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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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)
8. Disable CDNs Within The WP Admin
- cache level: bypass
- disable performance
- disable railgun
- security level: high
- browser integrity check: on
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.
Like I said, this is well-known in Facebook Groups:
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!)
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.
Or use Query Monitor (check the “queries by components” tab):
Do you really need all those 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:
Step 2: Run the PHP Compatibility Checker to make sure your plugins are compatible.
Step 3: Upgrade to PHP 7+ (I use PHP 7.2) in your hosting account.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
Alternative Ways To Disable Scripts, Styles, And Cart Fragments:
16. Avoid External Resources
I’m talking about:
- 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).
17. Check Your Server Response Times
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.
Step 2: Go to any page on your website and located the Query Monitor dropdown.
Step 3: Go to “Queries By Component” to see your slowest loading plugins:
Step 4: See your slowest loading 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:
To disable cart fragments, add this to funtions.php:
Step 5: See your slowest loading styles:
Disable all WooCommerce stylesheets:
Disable specific stylesheets:
If you disabled specific stylesheets, you will need to add your own:
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.
19. Switch To Faster Hosting That Can Support WooCommerce
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.
SiteGround has 3 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:
You can decide for yourself.
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.