I was creating a tree of categories into which I later intended to classify WordPress posts. While doing this the response time of the site gradually increased. I started getting different server errors. Finally unresponsive.

The support guy saw CPU overload ("off the scale") he attributed to plug-in W3 Total Cache. He killed processes and site worked. But in the process I had received messages from W3 Total Cache to delete files. Deleting these crashed the site again and it had to be restored from backup and worked perfectly after that.

I deleted the W3 Total Cache plug-in and started creating categories again. But the same problem appeared again. I can create about 10 categories but then the whole site gradually becomes unresponsive. It is now restoring from backup again.

The site has been up for 6 mo without any other problem.

How can I create categories?

Edit: I tried deleting all old categories and also removing the category widget. This also crashed the site in the same way. Whatever I do to the categories seem to crash the site.

When the site crashes, the fan speed of my laptop increases. I have tried emptying cache of the browser to no avail.

  • Very odd issue. Any other cache plugin on the site? Have you tried changing themes and/or deactivating plugins? Recommend working from a staging/dev copy of the site to isolate the problem.
    – jdm2112
    May 30, 2018 at 16:04
  • Thank you for your comment. The problem has spread and now the site is inaccessible most of the time. Now the problem starts immediately after complete restore of database and files. I have had several conversations with GoDaddy and paid for escalation to senior analysts. They suspect the site may have been injected with malware. The site is about politics. I also have daily backups 30 days back in time but they suddenly behave strangely. Lets see if GoDaddy finds something. If they don't solve it, I don't really know how to get the site on line again. ... Yes, I have tried your suggestions.
    – cvr
    May 30, 2018 at 19:25

1 Answer 1


Never touch the slug!

I started doing WordPress 6 months ago and just used default settings and categorized most posts into one category.

What seems to have caused the system crash and CPU "off the charts" was that I changed the name of the part of the WP-URL that comes between server name and post name (all of it they call "slug"). It is %category% in this screenshot.


When you create a WP post, it is assigned a permalink, as seen in the screenshot. If you rename the category, the permalink must still be valid. So some kind of rewriting system for links went into action and my WP crashed. (I use a standard c-panel GoDaddy account.)

When I assign one or several more categories to a post and keep the original category, nothing bad has happened so far. Then the permalinks do not have to be rewritten. You can change the name of the category, but not the slug. (I only had a little over 100 posts, but that broke the system.)

At least that is what I believe happened.

Good to know. If I start another WP and rewrite and re-categorize posts, I may choose another system of permalinks. Maybe numbers that do not become connected to a topic.

Warning: If you change permalink system in a running WP-installation, you may break all links between pages and you may not be able to get back. My guess is you can only choose a permalink system before you start introducing links between pages.

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