mysql-logoBoy, now that sounds sexy.

Blast relies on a big MySQL database for all its stuff. It’s a great technology that let us and millions of others run dynamic websites.

More and more people turning to WordPress and content management platforms on their own domains, through hosting providers that make setting up your SQL database a cinch.

But like any database — or like any pile of data — it gets cluttered, and your hosting provider usually isn’t there to help with these problems.

Just like your computer’s hard drive needs to be defragged every now and then, it’s also a good idea to “optimize” your MySQL tables. Optimizing a messy database can create drastic performance improvements.

Here’s how.

Before you do ANYTHING to your database, make sure you back it up. A good method is to “export” the database to a file on your hard drive. We aren’t responsible if you screw up.

The common MySQL management tool is called phpMyAdmin, and it can usually be accessed by typing the name of your SQL server into your browser and logging in. Once you’re in, click on the database you want to optimize. On the left panel, you’ll see all the database’s tables. Scroll to the bottom and click “check all.”

Then — very carefully — click the dropdown menu and select “Optimize table.” Again, be careful, because “drop” and “empty” are also options in this menu. You don’t want to click those.

Now your server will run an analysis, repair and optimization sequence on your entire database. It can take a few minutes depending on the size of your database.

Enjoy your optimized MySQL database.

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at [email protected]. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

Leave a Reply