WordPress Ultimate Cleaning & Optimization Guide
Learn how to do full cleaning and optimization on your WordPress site with this easy to follow ultimate guide.
Why Clean Your Site?
Every WordPress user knows how great the platform is. It provides one of the best site-creation tools you can use to create a stunning website. WordPress provides tools that allow anybody to create a beautiful and functional site without requiring any coding knowledge.
WordPress can be a top-of-the-line tool for your site, but that does not mean that it is perfect. If you do not manage your WordPress site properly, you can run into a slew of problems and performance issues. Therefore, cleaning and optimization for your WordPress site are vital.
Doing a routine clean-up for your WordPress site can help you in many ways you may not even know about. Cleaning and optimization can enhance every part of your site while giving you many great benefits. If you are not already making frequent cleaning and optimization procedures to your site, then you should.
There are countless reasons to care about your site’s cleaning and optimization. It can lead to a much faster and more responsive site, increasing overall performance. Higher performance will increase user retention and traffic as well. Average load times, connection speeds, and site speed will benefit from regular clean-ups.
Furthermore, cleaning and optimization will increase your site’s security. By increasing your performance and cleaning up any unnecessary parts of your site, your site’s security can work much better. Security features will have much less load and higher performance. A lighter site is much easier to secure than a buggy and bulky one.
These reasons are not the only ones that show how beneficial consistent cleaning and optimization can be. In this complete guide for beginners, I shall explain how to clean up and optimize your WordPress site. If you follow this guide properly, you will have a much cleaner, lighter, faster, and secure WordPress site!
Before You Clean Your Site
Before we can start tweaking our WordPress site for cleaning and optimization, we need to make preparations. These preparations are crucial for ensuring that you do not mess up cleaning your website. I would highly recommend you do all of these steps before proceeding to the cleaning and optimization procedures.
The first and most important thing I would recommend you do before starting the cleaning and optimization process is creating a backup. Backing up your WordPress site is a crucial step you should always take before making substantial changes to your site. Backups can save you a lot of time, hassle, and often even money.
One of the most useful assets you may have access to is cPanel. It comes with your hosting services often and has several useful tools you may have to use someday. Another essential tool is an FTP client such as FileZilla. These clients let you access, view, and edit your WordPress files. These two tools will both required to follow some steps of this guide.
If you have never cleaned or optimized your WordPress site before, you may have to make an extensive amount of changes to your site. If this is the case, then I would recommend putting your site into “maintenance mode”. Maintenance mode will display that your site is under construction to users when they visit it.
Maintenance mode will tell your viewers that the site is under maintenance instead of displaying an error when connecting. It can be useful when you are making extensive changes and can be enabled very quickly. If you want to use maintenance mode, then you should check out this plugin!
If this process seems like a lot, then I have the right solution for you! Why not leave all the work to the experts at Labinator? The team over at Labinator offer web services that can autopilot your WordPress site for you. They are certified experts who have years of WordPress experience.
Their all-in-one WordPress solution can do all the work for you. They can professionally clean your site for you, so you will never have to worry about things like cleaning and optimization. With their amazing auto-pilot WordPress service, your WordPress site will be perfect in a couple of days!
There is one last thing I would like to cover before we start the cleaning and optimization process. Optimization will be different for everyone and will vary between sites. If they are not necessary or don’t apply to you, then you can skip some steps. When you have made preparations, we can proceed to clean and optimize your WordPress site!
Choose a Good Host
The Best Host
The first and most crucial step towards a cleaner and more optimized WordPress site are always having the best hosting services for your site. Your hosting provider determines much of the performance and responsiveness of your site. They also produce network connectivity, provide tools, and handle your traffic.
Choosing a good host versus a great one can make a big difference. When looking for an appropriate host for your WordPress site, you have to look out for a lot. Each hosting service has its own set of pros and cons that come along with it. They also vary in the suites of features and tools they provide to you.
One key thing to look out for is certain shared hosting services. Services like BlueHost can be cost-effective, but when your site obtains too much traffic, your site’s performance plummets. In many cases, popular shared hosting providers cannot handle large amounts of traffic, especially if you have a cheap plan.
A viable alternative to using shared hosting is called VPS hosting. This route is great because it allows you to have full control over your servers. VPS servers are owned and operated by you and are not shared, meaning you are responsible for the server’s performance and optimization. VPS hosting can be a good option, but we have an even better one.
The best hosting service money can buy you right now is undoubtedly Host Armada. Their highly innovative Cloud-SSD technology and blazing fast servers combine to give you the best bang for your buck. They also provide expert 24-7 customer support and all the tools you will ever need.
Getting a CDN
One last thing to take note of when you are choosing a hosting provider is getting a CDN. A CDN (Content Delivery Network) is simply a service that creates a network of servers that allow users to connect to your site faster. CDNs also cache data and files, further improving loading times. Having a CDN for your site is essential.
CDNs are very cost-effective and enhance your network connectivity, load times, and speed overall. They can allow anyone from anywhere in the world to access your page fast. CDNs can increase the loading times for your site by several seconds. Consider getting a CDN as soon as possible because they can make a substantial difference.
Tweaking Your Database
Optimizing The Database
The second step to your cleaning and optimization routine for WordPress has to do with your database. A database is just a separate place where your important data, settings, and logs are stored. Your WordPress site needs a database to work. The database allows viewers to access your website and load important content.
One of the most critical things you can do to increase performance is optimizing your database. By cleaning and optimizing your database, your site can load and store relevant data much faster. Cleaning your database comes in two separate parts: using the WordPress optimization tool and manually removing unused or unnecessary databases.
To optimize your database, you will be mainly using cPanel and FileZilla mentioned before. cPanel provides a tool called phpMyAdmin, which lets you directly access and edit your WordPress database. This tool is priceless because it allows you to fine-tune your database for both performance and security.
To optimize your database manually, follow the steps below:
- Open your cPanel or FileZilla.
- Navigate to your WordPress directory.
- Find the file called wp-config.php.
- Add this code to the bottom of the file:
define( 'WP_ALLOW_REPAIR', true );
Once you have added this link, save the file and exit. Now go to your browser and put in this address “www.yourwebsite.com/wp-admin/maint/repair.php”. Replace “yourwebsite” with the domain that your website uses and then open the link. After opening the link, you should see something like this:
When the page above appears for you, you must select the option that says “Repair and Optimize”. This option will optimize your database and repair any corrupt/damaged files there. Once the optimization process is done, delete the code we added. Using this is a reliable method, but it does not optimize everything completely.
Removing Unused Tables
You can also optimize the database by manually deleting data-tables and removing files that you do not need. This route requires you to open your database in MySQL and manually edit your database files. This method can be very effective, though I do not recommend it because it is not beginner-friendly.
To optimize a database table in MySQL, follow these steps:
- Open cPanel and find MySQL there.
- Find your WordPress site’s database tables.
- Select the databases you want to optimize.
- Right-click on them and select Optimize Table.
- (You can also delete databases by right-clicking on them)
Cleaning Site Content & Media
Once you have finished optimizing your site’s database, you should move on to cleaning site content and media. Site content and media files are a vital part of the cleaning and optimization process. This section will be the largest because there are several small tweaks you can make to improve performance and clean your site.
Delete Unused Files
Before you do any of the following tweaks on your site, you should always follow this simple step. Before you apply any of these optimizations, you should delete any content that you do not need on your site. You must go through your media, plugins, and themes. Delete and remove anything you do need and make sure you only have the essentials.
This step may seem very simple and easy, but most people skip it when they optimize and clean their site. Deleting files, plugins, and themes that you do not need can increase file space, make your site lighter, and enhance site speed. You will notice the difference almost immediately after you do this. So you must make sure that you don’t skip this step!
The first and most important step for site content cleaning is image optimization. Images take up nearly 35% of your site’s weight. For most WordPress sites, images take up the second-largest amount of space in storage. This section will give you multiple ways to optimize your images that range from compression to deletion.
To start, I highly recommend smushing and compressing your images when you upload them to your start. Before you upload images to your WordPress media folders, you should use a tool like TinyPNG to compress images. Compressing your images can help save you file space and increase overall performance.
Another effective procedure is limiting the number of posts per page. Doing this will reduce the number of thumbnails displayed on a page, increasing performance. You can do this by going to Reading under the Settings tab in your WordPress dashboard. Then find the number of posts per page and reduce it to a smaller number.
Lastly, there are a few small practices you should be doing when using images. Use text with web fonts instead of images just for text. Remove any unneeded image metadata and leave some data for SEO. Use images in their proper dimensions and crop any out unused space if possible. Use GIFs for animations, PNGs for high-quality pictures, and JPEGs for simple photos.
Disable Pingbacks & Trackbacks
The next step for us is disabling the pingbacks and trackbacks for your WordPress site. Pingbacks and trackbacks are small notifications that tell you whenever someone tries to link your website. These notifications may seem very useful, but they are unnecessary for most users. These notifications can also be deadly if you are under a DDOS attack.
To disable them, follow these steps:
- Go to your WordPress dashboard.
- Go to Discussion under the Settings tab.
- Then deselect the part that says “Allow link notifications from-“
Enable GZIP Compression
The third step towards cleaning up your site content and files is enabling GZIP compression. GZIP is a built-in WordPress tool you can utilize that compress some files in your WordPress site. Making use of GZIP will increase disk space, speed up your site, and decrease bandwidth usage.
To enable GZIP compression, follow the steps below:
- Open your cPanel or FileZilla.
- Navigate to your WordPress file directory.
- Find and open the .htaccess file.
- Add this code to the bottom of the file:
Offloading Files & Media
Offloading files and media is a technique that allows you to save time, space, and performance on your WordPress site by offloading to a 3rd-party service. Offloading should be used when your site has large amounts of traffic and data bulking it down when users visit. The offloading service will take the weight off of your website and store all of the data.
Offloading services create a secondary disk and server for storing large files and data. The most common offloading services for media are Amazon S3 and Google Cloud Storage. MailChimp is a very reliable service for offloading emails and email data. I would also recommend MailChimp because it makes managing emails easy.
Revise Site Content
Another thing you can do to increase performance and clean your site is revising your site content. There are many types of content on your site that range from categories to images. I recommend optimizing all types of content because they all play a critical role on your site. You should never skip this step when you are cleaning your website.
To start, go through your posts and delete any irrelevant posts. Then do the same with all of your tags and categories. Make sure you only delete the content you do not need. Post revisions can also take up a lot of space on your WordPress site. The next thing we must do is delete post revisions.
To do this, follow the steps below:
- Open cPanel and then find phpMyAdmin.
- Go to the SQL section in phpMyAdmin.
- Start a new SQL query
- Add this code and replace “wp” with your database prefix:
DELETE FROM wp_posts WHERE post_type = "revision";
Limit/Delete Spam Comments
The last pieces of site content you can tweak to improve performance are comments. Limiting and deleting spam comments is a crucial part of the cleaning and optimization cycle for your site. Comments are one of the most common types of content on your site’s pages. You can do this by going to the comments tab and deleting anything under “Spam”.
Choose a Good Theme
Another thing you need on your site besides a good host is an equally good theme or framework. The theme is the foundation for your site’s front-end. You must make sure you have a theme that works well with your site. A good theme should have accessibility, responsiveness, a clean interface, compatibility, performance, and customizability.
You need to make sure your theme has all of the makings of a great theme while preferably being free. Your theme’s performance can directly your site’s, so you should be careful with what you choose. A lightweight and well-coded theme is the best choice, but it can be hard to find. If your theme is too bulky it will slow down your site and reduce traffic.
Fear not, because we have the perfect theme for you! Nanospace by Labinator is a theme fit for any WordPress user. It has all of the features you would need while being lightweight and completely free. It’s a theme that can speed up your site while still looking spectacular. You can check out this article on why this theme is the best you can get for free!
Update Your Site
One thing to always take note of when you are doing your cleaning and optimization routine is updating. Updates are vital to every facet of your WordPress site. They can make your WordPress site much faster, more secure, increase stability, and performance. Updating your website along with its themes and plugins should be a frequent task.
To start, you should be updating to the newest version of WordPress. Every new iteration of WordPress brings many brand-new improvements and fixes, so this step is a must. Beyond your WordPress version, you should also look into updating your site’s PHP version. To do this, back up your website and then ask your hosting provider to install the update.
The next step for updating your WordPress site will have to do with your plugins and themes. Start by backing up your site, then proceed by installing your theme’s newest version. You must do the same for any plugins on your site since outdated, buggy plugins can be a hassle. If you have a page-builder, update that as well!
Caching is a vital process for your WordPress site because it can be the make or break for load times and connection speeds. When a user visits your site, your site gets a request and then sends a query of files to allow the user to load the site. Caching just increases the speed and efficiency of this process.
Caching works by putting data into RAM for faster access, so loading is much faster. Caching increases speed and decreases the server resources required by making your web pages load much quicker. When caching is used along with a good CDN service, your WordPress site will reach blazing fast speeds.
One Plugin For Everything
What if you wanted to do all of your cleaning and optimization in only one place? One easy install that allows you to: optimize images, manage content, tweak your database, update your site, delete spam, and everything listed in this tutorial with one click. What if I told you there is a plugin that can do all of that for you
Labinator’s Cleaner and Reset Center is an all-in-one solution for all of your WordPress cleaning and optimization needs. It can carry out all cleaning, deleting, resetting, or optimization tasks with one click. It has features to bulk-delete files and can clean your entire WordPress database with one click!
Furthermore, this plugin is translation ready and supports the newest version of PHP. It has an easy to use interface that is built-in to your WordPress dashboard. It is built to be well-coded, secure, blazing-fast, and fully responsive. Labinator Cleaner & Reset Center is validated for the newest WordPress version. It’s easily the best bang for your buck!
The Best Place For Everything WordPress
If this tutorial helped you, then you check out more awesome ones here! If you want high-quality WordPress products and services, we have the perfect solution for you.
Labinator provides stunning themes, feature-rich plugins, expert services, and more, all for affordable prices. They also give you a 30-day money-back guarantee that comes with 24/7 customer support and lifetime updates.
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