Massive database usage by Activity Log for WP

I’ve been working on a new site that was located on a staging subdomain. When I was ready to move the site up to the (soon to be) live area I attempted to run a BackupBuddy backup. The backup failed every time after about 30 seconds. Because of messages in the log file indicating memory issues, I double checked the memory allocations, etc… They were all plenty high to run BackupBuddy with some headroom.

After following error codes from BackupBuddy I eventually discovered that the culprit was a database table that was part of Activity Log for WP. That table had exploded from empty to 3.4 gigabytes within a few days of installing it. That was causing the backup to fail simply because of its size.

I was busy on the site - making template changes, etc. for several hours over a couple days, but I was shocked to see that huge amount of data in one database table. The only way I could delete the data from that table and be certain (with my skill level) that I wasn’t going to wreck the site was to check the option to delete all data upon removal of the plugin. I did that and the database immediately shrank to 31MB.

i cannot imagine that it is anything close to normal for that plugin to dump that much data into the database within such a few short days. Is that normal? I have the plugin on other sites and don’t see that problem in those databases.

The site is still under construction, but I have checked it out and I don’t see anything amiss after I deleted the plugin and its data. I don’t suspect anything suspicious beyond this strangeness.

What could cause this issue?


I am very sure that @robertwsal will be able to address this finding and tell what to do.

Thank you tagging me @ivicad

@bookman53 most probably you had the plugin configured to keep all the logs, hence why the database grew so much.

All you have to do in such case is configure the retention policies, so the plugin deletes logs older than X months, or years. You can read about retention policies and how to configure them here: Configuring the activity log retention policies | WP Activity Log

I hope this helps. Please let me know should you require any further information.

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Thank you for the replies.

I have read the retention information you linked to. I will probably give the plugin another try on that site. It is possible that I had inadvertently set the plugin to save everything.

What puzzles me, though, is how 3.4 GB of data was added to the database in a matter of days - certainly less than a week. The minimum time the plugin offers for saving data is one month. I would assume from that, that a site should be able to safely save the data for that period without such a huge addition of data. I had the plugin installed for just a matter of days, not months or years. The site isn’t even public yet. The only activity going on is me working on the site - working on the design, adding content, etc…

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