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There is no such thing as “unlimited” disk space or bandwidth when it comes to web hosting. Shared WordPress hosts often advertise this but still have restrictions behind the scenes if you read their terms and conditions (TOS). Over time your WordPress site can grow rapidly, and eventually, you may reach your limit, whether it’s 5 GB or 20 GB.
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If you hit the “unlimited” number, this is usually an email from your host saying you are abusing their TOS. So today we’re going to share with you a few ways to check disk usage in WordPress so you can clean up your sites. There are many server commands that allow you to do this, but we’ll focus on some simple methods for those who may not be comfortable using SSH or who are not tech savvy.
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Before we dive into how to monitor your disk usage, it’s important to understand what we’re talking about. In WordPress, disk usage is usually done by two things; your files and databases. Together these make up the total active disk usage on your server, which takes up the allocated resources.
Your WordPress MySQL database file stores all the information on your WordPress site, such as post data, page data, meta information, plugin settings, users, login information, etc. If you are a customer, you can see a quick disk overview. app on your dashboard.
Most managed WordPress hosts prefer not to use cPanel and have a built-in report to see resource usage for your website. And these may not always give you the data you need. Providers often focus on the overview, but at a less granular level. Although some have granular reporting via CSV. So that’s where the following methods can help you get more information about disk usage, for your files and database.
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Customers can access full disk usage statistics directly on my dashboard. In my “Images” tab, you can find the total disk usage for each of your WordPress sites.
With the release of WordPress 5.2, came a new built-in tool called “Site Health.” It’s actually pretty cool and includes a lot of useful information about your WordPress site and server. With it, you can browse multiple WordPress directories and databases.
In your WordPress dashboard, go to “Tools → Site Health → Information.” Under “Directory and Size” you will find the following information about your site:
Perhaps you would like to see more granular information about the size of your WordPress database? For example, knowing the total size is not important if you are trying to figure out what is taking up space in the database. That’s where the Advanced Database Cleaner plugin can come in handy. It is basically a tool to analyze and clean your database. There is a free and a premium version.
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As of this writing, it has over 50,000 installed apps with a 5 out of 5 star rating. You can download it from the WordPress repository or by searching for it in your WordPress dashboard under “Add New” plugins.
Once installed you can click on WP DB Cleaner in your WordPress dashboard and click on “Tables”. There are many improvements you can make with this plugin but we won’t get into them today, we care about what uses up your storage space the most.
Database tables will usually be named something similar to the name of the plugin they use. From the very beginning, we could see “database garbage.” For example, the “ab_press_optimizer” tables are used by the AB Press Optimizer plugin which was no longer supported in the region we tested. Also, the “icl_translations” table is used by the WPML plugin for multilingual input. However, this region does not have many languages.
Often, plugins are installed and removed but the database table is left behind. You can usually safely remove these from your database (we’ll get into this more than phpMyAdmin in the step below). Remember to always take a backup of your database first. If you are not comfortable doing this, we recommend talking to a designer.
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Another downfall of the Advanced Database Cleaner plugin is that you cannot sort columns by data size.
Another large table we discovered is the “tve_leads” table. This is used by the popular Thrive Leads plugin. However, the site in question did not use this plugin. So again, if you look at your WordPress site you will probably find a lot of tables left that need to be cleaned or removed.
Not sure which plugin table it is? Often, a simple Google search will reveal the answer.
You can also see an overview of the database size in the Advanced Database Cleaner plugin under “Analysis and Settings”.
How Do I Use The Site Builder?
You can also see the size of your database and analyze your tables with phpMyAdmin. Most recipients will have a shortcut to access this within your control panel or perhaps a link in your email. If you’re a customer you can access phpMyAdmin by clicking on your site’s Details tab, scrolling down to the Database section, and clicking “Open phpMyadmin.”
Click on your database on the left. Now you can edit your database tables in full size.
In the WordPress site we reviewed, more than 70% of the main database tables (not including the core) were created by plugins that were no longer used on the site. Which means our database was using more disk space than it needed. The older your website is the more likely it is to have leftover data.
You can easily delete these unused tables by selecting them and selecting “Drop” from the drop-down menu. However, we always recommend that you back up your database before doing this. Check out our quick and easy tutorial on backing up your MySQL database using phpMyAdmin. Or if you are a customer, you can easily backup from my dashboard.
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If your host uses cPanel, you can easily see an overview of your total disk usage and MySQL database on the sidebar.
You can also dive into the disk usage reports for more granular information. Just click on “Disk Usage” under File.
At the bottom of the screen, you can click folders and sort them by disk usage.
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Another way to check the size of a MySQL database is to click “MySQL Database” under Databases.
Another way to check your granular disk usage and database size is to ask your host to provide you with a report. Often a hosting provider can quickly run server commands to generate a tree/granular report on the directory to show you what’s taking up a lot of space. It may not always be the best report, but it will give you the data you need. The host should always be happy to help you find ways to clean up unused data, as this is mutually beneficial.
It’s also important to know if your host includes your sites in your total disk usage. Here, we try to give customers as much space as possible, and therefore websites are not included in our report when calculating the total disk space usage. Only websites count against your disk space usage.
Another way to analyze your WordPress disk usage is to log into your computer. This can be done in two different ways:
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It’s important to note that if your host charges you for bandwidth (they don’t), this will consume part of the monthly fee. So we don’t recommend doing it every time, maybe once every 6 months. Or if you have a small area, maybe this won’t be a problem.
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Although this method takes more time, it can be one of the most powerful ways to check your disk usage, as you can extract data quickly and use the tool. what you chose. You can use the directory size tool to analyze your website.
Folder you downloaded and it will quickly scan it to show you the correct size of everything in it. As you can see below, this is better than any plugin or hardware from your server. If you analyze data locally, you can take advantage of powerful tools like these.
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