Secret of Successful WordPress Database Management

The secret of WordPress database management.

WordPress Database

Just like all smart CMS platforms, WordPress relies on MySQL database to manage all the website data. MySQL is a flexible and powerful database which supports escalation and dynamic data management. SQL is the programming language that DBAs use to manage all MySQL databases. WordPress not only uses MySQL to fetch data, but it also uses the same database to generate entire databases.

WordPress databases are Omnipotent. You can use them to store all website data, troubleshoot your website problems and use the backup and restore the system to recover lost data for your site. The added layer of encryption and multi-authentication systems make all MySQL based WordPress databases extra secure. We say, MySQL based database since almost no big corporation or enterprise uses MySQL in mint condition. Every company has a different need, and to fulfill their various data needs, they use different modifications and add-ons to customize their MySQL databases for their WordPress site and CMS platform.

Smarter Option for Database Management?

You can manage your WordPress CMS system directly using phpMyAdmin.

It is a simple yet powerful web application. It has an excellent UI which is more of a dashboard that allows room for visual management of all your MySQL databases. Since WordPress uses PHP (even Facebook uses PHP) programming language to run all queries (store and retrieve data) in the database, you will find multiple variants of the phpMyAdmin Plugin in the WordPress plugin directory.

Common WordPress Database Components

Using this kind of a plugin gives you direct access to your WordPress database components.

The information inside a standard MySQL WordPress database includes:

  • Posts
  • Pages
  • Comments
  • Categories
  • Custom fields
  • Tags
  • Site URLs

You start your database by providing required information including your Database name, host, username, and password. This information helps WordPress create tables and store all the default installation data in the tables. After the installation process is complete, you will find your WordPress CMS running queries to generate HTML dynamic pages for your website. It is true for blogs as well. You do not need to create a separate .html file for each page; your CMS and database will generate everything dynamically.

Can phpMyAdmin Help you Manage WP Database Tables?

Understanding your WordPress Database Tables can be somewhat confusing for a first-timer.

Each installation has 11 distinct tables. These are all default tables, and each table contains data for different WordPress website/blog features, functions, and sections. Your phpMyAdmin plugin can help you manage all of these tables. Since it is an open-source software, you can easily seek help for troubleshooting any database related issue or data management problem.

Most of the WordPress hosts use phpMyAdmin in their control panel for better management of the database components.

Make Your WordPress Database Faster

Do you remember the good old PC days? Disk Defragmenter always made the PC run faster and smoother. Try to visualize MySQL in a similar light.

Using WP for an extended period of time (even a year) causes your database to fragment. It increases your overall query execution time by increasing the size of your WP database. The memory overheads contribute to a lot of database baggage that becomes impossible to manage without a plugin which can “Defragment” your WordPress database. Your regular phpMyAdmin is good enough to do that. It allows you to optimize your database by the table options. You can select each table to optimize it individually for faster query execution.

It will reduce the clutter and defragment each table. It will also visibly reduce the size of your database.

Secure Your WordPress Database

There are multiple techniques to secure your WordPress databases, but you can surely rely on phpMyAdmin to do it for you. This open source software will help you backup relevant data and export the backup files. The quickest export method using this plugin is in the .sql format. A more custom approach is to create a backup in a gzip or zip format. prefers the use of ZIP or gzip formats since these are highly detailed. Use the custom method to export your data, and select gzip as a compression method for perfect export of your required data. Choosing a custom export method will give you access to all possible options.

The reality is – most of the hosting companies do not keep regular backups. As the owner of the website, it becomes your responsibility to create regular backups, and you can do so by adding simple plugins to your regular WP database. A complete backup includes a backup of your themes, images, and plugins.

Prevent Hacking Attacks

You need to accept the fact that almost all websites can be hacked. Therefore you need to change the prefix of your WordPress database before you get into the intricacies of DB modification, data storage, and backups. Changing the WP database prefix will reduce the chances of all SQL injection attacks, which are one of the most common hacking attacks on all WordPress sites and databases. Since your database will contain sensitive customer information, it is also smart to invest in a proper security plugin, which can add multiple layers of authentication and which can encrypt your data in the database.

Choose a secure username and password combination for your MySQL databases for preventing direct hacks. Always limit the number of tries per access point to avoid brute force attacks on your database. While making calls to the database, you may want more security. You can try using the prepare() function wrapper for the added layer of security to your database queries.

WordPress has been releasing many security patches to keep your sites and databases safe from ransomware attacks, hackers, and malware. Keep an eye on your updates to stay secure, functional and clutter-free. Using MySQL database gives you the advantage of the flexibility and quick escalation. Always keep your backup up-to-date and reliable for the best performance of your database and sites.

Author bio:

Sujain Thomas is a database manager and expert. She has been working with for the last few years on projects that optimize MySQL databases for small and big company websites.

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    1. Russell Clark on April 5, 2018

      I am helping a local organisation develop a WordPress site. I am a developer in the enterprise space so WordPress is new to me. The mySQL database holds user email addresses in plain text. This would appear to be a breach of GDPR. Is there any way I can encrypt this data?

      • Antonie Potgieter on April 5, 2018

        I don’t believe the GDPR requires email addresses in the database to be encrypted. It does however require any emails sent with sensitive information such as billing details to be encrypted automatically to protect that data from being stolen in transit.


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