How effective is cleanup with Smart Cleanup Tools

Smart Cleanup Tools is most powerful database cleanup plugin for WordPress, it comes with 31 cleanup tools that can remove all sorts of orphaned, invalid or unused data. But, how effective this cleanup is? Here is the test done with Dev4Press website.

Test Setup

Dev4Press.com is a dynamic website that gets average of 1200 spam comments each days, 20 to 40 new posts entries (support forums and other sources) each day, contains custom build database with total of 85 tables. Idea behind this test is to see how much space can be recovered using Smart Cleanup Tools.

Test Results

At the moment of this test, Dev4Press website has gone without any cleanup for exactly 6 months. Before the test was executed, database had about 840000 records, taking 190MB. After cleanup was run, this is the screenshot of the results from Smart Cleanup Tools:

Smart Cleanup Tools: Results for Dev4Press.com

Smart Cleanup Tools: Results for Dev4Press.com

As you can see, plugin removed over 120MB of space taken by records that are no longer in use, or orphaned or generated by invalid SQL queries (there are some built in WordPress operations that can cause that).

So, here is the table showing how many records are remove and how much spaced saved. Not all data allocated by the database was used, so 192.77MB taken by the database includes a overhead that was about 24MB in the moment of cleanup, and since one of the tools used is for overhead removal, it was also deleted and reclaimed as empty space.

Records Data Size
Before the cleanup 845621 192.77MB
After the cleanup 683282 63.47MB
Removed by the plugin 162339 129.3MB

Analysis

The gain for the cleanup depends on several factors:

  • How dynamic website is: more traffic website generates, more spam is gathered and more operations executed that can generate records that can be deleted safely.
  • User interaction through comments or forums: this can generate a lot of database read/write operations that can create overhead or produce records that are not used.
  • How much time passed between cleanups: the more you wait with the cleanup, the more data it will remove.

Not every website will get results as Dev4Press.com did in the test above. If you run small website, you can expect smaller effect of the cleanup. When you use the plugin for the first time, you can expect best results (depending on the age of the website). If you use plugin later on the regular basis, every cleanup will remove smaller number of records.

Cleanup Effects

First effect of the cleanip process is that plugin will delete records and regain space taken by those records. Depending on the records deleted, you can notice faster response and loading time for some page because database speed will improved when the unused or orphaned records are removed. This speed gain also depend on the server, and it will have best effect on shared hosting or VPS servers.

Best practice

When you use the plugin for the first time, it is best to use all tools from the Cleanup panel. After that, you can run the plugin once a week using recommended tools from Cleanup panel (tools that are automatically enabled when panel is loaded). Or, you can create a scheduled job that will include tools that can clean most of the records, and set it to run once a week.

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