There are thousands of web hosts exist on the internet, and almost all of them claim that they provide “unlimited” disk space and bandwidth, but that’s not true at all.
No host can provide unlimited space to your site, it is just a false claim. If you open their terms of condition page and read closely, you’ll find out that they have a cap for every user, especially, if you’re a shared hosting plan customer.
Most sites begin to get traffic after 8 months (If you’re consistent), and if you reach their “unlimited” quota, you’ll receive a mail saying, “You’re abusing their terms of condition”
So, always read their terms of condition before spending your hard-earned money on their plans.
In this tutorial, we’ll look at ways to check disk usage in WordPress so that you can clean up your website and make it faster.
What is Disk Space and What Does it Contain?
In a web hosting world, disk space is the amount of space available on the server for storing the content of your site. This content includes pages, images, videos, files, databases, among others. In some cases, it can also be used to store emails.
Before you proceed, you should know what a disk contains. The disk is generally composed of two things, databases, and files. The files contain things like, Images and videos uploaded to your media library, Plugins and themes files (PHP, CSS, JS), WordPress core (your primary WordPress installation files), and files uploaded through FTP (like custom web fonts, libraries, etc.). While databases contain information such as post data, page data, meta information, plugin settings, users, login information, etc.
When we combine both Files and Databases, we get the overall disk usage that is being utilized on your server.
How To Check Disk Usage
I hope now you understood what is Disk Space and what does it contain, now let’s move on to how to calculate Disk Usage. There are multiple ways you follow, but I’ve found the 8 most effective ways to perfectly calculate how much space is being utilized.
1. login to your hosting panel and check the Server Zone
This is the most simple way to calculate how much disk space is available. You need to log in to your hosting panel and go to the server zone.
Remember, the steps could be different for different hosts. I’m using Vultr hosting for one of my sites, so the screenshots I’ve shared below are of Vultr. If you’re using a different host, and unable to find it, then contact hosts customer support, or check their community forum.
Step 1: Log in
Go to your host’s website and click sign-in. Use your ID and Password to get logged in.
Step 2: Go to the products
Once you are successfully logged in. Click Products.
Step 3: Select Instances from the menu
In the Products menu, select Instances.
Step 4: Click on the Server
Now, the server will be visible to you. Click on it to open it.
Once the server overview page is open. You’ll be able to see the current bandwidth usage and CPU usage.
Step 5: Click Usage Graphs
Now, select Usage Graphs from the menu.
Step 6: Read Usage Graph
In Usage Graphs, you’ll get information about bandwidth, CPU Usage, Disk Operation, and Network.
- Monthly Bandwidth
Like I said earlier, no host in the world provides unlimited bandwidth. If you exceed your host’s monthly bandwidth limit, they will simply make your site very slow, or they’ll completely stop your site.
Under Monthly Bandwidth, you can check what is the current bandwidth limit of your site.
As you can see in the above screenshot, the current bandwidth limit for one of my sites is 1000 GB, and my site has used 1.71 Gb out of those 1000 GB.
Some of you may be wondering, what is Inbound and Outbound in Bandwidth?
Outbound Bandwidth is consumed when your server sends assets to the visitor (e.g. a response to a request for a style.css file from a client).
Inbound Bandwidth is consumed when data is coming into your server (e.g. if a client uploads a file to the server).
- Server Monitors
In the Server Monitors section, you can check the current CPU usage data. In case, it exceeds 100%, you may see an error on your sites, like 503 Service Unavailable or 500 Internal Server Error.
As you can see in the screenshot, CPU usage spikes didn’t cross the 100% limit, which means everything is going fine on my website. If you see a big spike (more than 100%), then that might be a bot attack, turn on bot fight mode in Cloudflare as soon as possible.
You can also change the time range if you want. You can set it to one week or one day.
- Disk Operations
When a user clicks to access any information on your website, a request goes to your web hosting server. Now, in the server, the data resides on files that are stored in Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) or Solid-state drives (SSDs)) or more commonly knowns as disks. To read the user requested data, the disk rotates to reach the needed disk sector.
In the Network graph, you can get information about the speed of the number of bits transferred and received in a single second.
2. Use Site Health Tool
The Site Health Tool in WordPress is a great way to check the health of your website. Here you can check both Disk and Database Usage.
Also, it gives you information about the Current PHP version of your site as well. If your site is running on PHP version less than 7.4, then you should upgrade it as soon as possible.
Now let’s see how to check your site health with the help of the WordPress Site Health Tool.
- Step 1: Go to your WordPress Dashboard
Log in and click Dashboard.
- Step 2: Select Tools from the menu
Once you’re in your WordPress dashboard, simply click Tools or hover over it.
- Step 3: Click Site Health
The menu will expand once you click on Tools. Select Site Health from the Tools menu.
- Step 4: Select Info
In the Site Health section, you’ll see two tabs, Status, and Info, select Info.
- Step 5: Click on Directories and Sizes Tab
Here you can get information about database size, WordPress directory size, Uploads directory size, and most importantly Total installation size.
If you want more information about your database, you can click Database Tab, where you can check the current database name, Database username, Max allowed packet size, and Max connections number.
Also, to check the current PHP version and PHP memory limit, click on the Server Tab.
3. Use Advanced Database Cleaner
Advanced Database Cleaner is a great plugin, it can help us in detecting the true database size of our website. With this plugin, you can easily clear the database and make your site faster.
This plugin has over 80,000 installations with more than 900 five-star ratings, which indicates how well this plugin works.
Some key features of Advanced Database Cleaner
- Delete old revisions of posts and pages
- Delete old auto drafts
- Delete trash posts
- Delete pending comments
- Delete spam comments
- Delete trash comments
- Delete pingbacks
- Delete trackbacks
- Delete orphan post metadata
- Delete orphan comment metadata
- Delete orphan user metadata
- Delete orphan term metadata
- Delete orphan relationships
- Delete expired transients
How to Check Database Size with Advanced Database Cleaner
- Step 1: Install and Activate
This plugin is easily available in the Plugin zone of WordPress. Search “advanced database cleaner” and you’ll it.
- Step 2: Click WP DB Cleaner from your WordPress Admin Menu
You’ll notice a new option in your WordPress admin menu “WP DB Cleaner”, just click on it to open t’s customizations.
- Step 3: Select Overview & Settings
From the plugin’s menu, click Overview & Settings.
- Step 4: Check the Database Size
Now, in the Overview section, you can see your site’s database size. You can also check some other info, like Script Max timeout, Total cron tasks, and Total tables.
How to check and clear database tables
We install and remove a lot of plugins on our website to test which is benefiting our site and which isn’t. We normally think that once we remove/delete a plugin from our site, all the data related to that plugin also vanishes, but that’s not true.
These plugins leave database tables which can make our site slower. These tables take a lot of space in the database, so it is really important to clear them.
If you want to deep step-by-step guide about how to perfectly clear a database, you can check this article!
- Step 1: Click Tables from the menu
- Step 2: Sort the tables by data size.
A few months back, Advanced DB cleaner didn’t have the feature to sort the tables by data size, but now it’s possible. Just click on Size and adjust it from high to low.
- Step 3: Clear Database (If you want)
Now you know which table is taking the most space, you can take action or leave it as is. It depends on you.
If you decided to clear database tables, make sure to create a backup of your website first because it involves risk.
To clear the database, you need to select the table and click Delete from the drop-down.
Also, some of you might be having difficulties in reading database table names.
Normally database tables will be named something similar to the name of the plugin, for example, “wp_rank_math_analytics_gsc”, you can notice that this table belongs to the RankMath plugin.
If you are still confused, you can take the help of Google. Simply copy the table name and search it on Google.
For example, when I searched “wp_ewwwio_images”, I found that this table belongs to the Ewww image optimizer plugin.
4. Use cPanel to Check Disk Usage and Database Size
Your hosting’s control panel (cPanel) contains almost every piece of information about your site. It can help us find out Disk usage and Database size.
Follow the steps shown below check database size and Disk usage in cPanel.
- Step 1: Log in to your cPanel
Use yoursitename.com/cpanel, it’s a shortcut.
- Step 2: Look at the right side Sidebar
Once you’re in your cPanel dashboard. Just look at the right-side statics widget. Disk usage information is present there.
Also, if you want more detailed disk usage reports. you can simply click on Disk Usage under FIles.
Scroll down to the bottom. You’ll find a table. Sort that table as per Disk Usage.
Now, checking the database size in cPanel is even more straightforward. Go back to the cPanel dashboard and click MYSQL® databases.
Under current databases, you may see more than one database. Under “Size”, you can see what is the current size of your database.
5. Reach out to your Host
There is no shame in asking for details of your website. Reach out to your host and ask for disk usage and database size report. The customer support team of your respective host has tools that can generate these reports quite easily. So, if you want to save some time, go and contact them as soon as possible.
How To Reduce Disk Usage
Here are some ways that you can implement to reduce disk usage.
- Use Image Optimizer
Images are very important for your blog’s engagement, but sometimes we don’t optimize them, which makes your site slow and consumes too much server resources.
Properly scaling your images, and optimizing them is crucial.
- Clean unused media from your site
You can use plugins like Media Cleaner.
- Use a light weight theme
Some bloggers try very hard to make their site engaging, they use heavy themes, but they forget that simplicity is always the best when it comes to blogging. People don’t care too much about which theme you are using, they just want information from you and that’s it.
- Don’t install too many plugins
Installing more than 20 plugins could be harmful to your website.
- Clean spam and trash comments
Keeping them for a long time increases server pressure. Clean them quickly.
- Clean database tables
Check the article about how to clean the database perfectly.
I hope this post was helpful to you!
Thanks for reading!