19 Ways To Fix A Slow WooCommerce Admin Panel (Dashboard): A Complete Guide To Making Your WooCommerce Backend Load Fast

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Slow WooCommerce Admin Panel

Is your WooCommerce admin panel slow?

A slow WooCommerce dashboard can usually be fixed by cleaning your database with WP-Optimize, disabling the WordPress heartbeat API, and eliminating high CPU plugins. It could also be because you have “object cache” enabled in W3 Total Cache, or that your cache plugin isn’t configured optimally. WP Rocket was rated the #1 cache plugin in multiple Facebook polls, and SiteGround was rated the #1 host in 26 Facebook polls (who also uses the fastest version of PHP 7.3). I use both and have a .5s load time in GTmetrix and great Pingdom scores.

Is my website WooCommerce? No, but my developer and I have optimized multiple WooCommerce sites to load 3x faster. I listed the most common solutions for fixing a slow WooCommerce dashboard, as well as solutions from WordPress-related Facebook Groups.

 

1. Clean Your Database With WP-Optimize

Nothing slows down your admin panel like a bloated database. Use WP-Optimize or WP Rocket to schedule a database cleanup every 1-2 weeks. This will optimize database tables and delete transients, post revisions, autosaves, pingbacks, trackbacks, and other things that cause bloat in your database. Of course, you should always take a backup before doing this.

WP-Optimize plugin

WP-Optimize Clean Database

 

2. Clear Customer Sessions

As explained in this article, the wp-options table can grow too fast due to ineffective cron jobs, or bots crawling your site and creating sessions on the fly. The first step is the clear customer sessions in your Status settings. The next step (see the next section) is to disable wp-cron jobs.

Clear Customer Sessions

 

3. Disable WP-Cron

The wp-cron is loaded on every page load and schedules automated tasks like publishing scheduled posts, checking for theme and plugin updates, and sending email notifications. Instead of running it on every page load, you can schedule it to run every 90 minutes or so.

Step 1: Disable WP Cron Jobs

Add the code to wp-config.php, before where it says “That’s all, step editing! Happy blogging.”

define('DISABLE_WP_CRON', true);

Step 2: Replace With A Real Cron Job
You still need wp-cron (eg. checking for theme/plugin updates), just not on every page load. Each host has their own instructions for this, here is SiteGround’s tutorial. You can set the cron job to run every 90 minutes, or increase it even more if you don’t have lots of scheduled tasks.

 

4. Disable The WordPress Heartbeat API

The WordPress heartbeat API shows real-time plugin notifications, and when other users are editing a post. 99% of websites don’t need this and it generates a request every 15-60 seconds while your admin panel is open. It’s best to disable the heartbeat API using the Heartbeat Control plugin, or at least limit it to 60 seconds. Doing this will also save on server resources.

Heartbeat-Control-Plugin

 

5. Disable “Object Cache” In W3 Total Cache

If you recently configured W3 Total Cache, disable “object cache” in the General settings. This often makes your WordPress admin panel slow and can be an easy fix. Though I recommend a better cache plugin like WP Rocket, you can read my W3 Total Cache configuration guide (with Cloudflare + CDNs) since the wrong settings can slow down your WordPress dashboard.

W3 Total Cache Object Cache

 

6. Enable Redis Object Cache

Object cache is specifically good for increasing the performance of your database, which is where Redis comes into play. However, only some hosts support it (a2 Hosting, Kinsta, Cloudways, Pantheon). Before using the Redis Object Cache plugin, you need to check whether your host supports it. Often, it is only available on managed hosting plans, not shared.

Redis Object Cache Plugin

If your host supports it, install the plugin, go to the settings, and click “Enable Object Cache.” Still, get in touch with your host, as they may have a different way of enabling object cache.

 

7. Use A Better Cache Plugin

These all have a huge impact on the speed of your WooCommerce admin panel and load times:

  • If you’re using a cache plugin
  • Which cache plugin you’re using
  • Whether the settings are configured optimally

WP Rocket was rated the #1 cache plugin in multiple Facebook polls and comes with many features most cache plugins don’t. This means would need to install about 6 extra plugins to use these features, when WP Rocket has them built-in. This not only gives you better results in GTmetrix/Pingdom, but it also reduces the amount of plugins needed on your site. If you have $49, go with WP Rocket, otherwise I recommend Swift Performance or WP Fastest Cache.

  • Database cleanup (built-in to WP Rocket, or use WP-Optimize)
  • Heartbeat control (built-in to WP Rocket, or use Heartbeat Control)
  • Lazy load images/videos (built-in to WP Rocket, or use WP YouTube Lyte)
  • Host Google Analytics locally (built-in to WP Rocket, or use CAOS For Analytics)
  • Host Google Fonts locally (built-in to WP Rocket, or use CAOS For Fonts, or SHGF)
  • Integration with Cloudflare + other CDNs (built-in to WP Rocket, or use CDN Enabler)

2016 best cache plugin poll

2019 cache plugin poll

Swift vs WP Rocket

2016 cache plugin poll

Best cache plugins 2018 poll

wp rocket vs w3 totla cache

WP-Rocket-Features

 

8. Disable CDNs Within The WP Admin

If you’re using Cloudflare’s CDN, and you should be, make sure you’re not caching the WordPress admin area. To do this, go to your page rules settings and create the following rule:

  • examplewebsite.com/wp-admin*
  • cache level: bypass
  • disable performance
  • disable railgun
  • security level: high
  • browser integrity check: on

WP-Admin-Page-Rule

Cloudflare says:

“To increase the security of the admin section, I’ve set the Security Level to High. This controls how high a client Threat Score must be for a client will encounter a challenge page. Threat Scores are derived from our IP Reputation database and assigned to clients that attempt to connect to a resource on your domain.

To ensure smooth operations within my admin pages, I’ve set the Cache Level to Bypass so Cloudflare will not cache any of the content within this section. I’ve also disabled any Apps and Performance settings that may conflict with some of the unique functionality of my admin pages.”

 

9. Avoid EIG Hosting

It is well-known in Facebook Groups that EIG brands are bad. The same company owns Bluehost, HostGator, Site5, iPage, HostMonster, A Small Orange, and over 60 different hosting companies. You should avoid these at all costs – they are infamous for having shareholders to please, and cut costs by packing too many people on the same server (increasing your load times), running outdated PHP versions, using poor speed technology, and terrible support.

List-Of-EIG-Brands

Like I said, this is well-known in Facebook Groups:

Bluehost-EIG-Feedback

SiteGround, Cloudways, Kinsta, and WP Engine are usually the top 4 rated in Facebook polls.

 

10. Avoid High CPU Plugins

All 3 things can affect the speed of your WooCommerce admin panel:

  • How many plugins you’re running
  • Whether you have deactivate plugins
  • Whether those plugins are coded well (only use lightweight plugins!)

High CPU plugins usually include social share, statistic, calendar, page builders, chat, and plugins that run ongoing scans/processes or appear multiple times in GTmetrix.

  1. AddThis
  2. AdSense Click Fraud Monitoring
  3. All-In-One Event Calendar
  4. Backup Buddy
  5. Beaver Builder
  6. Better WordPress Google XML Sitemaps
  7. Broken Link checker (use Dr. Link Check)
  8. Constant Contact for WordPress
  9. Contact Form 7
  10. Contextual Related Posts
  11. Digi Auto Links
  12. Disqus Comment System
  13. Divi Builder
  14. Essential Grid
  15. View Full List Of 65 Slow Plugins

You can also find slow loading plugins in your GTmetrix Waterfall chart. If they appear multiple times, take a long time to load, or generate multiples requests, look for an alternative plugin.

Slow WordPress Plugin

Or use Query Monitor (check the “queries by components” tab):

Query Monitor Slow Plugins

Do you really need all those plugins?

Too many WooCommerce plugins

 

11. Upgrade To PHP 7.2

Higher PHP versions can easily make your site 2-3x faster. Hosting companies won’t upgrade you to the latest version as you may be running incompatible plugins that are not maintained.

Step 1: See which PHP version you’re currently on in the WooCommerce server environment:

WooCommerce PHP Version

Step 2: Run the PHP Compatibility Checker to make sure your plugins are compatible.

PHP-Compatibility-Checker

Step 3: Upgrade to PHP 7+ (I use PHP 7.2) in your hosting account.

PHP-Upgrade

Step 4: Test your website for errors. If you see any, revert to an earlier PHP version, or check which plugins aren’t compatible and try to find alternative plugins that are maintained better.

 

12. Remove Bloat With Clearfy

By “bloat” I’m referring to things you can do with the Clearfy plugin, like remove the RSD link, wlwmainfest link, shortlinks, dashicons, limit post revisions, the heartbeat API, and disable autosaves. The Clearfy plugin has other features, but removing bloat is it’s primary purpose.

Clearfy Performance Settings

Hide SEO Bloast: if you’re using Yoast, install the Hide SEO Bloat plugin which removes ads, notifications from Yoast, and all the bloat that most people don’t want to see in Yoast’s plugin.

Hide SEO Bloat Plugin

Disable Unused Widgets – use the Widget Disable plugin to delete all unused widgets.

 

 

13. Delete Unused Themes + Plugins

Unused themes leave things in your database which will make your admin panel slow.

Unused plugins do the same thing, and remember to delete all plugins you really don’t need.

Delete-Unused-WordPress-Themes

 

14. Increase Memory Limit When Using WPML

If you’re running WPML, they require you to increase your memory limit of at least 128MB while 256MB is recommended, otherwise you might see a fatal error that your memory is low. WooCommerce alone may also cause memory limit issues, and they too recommend 256MB.

Step 1: Edit your wp-config.php file.

Step 2: Add the code before the line that says, “Happy Blogging”.

define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '256M');

 

15. Consider The Perfmatters Plugin By Kinsta

Kinsta’s perfmatters plugin lets you disable WooCommerce scripts, styles, cart fragments, and unused widgets in the admin panel. It also lets you disable scripts (plugins) from loading on specific pages. For example, I don’t need my rich snippets or Thirsty Affiliates plugin loading on my homepage, so I can disable them there. The plugin is $25/year but has a ton of features that can make your website and dashboard faster: it’s basically like the Clearfy plugin on steroids.

perfmatters woocommerce optimization

perfmatters script manager

Alternative Ways To Disable Scripts, Styles, And Cart Fragments:

 

16. Avoid External Resources

I’m talking about:

  • Gravatars
  • Google Fonts
  • Google Maps
  • Google AdSense
  • Many social sharing plugins
  • Plugins that connect to Facebook/Twitter
  • Plugins that connect to other external resources

External resources generate extra requests and can be found in your Pingdom report, or GTmetirx Waterfall tab. Most times, these are generated by plugins. If you absolutely have to use a plugin that generates external resources, you should at least prefetch the domains of those external resources (which you can do in WP Rocket, perfmatters, or through code).

Cache-Gravatar-Images

 

17. Check Your Server Response Times

You can find your server response time in Bitcatcha:

Bitcatcha Server Speed Report

Or Google PageSpeed Insights:

Reduce Server Response Time

Hosting is the #1 factor in the WordPress optimization guide and greatly affects the speed of your WooCommerce admin panel. If your server response time is low, and you’re using a cheap host like GoDaddy or EIG, reconsider your hosting since WooCommerce sites often require more plugins/resources (the main ones are SiteGround, Cloudways, Kinsta, and WP Engine).

 

18. Identify The Problem With Query Monitor

It requires a bit of technical knowledge, but Query Monitor is great for finding which elements take longest to load: plugins, scripts,

Step 1: Install Query Monitor.

Query Monitor Plugin

Step 2: Go to any page on your website and located the Query Monitor dropdown.

Query Monitor Dropdown

Step 3: Go to “Queries By Component” to see your slowest loading plugins:

Queries-By-Component

Step 4: See your slowest loading scripts:

WooCommerce Scripts

To disable WooCommerce scripts, add this to functions.php, or here are other other solutions.

You may also see cart fragments take a long time to load:

WooCommerce Cart Fragments

To disable cart fragments, add this to funtions.php:

Step 5: See your slowest loading styles:

WooCommerce styles in query monitor

Disable all WooCommerce stylesheets:

Disable specific stylesheets:

If you disabled specific stylesheets, you will need to add your own:

Another alternative is to only load the CSS styles and Javascripts on WooCommerce product and shop pages, by dequeuing them on all of your other pages. Here is the code from Github:

Query Monitor can help you find other issues too. If you’re not comfortable using it, it’s worth hiring a developer who has the technical background to identify potential issues, and make optimizations. I’ve been working with Pronaya (bdkamol) since 2011 and he has a perfect 5 star review on his Freelancer profile (see portfolio). He can usually make sites load 3x faster.

Pronaya-Kumar-S-Reviews

 

19. Switch To Faster Hosting That Can Support WooCommerce

Join the WordPress Hosting and WordPress Speed Up Facebook Group to see what real, unbiased people are saying, since hosting is the #1 factor in the WordPress optimization guide.

I use SiteGround and have 200ms response times with 100% GTmetrix scores and .4s Pingdom load times. Do a hosting check, run your own tests, or click through my fast loading pages. They were rated the #1 host in 26 Facebook polls and are worlds better than EIG (Bluehost, HostGator), GoDaddy, and other hosts who pack too many people on the same server. There have been plenty of people who migrated and posted results on Facebook and Twitter. Tweet after tweet, post after post, poll after poll after poll, faster hosting will fix slow response times. They’re recommended by WordPress, do free migrations, and I use their semi-dedicated plan.

2019 Hosting Poll

2017-WordPress-Hosting-FB-Poll

Elementor Hosting Recommendations

July 2019 Hosting Recommendation

WordPress-Host-Poll-Aug-2018

Shared-Hosting-Poll-2017

2019-Hosting-Poll

Go-To-Hosting-Company

WordPress-Hosting-Poll-2017

Managed-Hosting-Poll

WooCommerce-Hosting-FB-Poll

2016-Web-Hosting-Poll

Best-WordPress-Hosting-Provider-Poll

Best-Web-Hosting-2019-Poll

WP Friendly Hosting Poll

2016-WordPress-Hosting-FB-Poll

Favorite Hosting For Elementor

2018 Hosting Recommendations

WordPress Hosting Poll Sept 2018.png

Managed-WordPress-Hosting-Poll-2017

2019-Hosts-Poll-1

Hosting-Poll-For-Speed

WordPress-Hosting-Poll-June-1

SiteGround-Recommendation

2014-Managed-WordPress-Hosting-FB-Poll

Best-Web-Hosting-Provider-Poll

Hosting-Poll-Feb-2019

Hosting-Recommendations-Poll

Bluehost vs SiteGround

WordPress Web Host Poll

 

People usually migrate because their speed technology can improve server response times by multiple seconds. Here are a few people who migrated to SiteGround and posted their results.

Switching To SiteGround

SiteGround Load Time Migration

Bluehost to SiteGround GTmetrix

HostGator To SiteGround

SiteGround GTmetrix

SiteGround Google PageSpeed Insights

100 Perfect Score On SiteGround

SiteGround Genesis

Speed Delivered By SiteGround

SiteGround GTmetrix Report

Reduced Load Times With SiteGround

New SiteGround Response Times

HostGator To SiteGround Migration

SiteGround Response Times On Joomla

Switched To SiteGround Hosting

SiteGround Rocket Imagify Combo

Joomla GTmetrix On SiteGround

SiteGround PageSpeed Insights

SiteGround On Joomla

SiteGround Reduced Load Times

SiteGround Speedy Hosting

New Pingdom Results On SiteGround

New SiteGround Response Time

SiteGround Response Time Improvement

Godaddy To SiteGround Migration

EIG-To-SiteGround

SiteGround-Migration

My GTmetrix report on their semi-dedicated GoGeek plan:

2019-GTmetrix-Report

OMM-On-SiteGround

I use SiteGround because…

  1. My GTmetrixPingdom reports speak for themselves
  2. My pages load instantly (click through them if you want)
  3. Fast speed technology (PHP 7.3, NGINX, SG Optimizer, Cloudflare)
  4. Recommended by Yoast, WordPress, Ivica from WordPress Speed Up
  5. Free Let’s Encrypt SSL, easy to use cPanel, and features for eCommerce
  6. WordPress support is unbeatable even without GoGeek’s priority support
  7. GrowBig comes with staging, more storage, and more server resources (scroll down to “we allocate the resources you need” and hover over the server tab)
  8. GoGeek comes with even more server resources, storage, priority support
  9. Free migrations, migrator plugin, and a 30-day money back guarantee
  10. Plenty of praise on Reddit, Facebook conversations, Twitter, TrustPilot
  11. Tons of praise on Facebook: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7#8, #9, #10#11
  12. Many people already migrated and posted results on Twitter: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6#7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23, #24, #25, #26, #27, #28, #29, #30, #31, #32, #33, #34, #35, #36, #37

Affiliate Disclaimer – if you sign up for SiteGround using my affiliate link I will donate a chunk of the commission at no expense to you. Each year I donate $3k to GoFundMe campaigns (2018 was to feed the hungry in Denver, and 2017 was Hurricane Harvey). Your support helps and I really do appreciate it. I try to make my reviews unbiased and backed by evidence in the form of Facebook polls, tweets, and real conversations. If you don’t want to use it, here’s a non-affiliate link to SiteGround. Either way I truly believe they’re the best host and that your site will run faster/smoother… do your research on Google and Facebook groups and you’ll find most people say the same.

SiteGround has 3 plans:

SiteGround-Plans

Higher plans include more server resources (#1 factor in the WordPress optimization guide). Here’s the full comparison chart, but GrowBig gives you about 2x more server resources than StartUp, and GoGeek is semi-dedicated hosting which gives you even more. GrowBig and up comes with a free migration, staging, advanced caching, and ability to host multiple websites. GoGeek comes with priority support. Their cloud hosting is quite the price jump at $80/month.

You can see this on their features page:

SiteGround-Server-Resources-Comparison

You can decide for yourself.

Favorite-Web-Host

 

23. Frequently Asked Questions

🚀 Why is the WooCommerce dashboard slow?

You may need to clear customer sessions, clean your database, disable WordPress heartbeat, and disable CDN features in the admin area (eg. using Cloudflare page rules). Normal speed optimizations like upgrading to PHP 7.4 and avoiding my list of 65 slow WordPress plugins will also help.

🚀 Do cache plugins slow down the admin?

No, cache plugins should help speed it up (I have configuration tutorials for nearly every cache plugin). If you're using W3 Total Cache, trying disabling the Object Cache setting which is a common culrpit.

🚀 What about the admin-ajax.php?

If this is loading slow, it's also usually due to a slow plugin. You can also try disabling heartbeat and installing a plugin like Perfmatters to cut down on CPU used by WordPress (eg. disabling autosaves and limiting post revisions).

🚀 How do I bypass the CDN from working in the admin?

In Cloudflare, create a page rule for your WordPress admin URL with an asterisk, then set Cloudflare's performance features as Off.

🚀 How do I find which plugins are slowing down the admin?

First, avoid my list of 65 high CPU plugins and find alternatives if you're using one of these. Next, check your GTmetrix Waterfall tab to see which plugins take longest to load, then replace those. You can also try selectively disabling plugins using Asset CleanUp or Perfmatters, and deactivating all plugins 1 by 1 to find the culprit.

🚀 Will faster hosting affect the admin speed?

Yes, it should especially if you're nearing CPU limits which slows down both the front and backend of the site. WooCommerce sites should generally avoid shared hosting because they require more plugins and CPU. They are better of on semi-dedicated or cloud hosting.

I hope this helped! Comment if you have questions.

Cheers,
Tom

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