Really slow WordPress dashboard? Try this…

This post assumes that you’ve already checked your internet speed, tried cache plugins and even disabled your plugins to check you haven’t got a faulty one. If you’ve done all that then read on…

I manage over ten WordPress based websites at work, plus my own, and spend most of my time logging in and out of one dashboard or the other.

I find WordPress a joy to use and will not hear a bad word spoken about it, but for the last three months it’s had me pulling my hair out*

For the last three months almost all of our WordPress installations have decided to slow down to such a degree that they are all but unusable. By unusable I mean it takes approx 3 – 4 minutes for each admin page to load and even then you have to keep refreshing the page to get it to load completely. I assumed it was our hosting, just not being up to the job.

When I decided to take some work home, I noticed that WordPress was super fast, there was literally no delay moving between pages. Initially I thought that my broadband at home was faster, and indeed it is, but not by enough to make a difference and even at work it’s plenty fast enough for WordPress (even out in the middle of a literal nowhere, we are getting 2Mbps).

Over the coming months, we tried everything to make it go faster, and NOTHING had any effect, I took my work PC home to see if it still ran slowly (if it did I knew the problem would be with the PC itself). It worked fine at home – so it must be something at work, something to do with the network. The work office PC’s are all networked together to a server, switch and router, we tested the network and everything checked out OK.

The really confusing thing was all other websites (with the exception of Facebook**) were absolutely fine.

We called in the big guns… our IT guy. After hours of testing, even he was stumped and couldn’t understand what was going on.

[showmyads]

Then last week I discovered two unrelated*** solutions by accident.

One of our wordpress sites uses SSL, and we found if we added https:// to the URL it loaded immediately, and if we reverted back to http:// it slowed to a stop. Unfortunately for us, not all our sites have the https:// alternative – but for the ones that did worked perfectly.

We switched out the router and it worked!

Then I stumbled onto a forum post where some guy was having problems loading the BBC news website, a site I’d also had problems with in the past. Eventually, out of desperation this guy had contacted his ISP, who after trying numerous fixes, just gave up and sent him a new router …which fixed the problem.

So, we switched out the router and guess what… it worked! Our WordPress sites now load instantly. We were originally using a BT business hub, we have now swapped that for Netgear and all is well.

So if you’re suffering from slow WordPress dashboards try these tips, hopefully one of them will work for you…

USE SSL…

1: If possible use https:// to log in (this also speeds up Facebook – especially if you’re logging into Facebook pages)

TRY A DIFFERENT ROUTER…

2: Try swapping your router, especially if you’re a BT customer.

Please let me know if you’ve had this problem and if either of these tips worked for you – or maybe you have a different solution.
If you know why this happens…please let me know, I’d love to find out!

* If I had any
** This solution worked for Facebook too!
*** They may be related – please let me know if they are!

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10 Replies to “Really slow WordPress dashboard? Try this…”

  1. I had a client who had struggled with WordPress issues for ages.

    We run tests all day long from all sorts of locations/ISPs and all was good… Unless it was BT!

    Three different locations using three different BT business hubs and three different BT Broadband accounts = same outcome.

    Slow responding WordPress sites across multiple domains and servers (UK & US).

    HTTPS connections worked fine it appeared, so we used this as a work-around.

    We notified BT of the issues and after 4 weeks of apparently ‘testing’ they decided all was well and it was an issue with the host… Which proved not to be the case.

    Unfortunately BT will only support business customers if BT equipment is being used, and with no in-house IT support we didn’t want to suggest swapping things out but it’s possible that this would resolve the issue… We haven’t tested it with a different router as the HTTPS solutions resolved the issues. Then again, given BT’s efforts to resolve this, I’m not sure their customer support promise is worth the paper it’s written on!

    1. Hi James, thanks for that, it seems to confirm the BT Business Hub/ WordPress issue!

      You’re right about BT only supporting their own equipment – we’ve kept our old BT Business Hub next to the nice shiny (and working) Netgear router and just swap them out when/if we have any problems and need to call BT 🙂

      We’ve been running the Netgear router almost 6 weeks now… and we haven’t had one issue!

  2. So glad I found this as I was sort of going mad!

    I would access my WP site from home and all fine but in the office on BT Business broadband (20MB) it would not load.. So I am going to try new router and see what happens.. Cheers guys!

  3. Hello friend, I have the version 4.1 of wordpress dashboard but runs very slow.
    I made the changes you suggested but still the same, also disable plugins and nothing. you can suggest me another change to improve speed in the dashboard

  4. Hello there!

    I am having similar issue, where on my home wifi the page is loading very slowly.

    Therefore, I started to investigate my router and the internet connection I have at home. It seems that it is problem of the router as you mentioned! I have created a hotspot via my phone and my page works flawlessly!

    Thank you very much for your suggestions. Seems like I need to buy new router!

    A.

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