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How to fix a slow WordPress admin area

Lee Matthew Jackson
Lee Matthew Jackson

Have you got a WordPress driven web site and are getting frustrated with the speed of the WordPress admin area (wp-admin)? An issue that we find at times when we inherit a site from a previous developer is slow performance, and a frustrated client. Out of the box WordPress administration shouldn’t be performing slow and there are usually a wide range of different reasons that this might be happening. We’re just going to cover a few of those in this blog post that you might want to consider if you are too suffering speed issues.

The first and perhaps most obvious is what is your server resource? Check in with your host (your hosting company), and ask them what resources are available for your WordPress web site including areas such as RAM, processor capability and also runtime and timeout limitations. Once you’ve established that your server is capable of running WordPress and meets all of the requirements of a WordPress install and of any plugins that you might be using, next is to move on and work out is there any particular code in your web site that is holding WordPress down?

There are two main areas to consider when looking at code and speed:

The first, and maybe not so obvious area, is your theme. Themes come with what’s called a functions file and this functions file contains PHP functions, and other snippets that add features to your web site. These essentially acts as another area to store plugins. If you’ve purchased a freely available theme from Themeforest then perhaps the theme itself is slowing down your WordPress admin area with extended functions adding to the WordPress admin interface. To rule out whether your theme is causing speed issues in your WordPress admin area, temporarily disable the theme to the default WordPress theme and then test out your WordPress admin area. In the event that this causes the speed up, you’re going to need to connect with the theme developer and explain the situation.

Top Tip: Before you ever test anything, be sure to backup your site. Some plugins or themes can drop settings when being deactivated and re-activated.

Next, if the theme is ruled out take a look at the plugins that you’ve got installed. WordPress is awesome and there are loads of great plugins available. However, because this is an open source market, not everyone is a coding genius. Despite having the best will at heart, perhaps the code in their plugin is not the most efficient and could be dragging down the performance of your WordPress admin. Therefore the best exercise would be to disable a plug in at a time and then test the performance of your WordPress administration area. We found this very effective in whittling down what plugin is causing the speed issues.

Once you’ve established which plugin may be causing the issue, then again, see if you can replace that plugins function with a different plugin and also contact the plugin developer for some help and support. The best way that we can make the freely available plugins in the WordPress market place better is to feed back problems that we have with them. If you’ve purchased a premium plugin and it’s the premium plugin that is causing the problem, again reach out to the plugin developer via the support and be sure you get that issue resolved.

There are other reasons, more technical, that could be slowing down your WordPress admin area. If you’re still having issues then please feel free to reach out to us and we’ll happily talk with you and explore.

Share your experiences in the comments below!



Lee Matthew Jackson

Content creator, speaker & event organiser. #MyLifesAMusical #EventProfs