Speeding up WordPress administration

Filed under: — 11:45 am

WordPress is a very efficient, resource-friendly software platform that can handle lots of traffic without slowing down or putting too much load on your server. Unfortunately, while your readers may enjoy the speed, two default settings might be making WordPress very slow for you:

  • The Dashboard’s display of RSS feeds
  • Pingback attempts when posting

Changing these (or working around them) can make your experience as a weblog writer much more pleasant. Read on for details.

1. The Dashboard

If you find that logging into WordPress takes a long time, the culprit is probably the Dashboard. This is the “home page” of the administration section. It displays links to your latest posts, upcoming posts, comments, and incoming links. Unfortunately, it also displays a number of RSS feeds related to WordPress. While this sounds like a good idea, it often takes 30 seconds or longer to load the page because of delays fetching the RSS files, and they rarely have anything new and relevant.

I’ve grown to hate the Dashboard after working with a few WP 1.5 weblogs—When I log in, I have an idea in my head for a post, and I want to get to the posting interface quickly. I don’t want to read about the latest WordPress news. Fortunately, there are two solutions to this:

  1. Avoid loading the Dashboard page (index.php) at all. Instead of using the “Login” link in the sidebar (which I’ve removed on most of my sites) I use my own link that goes straight to /wp-admin/post.php. This brings me straight to the posting interface, which loads instantly, and I can use the links to reach other parts of the console, including the Dashboard if I need it.

  2. If you still want to use the standard login feature, install Angsuman’s Dashboard hack, which replaces the RSS section of the dashboard with more useful links within your site.

Here’s hoping that the next version of WordPress includes a checkbox to disable the RSS portion of the Dashboard!

2. Pingback

The second delay many new WordPress webloggers notice is a long delay when clicking the “Publish” button on a post. While the actual posting process is instantaneous, the delay is caused by two bits of network activity:

  • WordPress attempts to use Pingback to notify every URL you’ve linked to. If you find yourself linking to WordPress weblogs often, this is actually a useful feature—otherwise, it’s a waste of time.
  • WordPress uses Ping-o-matic to notify search engines of your post. This is a very good thing, but occasionally causes delays.

In my experience, attempts to Pingback non-weblog sites are the cause of most of this delay. To turn off this feature, go to Options | Discussion in the console and turn off the Attempt to notify any Weblogs linked to from the article option.

Rarely, Ping-o-matic causes a delay when posting. To eliminate this, you can remove rpc.pingomatic.com from the list of Update Services in Options | Writing. I don’t recommend doing this except as a temporary fix, since Ping-o-matic does provide a useful service, and it’s almost always fast.


These slowdowns can give you a bad first impression of WordPress, and I’m not sure why they’re still the default. Nonetheless, after a couple of easy fixes you’ll find your Weblog is just as fast and usable for you as it is for your readers.

3 responses to “Speeding up WordPress administration”

  1. Thanks for the advice. It’s good to know that I can control the long posting times.

  2. […] Speeding Up WordPress Administration […]

  3. kingbenny says:

    Wow, thanks! The slow posting has driven me crazy for awhile. Although I punted myself in the head once I realized that it says in parentheses “Slows Down Posting” and I’ve hunted and hunted and tried to find out why it was slow.

(c) 2001-2007 Michael Moncur. All rights reserved, but feel free to quote me.
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