Clearing Statistical Data from Your WordPress Database

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Compiling user statistics for your WordPress website is relatively easy thanks to a number of very effective plugins. With these plugins, you can keep track of all sorts of things that are helpful for marketing and SEO. The only downside is that most of these plugins result in new data being added to your database whenever a new visitor arrives at your site. The database can grow extremely large over time.

You might need to reduce the size of a database if you are reaching the upper limits of your hosting plan. Additionally, you may want to move your WordPress installation to a new server altogether. In both cases, getting rid of the unnecessary statistical data will reduce the size of your database to a much more manageable level. You can do so through the control panel provided by your hosting company. In most cases this will be cPanel.

Working with phpMyAdmin

Before you make any wholesale changes to a WordPress database, you should first do a complete backup. You can back up your site through the Softaculous interface or one of the SQL database tools in cPanel. Once you have a backup created, you can proceed to clearing out your database.

The application you need is called phpMyAdmin. In cPanel, you will find the application under the ‘Databases’ category about one-third of the way down the page. Click on that icon to enter the application. You should then be presented with the main screen dialogue box. Using this dialogue box, check the circle next to ‘Databases’.

A new dialogue box will open. This box will include a list of all of your WordPress databases on the left side. Highlight the database you want to work with by clicking on it. All of the tables in the database will appear on the right side of your screen. Now it is a simple task of locating the table that relates to your statistical data. For example, you might see a table labelled ‘wp_stats’ or something similar. You may have to check the documentation of your plugins to find out which particular table you’re interested in.

Once you identify the correct table, the process is simple:

  1. Check the box next to the table
  2. Use the drop-down menu below to choose ‘Empty’
  3. Click the ‘Yes’ button to clear the table or the ‘No’ button to start over
  4. Examine the table in the listing to make sure its size is now down to zero.

You can repeat this process with any tables for which you are positive you don’t need to save data. Clearing your tables is a good way to keep your total database size more manageable in the event that you run short on space. And if you are planning to transfer your WordPress site to a new server, keeping your databases as small as possible greatly reduces the time and effort involved in the transfer. As always, contact the help desk at your hosting company if you are unsure about what you’re doing.

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