Jordy Meow’s Database Cleaner for WordPress is excellent. This is a guide if you want to clean your database.
- Back up your database. Your web hosting company might automatically do this. Ask them if you are unsure. What we are going to do can crash, corrupt, and ruin your website. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, ask for help in a comment below and someone who is an expert can help you.
- Read his tutorial. I am going to assume you have read it so we can discuss more advanced things. VERY IMPORTANT! Look for a checkbox at the bottom of these tabs that says Hide items used by WordPress. Not every tab will have this, but if it does you need to put a checkmark in it. If you delete a vital WordPress requirement, your site may stop working.
- Switch the setting next to AutoClean from Easy to Expert.
4. The interface as you know is divided into Tabs. We will start with the leftmost tab and work our way to the right.
In the WordPress Core tab, I leave everything set to default except for four items. Under Posts Metadata, I switch the mode of the Duplicated Terms Meta from Manual to Auto. Under Users, I switch the Duplicated Meta to Auto, refresh and clean it. Under Comments, I switch both Duplicated Meta and Pingbacks to Auto and refresh both of them and clean them. You only need to do it manually if you don’t want to hit the AutoClean above.
5. In the Post Types Tab, you will find many post types that don’t make sense to you. I found that copying and googling the post type name would usually tell me what plugin it belongs to. If you are unsure, you might be able to get help from your web hosting company or an IT friend. Since I couldn’t see a simple way to delete post types I found a out of date plugin that works called Custom Post Type Cleanup. It was very simple to delete anything that was associated with that post type, and then it also deleted the post type. If you aren’t sure what to do here, ask for help from someone who does.
6. In the Tables tab, you will find your database tables that are created by plugins that you may or may not be using. The goal of cleaning your database is to get rid of junk so that it can respond to requests for data faster. Again you can google the names of the tables and most of the time it will tell you what plugin it is. However, at times the name is inconclusive because it is so generic and you have to click on the little database blue icon with the magnifying glass icon on it. That will show you the data and then you have to read through it to see if it looks like anything you recognize. Often the data is just a number and so you have to make a call. Based on its size, is it safe to delete? If you are unsure here, you could reach out again to your web hosting company or IT friends for help. Generally speaking, if something is 0 in size or less than 1 KB it often is safe to delete. Also, you may see tables that you can’t delete. I had four of those tables. I fixed this by using PhpMyAdmin in my CPANEL and deleting them under the Views options. Apparently, this can’t directly delete views. Your web hosting company can help you with this as well.
7. In the Options tab, you will find the most entries. This honestly can feel overwhelming because of the huge number of entries. Just take your time. This process may take a few days based on how many plugins you may have tried and how long your database has existed. I have mine going on 14 years and it needed to be cleaned up. Again you can use Google to search for the plugins that are associated with the names. Often the name is obvious because the programmers wisely had a naming convention. Sometimes you might see both options and Used by Name you don’t recognize. In my case, I see Used by Freemius which is a plugin I never remember installing. It seems associated with the fs_accounts name, so that is a mystery I still have to solve.
8. In the Metadata tab, I didn’t change anything. I had many entries here because I use Elementor and it stores data in an _elementor_data file indexed by the Post ID. You can click on the database icon to the right to see the data it contains.
9. In the Chron Jobs tab, it was a challenge. I googled the names, but I could not match every chron job to a Used By plugin. Two of them irp_daily_scheduled_events and irp_weekly_scheduled_events didn’t show up anything obvious in a Google search. I did some research and they seem to be related to WP Cron which is a WordPress function. Yet I can’t select WordPress from the plugins, and it doesn’t seem to understand it is a WordPress function. I will disregard these if you see them.
10. In the Custom Queries, I didn’t have any.
11. In Settings & Logs, I set it to 7 days and didn’t change anything else. In the Custom Used By data, I see data that shows from Plugins that I no longer use but I wasn’t confident about the consequences if I clicked on the Reset Used By. So I haven’t pressed that yet.
12. Finally, the License tab I don’t have the pro version, or this process would have been easier. I like figuring things out, and I learned many things from using this.