WP Dashboard Crawling So Slow – Solved

This week, my wordpress dashboard for this blog was really slow that I wasn’t able to upload even a single post. My patience is already short as it is but this really put it to the test. And I failed miserably.

The first time it happened, I was lucky to be able to get into the ‘New Post’ window and type in my content. But when it came time to insert an image into the post, it took forever until I finally just closed it, blaming my internet connection for the snail pace. I thought the weather, which was rather glum at the time, must have an effect on our internet speed.

After a couple of days, I tried it again and got the same stubborn response. Besides firing up speedtest.net to check on my internet speed, watching a youtube video is usually my quick and sure method to see if my internet speed is crawling or not. I tried that and noticed that the speed was cool enough. There was no buffering necessary while I re-watched Rhod Gilbert’s rant about his luggage experience in an Australian airport.

So, I went back to the dashboard and clicked on ‘Posts > All Posts’. Leaving it at its pleasure, it bidded its time until it finally opened up the page. But it displayed not a single post. It said there were no posts. Must have timed out.

very slow wordpress dashboard

I played around with the other dashboard features. I tried updating a plugin. It crawled again in its effort to process the command, finally displaying the notice “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute”. But I remembered having encountered this same notice a couple of days back too. Is it possible for Lunarpages to do maintenance work again in a span of 2 days? Not likely.

briefly unavailable image

Some forum poster suggested that usually its a case of a problematic plugin that causes this sluggishness. I recall that in the past couple of weeks I have updated a few plugins. Perhaps it’s one of those updates that’s causing this trouble.

This means deactivating each plugin and checking if the dashboard now works fine. The thing is I have quite a few plugins installed and if deactivating one plugin requires me to wait 5 minutes while it leisurely bide its time deactivating, it would take forever to do them all.

I tried checking them all and hitting ‘deactivate’. Didn’t work. After crawling like a snail, it just displayed the blog’s home page, instead of the wp dashboard. Going back to the dashboard, it now displayed 0 posts, 0 pages, etc. It just got crazier.

So, that left me with one last option.

Slow Dashboard Caused by Plugin conflict

There’s only one way to disable the plugins without straining my patience too much. And that’s through the cPanel.

Quickest Way to Deactivate All WordPress Plugins

In the cPanel, I accessed the phpMyAdmin, and picked the name of the database for moralde.com. I clicked on the ‘wp_options’ table and searched for the ‘active_plugins’ entry under the ‘option_name’ column. To easily find the ‘active_plugins’ entry, click on the ‘option_name’ column header to re-order the entries under it alphabetically if it’s not yet ordered that way. In my case, the ‘active_plugins’ entry is the first entry.

Then I clicked on the ‘Edit’ (with the pencil icon) link to edit the entry. Then I deleted the data in that entry which looked like so:

a:2:{i:0;s:15:”add-meta-tags/add-meta-tags.php”;i:2;s:17:”broken-link-checker/broken-link-checker.php”;and so on…;}[/note]

From what I’ve learned in the research, deleting this entry from the database is the quickest way to deactivate all plugins in your wordpress blog without going through the wp dashboard. Just to be safe, I cut and pasted the data into a notepad and saved it, as suggested.

Then I clicked ‘Go’ to save the changes I made.

Back at the dashboard, I noticed that things worked much much quicker now. I definitely like this better. But, of course, my blog wouldn’t look and work at its best without the plugins. I shudder at the thought of what those relentless hackers’robots must be doing now that my WP Firewall and Limit Login plugins are not active.

Thus, one by one I reactivated each plugin, testing the dashboard’s health after each reactivation. It was arduous but not as patience draining now that the dashboard is running normally.

In the process of reactivating the plugins, I decided to not reactivate a few plugins as I don’t really need them that much.

And because of that I never got to find out which of the remaining plugins is the culprit. Well, if I got time and feels like going on an adventure some time in the future, I just might do it.

And that’s how I solved the very slow affliction of my wordpress dashboard.

Update: Looks like the Broken Link Checker is one candidate for culprit of the week. I tried activating it and the dashboard did the sleepy walk again. I interrupted it by closing the browser. Maybe it’s the culprit, or it’s just a browser glitch. I’ve had enough stress for today, maybe I’ll give it a try another time.


  1. Hey James,

    I had this same issue a few weeks back now. I wrote about this in a recent post but I was having database issues and it ended up being CommentLuv Premium. At that time I felt it was a plug-in but didn’t know which one.

    Luckily for me I didn’t have that sluggishness at the time although it was pretty slow because of my database issues. Glad you shared this with us because I would have never known where to deactivate them all, just delete them altogether.

    Glad you’re back up and running smoothly.

    Adrienne´s latest blog post ..7 Tips For A Better Blog

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