As the picture says: Make a Mess … Clean it Up. WordPress makes a mess, and WordPress Cleanup is part of the WordPress maintenance game.
This is a conversation about The WordPress Database and how you manage it. Most often, WordPress users install plug-ins to manage WordPress cleanup, and the good news is that this type of plug-in has no real performance impact on your site.
Should you know what’s in the WordPress database? Is it important to know how to do manual database edits from time to time? Yes, and yes. But the beauty of WordPress cleanup plugins is that they just work—so you pretty much don’t need to.
WPSweep is late to the WordPress cleanup party, but it does one thing differently enough that you might want to give it a thought; rather than issue SQL commands WPSweep does cleanup via internal WordPress mechanisms.
Is that actually any better than the way every other WordPress cleanup plug-in works? We argue it is not. MySQL is part of what makes WordPress work, and issuing commands directly into it is … well, it’s fine.
Speaking of things that are integral to WordPress but of dubious value, we have a piece planned on a topic that the WordPress Community is getting more and more excited about. The WordPress REST API is slated for full integration in WordPress 4.2, and while … useful … we’re not sure REST is actually a good thing for WordPress.
Blasphemous, we know. Stay tuned …