richygrant
Richard Grant
Tech Writer
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The Importance of SQL Monitoring in Your WordPress Stack

WordPress has endured as a popular platform for site-building and web hosting for many years. With millions of users catering to billions of visitors, its success is partly due to the solid underpinnings it offers.

A database is part of the bedrock of every WordPress site, and MySQL is the specific variety of storage setup that’s innate to this platform.

Like all SQL-powered databases, you need to be able to monitor the operations of this ecosystem, pinpoint problems, find solutions and shore up site performance as a result.

To understand a little more about the role that SQL monitoring plays in WordPress and how you can achieve it efficiently and effectively, read on for a rundown of the main points of discussion.

What Is SQL Monitoring?

As the name suggests, SQL monitoring is a process that looks into the moment-to-moment functionality of a database and aims to identify anomalies in performance that need to be remedied.

It’s possible to do this entirely manually; you need to be au fait with how SQL queries operate and be willing to get your hands dirty in WordPress’ backend.

However, most site owners and devs use the best SQL server monitoring tools instead. These go above, and beyond the basic features, you’d expect and include all sorts of additional bells and whistles, making life easier for admins the world over.

Why Does SQL Monitoring Matter?

I have already touched on a couple of the reasons behind the benefits of monitoring your SQL database to keep your WordPress stack ticking over nicely, but further discussion is needed.

Some of the essential benefits that monitoring your database resources brings to the table include:

Reducing unplanned downtime

Suppose your website is taken out of action unexpectedly, and a database issue is at the root of the outage. In that case, you could be left feeling foolish, particularly if avoiding this would have been an easy fix.

By persistently monitoring this aspect of your WordPress setup, you can identify downtime-causing dilemmas before they get out of hand and nip them in the bud preemptively.

Assessing hardware appropriateness

Whether your site is hosted locally on in-house server hardware, or you have offloaded this to a separate vendor’s remote infrastructure, you need to know that there’s adequate bandwidth to accommodate the visitors it typically handles.

If storage starts to become a bottleneck, performance will suffer. With SQL monitoring, you can see hardware bottlenecks coming from a mile away and can make plans to sidestep them rather than stumble into them without warning.

Tackling inefficiencies

Monitoring your database is the only option for singling out inefficiencies in terms of how queries are handled and, in turn, how your site performs.

Visitors will become disgruntled if site speed falls short of expectations, and if a poorly composed query is responsible, you need to know about it and tweak it as soon as possible.

Likewise, you could find the volume of queries being executed when each page loads at fault.

Whatever the case, drilling down into the inefficiencies of your WP database is accelerated thanks to SQL monitoring.

How Can You Troubleshoot SQL Issues With WordPress Site?

Now that you know why it’s essential to monitor your site’s database, let’s unpick the steps you can take to solve common performance snafus and restore normal operations quickly and efficiently.

Harness modern monitoring tools

I mentioned the availability of tools pitched at monitoring SQL databases above (SentryOne
SQL, Idera SQL Diagnostic Manager, etc.) bears repeating that the latest packages are more than up to the task of simplifying and even automating essential administrative duties.

Picking a suitable solution of this kind is doubly important if you only have a small team and don’t have the resources to dedicate to the manual monitoring methods available to you.

Use historical performance data to detect and quantify issues

If you don’t have site performance data stretching back over a long period. In that case,n it’s harder to know whether or not the current levels of performance experienced are normal. A lack of data can leave you hamstrung and even unaware that there’s a problem with your database.

If you aren’t already monitoring your site and collecting baseline performance metrics, such as database response times and page load speeds, the time to start is now.

Check that plugins are not causing complications

You can spend a long time trying to troubleshoot SQL issues within your WordPress stack, only to find that all of your hard work doesn’t get you the improvements in performance and site stability that you expected.

In this case, a rogue plugin could be at the heart of this problem. The more plugins your site uses, the higher the chance of conflicts or performance penalties rearing their heads.

Turning off all plugins and then gradually turning them back on one at a time should sort the wheat from the chaff.

If a third-party tool is not playing nice, don’t be afraid to ditch it. In fact, sometimes, it’s worth trying the plugin trick before you leap straight to troubleshooting the database.

Final Thoughts

Running a WordPress stack is not always a cakewalk. Even when you think that you’ve managed to get everything working as it should, the possibility of a problem cropping up unexpectedly can’t be discounted.

SQL monitoring is about hoping for the best but planning for the worst.

Effective monitoring software combined with a good grasp on best practices for database administration will let you encompass all sorts of issues and act to prevent them, rather than just reacting to them once they arise.

Most importantly, this is not something you can put on the back burner without it invariably boiling over when you are least prepared for it. So even if you think your site’s database is in a good state, the only way to know for sure is by monitoring it.