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How to Fix Issues with Slow WordPress Admin Dashboard

How to Fix Issues with Slow WordPress Admin Dashboard

Thanks to its user-friendliness, flexibility, and scalability, WordPress can easily power anything from blogs and company websites to eCommerce stores and huge corporation sites. And that’s precisely why many leading brands and companies are using WordPress to power their websites in the first place. That being said, even this powerful CMS can experience occasional problems, happening for one reason or another. One of these issues is the WordPress admin dashboard becoming too slow, making it difficult for users to manage their content and access important settings. Some of the reasons why this problem may occur include using an older PHP version, having an overloaded hosting server or an overwhelmed WordPress database, having too little WordPress memory, using plugins that consume too much processing power, and the list goes on.

Luckily for you, however, the issue of your dashboard loading too slowly can be easily fixed if you are willing to try out a few different strategies – which is exactly what we’ll show you how to do in this article.

Without further ado, here are some of the different methods you can implement in order to take care of your slow admin dashboard and to be able to manage your WordPress site quickly and effortlessly:

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Make Sure That You’re Using the Latest PHP Version

While WordPress is built using the PHP programming language, PHP itself is constantly evolving. So, the PHP version used on your WordPress site may not necessarily be the latest one. Also, it’s needless to say that aside from providing more security and stability, the latest PHP version can also come with overall performance enhancements, allowing you to handle more requests per second than the older versions, among other things. So, if you’re using one of the older PHP versions, there is a chance that your admin dashboard may be working slower than you’d expect. Therefore, it might be best that you update to the most recent version to help speed it up.

Of course, before you go ahead and update your PHP version, you should see if there’s a need to do so in the first place by checking out which PHP version you’re using on your site. To do this, you should head to Tools >> Site Health. Once there, in the Status tab, you should see a list of things that you could improve in order to enhance the performance of your WordPress site. If there’s a need to update your PHP, you should see a message that says something like this:

Site Health Status

Now, if it turns out that you need to update your version of PHP, then we highly suggest that you perform a backup of your WordPress site first. You can either back up your WordPress database manually or create a backup using a plugin like UpdraftPlus. This will help ensure that you have the option to switch back to the previous website version and prevent any potential data loss in case something goes wrong after the update.

Aside from performing a database backup, you should also make sure that you update your plugins and themes as well so as to avoid having any compatibility issues later.

Now, while most hosting providers will allow you to update your PHP version, you should know that different providers also offer different ways to do this. We recommend that you check out the page that contains links to hosting-specific tutorials and find the hosting you are using to learn how you can update your PHP version. Also, in case you can’t find your hosting service on the list, contact your specific provider for more info.

Increase the Limit of Your WordPress Memory

Increase the Limit of Your WordPress Memory

In some cases, if your PHP memory limit is too low, this can cause some of the key site processes to run slower than usual – and this can include the performance of your WordPress admin dashboard as well. This is especially the case with big-scale websites that have multiple processes running at once.

Therefore, to solve this issue, you can try increasing the standard PHP memory limit (of 32 MB) by accessing and editing your wp-config.php file. First, you need to access your file using the word processor software, like Microsoft Word or Notepad, for example). Then, add the following code into the file:

define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ‘your memory limit number’);

The “your memory limit number” within the code stands for the memory limit you want to use to increase your PHP memory limit (like 128 or 256, for example).

Once you save your file, make sure to upload the edited wp-config.php file using the File Transfer Protocol (FTP), like FileZilla. For more information on how to use FTP, we suggest that you check out our article on the same subject.

With all this being said, there are some hosting providers that may not allow you to increase the PHP memory limit on your own. If this is true for your hosting provider, make sure to contact them and ask them to do this in your stead.

Find the Plugins that May Be Slowing Your Site Down

While using too many plugins may cause your website to work slower than you’d like it to, the number of plugins itself is not necessarily the issue. However, if you have plugins that are resource-intensive and therefore put too much strain on your WordPress system and its processes, then you might want to consider weeding them out. But first, you need to figure out the plugins that may be the culprit. This can be easily done using the free plugin called Query Monitor. The plugin itself puts a very little impact on the page loading time as well as memory usage, and it will allow you to find out which plugins may cause your admin dashboard to be slow.

After installing the plugin, you simply need to click on the Query Monitor settings and find Queries >> Queries by Component. If there are any plugins that may be slowing your site down, you will be able to find them in this tab.

Query Monitor Settings

Then, if possible, you should consider disabling and/or deleting those plugins and find an alternative that will be less resource-intensive for your WordPress site.

Try Limiting the WordPress Heartbeat API

The WordPress Heartbeat API allows your server and browser to communicate (for example, helping with auto-saves while you’re creating posts or pages). If it sends too many requests at once, the CPU usage can increase, and in turn, this can significantly lower the speed of your WordPress admin. Therefore, we suggest that you try limiting the frequency of the Heartbeat API and its requests with the help of a plugin.

We suggest installing the Heartbeat Control plugin by WP Rocket for this task. Having over 100,000 active installations, this plugin is certainly a popular and great choice for quickly managing the frequency of your WordPress heartbeat API. You can limit or completely stop the Heartbeat API activity. Alternatively, you can add rules for certain locations only (like disabling the API on your admin dashboard or page/post editor only).

After installing and activating the Heartbeat Control plugin, you should access Settings >> Heartbeat Control and then use the “General settings” tab to either modify or disable the API from the specific area of your site.

Heartbeat Control General Settings

If you choose the Modify Heartbeat option, you can simply move the slider and choose your preferred frequency at which the API will run requests (in seconds).

Modify Heartbeat

Keep in mind, however, that disabling this API altogether may result in some unintentional content losses (due to a lack of auto-save). So, we suggest that you try modifying the frequency of the API first, and disable it completely only if this doesn’t prove to be fruitful for you.

Optimize Your WordPress Database from Time to Time

Optimize Your WordPress Database from Time to Time

Every website database stores all website information (including content, theme and plugin information, and plenty of other settings and data). Hence, over time, your database can accumulate some additional, but unnecessary data stored on your site that may negatively impact the speed of your WordPress admin panel. This includes spam comments (or trashed/unapproved comments), unwanted post revisions, pingbacks and drawbacks, expired transients, etc. Therefore, it’s recommended that you optimize your WordPress database from time to time in order to minimize this amount of data and help boost the speed of your admin dashboard.

You can either optimize your database manually or use a plugin (like WP-Optimize, for example). Either way, we suggest that you check out our article on how to optimize your WordPress database as we cover the use of both of these methods in full detail. Of course, just make sure to back up your database before making any changes first.

Limit the Amount of Content Displayed in the WordPress Admin

Another thing you can do to boost the speed of the slow-loading WordPress admin dashboard is to limit the amount of content displayed in your WordPress admin. To do this, you should click on the Screen Options (located in the top right corner of your admin area) and put a limit to how much content WordPress will load for every page.

Screen Options Pagination

This may require you to use the “Next page” link more frequently, but given that this can help speed up your WordPress admin dashboard, it may be well worth it in the end.

Upgrade Your Hosting

Upgrade Your Hosting

Last but not least, sometimes the issues of a slow-loading WordPress admin may come from having bad WordPress hosting. Or, it might not necessarily be a bad hosting service, but rather that your site has outgrown it and needs a change. So, we suggest that you consider upgrading to a hosting plan that fits your requirements better compared to the one you’re currently using. Also, make sure that the hosting provider you choose puts an accent on having solid website speed and optimal performance overall. Some of our recommendations when it comes to WordPress hosting services include Bluehost and SiteGround, to name a few.

Wrapping Things Up

Every now and then, the WordPress admin panel can load too slowly, making it difficult for you to effectively use and run your website. That being said, this issue can be easily solved if you opt for using some (if not all) of the above-suggested methods. So, consider updating your PHP version, boosting your PHP memory limit, and optimizing your WordPress database, among other strategies. And if all else fails, consider switching to a better and stronger hosting plan to ensure optimal site speed and performance. By doing so, you will certainly be able to manage your WordPress site in a much more efficient manner.

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