Why is my WordPress dashboard so slow? This is a common question asked by WordPress administrators when they experience a slow WordPress dashboard. WordPress admin users have a host of admin-related tasks to complete, such as installing a new plugin or theme, adding users, assigning user roles, configuring website settings, and much more. It can be quite frustrating for them to keep waiting to do their job when their WordPress backend is slow.
Do a Google search and you will likely find many tips on how to improve your webpage loading speed. However, a fast website (at the frontend) is useless when WordPress is slow at the backend.
What Causes a Slow WordPress Admin?
Are you wondering why is your WordPress dashboard slow? There are many reasons why this may be happening. Here are some of the common reasons why your WordPress admin is slow to load:
- You may be running your WordPress site on an older PHP version or WordPress version.
- There is excess content on your WordPress admin dashboard.
- You have not implemented caching on your website.
- Your WordPress site is operating with a low memory limit.
- You have installed heavyweight plugins that are slowing down your site.
- Your WordPress database is full or cluttered.
These are some of the common ones but there may be other reasons as well.
Now that we have discussed the possible reasons behind a slow WordPress dashboard, let us next discuss how to speed up your WordPress admin.
How to Fix a Slow WordPress Admin
How do I speed up my WordPress admin? Listed below are 7 ways to fix your slow WordPress admin page:
- Use the latest PHP versionThe WordPress platform has been built using the PHP language, which is why the PHP version running on your website matters. The latest PHP versions offer better performance than the old (or outdated) PHP version. For instance, PHP 8.1 can handle 163.3 requests per second compared to 106.56 for PHP version 7.2.Despite the major speed improvement, most WordPress websites continue to run on older PHP versions (for example, version 7.4 or older). You can easily upgrade to the latest PHP version by contacting your current web host.
- Remove all unused or inactive plugins To improve the website functionality, it is quite common for WordPress administrators to keep installing more plugins. On the flip side, however, not every available plugin is built for fast loading. Thus, it can negatively impact your WordPress site’s loading speed.
Here is what you can do to fix this problem:
- Remove all plugins that you have not used for a long time.
- Update the active plugins to their latest version. If later versions are not available, replace them with plugins optimized for higher speed.
- Remove all abandoned plugins that are no longer supported by their developers.
- Limit your WordPress admin content. Is your WordPress dashboard loading 20 or more items on a single page? If yes, then this can slow down your dashboard. As an administrator, you can configure how much content (for example, posts, pages, WooCommerce products, or custom posts) is displayed at any given time on your dashboard page.As a rule, try to restrict the content count to 20 or less. You can limit the “number of items per page” (under Pagination) in the “Screen Options” menu of your WordPress admin panel.
- Clean and optimize the WordPress database.The WordPress database is a storehouse of website content including published posts, plugins, themes, user comments, and even product details. Over time, this database can get clogged with redundant data including deleted comments, removed files, and even uninstalled plugin/theme files, which can slow down admin-related tasks. This is also relevant for WooCommerce sites that can contain loads of expired transients in their database.The best solution is to clean and optimize your WordPress database regularly using database optimization plugins like WO Optimize or WP Rocket.
- Are these plugins performing as expected?
- Do you still use them on the website regularly?Identify poorly performing WordPress plugins. As mentioned in Point 2, administrators keep installing more plugins to improve the functionality of their WordPress site. As the number of plugins increases, this can overload your WordPress dashboard causing it to slow down. Having said that, it is wrong to assume that “the more the installed plugins, the slower would be the WordPress admin.” The number of plugins does not matter – but their quality does.There are plenty of resource-heavy plugins that are not optimized for fast loading and performance. Here are some questions you need to ask:
To improve loading speed, remove any resource-heavy plugins from your website. You can find them using the “Query Monitor” plugin.
- Increase WordPress memory limit.The reason your WordPress dashboard is slow might be a PHP memory limit. By default, the PHP memory limit is set to 32 MB, which may be too less for certain WordPress sites. For example, the recommended memory limit for WooCommerce sites is 64 MB.You can easily resolve this problem by increasing the PHP memory limit to 256 MB. This can boost the speed of even resource-heavy websites. You can request your web host to increase your PHP memory limit or add the following code to the “wp-config.php” file of your WordPress installation:define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ‘256M’);
- Use Heartbeat control.
The Heartbeat API feature of WordPress enables it to automatically save (or auto-save) user’s posts while working on the WordPress editor. This API is useful for enabling real-time communication between the user’s browser and the web server within the Admin dashboard.On the flip side, this API can potentially slow down the Admin dashboard as it sends an AJAX request once every 15 or 60 seconds. In short, it consumes a lot of server resources and processing power.The easiest solution is to disable this functionality completely. Alternatively, you can use the “WP Rocket” caching plugin or the “Heartbeat Control” plugin to reduce the frequency of the AJAX requests or to control the Heartbeat API.
A slow WordPress admin can be a hassle for your administrator trying to get their work done. Slow dashboards also mean that you cannot publish online posts or content on your website on time. You can use the methods suggested above to try speeding up your WordPress dashboard. However, be careful as even a slight error on your part can cause problems in your website’s functionality.
Since its inception, Flipper Code has specialized in WordPress-related website development and website speed optimization services. If you are stuck with a slow website, we can help you improve your website speed by identifying and resolving the root cause of the problem.
If you are seeking a faster WordPress website, then it is time for you to contact us.