Advanced Database Cleaner Pro Review

Advanced Database Cleaner Pro is a premium database optimisation plugin for WordPress. Is it the secret ingredient for speeding up your website? Or is it a plugin you could do without? Find out in our review!

Last updated on 7th January 2021 by Rob Carter

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. if you purchase something through one of those links you won’t pay a penny more, but we’ll get a small commission.

Advanced Database Cleaner Pro Review
  • Features
    (4.5)
  • Price
    (5)
  • Support
    (3.5)
  • Updates
    (3.5)
  • Performance
    (5)
  • UX/UI
    (3.5)

Summary

Advanced Database Cleaner Pro is a fantastic database maintenance plugin that’s only let down by infrequent updates and an uninspiring UX/UI. The plugin has tons of features, very few bugs and a price that’s hard to beat. If the developer speeds up the development of the plugin and polishes the UI, it will be an absolute must-buy.

Overall
4.2
Comments Rating 0 (0 reviews)

Pros

  • Loads of features
  • Fantastic value for money
  • Responsive email support
  • Rock-solid performance
  • Very few bugs

Cons

  • Infrequent updates
  • Poor support documentation
  • Mediocre UX/UI

Is your website getting slower over time?

Over the years you’ve noticed your WordPress website getting slower and slower, and nothing you do seems to make it load any faster. Your site is hosted with a reliable web hosting provider; you’re using a well-coded theme; you’ve got a caching plugin installed and correctly configured; and your images, CSS and JavaScript files are compressed to within a kilobyte of their lives. But your site still feels sluggish and not quite as fast as it used to be.

Sound familiar?

Stefon Diggs saying yes
Stefon Diggs knows the feeling

If it does, you may have a bloated database. And if you do, there’s no obvious way to un-bloat it unless you’re an experienced web developer or you’re comfortable rooting around in your website’s database (I strongly advise against doing that unless you really know what you’re doing).

So what exactly is a “bloated database”, and how do you go about fixing it to make your website load faster? Continue reading my Advanced Database Cleaner Pro review to find out!

Database bloat

You’ll often hear people complain about WordPress being a “bloated CMS” in comparison to Ghost, Grav CMS, PageKit or any of the other content management systems that it’s often compared with. But the reality is that WordPress is no more bloated than any other successful open source project (even though its backend interface certainly does still feel cluttered and abstract in nature compared to some of its rivals).

The real problem is actually the reason why WordPress is so popular: the sheer number of plugins available for it – and its dependence on them. A WordPress website without plugins is so basic it’s virtually unusable for most businesses; it doesn’t even have a built-in contact form. Unfortunately, not all plugins are created equal.

Many plugins load scripts on pages where they’re not needed; some plugins conduct searches on a MySQL table and stress the system; others track unnecessary or excessive amounts of data from the website and log them in the database. But the underlying cause of database bloat is the fact that many plugins simply don’t clean up after themselves properly after being uninstalled.

Very messy house
Very messy house

Many plugins create their own tables if they store large amounts of data – which in itself is not a problem – but, like a bad house guest, they tend to leave a mess behind when they leave. Most plugins have a tendency to bloat the wp_options table with kilobytes of autoload data that isn’t removed when the plugin is deleted (more on that later). And other plugins even leave behind orphaned cron jobs when they’re uninstalled.

Then you have things like spam comments, post revisions, old auto-drafts, pingbacks, trackbacks and expired transients filling up your database every day. All of this data has to be stored somewhere, and yup, you’ve guessed it: if it doesn’t get deleted it simply builds up over time. On large or old websites, that can mean a lot of useless data bloating your database for no reason.

If you have an established WordPress website that’s been around for a few years, I can virtually guarantee it will have some form of database bloat – especially if you regularly install and uninstall plugins and themes. I’ve seen databases with tens of thousands of cron jobs for plugins that have long since been deleted, and on more than one occasion I’ve had to clean up a database with gigbytes of orphaned options data that made visitors to the site think they were using a dial-up internet connection.

Man with shocked expression
Man with shocked expression

So how do you give your WordPress database a Spring clean and get rid of all this leftover junk that could be causing your website to load slowly?

Enter Advanced Database Cleaner

Advanced Database Cleaner Pro is a WordPress database optimisation plugin developed by SigmaPlugin. The free version of the plugin is available to download from https://wordpress.org/plugins/advanced-database-cleaner/ and has more than 60,000 active installations at the time of writing.

Advanced Database Cleaner Pro homepage
Advanced Database Cleaner Pro homepage

Released in 2016, the plugin has seen 17 updates over the past four years, the details of which can be found in the Advanced Database Cleaner Pro changelog.

As well as Advanced DB Cleaner free and pro, SigmaPlugin also offers two other WordPress plugins: Advanced WordPress Reset and WP Cron Cleaner Pro. Advanced WordPress Reset is free and can be downloaded from the WordPress repository here: https://wordpress.org/plugins/advanced-wp-reset/, while WP Cron Cleaner Pro is available for $8-$32, depending on how many websites you want to install the plugin on.

WP Cron Cleaner also has a free version, which can be downloaded from the WordPress repository here: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-cron-cleaner/.

Sigma is owned by experienced WordPress developer Youness Jafar, who also works as a developer for a London-based WordPress agency. He blogs fairly regularly on topics related to WordPress development and clearly knows his stuff.

What does the plugin do?

Advanced Database Cleaner Pro scans your WordPress database and identifies useless data that can be safely deleted, such as spam comments; orphaned tables, options data and cron jobs; post revisions; pingbacks; trackbacks; old auto-drafts and more.

The plugin offers a more intuitive interface with which to manage your database than, say, phpMyAdmin, and also provides users with the necessary tools to make informed decisions about whether or not a piece of data should be deleted or retained.

Unlike traditional server-based database management tools, Advanced Database Cleaner Pro also allows some of the more basic database optimisation tasks to be run automatically, so you might only need to manually clean your database every now and again.

Dr Phil almost fainting
Dr Phil almost fainting

Who would benefit the most from the plugin?

If you have a new website you probably won’t see any difference in speed after optimising your database. Likewise, if you never really install and uninstall many plugins or themes then you probably won’t see a significant speed improvement either.

Of course, the older your site gets and the more data your database accrues, the more beneficial Advanced Database Cleaner Pro becomes. Spam comments, post revisions and auto-drafts all build up over time, and it’s not unusual for a website manager/owner to have to uninstall dozens of plugins and/or themes in a relatively short space of time.

If you manage websites for other people, you’ll also benefit from having a premium database optimisation plugin to hand (the unlimited site license for $149 would be perfect for you).

To sum it up, I think anyone who owns a website or manages websites for others would really benefit from Advanced Database Cleaner Pro. If your website is new you probably won’t see much improvement straight away, but who doesn’t want their website to become successful and be around for a long time?

Not Me
Not Me

So now you know what the plugin does, is it actually any good? All will be revealed in my review of Advanced Database Cleaner Pro!

Advanced Database Cleaner Pro review

Features

Advanced Database Cleaner Pro is a very complete database optimisation plugin. It’s missing a few important features, but generally it has everything you need to keep your WordPress database in tip-top condition.

Automatic optimisation

The main benefit of Advanced Database Cleaner Pro is to help you quickly and easily optimise your WordPress database, so arguably the most important aspect of the plugin is its automatic optimisation feature. The feature is available in both the free and premium versions of the plugin and it works well.

The plugin can be configured to clean general elements like post revisions and spam comments just once or on an hourly, twice daily, daily, weekly or monthly basis. Simply choose which elements to clean, select a start date and time, decide how often you want the schedule to run and save the schedule to instantly save yourself a few minutes each week.

Advanced Database Cleaner Pro general clean-up schedule
Create a general clean-up schedule

It’s pretty safe to delete any type of data under the “General clean-up” tab, but of course you should always make regular backups of your website just in case (at Megademic we use WPvivid, a fantastic WordPress backup plugin).

As an extra safety feature, you can configure the plugin to ignore any data generated within the last xx days. Personally, I set this to 30 days, which means the plugin won’t automatically delete any data that’s less than a month old.

Advanced Database Cleaner Pro data retention
Keep data for 30 days

Every type of data that can be deleted automatically is listed below:

  • Post revisions
  • Auto drafts
  • Trashed posts
  • Pending comments
  • Spam comments
  • Trashed comments
  • Pingbacks
  • Trackbacks
  • Orphaned post meta
  • Orphaned comment meta
  • Orphaned user meta
  • Orphaned term meta
  • Orphaned relationships
  • Expired transients

Database tables can also be optimised automatically, although orphaned tables need to be deleted manually (there’s a very good reason for this, which I’ll explain later).

Setting up a table optimisation schedule is pretty much the same as setting up one for the general clean-up. Select a start date and time, decide how frequently you want the optimisation routine to run, choose whether you want to optimise and/or repair your tables and hit save. By default, all database tables are included.

Advanced Database Cleaner Pro table optimisation schedule
Create a table optimisation schedule

The scheduling feature generally works really well – but it’s not faultless. When I configured the schedule to be triggered on a monthly basis, I found that the start time inexplicably changed by as much as 12 hours. The start date for each month changed randomly as well – often three or four days later than I originally selected.

This behaviour only seems to occur with clean-up schedules that run monthly. If you configure the plugin to clean your database and optimise/repair your tables on an hourly, twice daily, daily or weekly basis, everything works as it should. Weird.

Data categorisation

A feature that sets Advanced Database Cleaner Pro apart from many of its competitors like WP-Optimize and WP Sweep is its data categorisation feature. For the most part it works quite well and definitely makes it much easier to identify which data should be kept and which should be binned.

Data contained within the “Tables”, “Options” and “Cron jobs” tabs is neatly organised into six colour-coded categories: “All” (dark grey), “Uncategorized” (light grey), “Orphans” (orange), “Plugins tables” (blue), “Themes tables” (green) and “WP tables” (purple).

Advanced Database Cleaner Pro table categories
Table categories

“Uncategorized” is just that: data which hasn’t yet been categorised.

The “Orphans” category requires particular attention, as that’s the one that should, in theory, contain all of the orphaned tables, options or cron jobs that have been left behind after plugins have been deleted.

The “Plugins tables” category houses all of the data relating to currently installed plugins, whilst the “Themes tables” category contains all data pertaining to currently installed themes.

Data contained within the “WP tables” category is required by WordPress to run properly and should never be deleted.

The “All” category, unsurprisingly, displays all of the data from all of the categories.

Each of the category labels has a number in brackets next to it, which gives you an idea of how many pieces of data are orphaned, belong to currently installed plugins or themes, or are vital to WordPress itself.

When you first install the plugin you’ll noticed that most of the data is uncategorised. To categorise it, you’ll need to click the big blue button under each of the “Tables”, “Options” and “Cron jobs” tabs. And that’s where you’ll noticed the first really significant issue with the plugin.

Advanced Database Cleaner Pro scan options button
Scan options button

Depending on the size of your database and the power of your server, clicking the “Scan tables”, “Scan options” or “Scan cron jobs” buttons can very easily crash your site. Scanning a database (particularly large ones with potentially hundreds of tables and tens or even hundreds of thousands of options) can place enormous stress on a server and can easily slow the site to a crawl for its visitors. Or even take it offline altogether.

Man screaming in frustration
Man screaming in frustration

The Megademic website runs on a powerful Vultr High Frequency web server and the database isn’t particularly large at the time of writing, and yet I still noticed a significant slowdown whilst the database scanning was in operation. On more than one occasion the operation has timed out and I’ve been locked out of my admin dashboard for a few minutes.

This is definitely not something you want to do when your website is at it’s busiest, as there’s a good chance your site will be unavailable for a few minutes whilst the operation runs in the background. And when I say “good chance”, I’m talking 50/50 here. Don’t play Russian roulette with your website; scan your database when there’s nobody around.

Russian roulette
Russian roulette

That brings me onto my next point: the lack of a scheduling option for scanning your tables, options and cron jobs. Being able to schedule database scans to run at certain times would be super-useful and would certainly eliminate the frustration of being locked out of your admin dashboard until the plugin has done its thing.

I’d also like to see something like Wordfence’s low-resource scanning feature. Low-resource scanning spreads the work out over a longer period of time in order to prevent the kind of crashes and freezes I’ve just mentioned. I don’t mind my scans taking two, three or even four times as long to complete, if it means the website is available to visitors during that time. It’s a no-brainer feature in my opinion and the developer should most definitely think about implementing something like that.

After scanning your database, Advanced Database Cleaner Pro automatically categories every piece of data it finds. But just how accurate is it? Well, to be honest, it’s a bit hit and miss. That’s why there’s no option to automatically delete orphan tables, options or cron jobs. For that, it would need to be 100% accurate 100% of the time.

You’ll quite often find that the plugin has assigned a piece of data to the wrong plugin, or has incorrectly labelled data as belonging to a plugin that has been deleted.

For example, I’ve just clicked on the “Options” tab and selected the “Orphans” category to show all of the options data that can safely be deleted, according to the plugin. However, I wouldn’t be so quick to delete the widget_elementor-library element, given that the website is built with the Elementor pagebuilder. Likewise, deleting widget_advanced_sidebar_menu might cause a few problems, as we use the awesome Advanced Sidebar Menu on many of our internal service pages.

Advanced Database Cleaner Pro incorrect categorisation
Incorrect categorisation of options data

To be fair to the plugin, automatically detecting whether or not a piece of data is being used by anything on the website is far from straightforward. There are many things to consider, and the plugin gets it right more often that not. You can be fairly certain that most of what you see when you click on the “Orphans” category within the “Tables”, “Options” or “Cron jobs” sections can be safely deleted. You just need to be careful – and make a backup of your website before deleting anything.

Whenever the plugin struggles to determine if a piece of data is still relevant, it displays a “confidence percentage” based on the likelihood of its categorisation being correct. Like anything else, it’s not 100% accurate and should only be used as a guide. Still, it’s a nice little feature and definitely does help.

Advanced Database Cleaner Pro confidence percentage
Confidence percentage

Version 3.1.5 shipped with a much-needed new feature to enable you to manually categorise each piece of data if needed. The process for reclassifying data is a little clunky and involves more mouse clicks than it should, but it works and it makes managing your data much easier.

In the screenshot below, the elementor_version option relates to the version of Elementor that’s installed, but Advanced Database Cleaner Pro thinks that option belongs to the Piotnet Addons plugin.

Advanced Database Cleaner Pro incorrect plugin
Incorrect plugin assigned

To change it, I performed the following actions:

  1. Selected the option I wanted to edit (in this case the elementor_version option);
  2. Selected “Edit categorization” from the “Bulk actions” dropdown menu;
  3. Clicked the “Apply” button;
  4. Selected the “elementor” plugin from the option selection box; and finally
  5. Hit save.

The end result:

Advanced Database Cleaner Pro correct plugin
Correct plugin assigned

It’s a little clunky, but it works. In a future version of the plugin I’d like to be able to simply click on the assigned plugin and select a different one from a dropdown menu. That would be a much better experience.

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Search and filter

Unlike its data categorisation feature, the search and filter feature of Advanced Database Cleaner Pro is pretty much flawless. It’s quick, accurate and easy to use, and it makes finding the information you’re looking for a doddle.

I often find myself using the search feature to find leftover data that needs to be deleted. For example, I recently uninstalled a plugin called Inline Related Posts Pro, and a quick scan of the database revealed that the plugin left behind a few entries with the “irpp_” identifier. So then it was simply a matter of entering “irp” into the search box and voila! A handful of database entries that could be safely removed.

In a future version I’d like to see a dynamic search box that fetches and displays data on the fly, but there’s nothing much wrong with the search feature as it is.

The “Tables”, “Options” and “Cron jobs” sections each have a slightly different filtering mechanism, but they all work great and make it super-easy to find what you’re looking for.

The filter feature in the “Tables” section enables to you to find data in tables that need to be optimised or repaired, and you can also find tables that belong to a certain plugin. For example, if I know I’m going to uninstall WooCommerce I could quickly use the filter to find all tables associated with that plugin and make a note of them. Once the plugin has been uninstalled, I’ll know exactly which tables need to be deleted.

In the “Options” section, you can filter data by whether it’s autoloaded (loaded on every page of your site) or not, as well as by plugin and theme. So using the filters I can easily find every piece of WooCommerce data that’s loaded on every page of my site. It’s pretty easy to see how that could be super-useful when it comes to debugging website performance issues.

Tables management

The “Tables” tab displays all of your database tables. It shows the table name, number of rows in each table, the size of the table and the plugin or theme it belongs to.

You can see all of the orphaned tables that the plugin discovered during the last scan by clicking on the orange “Orphans” category at the top, and you can also see which tables belong to which plugins and themes by clicking on the relevant categories. Core WordPress tables and uncategorised tables can also be quickly identified in the same way.

Using the filter, you can really drill down to find very specific information. For example, I can quickly find all of the tables that belong to the Mailster newsletter plugin that require optimising by selecting “To optimize” and “mailster-live” in the dropdown boxes, and then clicking the “Filter” button. Removing the filter is just as easy: just click the red “Delete custom filter” link.

The “Bulk actions” dropdown menu contains the following options:

  • Scan selected tables;
  • Edit categorization;
  • Optimize;
  • Repair;
  • Empty rows; and
  • Delete

It’s all pretty self-explanatory and very easy to manage. Simply tick the checkbox of those tables you wish to perform an action on, select the desired action from the “Bulk actions” dropdown and click the “Apply” button. For some actions, an alert box will appear asking you if you’re sure you wish to proceed.

I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again anyway: make sure you make a backup of your site before you edit or delete anything in your database.

Options management

The “Options” tab shows all of the configuration data contained within the wp_options table. It displays the option name, value, size in bits, whether or not the data is autoloaded and which plugin or theme the option belongs to.

The wp_options table can quickly become huge, as it seems to be the proverbial dumping ground for many plugins. View this table using a database management tool like phpMyAdmin and you’ll find thousands of entries that begin with “_transient” and continuing with a long string of characters. These things multiply like rabbits and, over time, can cause stability issues.

Earlier in this review of Advanced Database Cleaner Pro I touched upon the potential problem of scanning a large database on an underpowered server, and it’s the “Options” tab that will likely cause you the most problems.

Due to the nature and size of the wp_options table, clicking the “Scan options” button may well crash your site. It will continue to scan your database in the background, but your website may become unavailable to visitors until the process has finished. You’ll probably get kicked out from your admin dashboard too.

The thing is, optimising the wp_options table is crucial as this is where you’ll probably find a ton of useless data that’s autoloaded on every page load. If you want to know why it’s important to remove as much autoloaded data as possible, check out Kinsta’s awesome article “How to Clean Up Your wp_options Table and Autoloaded Data“.

According to Kinsta, if you have 3-5 MB (or more) of autoloaded data on your site then it’s time to do something about it. That’s why I mentioned earlier that a calculated total of all autoloaded data is a feature that should definitely be added to Advanced Database Cleaner Pro.

The process for deleting unnecessary options data in Advanced Database Cleaner Pro is pretty much the same as it is for deleting orphaned tables. Simply click the big blue “Scan options” button and sit back while the plugin does its thing.

Once it’s finished scanning your wp_options table it will display a categorised list of all your data. There’s likely to be a lot of it, so you’ll need to use the categories and filters to identify potential candidates for the chop.

The “Bulk actions” dropdown menu works the same way as it does for tables, but there are a few key differences. The dropdown box contains the following actions:

  • Scan selected options;
  • Edit categorization;
  • Set autoload to yes;
  • Set autoload to no; and
  • Delete

You’ll notice that “Optimize”, “Repair” and “Empty rows” from the “Tables” tab have been replaced with “Set autoload to yes” and “Set autoload to no”.

These two options control whether or not each piece of data is autoloaded. If you read the Kinsta article about autoloaded data, you’ll already know how this can help boost your site speed.

I’d like to see a “reset” option that allows you to quickly restore the default autoload state of each option in case of a problem, but I guess that’s what website backups are for.

Cron jobs management

Menu positioning

The settings section is as minimalist as it gets; it literally contains two options and a statistical overview of your website. But those two options are pure gold to people like me who have a gazillion WordPress plugins installed: they control where the Advanced Database Cleaner Pro menu item is displayed.

At the time of writing this website has almost 50 plugins installed, which has resulted in a huge sidebar nav with literally dozens and dozens of menu items. I really don’t need any more links in the sidebar if I can help it, but most plugins just dump their menu item there anyway.

Not so with Advanced Database Cleaner Pro. Simply uncheck the “Show plugin left nav” option located under the “Settings” tab and the menu item will be removed from the sidebar. There’s an option just below it labelled “Show plugin menu under tools” which, unsurprisingly, adds or removes the menu item from the “Tools” dropdown menu.

The greatest ideas are the simplest.

—William Golding
Novelist and playwright

Price

A few months back I managed to snaffle up a HappyFiles Pro unlimited site license for $10, and while Advanced Database Cleaner Pro isn’t in that league when it comes to price, it still offers tremendous value for money.

SigmaPlugin offers three pricing options to suit every need and budget: $39 for two websites, $59 for five websites and $149 for unlimited websites. They’re all one-time payments as well; if you buy the unlimited site license for $149 you’ll never have to pay for a WordPress database optimisation plugin again.

If you build websites for others or you own many websites yourself you’ll want to grab the unlimited version, but for most people the two or five site license will do just fine.

SigmaPlugin also offer a 100% money-back guarantee. If you’re not happy with the plugin, simply request a refund within 30 days and they’ll give you your money back. You can’t say fairer than that.

Support

Support is a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand the author is fairly quick to answer support requests via email and always responds to posts on the Advanced Database Cleaner WordPress forums (unlike many other plugin authors I could mention).

On the other hand, support documentation is seriously lacking, there’s no searchable knowledgebase on the Sigma site, no support ticket system and no live chat. The support options are pretty thin on the ground, to say the least.

Take the “documentation”, for example. It’s literally a dozen or so FAQs like “Is it safe to clean to my database?” and “What does mean spam comment? What SQL code is used to clean it?”. It’s poorly written and for the most part doesn’t actually show you how to use the plugin.

For example, the spam comment FAQ I just referred to consists of the following:

A WordPress spam comment is a comment that you (or a plugin like Akismet) have marked as spam. You can either use our plugin Advanced Database Cleaner to clean up these spam comments or execute the following SQL code (which is used by the plugin) directly via your phpMyAdmin:

That’s it. No instructions on how to schedule the deletion of spam comments. No guidance on how to set a duration for the retention of spam comments. Nothing. It’s really poor and has clearly just been thrown together and ignored.

It wouldn’t take long to put together a simple knowledgebase, or even a proper FAQ page that at least covers the basics. Personally, if I were the author I would create a few quick video guides to showcase the plugin and its basic features.

There’s a good chance you won’t need support, and if you do then the author is always available to answer your questions over email. Just don’t expect comprehensive product documentation or any other kind of support.

Note: the author has confirmed that improving the documentation is high on his todo list. It’s a great little plugin and would really benefit from a little TLC in the support department. I’ll be sure to update this review once the new documentation has been published.

Updates

Before I buy any premium WordPress plugin I always check the changelog. I like to see a steady stream of updates being pushed out at regular intervals, because that demonstrates a commitment to the product from the developer. If a security exploit in the plugin emerges, or a WordPress update breaks the plugin, I want to feel confident that the developer is already on the case and working to resolve the issue.

Until recently I didn’t get that feeling from the developer of Advanced Database Cleaner Pro. From the 4th December 2019 to the 3rd September 2020 there wasn’t a single update. Not one. During that time the WordPress platform received nine updates, any one of which could have broken the plugin (thankfully they didn’t).

Since then there have been two updates: v3.1.5 (released on 4th September 2020) and v3.1.6 (released on 6th October 2020). That’s reassuring to see, but I’m still not 100% convinced that the plugin will be updated as frequently as I would like.

Note: The author has confirmed that a new version will be released in the not-too-distant future, which is good to know. There’s no confirmed release date and it won’t be released until it’s ready, but it’s encouraging to hear what the developer has planned for the plugin.

Performance

I’ve been using Advanced Database Cleaner Pro for around eight months now, and I can honestly say it’s never caused a single issue on any website I’ve used it on. It just works.

The automatic clean-up function has never once failed to run, and it has always – without exception – cleaned what it was configured to clean. I’ve never once been unable to delete an orphaned table, option or cron job, and the search/filter feature always finds what it’s instructed to find. Aside from the problem with scanning large databases, the plugin has worked pretty much faultlessly for me on dozens of different sites.

Using Advanced Database Cleaner to optimise your database probably won’t increase the speed of your site dramatically (the quality of your web hosting has the greatest impact on that), but you should notice a small boost in speed on larger or older sites with bloated databases. In some cases, you may well notice a significant improvement in website speed.

One huge site I used the plugin on had almost 150 MB of orphaned options data being loaded on each page of the site (to put that into context, anything above 1MB should be a cause for concern). Needless to say, once I eliminated the junk options data the speed of the site increased significantly.

A handful of bugs aside, Advanced Database Cleaner Pro is a well-coded, rock-solid database optimisation plugin that does what it says on the tin.

UX/UI

At first glance the UX/UI is perfectly serviceable; it’s clean and tidy, the information is logically organised and you can generally find what you’re looking for quite quickly. But when you dig below the surface, you’ll soon encounter a few glaring omissions and errors that really need to be addressed.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m Old Skool and love tab-based layouts. They’ve always made sense to me and I still think they’re one of the best ways to visually segment information. However, extra care needs to be taken with tab menus because they tend to break on mobile devices, and unfortunately that’s also the case here.

An ugly horizontal scrollbar appears on screens between 783px and 1067px wide, and in fact the plugin is virtually unusable on screens below 630px wide because the menu control that hides/shows plugin options on small screens is chopped off.

The plugin UI is semi-responsive at best, and really you’ll need to be using it on a laptop or desktop PC to ensure you don’t run into any display issues.

The UI also lacks aesthetic consistency. Different icon styles are used throughout the various plugin screens, and there’s no real rhyme or reason to the choice of colours. It’s a bit of a mish-mash.

The lack of consistency is also evident in the tooltips, or non-tooltips as it turns out. A handful of table headings include tooltips that are displayed when hovered over, but what appear to be identical tooltips in the “General clean-up” section are actually links to the poor-quality FAQ articles I touched on earlier. It’s quite a jarring experience when you expect to see a tooltip and instead get sent to the FAQ section on the website.

There’s no option to to sort any of the tabulated data, and there’s no calculation for the total size of all tables or options. What I would like to be able to do is view the total size of all autoloaded options data, as that’s one of the main reasons for degraded database performance. But I can’t, unless I cycle through all 23 pages and manually calculate the size of all options that are autoloaded. It’s really not fun.

To compound the issue, the manual pagination feature is broken. Enter the number of the page you want to skip to, hit enter…and nothing happens. So you’re left with no choice other than to cycle through the pages using the pagination arrows. It’s all a little tedious to say the least.

Advanced Database Cleaner Pro’s UX/UI certainly isn’t the worst I’ve ever seen. In fact, it’s perfectly serviceable and adequate for the most part. But that doesn’t mean there’s not an awful lot of room for improvement.

Is Advanced Database Cleaner Pro worth buying?

In short: yes. It’s a really useful plugin that does what it says on the tin – and for a price that’s hard to beat. I’m not sure I would pay a yearly subscription fee for it, but a one-off fee of $39 for two websites represents fantastic value for money.

It has more features than many of its free and premium competitors, it generally works very well and the developer is always on hand to answer any questions you may have. The support documentation is sorely lacking and there’s no support ticket option or knowledgebase on the SigmaPlugin website, but on the two occasions I contacted the author he was quick to respond both times.

If your website is fairly new, or you don’t tend to install/uninstall many themes or plugins, you probably won’t notice much improvement to your website speed even after you’ve optimised your database. But if your site has been around for a few years and gone through many iterations, you can bet your bottom dollar there’s plenty of resource-sucking junk lurking in the darkest corners of your database.

One thing that does concern me a little is the lack of regular updates. It seems strange to say that, given that there have been two updates released within the last month – one of which was a major release. But before that, the plugin went almost a full year without being updated. That’s a long time in the world of WordPress.

The product is clearly a side project for the developer, but what a side project it is. He’s done a marvellous job getting the plugin to where it is now, and in fact I’m a little surprised it hasn’t been snapped up by a big company by now. It’s one of the best database optimisation plugins around, it makes managing your database much quicker and easier and it will help to reduce the size of your backups too.

It’s not a no-brainer purchase, but it’s not far off.

Advanced Database Cleaner Pro Review
  • Features
    (4.5)
  • Price
    (5)
  • Support
    (3.5)
  • Updates
    (3.5)
  • Performance
    (5)
  • UX/UI
    (3.5)

Summary

Advanced Database Cleaner Pro is a fantastic database maintenance plugin that’s only let down by infrequent updates and an uninspiring UX/UI. The plugin has tons of features, very few bugs and a price that’s hard to beat. If the developer speeds up the development of the plugin and polishes the UI, it will be an absolute must-buy.

Overall
4.2
Comments Rating 0 (0 reviews)

Pros

  • Loads of features
  • Fantastic value for money
  • Responsive email support
  • Rock-solid performance
  • Very few bugs

Cons

  • Infrequent updates
  • Poor support documentation
  • Mediocre UX/UI

Other opinions of Advanced Database Cleaner

The auto-cleaning schedule setter is a really great feature, and one I’m relieved to set and forget. Very much appreciated.

Best cleaner/tidier I have found. Always works, no issues. Liked it so much I’ve upgraded to the Pro version for the extra features.

Alternative database optimisation plugins

If you’ve read our Advanced Database Cleaner Pro review and feel it isn’t right for you, don’t worry; there are plenty of free and premium alternatives out there. We’ve listed some of the most popular ones below:

Now it’s your turn

What do you think of my Advanced Database Cleaner Pro review? Did you find it helpful? Is there something I missed that you think should have been covered? Please do let me know in the comments below and I’ll be sure to take it on board.

I also encourage you to leave your own review of the plugin in the comments below. It only takes a few seconds and would really add some value to the discussion.

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Rob Carter

Rob Carter

Rob Carter is a digital marketing expert with a genuine passion for helping businesses thrive online. Rob has been building websites and crafting marketing campaigns for over 20 years, and his creativity and analytical ability are highly sought after by businesses and non-profits around the world.

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