Logging into my site's Wordpress admin backend take several minutes. The site indicates that it is loading and then just hangs for many minutes before finally loading. It smells like something is timing out, I suspect a plugin, but I can't for the life of me figure out what.

In order to troubleshoot this, what steps would you take if confronted with such a problem? Turn plugins on and off and see which is the culprit? The problem with this approach is that after the initial slow loading, everything loads normal. Check php max execution times in php.ini? Somehow monitor outgoing connections to see what's trying to reach something and timing out (how would you do this)?

Any suggestions welcome.

3 Answers 3


I would do most of my troubleshooting in the Debug Bar plugin along with the Debug Bar extender plugin.

This plugin gives you detailed access to everything that is going on behind the scenes. It can also detail memory usage and execution time for each function and database query along with where it was called from.

I would start by doing some checking with the tool then come back here if you get stuck on anything.

  • This plugin is not working for me. I am stuck with version 3.2.1 of WP but the plugin is theoretically supposed to work with that version. I have eliminated all of the usual suspects (WP version, PHP version, etc.) but the Debug button just does not appear in the Admin Bar. What's more I've tried it on 2 separate installs of WP 3.2.1 on two different hosts, using completely different themes. Fails in both places so I suspect it is just broken with 3.2.1.
    – Lothar
    Jan 5, 2012 at 21:19

Firebug's network monitoring tool lets you see where delays in loading are. Could be a large uncachable file downloading every time you log in or something. It'll also give you an idea whether it's a PHP related delay.

If it's the second, see if you can cut down on the number of plugins. If there is a plugin out there which combines the functionality of two or more of ones you have, it would be better to install. Performance degrades according to number installed moreso than the weightiness of each plugin. Also, disable unnecessary ones.


You might also turn on debugging in wordpress by editing your wp-config.php file to see if doing so gives you any warnings or errors.

You can then check your /wp-content/uploads/debug.log file to see if any problems are reported.

I've had sites load extremely slowly because there was a minor problem with a theme or plugin that you simply didn't show up normally.

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