version in your database. This is a great feature in case you want to revert back to a previous version or if your site crashes, but what do you do after you’ve made 20 or 30 revisions? Now you have 20 or 30 versions that your database is trying to sort through every time it needs to respond to a user’s request. This can slow the speed of your website tremendously.
Outdated or removed themes and plugins are another source of excessive data that is kept in the database. Just because they were removed from the site, doesn’t mean they were removed from the database. This “orphaned data” (data kept, but no longer needed) needs to be removed to reduce bloat and to optimize the most current data in your database.
WordPress Database Optimization focuses on removing cluttering, useless data from your database, keeping it clean and fast. A clean database means a faster website and a faster website creates happy users!
If this seems like a hassle to keep up with, you might want to consider a support plan (what’s a support plan?) from an experienced WordPress servicer. At Array Digital, we perform database optimization every week. This ensures that your database and website are as efficient as possible and that way you aren’t paying for storage you don’t need. We understand that digital maintenance can be daunting. That’s why we’re here to ensure that you’re equipped with all the information you need to make the best decisions possible for your website.
Erik J. Olson is the Founder & CEO of Array Digital—a marketing agency that enables its clients to achieve their dreams, fulfill their missions, and impact more lives with their services.