17 Ways To Fix A Slow WordPress Admin (Dashboard) Caused By Plugins/Settings, Hosting Environment, Overloaded Server

Slow wordpress admin

By the end of this tutorial, your WordPress admin will be faster than ever (if it’s not, leave me a comment with your current setup so I can help).

No time to read? Here’s a summary:

The first step to fixing a slow admin is learning if it’s caused by a single plugin, plugin setting, overloaded server, or underpowered server. It’s usually one of those in the majority of cases.

Query Monitor, WP Hosting Benchmark, and WP Healthcheck are great plugins for diagnosing slow admins. Between the three, you can find slow plugins calling admin-ajax, CPU/memory utilization, database performance, and environment info (PHP, MySQL, and WordPress version). WP-Optimize shows which plugins add the most overhead and lets you remove unused tables.

Next, deactivate plugins 1 by 1 and check their settings. For example, most cache plugins do preloading + automatic cache clearing which WP Rocket and LiteSpeed Cache list as common reasons for high CPU usage in their documentation. Disable them and use cron jobs to schedule these at night. While you’re at it, disable (or limit) everything you don’t use: Heartbeat, widgets, transients, and especially background tasks that collect data like statistics and security plugins.

Finally, cache everything possible. From cache plugins to object cache + OPcache (in your hosting account) as well as CDNs with full page caching. CDNs (and Cloudflare Enterprise) can speed up the admin by offloading bandwidth and blocking unwanted requests. I’m referring to WAF, bot fight mode, hotlink protection, crawler hints, and other features to reduce server load.

But I’ll guess 8/10 times, it’s because you’re on shared hosting with low CPU limits and overcrowded servers. Most hosts use Apache/NGINX when LiteSpeed is faster, while others skimp on CPU/RAM and don’t use faster NVMe SSDs. Check the specs of your current hosting plan and compare them to something like Rocket.net’s specs who I bet will outperform them with 32 cores + 128GB RAM + NVMe + Redis + Cloudflare Enterprise, and no PHP worker limits.

 

1. Remove High CPU Plugins

Plugins are notorious for slowing down the WordPress admin. You can always deactivate plugins 1 by 1 while testing admin speed. Otherwise, there are several tools that can help pinpoint which plugins increase memory usage or make excessive calls to admin-ajax.php.

Query Monitor – once installed, view any page on your site, then go to “Queries” in the top menu. Use the “Queries by component” tab to see your slowest plugins. You can also find plugins calling ajax.php in your GTmetrix Waterfall chart by looking for POST admin-ajax.php. Be sure to delete Query Monitor you’re done since it scans your site and consumes resources.

Slow wordpress plugins query monitor

A few other things to check:

  • Database: database stats, how large it is, etc (see step #10).
  • Queries: if something generates 100+ queries, remove or replace it.
  • Errors: take note of errors you see in your report and diagnose the issue.
  • Object cache: whether you have a persistent object cache plugin (see step #3).
  • Environment: PHP version, memory limit, and stats about your server, PHP, and WordPress environment. These play a large role in how fast your WordPress admin is.

WP Hive – free Chrome Extension that lets you browse the WordPress plugin repo and see whether a plugin impacts memory usage. This way, you can avoid it before even installing it.

Wp hive high memory usage plugins

75+ Slow Plugins – list of common plugins that either increase memory usage or impact PageSpeed Insights scores. This was made with the help of WP Hive, but I also tested many of them individually since they don’t always impact PSI scores until you add them to the frontend.

Lightweight alternatives:

  • Social Sharing – Grow Social.
  • Comments – native comments/CSS.
  • Translate – MultilingualPress, Polylang (not WPML).
  • Backups – UpdraftPlus or ManageWP (schedule for non-peak hours).
  • SEO – Rank Math or SEOPress (make sure you disable unused modules).
  • Analytics – Google Analytics + Search Console (avoid stat plugins if possible).
  • Theme + Page Builder – Elementor/Divi’s editor aren’t great for admin speed.
  • Security – use a firewall and go through a security checklist instead. Like stat plugins, security plugins are also known for constantly running scans and increasing CPU usage.

 

2. Get Hosting With Better Specs

Hosting affects both the frontend and admin panel.

Slow wordpress admin hosting

Rocket.net with their free Cloudflare Enterprise will outperform any “mainstream host” since you get 32 CPU cores + 128GB RAM, NVMe storage, Redis, and Cloudflare’s full page caching + Argo Smart Routing. I use them and average a <150ms global TTFB (or click through my posts).

12 things to know about hosting/TTFB

  1. Hosting is the #1 factor of site speed.
  2. TTFB is a key indicator of hosting performance.
  3. TTFB is part of core web vitals and is 40% of LCP.
  4. TTFB also affects INP (since latency is part of TTFB).
  5. SpeedVitals tests TTFB in 35 locations – use this tool!
  6. Test your site 3 times to get accurate numbers in SpeedVitals.
  7. Doing this ensures your caching and CDN are working properly.
  8. Check your average TTFB worldwide in your 3rd SpeedVitals test.
  9. Google flags your TTFB if it’s over 600ms, but under 200ms is better.
  10. PageSpeed Insights (and other testing tools) only test TTFB in 1 location.
  11. WP Hosting Benchmark also tests hosting performance (here are my results).
  12. Combining a good host/CDN is arguably the best way to improve TTFB (using a host with improved specs on top of Cloudflare Enterprise hits 2 birds with 1 stone).

Omm ttfb speedvitals 1

Mainstream hosts (like SiteGround, Hostinger, and WPX) don’t have a lot of CPU/RAM, use slower SATA SSDs, and are shared hosting with strict CPU limits which force you to upgrade plans. Cloud hosting is faster, but Kinsta still uses SATA SSDs with low CPU/RAM, PHP workers, and monthly visits (Redis also costs $100/month). Cloudways Vultr HF is who I previously used, but again, they start with only 1 CPU + 1GB RAM on slower Apache servers, PHP-FPM, and GZIP.

Here are Rocket.net’s:

All plans use 32 CPU cores + 128GB RAM with NVMe (faster than SATA), Redis (better than memcached), LiteSpeed’s PHP, and Brotli (smaller compression than GZIP). They have no PHP worker limits since only about 10% of traffic hits your origin due to their Cloudflare Enterprise.

SiteGround Hostinger Kinsta Cloudways Vultr HF Rocket.net
Hosting type Shared Shared Cloud Cloud Private cloud
Storage SATA SATA SATA NVMe NVMe
CPU cores Not listed 1-2 12 1 32
RAM (GB) Not listed .768 – 1.536 8 1 128
Object cache Memcached x Redis ($100/mo) Redis (Pro) Redis
Server Nginx LiteSpeed Nginx Apache Nginx
PHP processing FastCGI LiteSpeed FastCGI FPM LiteSpeed
Compression Brotli Brotli Brotli GZIP Brotli
CPU limits Very common Low memory PHP workers Average None

 
Why you need Cloudflare Enterprise

Because you get Enterprise features like 270+ PoPs, prioritized routing, full page caching, HTTP/3, WAF, and image optimization. 3 problems with most CDNs are their small network (PoPs) and no full page caching or image optimization. For example, WP Rocket’s RocketCDN uses StackPath which was removed from cdnperf.com and doesn’t include image optimization with a mediocre Tbps speed of 65+. SiteGround’s CDN only has 14 PoPs. QUIC.cloud CDN (for LiteSpeed) and BunnyCDN are good, but they still don’t beat Cloudflare Enterprise. Sure, you can pay $5/mo for Cloudflare’s APO, but you’re still missing out on all other Enterprise features.

3 popular hosts with Cloudflare Enterprise

Rocket.net’s Cloudflare Enterprise is free, setup automatically, and uses full page caching (unlike Cloudways). And unlike Kinsta’s, Rocket.net has Argo Smart Routing (specifically good for WooCommerce sites), load balancing, and image optimization. Rocket.net CEO Ben Gabler also used to be StackPath’s Chief Product Officer and went as far as building Rocket.net’s data centers in the same locations as Cloudflare’s. And unlike both hosts, Rocket.net doesn’t limit PHP workers (there’s no CPU limits) and monthly visit limits are 10-25 times more than Kinsta’s.

Cloudflare Enterprise (Kinsta) Cloudflare Enterprise (Cloudways) Cloudflare Enterprise (Rocket.net)
CDN PoPs 270 270 270
Prioritized routing
Full page caching x
HTTP/3
WAF
Argo smart routing x
Load balancing x
Image optimization x
Automatic configuration x x
Price Free $5/mo (1 domain) Free

 
Problems with mainstream hosts

I’ve written some pretty bad reviews about SiteGround’s slow TTFB, CPU limits, and why SG Optimizer does a poor job with core web vitals (they also control several Facebook Groups and threaten to sue people who write bad reviews). Hostinger writes fake reviews and is only cheap because you get less resources like CPU/RAM. Kinsta and WP Engine are way too expensive for how many resources, PHP workers, and monthly visits you get. Along with major incidents like WPX’s worldwide outage and SiteGround’s DNS getting blocked by Google for 4 days (both WPX and SiteGround denied responsibility). One thing is clear: most mainstream hosts appear to be more interested in profits than performance. Please do your own research before getting advice.

Getting started

Step 1: Create a Rocket.net account and you’ll be prompted to add a coupon. Sign up with coupon OMM1 to get your first month for $1 (renews at $30/mo or $25/mo when paying yearly). If you sign up with my coupon or affiliate links, I get a commission which I seriously appreciate.

Rocket. Net omm1 coupon

Step 2: Request a free migration. They did this the same day and let me review my website before it was launched with no downtime. For the record, their support is better than Kinsta’s and you can reach out to Ben Gabler or his team (via phone/chat/email) if you have questions.

Step 3: Upgrade to PHP 8.1 and ask support to install Redis (they use Redis Object Cache). These are the only things I did since Cloudflare Enterprise and backups are both automatic.

Step 4: Retest your TTFB in SpeedVitals and click through your pages to see the difference. You can also search their TrustPilot profile for people mentioning “TTFB” where they’re rated 4.9/5.

Kinsta to rocket. Net migrationMoved to rocket. Net vs sitegroundRocket. Net positive review

Rocket. Net facebook review 1Rocket. Net vs kinstaKinsta to rocket. Net ttfb redis

Namehero cloudways rocket. Net
I agree with this for the most part

I was previously on Cloudways Vultr HF which was great, but their Cloudflare Enterprise doesn’t use full page caching (yet) and is $5/mo with annoying challenge pages. Even if their Cloudflare Enterprise was identical, Rocket.net still outperforms them with better specs like more CPU/RAM, Brotli, and LiteSpeed’s PHP (plus better support, easier to use, and usually pricing). While Cloudways is a big improvement than most hosts, you’re already spending $18/mo for Vultr HF’s lowest 1 CPU plan with Cloudflare Enterprise. At that point, the extra $7/mo you’d be spending at Rocket.net is worth it. Rocket.net’s dashboard is also much easier.

For small sites on a budget, NameHero’s Turbo Cloud plan is similar to Hostinger between LiteSpeed, cPanel, and pricing. However, NameHero’s Turbo Cloud plan has about 1.5x more resources (3 CPU + 3GB RAM) with NVMe storage. NameHero’s support/uptimes are also better shown in TrustPilot reviews. This is one the fastest setups on a budget… you get a LiteSpeed server + LiteSpeed Cache + QUIC.cloud CDN, and email hosting. The main con is their data centers are only in the US and Netherlands. If these aren’t close to your visitors, make sure to setup QUIC.cloud’s CDN which has HTML caching (ideally the paid plan which uses all 70 PoPs).

Cpu cores on litespeed hosting plansLitespeed cache litespeed server

Ram on litespeed hosting plansNamehero vs siteground feedback

 

3. Enable Redis Or Memcached

Object cache is specifically good for speeding up the WordPress admin.

I prefer Redis which uses memory more efficiently. Setting up Redis or memcached is different depending on your host and cache plugin, so be sure to go through their documentation. You first need to enable it on the server (most hosts will have a setting for it). Then you’ll need to install a plugin like WP Redis (some cache plugins like LSC + W3TC also let you connect Redis).

  • Rocket.net: install Redis Object Cache
  • cPanel: PHP Selector → Extensions (then enable in your cache plugin)
  • SiteGround: Site Tools → Speed → Caching → memcached (enable in SG Optimizer)
  • Cloudways: Servers → Manage Services → activate Redis add-on (installs drop-in plugin)
Redis memcached cpanel
Step 1: Enable Redis or memcached in your hosting account
Litespeed cache object cache
Step 2: Set method to Redis or memcached in your cache plugin (or use a dedicated Redis plugin)

 

4. Block Unwanted Requests To Your Server

3 ways to do this are with a firewall, bot protection, and protecting the wp-login page. You’ll use Cloudflare for most of this.

  • Use a firewall – Cloudflare WAF.
  • Firewall rules – block “hacky” countries. XML-RPC, etc.
  • Rate limiting – prevents excessive requests to specific URLs.
  • Bot fight mode – stop bad bots from hitting your server.
  • Block AhrefsBot and SemrushBot – if you don’t use their service.
  • Hotlink protection – stops people from stealing your image bandwidth.

Protect The Admin

wp-login and wp-admin pages are common targets for bots. By moving and protecting these pages, you’re improving security while saving resources by stopping unwanted login attempts.

  • Use Limit Login Attempts Reloaded.
  • Move login page using Perfmatters or another plugin.
  • Use a Cloudflare page rule to set wp-admin security level to high.
  • Use a Cloudflare page rule to only allow access from your country or IP.
  • If using QUIC, don’t move your login since it already protects the wp-admin.
Perfmatters move wordpress login
Bots usually aren’t smart enough to find custom login URLs

 

5. Offload Bandwidth To CDNs

CDNs speed up the WordPress admin because:

  • You’re offloading bandwidth (less uncached requests to your server).
  • Cloudflare has many settings to reduce CPU usage (see section above).
  • Firewall and other security features block unwanted requests to your server.
Cloudflare bandwidth
Higher cache HIT ratio = less stress on your origin server

Which CDN Should I Use?

You’re not going to beat Cloudflare Enterprise which you can get on Rocket.net (free with full page caching) or Cloudways/Kinsta (without pull page caching and less smoother integration).

I’m also a fan of the Cloudflare + BunnyCDN combo.

Cloudflare has their DNS, APO, firewall, and many features in the dashboard to improve speed/security while reducing CPU usage. BunnyCDN is highly recommended in Facebook Groups and is consistently performant on cdnperf.com. It has features like geo-replication + perma-cache, SafeHop, Bunny Optimizer (image optimization) and improves cache/hit ratio. QUIC.cloud is a solid choice if you’re on a LiteSpeed server and is setup via LiteSpeed Cache. I don’t recommend RocketCDN (StackPath) which isn’t fast and was removed from cdnperf.com.

Cloudflare with bunnycdn
Gijo from WP Speed Matters also recommends Cloudflare + BunnyCDN
Cdnperf. Com cdn performance
cdnperf.com shows the performance/reliability of several CDNs

Cloudflare Setup Instructions:

  • DNS – fast, reliable DNS on dnsperf.com and done by changing nameservers.
  • CDN – head to your Cloudflare DNS settings and change your website from DNS only to Proxied. Required to use APO, Argo, firewall, and most Cloudflare features.
  • TLS 1.3 – fastest TLS protocol (I recommend setting minimum TLS version to 1.2).
  • Bot Fight Mode – block spam bots (these will be logged in your firewall events).
  • Early Hints – early preload/preconnect hints which improves server wait time.
  • Crawler Hints – tells crawlers if content is updated to prevent wasteful crawls.
  • Page Rules – here’s a screenshot of 3 common page rules for WordPress sites.
  • Firewall Rules – another screenshot of 4 common firewall rules for WordPress.
  • Browser Integrity Check – an extra security layer to block unwanted requests.
  • HTTP/3 With QUIC – delivers website in HTTP/3 (confirm with an HTTP/3 test).
  • Hotlink Protection – stops websites from copying images and using bandwidth.
  • Zaraz – offloads third-party scripts to Cloudflare (Google Analytics, Ads, others).
  • APO (Paid) – caches HTML to Clouflare’s edge network by creating an API Token and using the Cloudflare plugin. Improves TTFB worldwide (see my instructions).
  • Argo (Paid) – routes traffic through the fastest network paths to reduce latency.
  • Cache reservebeta feature to improve cache lifespan + improve cache hit ratio.
  • Firewall (Paid) – multiple rulesets and other tools to identify/fix vulnerabilities.
  • Rate Limiting (Paid) – prevents excessive request rates to reduce CPU/attacks.
  • SXGs (Paid) – uses prefetching to load your site faster in Google’s search results.
  • TCP Turbo (Paid) – reduces latency by automatically choosing the TCP settings.

BunnyCDN Setup Instructions:

  • Sign up for BunnyCDN.
  • Create a pull zone and choose your regions/pricing.
  • BunnyCDN will assign a pull zone name + CDN URL.
  • Install BunnyCDN’s plugin and add the pull zone name.
  • Add your CDN URL to your cache plugin’s CDN settings.
  • Force SSL + enable browser WebP support in BunnyCDN settings.
  • Purge cache and make sure assets are being served from BunnyCDN.
  • Consider using Bunny Optimizer + perma-cache for even better results.
  • If you’re using FlyingPress, I recommend FlyingCDN which uses BunnCDN.

Once Cloudflare is set up, wait a few weeks and check your analytics to not only make sure everything is working, but also see your cache hit ratio and what kind of requests get blocked.

 

6. Remove Admin Bloat

Most of this can be done with Unbloater.

There’s also Disable WooCommerce Bloat and even Perfmatters has several bloat removal options. Make sure you disable XML-RPC if you’re not using it and take some time to go through each setting to remove as much bloat as you can (remember to delete unused themes/plugins).

Unbloater plugin

 

7. Remove Database Junk

While most cache plugins clean your database, WP-Optimize lets you remove database tables from old plugins you deleted which will be marked as not installed. If you don’t plan on using the plugin again, remove the table. While cache plugins are good for removing most junk, WP-Optimize does a more robust database cleanup, especially if you find yourself deleting plugins.

Wp optimize unused database tables
Remove tables marked as “not installed” left behind by old plugins
Rank math database bloat
Some plugin features/modules cause bloat (disable modules if they’re not important)

 

8. Cache The WordPress Admin

Some cache plugins like LiteSpeed Cache let you cache the WordPress admin which can speed it up. Just note that this can cause expired data which you may see when working on your site.

Cache wordpress admin litespeed cache

 

9. Limit Heartbeat, Autosaves, Post Revisions

WordPress Heartbeat slows down the admin since it consumes resources by notifying you when other users are editing a post, real-time plugin notifications, etc. You can disable/limit it in most cache plugins, the Heartbeat Control plugin, or add the code below into your functions.php file.

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

Some plugins can control Heartbeat in the dashboard, frontend, and post editor. In this case, I recommend disabling it in the dashboard/frontend, then increasing it to 120s in the post editor.

Heartbeat control plugin settings

Similar to Heartbeat, WordPress autosaves every 1 minute and stores a post revision any time you hit the “publish” button. I personally increased the autosave interval to 5 minutes then limited post revisions to 5 (so I’ll still have a few backups, but they don’t cause too much bloat).

Both these can be done in Perfmatters or by adding the code to your wp-config.php file.

define('WP_POST_REVISIONS', 5);
define('AUTOSAVE_INTERVAL', 300); // seconds

 

10. Don’t Trigger Actions That Clear The Entire Cache

Any time you trigger one of these actions, the entire cache is deleted and needs to be rebuilt. Just like anything that increases CPU usage, this can slow down the admin. The screenshot is shown in WP Rocket’s documentation but is similar with most cache plugins. They do partial cache deletions on specific actions too. If you trigger these too frequently, it stresses the server.

Wp rocket full cache deletion

To avoid this, you can disable automatic cache clearing (WP Rocket has a helper plugin) then create a cron job to control which pages are cleared and when the cache is cleared. You could schedule the cron job to run in the middle of the night when very few people are on your site.

Increasing cache TTL can help since the cache won’t need to be rebuilt as frequently which can also lead to a better cache hit ratio.

 

11. Control Preloading In Cache Plugins

Preloading in cache plugins can also get out of hand especially if you preload the full sitemap on a shared server. Just like we controlled cache clearing, we can do the same with preloading.

  • Disable preloading and control it with a cron job (recommended).
  • Only preload important sitemap URLs like pages/posts, not the full sitemap.
  • Increase the preload crawl interval (usually something like 500ms – 3000ms).
  • Most cache plugins like WP Rocket and LiteSpeed Cache have documentation.

Wp rocket sitemap preloading

Disable Link Preloading

You may also want to disable link preloading especially if you’re on a shared server or your website has lots of image links. When users hover over internal links, those pages are downloaded in the background so they’re loaded by the time the user clicks them. This is great for perceived load time but it can increase server load especially if users hover over lots of links.

Wp rocket disable link preloading

Reduce Remove Unused CSS Batch Size

The remove unused CSS feature can also increase CPU usage and can be limited by adjusting the batch size. However, I recommend using Perfmatters, FlyingPress, or LiteSpeed Cache for this since WP Rocket loads used CSS inline which is better for “scores” but slower for visitors.

 

12. Replace WP-Cron With A Real Cron Job

wp-cron is loaded on every pageview and schedules automatic tasks like checking updates, publishing scheduled posts, sending email notifications, and more. Just like you can use cron jobs to schedule preloading and automatic cache clearing, you can do the same with WP cron.

The first step is to disable wp-cron by adding the code to your wp-config.php file.

define('DISABLE_WP_CRON', true);

Now we’ll set up an external cron job (Google instructions for your host). In cPanel, you’ll open the “cron jobs” tab and add this line to set a cron job to run every 10 minutes. It may seem a higher interval would be better, but this can cause CPU spikes since too many jobs run at once.

wget -q -O - https://yourwebsite.com/wp-cron.php?doing_wp_cron >/dev/null 2>&1

Cron job minutes

External cron job

WP Crontrol is nice for changing the schedule of specific cron jobs and deleting jobs with no action. You could also offload cron jobs from your server using a Cloudflare JavaScript worker.

 

13. Upgrade PHP Versions

Upgrade to the latest stable PHP version in your hosting account.

Most hosts support PHP 8.0 but you’ll need to make sure themes/plugins are compatible. The easiest way is to upgrade and check your site for visible errors. If you see errors, revert to the earlier version. Or learn which plugin(s) aren’t compatible and replace it if it’s not maintained.

Cloudways settings packages
Keep PHP, MySQL, WordPress, plugins, and other technology updated

 

14. Increase Memory Limit

256MB is recommended by WordPress/Elementor, but you can set it even higher.

Step 1: Edit wp-config.php file.

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

define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '1024M');
Cloudways memory limit
Some hosts let you increase memory limit in the dashboard

 

15. Enable OPcache

OPcache improves PHP performance and CPU utilization which can also speed up your WordPress admin. In cPanel, it’s found in PHP Extensions. Or Google instructions for your host.

Opcache

 

16. Delete Transients

WooCommerce and social sharing plugins specifically can accumulate a lot of transients.

You can clear WooCommerce transients and customer sessions in the WooCommerce Tools settings. If you’re not using WooCommerce, the transients manager plugin is a good tool for it.

Clear woocommerce transients customer sessions

 

17. Use Plugins To Speed Up The Admin

Here’s a list of plugins that can speed up your WordPress admin and reduce CPU usage. These are all lightweight and should help, but keep in mind that sometimes with plugins, less is better.

Plugin Description Category
Query Monitor Find slow queries + plugins Diagnostic
WP Hosting Benchmark View CPU/memory utilization Diagnostic
WP Healthcheck View WordPress/PHP/mySQL version, server, etc Diagnostic
Heartbeat Control Disable/limit Heartbeat Limiting
WP Rocket Helper Plugins Control preloading + automatic cache clearing Limiting
WP Crontrol Control cron jobs Limiting
Unbloater Remove various types of bloat Bloat Removal
Widget Disable Disable unused widgets in the admin Bloat Removal
Disable Woo Bloat Remove WooCommerce admin bloat Bloat Removal
Perfmatters Bloat removal settings + move wp-login Bloat Removal
Limit Login Attempts Block requests to wp-login Security
WPS Hide Login Block requests to wp-login Security
Transients Manager Edit/delete transients Transients
WP-Optimize Remove old databases tables Database
Redis Object Cache Object caching Caching
Cloudflare Set up Cloudflare APO Caching
Super Page Cache for Cloudflare Full page caching on Cloudflare Caching
BunnyCDN Used to set up BunnyCDN CDN
Blackhole for Bad Bots Block bad bots Bot Protection
Wordpress speed optimization plugins
See full list of optimization plugins

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most common remedies for a slow WordPress admin?

The most common remedies for a slow WordPress admin are to remove high CPU plugins, check if your cache plugin's settings increase CPU usage, and reduce server load with CDNs and caching. But most likely, it's because you're on shared hosting.

Will changing hosts fix a slow admin?

Yes, a host with better specs can speed up your admin especially if you're using shared hosting with limited resources and CPU throttling.

Will a CDN speed up the admin panel?

CDNs offloads resources which lighten the load on your origin server, therefore speeding up both your website and admin panel. Cloudflare and BunnyCDN are both good choices.

Do bad bots slow down the admin?

Yes, spammy bots that constantly hit your site are a waste of server resources. You can use Wordfence to find all bots hitting your site in real-time, then use Cloudflare, Wordfence, or Blackhole for Bad Bots to block bad bots.

Do cache plugins affect the speed of the admin panel?

Cache plugins do preloading and automatic cache clearing differently. If these aren't controlled, it can increase CPU usage and slow down the admin.

How do I fix a slow WooCommerce admin?

Use the Disable WooCommerce Bloat plugin to disable WooCommerce notices, meta box, marketplace suggestions, and other bloat WooCommerce adds, and also clear transient and customer sessions.

Why is the WordPress admin slow on GoDaddy?

GoDaddy overcrowds their servers and has CPU limits. The lack of server resources may result in a slower admin and website.

How do I reduce admin-ajax.php server load?

Disable WordPress Heartbeat and use Query Monitor or GTmetrix waterfall to find plugins making calls to admin-ajax.php.

Did it work? Let me know in the comments :)

Still have a slow admin? Send me your set up (and GTmetrix report URL) and I’ll give my advice.

Cheers,
Tom

 

Your website and admin panel can load slow if CPU or memory usage is close to 100%.

You can check these in your hosting account or use WP Server Stats. The majority of this tutorial is focused on reducing server load and lowering usage. The less

Login to your hosting account and check your CPU usage.

It shouldn’t be even close to 100% since you want your server to stay relaxed. Hosting companies always tell you to upgrade, but you should always optimize your site first to reduce CPU before you consider upgrading. SiteGround, Bluehost, GoDaddy, and many other hosts have awful CPU limits that trap you into their contract, yet force you to upgrade. Don’t fall for it.

Cloudways cpu usage

Wp server stats cpu memory usage

You Might Also Like:

193 thoughts on “17 Ways To Fix A Slow WordPress Admin (Dashboard) Caused By Plugins/Settings, Hosting Environment, Overloaded Server”

  1. Thanks Tom, this was really helpful. By the way, what’s the name of the related posts plugin you use at the end of your content? It looks really nice and simple

    Reply
  2. Hi Tom

    We steel have a backoffice very slow.
    We thing is because W3 Total Cache installation (with no selection in object cache), but it solves our front office problem….

    Any sugestion about other plugin to speed our site?

    Thanks
    Maria

    Reply
    • Hey Maria,

      I’m a big fan of FlyingPress (what I’m using) even over WP Rocket. Shouldn’t slow down the admin, addresses core web vitals like WP Rocket, but real world browsing is even faster than WP Rocket. Also very easy to setup.

      Reply
  3. Thanks for the W3 Object cache tip. That improved the speed by a few seconds. Query Monitor still showing W3 to be the main culprit in waiting times, and even though it connects my CDN and caches nicely, if it’s gotta go then it’s gotta go. Still figuring it out.

    Reply
    • Yep, object cache is pretty common for slowing down admins. W3 Total Cache isn’t an easy plugin to configure :/

      Reply
  4. I just jumped to 98% speed with this tutorial and my website stopped crashing in the WordPress admin panel. Man, you are my Epic.

    Reply
  5. Sorry, meant to add that You said Cloudflare was slow but then you said it was good! Sorry for so many questions!
    Many thanks,
    Brian

    Reply
    • Cloudflare can be hit or miss. Their APO is usually a hit. For a consistently performant CDN, BunnyCDN is good but is paid.

      Reply
  6. Hi,
    My website is sometimes lightning fast and sometimes appallingly slow according to GT Metrix, it can vary inside a minute or two.
    Also, I noticed you seemed to suggest Wordfence is ok but my Query monitor says it’s 0.0470
    I’m also confused because one of the comments said you recommended Siteground but your article suggested it was poor. I’m with Siteground. I’m confused.
    I really need my site to be fast and not vary.
    I want to follow your advice but I’d like you to answer these questions first please.
    Many thanks,
    Brian

    Reply
    • Hey Brian,

      I would try Cloudflare Firewall instead of Wordfence especially if you’re already using Cloudflare. Cloudflare can be hit or miss though – some people have great results, sometimes it makes your site slower. If using it, I would test their APO if you have $5/month, otherwise BunnyCDN is a consistently performant CDN.

      That SiteGround comment must have been from early 2020 or even before that because I stopped recommending them. They have gone downhill throughout 2020 and slow TTFBs is one main reason. See the Backlinko analysis where they found SiteGround had some of the worst TTFBs. SiteGround will defend themselves and never admit it, but it’s true.

      So basically, move away from SiteGround if possible and try Cloudflare APO or BunnyCDN.

      Reply
    • Hey Brian. Within the last month or less, SiteGround has upgraded their servers and got rid of cPanel. They claim their new servers are 5x faster, but don’t know what the benchmarked against. I have my guys running speed tests now.

      Reply
  7. Tom, you are the best! Out of all the research I do, your site provides the best and most useful information and guidelines. Clean, easy to follow, well thought out, and you tell it like it is.

    I agree about SiteGround. I have switched to GreenGeeks and so far so good. They operate on Litespeed Servers and the LiteSpeed Cache plugin works simultaneously and has improved my site. I’m developing my site on my own with over 4,000 products so it has been a learning process and sometimes a little overwhelming. Your recommendations are definitely helpful. I’m about to dive into your Cloudflare page rules since I am getting a GTMetric recommendation to use a content Delivery Network for 57 resources found.

    I have my media stored in a different folder to help with the page speed. Would you have any words of wisdom for this setup?

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Sorry for the late reply Aline. With regards to GreenGeeks/LiteSpeed, as long as your TTFB is ideally around 200ms or less then it’s good. For Page Rules, you might want to try the WP Cloudflare Super Page Cache Plugin. I also have a few page rules I recommend. As to my knowledge, GTmetrix still doesn’t show Cloudflare as a CDN since it’s setup difference. You can use their Claire Chrome Extension to make sure it’s working, but I wouldn’t worry if it doesn’t make the CDN 100% in GTmetrix.

      Reply

Leave a Comment