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Got a Slow WordPress Admin Dashboard? Reasons Why & Ways To Fix It

Slow WordPress admin panel happens because it is one of the areas of WordPress that's often neglected for optimization. We will show you how to speed it up on this page for faster loading.

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Do you have a WordPress admin dashboard that is slow? And you want to know the reasons why and how to fix it?

WordPress is an awesome and popular CMS. So popular that over 40% of all websites in the world use it.

You can build a lot of beautiful websites with WordPress and some features that are helpful for search engine optimization.

With all that said, if not optimized properly and constantly, your WordPress speed will be affected including the admin panel.

This Online Business Consulting article will be covering:

A. The causes of a WP admin panel that loads slowly -

  • clustered admin
  • slow servers
  • slow WordPress hosting provider ( we recommend you use fully managed cloud hosting by WPENGINE or LiteSpeed servers by GreenGeeks)
  • resource-intensive plugins
  • not optimizing core features like HeartBeat API
  • etc.

B. Methods that are used to fix and speed up any slow WordPress admin to make it faster -

  • updating PHP to the latest version
  • removing themes and plugins not active
  • deleting, repairing, & optimizing the WordPress database
  • etc.

Please use the below table of contents links to go directly to a section of interest faster.

List of What Causes A WordPress Admin Dashboard to Load Slowly

Below is a list of the most common causes of admin dashboard slow loading issues.

Note: Each WordPress website is different so some or all of the below could be the reasons for your admin panel not loading fast.

  1. Unoptimized WordPress Heartbeat API
  2. Unused/Deactivated Plugins & Theme
  3. Slow Hosting Server
  4. Bloated Admin Dashboard
  5. Too Many Autosaves & Revisions
  6. No Cache or Wrong Cache Setting
  7. Old PHP Version
  8. Translation Plugins

Continue reading below to get the lowdown on the actual fixes that will make your admin load faster.

8 Ways to Fix & Speed Up Your Slow WordPress Admin Panel

Speed-up admin dashboards not fast with the below tested methods.

1. Control or Disable Heartbeat API

WordPress Heartbeat API can use excessive resources when not managed, especially, for a website with multiple authors.

The Heartbeat API in a nutshell is a WP core feature that handles session management, plugin notifications, post locks, creation of autosaves, drafts, and revisions.

It operates by allowing your browser to auto communicates with the server.

The heartbeats simulate a pulse that beats every 15 seconds by default.

The best way to handle Heartbeat API when it is using excessive resources(this usually happens when you are editing a lot or so many logged-in users editing at the same time)which will cause your admin to run slowly is to either disable or limit the frequency of the pulses.

Control & Limit

To manage the Heartbeat API to improve the admin dashboard performance, you can use the following plugin:

  • Heartbeat Control ( set frequency to 60 seconds)

You also do it manually by inputting the below code in the functions.php file of your theme. Just copy and past it there.

/** Control Interval Heartbeat API **/
add_filter('heartbeat_settings', 'obc_control_heartbeat');
function obc_control_heartbeat($settings)
{
    $settings['interval'] = 60;
    return $settings;
}

Disable(plugin & manual)

To disable Heartbeat you can use plugins such as:

To disable it manually copy and paste the below codes into your WordPress theme functions.php file.

add_action( 'init', 'stop_heartbeat', 1 );
function stop_heartbeat() {
wp_deregister_script('heartbeat');
}

2. Delete Unused Themes & Plugins

Having many unused & deactivated plugins or themes is not good for your WordPress admin performance.

This is because the files for these unused themes and plugins will still be running at the backend even though they are deactivated. And remember that most deactivated and unused themes or plugins will still have their setting and tables stored in the database.

So please delete any unused and deactivated themes and plugins in your website. Each time you uninstall any plugins you want to clean the settings it created on the wp table, wp-0ption, or cron.

You can do this with a lightweight plugin like Advanced Database Cleaner Pro.

3. Consider A Fully Managed WordPress Host

Another way to fix slow WordPress admin dashboard is to get a fully managed WordPress hosting provider( we recommend WPENGINE or Kinsta).

Being hosted on a website hosting platform not optimized for WP sites is not good.

You can do all the fixes we mentioned but if you are on the wrong hosting platform, your admin will still be slow.

Being on a fast server optimized for WP sites is one of the top factors for a fast website.

By moving your website to a fully managed WordPress hosting, you will significantly speed up your entire website including the admin.

Again, consider this two hosts(they only host Wp websites which allows them to specialize and build infrastructures for them):

  • WP Engine
  • Kinsta

Consider reading this detailed article on what to look for when picking a web hosting provider.

4. Remove Admin Bloats(Remove Widgets & Other Dashboard Elements)

A how to fix slow WordPress admin guide won't be complete without mentioning the importance of removing admin bloats like pop ups by plugins, news and event widgets, etc.

These widgets and popups make a lot of external calls to load their information, which slows down your WordPress backend.

To fix this, use the Unbloater and Widget Disable plugins to clean up your WordPress admin dashboard from unnecessary and not needed items that guzzles CPU in the backend.

5. Limit/Delete AutoDrafts & Revisions

When dealing with a slow WordPress admin, cleaning up revisions and limiting draft auto saves will assist in making it load faster.

Delete

You can use Advanced Database Cleaner Pro to delete and schedule deletion of auto-drafts and revisions to be done done automatically weekly or monthly.

Limit

You should also limit the amount of revisions that your WP site saves.

To do this contact your web hosting provider and ask them to do it for you.

We normally set revisions to 2 to 5.

If you are comfortable editing your site wp-config.php file, add the following codes:

define('WP_POST_REVISIONS', 4);

We also recommend that you change WordPress's default autosaving interval from 1 minute to between 3 to 6 minutes( WP autosaves your posts every 1 minute).

Add the below code to your wp-config.php.

define('AUTOSAVE_INTERVAL', 240); // seconds

Another option is to use

  • Perfmatters plugin to limit the revision and autosaving interval( super easy and no technical skills needed.

6. Enable Caching or Set It Correctly

Enabling cache and setting it up correctly is how to fix WordPress admin panel too that is important.

You should speak to your hosting service company to see what type of caches are in place.

Some hosts have zero to basic server cache and you will need to complement it with a cache plugin like WP Super Cache.

Fully managed WP hosts like WP Engine do full server caches without a need for caching plugins.

We highly recommend these type of hosts as they will handle everything for you and you just focus on creating content for your website.

7. Update To the Latest PHP Versions

Another way to fix slow WordPress admin dashboard is to make sure that you are running the latest PHP version.

Before doing that, make sure that your host supports the latest version of PHP.

If you are with a host that make you wait months before you can safely upgrade to the latest version switch to another host.

This is why a fully managed WP hosting provider is best. Since they only host WordPress, they tend to have their infrastructures ready for the latest tools.

8. Translations Plugins

The last recommendation on this how to fix a slow WordPress backend guide is to look into your translation plugin if you are using one.

Most multilingual plugins such as WPML are known to be resource heavy which slows down admin dashboards.

We recommend that you try other multilingual plugins that are lightweight.

List of Plugins & Tools for The Fixes

We have compiled a list of some of the plugins and tools mentioned in this article to make it easy for you to find just incase you missed them in the article.

Plugins

NameWhat It DoesRatingPrice
Advanced Database Cleaner ProDelete auto draft revisions, and orphaned cron task/options/table5 starStarts at $39 lifetime(no monthly or yearly recurring fees)
Widget Disable5 starFree
Unbloater5 starFree
LiteSpeed CacheFast caching plugins for sites hosted on LiteSpeed servers like GreenGeeks' & NameHeros'5 starFree/Best for sites hosted on LiteSpeed Servers
PerfmattersPlugin to unload assets, limit & delete revisions/autosaves & many moren/a22.46/year with codes
WP Super CacheLightweight plugin for browser caching5 starFree
Query MonitorPlugin used to sniff out slow plugins & queries5 starFree

Tools

NameWhat It DoesPriceNotable Clients
Plugintests.comTest a plugin for file size, database additions, & load timeFreen/a
WPHive.comGet both file size, load time, & database addition of a pluginFreen/a
KinstaFully managed WordPress hosting for small businesses and enterprises35/mUnicef, ScreamingFrog, Ricoh, Intuit, etc
WP EngineFully managed WP hosting(only hosts WordPresses) for small businesses, developers, and enterprisesStarting at $20/m(4 months FREE & 60 days money back guarantee)
See Plans
Petco, Pingdom, Yelp, InstaCart, Pandora, AMD, NBA, National Geographic, Under Amour, DropBox, SoundCloud, Thomson Reuters, etc.

Make Slow WordPress Admin Faster By Getting an Expert Help

If you are a beginner, doesn't have the time, or not technical, consider hiring a WordPress speed tuning expert.

When the right speed expert is hired, they will implement the fixes needed to speed up your slow WordPress admin dashboard properly.

Let a pro like Online Business Consulting help make your WordPress admin faster.

REFERENCE SERVICES:

https://www.onlinebusinessconsultants.net/wp-speed-optimization-services/

Emmanuel Okeke

A Los Angeles resident who loves to write awesome guides on SEO, WordPress speed/security, content strategies, business and personal finance, digital and growth hack tools, legal stuff, etc, that are helpful to businesses, solopreneurs, bloggers, and consumers.

What I write about is based on tests, extensive research, and 11+ experience as a former Senior digital & content marketing consultant with a division of Thomson Reuters and running a successful digital marketing agency...[Read full bio]