5 Quick Ways to Clean Up and Optimize Your WordPress Site

There are lots of backup solutions out there (one makes it to our list below), including backing up your site from your WP admin area or backing up from your server. .

* PLEASE NOTE: A number of the plugins below should not be used by inexperienced users. If you really aren’t sure what the plugin is doing or how it might affect things, then it’s best to bypass it.

1. Manual Actions

We will suggest a number of plugins below, but we’ll start this with a few manual actions you can take.

  • Delete unwanted/unused plugins
  • Delete unwanted/unused themes

2. Hide Unused Shortcodes

If you’ve ever used a plugin with shortcodes and then stopped using that plugin (or maybe it broke), you might find that you have unsightly shortcodes all over your site.

The Hide Unwanted Shortcodes plugin can help you with that.

As the name implies, this plugin merely hides your shortcodes. It doesn’t delete them.

There are several reasons why you might want to hide them instead of deleting them. Deleting them could involve making “risky database queries,” as the plugin author says.

If you ever decided to start using your plugin again, you can easily get your shortcodes back.

3. Delete Old Post Revisions

By deleting old revisions of posts, you can cut the size of your database down quite a bit.

While this is said not to have any real effect on the speed of your site (revisions are only accessed in the backend), making the size of your database smaller should at least help in working with it (backing it up, moving it around, etc.).

There are a number of plugins out there that will delete old revisions. I found the RVG Optimize Database plugin convenient because it gives some options that others don’t give, such as allowing you to keep some revisions if you like.

I also ran this plugin after I ran another “delete revisions” plugin, and it claimed to find undeleted revisions. In one test, another plugin claimed I had no revisions. This plugin claimed I had many and deleted them. Of course I was sure I had some revisions, and so I’m going with this one.

This plugin also lets you optimize your database after deleting your old revisions. It also gives you some stats on what went on.

4. Remove Unused Media

The Image Cleanup plugin will help you identify and then either move or delete unused image files on your site.

Over time there are various ways that you may end up with unused and unreferenced images.

One nice aspect of this plugin is that it’s not an all-or-nothing solution. You don’t have to choose to delete those files you have questions about. You can simply move them to a temporary location and then decide later if you’d like to delete anything.

If you need to restore them, you can do that too.

5. Remove Unused Tags

Some people may be surprised to find they have unused tags on their site.

It’s easy to find out if you do. Simply go to Posts > Tags > sort the tags by the number of posts they’re attached to by going to the right hand column and clicking on “Posts.”

Of course if you have just a few, you can delete them yourself.

But if you’ve had a situation where you moved or deleted a lot of posts, then you might have a lot.

If you do have a lot, then the Mass Delete Unused Tags plugin could come in handy. This will get rid of all of them with one click.

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