5 Plugins for Managing Your WordPress Database

The backbone of your WordPress website is it’s database. It’s where all your valuable content lives. Because of this, it’s important to become familiar and comfortable with managing your database. As your blog grows, it will become larger and unwieldy. When this happens, things can go wrong. So it’s important to have backups and to know how to troubleshoot WordPress database issues.

Below are five plugins that will help you manage your WordPress mySQL database.

Search and Replace

The Namesake hd

This plugin does one thing and it does it well. It will run a search through your entire database and do a find and replace. Why would you ever need to do this? Well, if you moved domain names for example, you would need to manually replace all your internal links to make them point to the new URL. With this simple tool, you can find all the old instances of your URL and replace it with the new one.

Download Search and Replace

WP-DB-Backup

Backing up is very important. Many people don’t realize that they need to keep a copy of their database handy in case something happens. It is very hard to recover from losing your database. Databases like to go wonky and get corrupted. Sometimes your site will continue to work even when this happens. Then one day, it will stop working. So, you need to make regular backups of your database and keep all of them. That way you can restore your database back to a time when the database wasn’t corrupted. The great thing about this plugin is that it will automate the backups and then e-mail them to you.

Download WP-DB-Backup

Figment Thinking WordPress Database Table Optimizer

You need to occasionally optimize your WordPress database. That means cleaning out empty tables, old data, etc. This plugin will make database optimization simple.

Download Datable Table Optimizer

WP-Cache

Your database is hosted on it’s own server and every time a page is loaded, information is pulled from the database. If you got a sudden burst of traffic from a social networking site, it could bring your database server down. This plugin will help prevent that by creating static HTML pages automatically if a post becomes popular enough. The only downside it that internal Statistic plugins won’t register the static page and you’ll have to always refresh your theme when you make changes.

Download WP-Cache

WP-DBManager

This is a fantastic tool. It will give you complete control over your entire WordPress database. It allows you to optimize your database, repair your database, backup your database, restore your database from a backup, delete backup databases, drop/empty tables and run mySQL queries. It will also allow you to setup automatic schedules for backing up and optimizing of your database. This is an excellent tool to have and it’s very worth learning how to use it. It could save your blog one day.

Download WP-DBManager

Using the plugins above, you will have much more control over your WordPress database. It is very important to keep an updated backup because bad things can sometimes happen and the worst thing of all is losing your posts and pages.

Do you have any other WordPress database plugins you recommend?

WordPress Backup Strategy

It will happen to every blogger one day, you’re blog will crash and you’ll need to recover it. Every WordPress blogger needs to prepare for this, preferably sooner rather than later. Just like keeping your computer backed up, you need to back up your blog regularly and methodically so that you can recover in case of a disaster.

There are two important elements to any WordPress backup strategy and that’s: Your Database and Your Files. These two elements are what make your blog tick. Luckily, I will also present a solution if you’ve failed to backup and need to recover your WordPress blog without a backup. It’s not the easiest solution but it might be your only option.

Your Database

This is by far the most important thing to keep backed up. Your blog content, from posts to comments lives in the database. Without the database, WordPress cannot function and your content will not exist. Databases have a tendency to get corrupted and not be recoverable. There have been many examples lately of social media websites that ceased to exist simply because their database failed and there was not an uncorrupted backup.

So, you need to backup your database often and keep EVERY backup. That way if your database gets corrupted you can go back in time and restore it to before the database got corrupted. So how do you backup the database?

For the technically inclined, you can log in to the the database and back it up manually. But most bloggers won’t know how to mess around in the database admin panel and will need a simple solution. That simple solution is the WordPress Database Backup Plugin . This creates an area within your WordPress dashboard that will allow you to control and schedule backups.

Personally, I recommend setting a weekly backup schedule and having the backups e-mailed to you. I use Gmail for my e-mail, so that backup is kept in multiple safe locations. This will also protect you if for some reason your computer happens to crash.

You can recover your blog from just a database backup, if necessary. However, to make sure your theme, plugins and other files are safe, you need to backup your server as well.

Your Files

Sicko trailer

When you self host a WordPress blog, your files are kept on your personal web server. I recommend regularly backing up these files as well. While it’s possible to restore your blog from just a database backup, you would otherwise lose all your customized settings such as a custom theme or plugin. And this can be a real pain, especially if you do a lot of tweaking with your theme files.

I save this backup once a month since there are a lot of files that need to be backed up. It’s a slow process, but simply make a folder on your computer and download your entire web server to that folder. If you have some spare time, I would even recommend doing it once a week if you have the space.

This will also come in handy if you eventually need to move web servers or if some files get corrupted, you can just roll back to the previous backup. Keep in mind that your content such as blog posts and comments are not stored anywhere on this part of the web server. You can’t recover your blog from just backing up the files unless you have the database as well.

It’s also a good idea to keep your backup on an external hard drive as well, in case something happens to your computer (I’ve had this happen before).

If You Do Neither


Lets face it, blogging involves a lot of work. Marketing, writing, and designing to name a few things. That is why backing up can slip the minds of even the most successful bloggers. So, what do you do if you didn’t back up anything and your blog goes down?

Well, you are not totally out of luck. Chances are your wonderful content still lives somewhere on the the web. If you can gain access to the database, you might be able to at least get some of the content from it.

If you can not get any content from the database, you might want to see what you can find on the web. For example, when Google indexes your site, they create a cached copy of it. If you move quickly you can find all of your blog posts on the web by doing a ‘site:www.yourdomain.com’ search in Google. Then simply view the cached version of the posts and pages.

From there, you would have to manually cut and paste your content back into a new blog. It may not be the best solution, but you could at least recover some of the content.

Just remember, the more you back up your data, the easier it will be to recover when something does happen.