Are you having trouble loading your WordPress dashboard? If your WordPress dashboard is slow, you will suffer from poor productivity when editing content and managing your website. Therefore, you need to fix a slow WordPress as early as possible.
Besides, a slow WordPress dashboard can also make a negative impact on your website conversions. Having all these causes said, we’ll show you how you can fix a slow WordPress in the entire post.
However, there are many things you can do to fix this slow-loading WordPress dashboard. All the ways will be explained below. If you’re the needful, then don’t skip a word here.
Why is a WordPress Dashboard Being Slowed Down?
There could be uncountable reasons behind a slow WordPress dashboard, but having limited server resources is most common.
When a hosting plan is purchased from any WordPress hosting provider, it comes with a set number of resources. And these are the resources that will be enough to run a website without any issues.
Well, the more your website grows, the more you notice that your site is getting slightly slower than before. It happens because of the users’ engagement with your site (frequent access). Plus, users frequently consume the server resources.
You can easily resolve WordPress performance and speed issues by installing a caching plugin for the front-end of your website, which your visitors see most frequently.
In the admin area of WordPress, however, there is no caching, so it requires more resources to run optimally.
When your WordPress dashboard is awfully slow, this typically occurs because a WordPress plugin is running in the background, a default setting is too high, or something else on your site is using too many resources.
After having said that, let’s look at what we can do to fix a slow WordPress dashboard.
The Ways to Fix a Slow WordPress Dashboard
As mentioned above, there could be many reasons for having a slow WordPress dashboard experience. Likewise, several things you can do to fix this slowness of your WordPress dashboard.
However, below are the possible eleven areas that you need to know and work accordingly to fix a slow WordPress dashboard.
Check Your WordPress Admin Areas Performance
Whenever you make changes to your WordPress admin area, make sure you measure the speed first, so you can measure the results objectively.
In general, you can check the speed and performance of your website using website speed testing tools.
However, WordPress’s administration area is protected by a login screen, making it impossible to test it using the same tools.
But, the good news is that many modern desktop browsers include tools to determine how well a web page runs.
Using Google Chrome, for example, you can right-click anywhere on the page to open the Inspect tool on the WordPress dashboard.
If you do this, your browser screen will split into two, and you will see the Inspect area in one of the windows, either at the bottom or on the side of your browser window.
Click the Generate Report button under the Lighthouse tab in the Inspect tool.
The Page Speed Insights report will be generated similarly to the Web Vitals report.
Install WordPress Updates
Each WordPress release improves performance thanks to the core WordPress team.
The block editor team tests and improves performance whenever a new release is released. Improving speed and performance is in the hand of the performance team.
Therefore, if you’re not installing WordPress updates regularly, you’ll not be getting these WordPress improvements.
Likewise, the top WordPress themes and plugins remain on updates by the respective developers to fix bugs that increase site performance.
Well, how can you install updates? You need to go to the WordPress Dashboard and then the Updates page. On the Updates page, you’ll be able to see all possible required updates.
Updating Your Hosting Companies PHP Version
PHP, an open-source programming language, is used to develop WordPress. PHP version 7.4 or higher is required for WordPress at the time of writing this article. As of today, PHP is available in version 8.1.6, which is stable.
There is a good chance that most WordPress hosting companies do not use the latest PHP version out of the box, as they maintain the minimum requirements required to run WordPress.
Like WordPress, PHP is now released with new versions that make considerable improvements to performance. This performance boost is not available with an older version.
Using the Tools > Site Health page in your WordPress dashboard and selecting the ‘Info‘ tab, you can see which PHP version your hosting provider uses.
Fortunately, every reliable WordPress hosting provider offers an easy means of upgrading their PHP version.
Bluehost, for instance, has an Advanced tab in the left column of their hosting control panel.
Under the Software section, you will find MultiPHP Manager.
Next, you must choose the PHP version you want to use and your WordPress blog.
Increasing PHP Memory Limit
In the same way that any computer works, your web hosting server does too. In order to run multiple applications efficiently at the same time, it needs memory.
If your server doesn’t have enough memory available for PHP, your website may slow down or even crash.
Changing the Info tab on the Tools > Site Health page will let you know how much PHP memory is available.
Under the Server section, you will find information about the PHP memory limit. You need to increase it if it’s less than 500M.
The following line can be added to your wp-config.php file to increase PHP memory.
define( 'WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '512M' );
Installing a Caching Plugin for WordPress
Caching plugins for WordPress not only speeds up your site but also speeds up your admin dashboard.
As a result, your WordPress admin area can better utilize the resources on your WordPress hosting server.
Check and Monitor WordPress Plugins Performance
Within WordPress’s admin area, some plugins can be run. WordPress admin areas can easily sluggish down if plugin authors don’t take care when creating plugins.
Installing the Query Monitor plugin will help you find such plugins. We have a step-by-step guide on installing a WordPress plugin that provides more details.
A new menu item will appear in your WordPress toolbar when the plugin is activated.
When you click it, performance results will be displayed for the page you are currently viewing.
If you click it again, Query Monitor will appear.
Here, you need to turn to the left side tab ‘Queries by Component’. It allows you to see how plugins affect performance so you can identify which one is taking up too much resource.
The slow plugins can now be temporarily disabled to see if performance improves.
If that is the case, it will be possible for you to reach out to the plugin author for support or look for an alternative plugin.
Check WooCommerce Dashboard and Fix the Slow-loading
You may notice that the performance of your WordPress admin area is affected if you run an online store using WooCommerce.
By adding a menu item to the screen options, you can disable the dashboard widget for WooCommerce.
In a similar manner, you can modify the Product page information.
The database of your WordPress website might fill up with unnecessary data from your WooCommerce store after a while.
Twisting Admin Screens and Disabling Dashboard Widgets
Several widgets are automatically loaded on the dashboard when WordPress is activated. The widgets include- Quick Draft, Site Health, Events and News, and many more.
Some WordPress plugins come with their own widgets that add to the WordPress admin dashboard screen. As a result, having these kinds of so many widgets, your dashboard loading speed will surely become slow.
So, you need to turn off these widgets. To do so, click on the Screen Options button and uncheck the box you want next to the widgets.
Similarly, the Screen Options option allows you to display and hide sections on other admin panels.
On the posts screen, for example, you may specify which columns to display.
Controlling WordPress Autosave Feature
With WordPress, the block editor features an autosave feature. In case you don’t save your changes and close the editor, it allows you to easily restore your content.
While all those autosave requests may not slow down your WordPress admin area if multiple users are working on your website at peak traffic times.
As a result, we do not recommend disabling autosave. Instead, you can reduce its speed to save performance.
In your wp-config.php file, add the following line.
define( 'AUTOSAVE_INTERVAL', 120 )
In this line, WordPress is told to run automatic saving every two minutes (120 seconds) rather than once.
Reducing API calls for the Heartbeat API
With the heartbeat API, WordPress can send Ajax requests to a server without having to reload the page. This allows plugin developers to show you notifications in real-time and lets authors know when posts are being edited by other users.
Plugin developers ping the API once every 60 seconds. As multiple authors work on the same website at once, these resource-heavy server calls may become an issue.
The Heartbeat Control plugin is also an alternative you can use to reduce Heartbeat API calls.
If possible, we recommend that you reduce API calls by at least 120 seconds.
Blocking WordPress Admin Directory and Login Pages
WordPress websites are vulnerable to random hackers and DDoS attacks.
WordPress login pages are accessed, and hundreds of login attempts are made within a short period of time by these automated scripts.
Despite not being able to access the WordPress site, they will still be able to slow it down.
Your WordPress Admin folder and login pages can be secured with a password, which is an easy and straightforward way to block these scripts.
You can simply switch to the Advanced Tab in your hosting control panel if you are on Bluehost. In the Directory Privacy section, click on it.
The next step is to locate the wp-admin directory (usually located in public_html folder).
You can then edit it by clicking the Edit button below.
In the next step, you will be asked to give your protected directory a name.
In order to continue, click on Save. In order to continue, you will have to click the Go Back button in order for the control panel to save your changes.
In order to access the protected folder, you must first create a username and password.
You will now need to enter your username and password when you visit your WordPress admin area.
Create a Password-protected WordPress Login Page
As a next step, you would like to block access to the WordPress login page. The only way to do this is to edit your website’s .htaccess file manually and generate a password file.
Using an FTP client or your hosting control panel’s File Manager, connect to your WordPress website.
Go to the directory of your website (the directory is where your wp-admin, wp-includes, and wp-content files are located).
To do this, create a file named .htpasswd.
In the following step, you will need to use the online tool to create a .htpasswd string.
Your WordPress admin directory username and password should be the same as your WordPress password.
Once that’s done, click Generate.
As soon as you run the tool, you will see a string of username and password.
Using the .htpasswd file, you created earlier, copy and paste this string.
To do this, open your web browser and open the .htaccess file and copy and paste the following code into it.
### BEGIN BASIC BLOCK <Files wp-login.php> AuthType Basic AuthName "Protected Folder" AuthUserFile /home/username/public_html/yourwebsite/.htpasswd Require user jsmith Satisfy All </Files> ### END BASIC BLOCK
Change AuthUserFile to the path to your .htpasswd file after replacing jsmith with your own username. It should be located in the File Manager app.
Upgrade or Switch to a Finer WordPress Hosting
It is your WordPress hosting provider who is responsible for handling all WordPress performance issues.
In this case, you are limited to the resources your hosting provider offers to improve performance.
While the tips above will help you to reduce server load on your WordPress site, they may not be sufficient in every hosting environment.
It would be best if you moved your WordPress site to a new host and signed up with a different hosting company to enhance performance even more.
Our recommendation is Bluehost, which is a top WordPress hosting company. A built-in cache improves WordPress performance on the shared hosting plans offered by them.
There you have it! We hope the post helped you learn how you can fix a slow WordPress dashboard easily. You may want to see our guide on how you can fix the missing appearance menu in WordPress. You may also want to see how you can clear cache files in WordPress.