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Why Your Magento 2 Admin Panel Is Slow and How to Speed It Up

Why Your Magento 2 Admin Panel Is Slow and How to Speed It Up

Why Your Magento 2 Admin Panel Is Slow and How to Speed It Up

Magento 2 can seem slower than other e-commerce platforms. Part of the problem is due to the fact that Magento is a complicated platform, so sometimes developers just don’t know what slows it down.

Most of the time, when your Magento 2 Admin Panel is slow, it also means your front-end is slow. We’ve created the most definitive Magento 2 optimization guide on the web to help you speed up your store. While the fixes there don’t target Magento 2 Admin Panel speed, there are a lot of tips that work for both website frontend and backend performance, so check it out if you haven’t.

In this guide, however, we’ll assume you’ve exhausted all other options and your Magento 2 Admin Panel login is still very slow. Here are 11 ways how you can fix that.

  1. Clear Cache
  2. Review Installed Extensions (Remove Unused Modules, Optimize Utilized Ones)
  3. Clean up Outdated, Unused, or Hidden Products and Categories
  4. Fine-Tune Your Reindexing Operations
  5. Pin Down Inefficiencies in the Database Structure
  6. Opt for Themes that Are Lightweight
  7. Switch to the Latest Magento 2 Version & PHP Version
  8. Enable JavaScript File Merging
  9. Make Sure Magento Runs in Production Mode
  10. Clean Database from Excessive Third-Party Logs
  11. Increase Memory Limit
  12. Get the Best Performance for Your Magento Admin Panel

1. Clear Cache

Although this point is more than obvious, it is worth checking out in any case. One more way you can speed up your Admin as well as optimize the performance of your Magento store is by enabling cache.

This will allow the system to retrieve those items that have been accessed earlier. Not to mention that clearing your cache on a regular basis can greatly save you time for execution and your memory space. If you don’t do this regularly, you’ll end up with a lagging website.

There are numerous types of cache in Magento as well as options for clearing it. Go to your Admin Panel, then on to:

System > Tools > Cache Management

In the Cache Management area, you will see the different cache types and their status (enabled, disabled, etc). Here you can also manually flush the needed cache or, optionally, consider adding a cache plugin for these purposes.

Furthermore, you can also make use of Redis to handle your caching.

2. Review Installed Extensions (Remove Unused Modules, Optimize Utilized Ones)

Multiple modules performing various functions enabled on a Magento website can significantly degrade performance. When carrying out superfluous operations, the extensions create an unobvious load on the server. As a result, the overloading due to unused modules can be the overriding reason why Magento 2 backend is slow.

In that respect, the first thing you should do is to move your Admin Panel to a separate server if this is possible.

Then you should profile all third-party modules on your store and either disable or delete stuff you do not need.

If these acts have not resulted in a speed increase and your Magento 2 backend is still very slow, you need to apply a more serious approach. The fact is that some custom extensions overload the server because of pivotal issues that occurred due to unoptimized code. Not to mention that it influences other crucial performance indicators such as Magento’s time to first byte.

💡The only way to fix the critical issues overlooked by developers is to perform debugging throughout every module using a debug tool of your choice. If you are not sure that you can handle it by yourself, turn to Magento performance optimization services.

3. Clean up Outdated, Unused, or Hidden Products and Categories

While Magento doesn’t have a limit on how many SKUs a store can handle, leaving outdated products and categories on the website is a bad idea. Even though they will not show up in the storefront, they are still processed by Magento slowing your Admin Panel down.

The performance hit will be most noticeable on weaker configurations. A powerful server should handle hundreds of thousands of products with no issue. Even so, even the beefiest hardware will benefit from a little pruning.

So if you have thousands of unused products, remove them from the store. A lean database will be faster in reading and searching operations.

Hundreds of product attributes, as well as attribute sets, contribute to a slow Magento backend by creating conflicting data. 

So, if you have the option, consider removing unused attributes from the store. The actual performance impact of excessive attributes will require thorough testing on a multitude of configurations.

In order to delete an attribute, you should do the following:

  1. In the Admin menu, navigate to: Stores > Attributes > Product
  2. Find the attribute you want to delete and open it in edit mode.
  3. Press the “Delete Attribute” button and click “OK” when prompted to confirm the operation.

Out of the box, Magento 2 doesn’t offer the opportunity to mass delete the product attributes. So you have to go to every attribute one-by-one and remove it.

4. Fine-Tune Your Reindexing Operations

By default, on every product or category, Magento 2 will reindex all products in your store to acknowledge these changes and update the index accordingly. During reindexing, both the store and your Magento Admin Panel will feel sluggish and unresponsive.

Instead of letting Magento do the reindexing whenever it feels like it, you should turn off automated reindex updates after each product or catalog change.

To do that, go to: System > Index Management.

Magento Admin slow: backend indexing operations

Depending on your Magento 2 version, the exact wording can be different. “Real-time” or “On Save” means your website will slow down on every product save.

“Update By Schedule” is more performance-friendly. Find this table and choose all items:

Magento Admin slow: backend update on save update by schedule

Change from “Update on Save” to “Update By Schedule”:

Magento Admin slow: update by schedule

Now you can maintain your Magento index through cron jobs or using a CLI command. Choose the time when your store is empty and the server has nothing to do and schedule the job for that period. Bear in mind that reindexing can take up to 3 hours for a large store with lots of products (100,000+ SKUs).

💡 Note that since Magento updated to 2.2.6, re-index speeds have improved from 40 minutes to ~1-minute average for 100,000+ products. So if you have upgraded Magento to the recent version, you’ll see a growth of up to x2 of previous speeds or more. If, however, you are getting Magento 2 slow down after the upgrade, reach out to our Magento developers.

This is of course much better than the previous performance speeds, but we still recommend that you move your re-index jobs to less busy hours with cron.

If you’ve never used cron before, to add a new job, you’ll need to install cron first:

But unless it’s a brand new Magento 2 store, cron is already installed. So you just need to add the following code to your cron file. This will create a job to reindex all items every day at 3 AM:

Keep in mind that this time is your Database time. So it doesn’t matter that your store clock is set to GTM+0, or that your system timezone is set to PST. Check and double-check, you don’t want to kill your store speed during the rush hour.

5. Pin Down Inefficiencies in the Database Structure

Magento Admin slow: optimize database structure

For the next step toward speeding up Magento Admin, you’ll need MySQL root access. Magento 2 MySQL optimization is needed for enhancing database performance. MySQLTuner is a free open-source inspection tool that will help you detect the most glaring problems of your database configuration.

This small Perl script can analyze your database for potential issues and give recommendations about what you should do to speed up your Magento 2 Admin Panel.

In fact, the script optimization advice will work both for frontend and backend operations. It can also spot security problems and tell you how to fix them.

First, we need to download it and make an executable:

Bear in mind that running the next command requires you to have a MySQL root password:

Now let’s look at the output. It’s divided into 2 big parts. The first one is “Statistics”. Notice the [!!] exclamation marks that indicate that there is an issue with your DB. Here you’ll see aborted connections, temporary tables, outdated version alerts, unused storage engines, and so on.

Take a closer look at what you can fix. Move on to the next big part which is “Recommendations”. Here you can find advice on what you need to concentrate on first.

CVE Security Recommendations are the most important part of the report. While it has nothing to do with performance, it’s vital for you to know potential database vulnerabilities.

6. Opt for Themes that Are Lightweight

Without a doubt, the used theme in the Magento store impacts the load speed. Heavier themes can slow down the site and its overall performance. This is why you may switch to a lightweight theme that uses just the required code. Alternatively, you may consider tweaking the theme that you currently have to make it lighter.

Although it may seem that the theme has no impact on the Admin Panel performance whatsoever, this isn’t entirely true. In some cases, developers opt for special custom themes to accelerate Magento’s Admin areas.

However, if the Admin Panel isn’t reworked completely, the out-of-the-box theme won’t help much in boosting the performance. Case in point: the Magento 2 Responsive Admin Template allows making various visual changes to the Admin interface and reworking the design of numerous areas according to your needs. Nevertheless, this doesn’t necessarily imply that the Admin Panel itself will perform more optimally. Extra customization and tweaks are required for that.

What is more, you must bear in mind that reworking the Admin Panel theme and removing Knockout.js is likely going to lead to numerous modules not working in the Admin area. Thus, developers need to be careful and find workaround solutions.

7. Switch to the Latest Magento 2 Version & PHP Version

Another thing you can do to boost your Magento Admin performance is to upgrade Magento to its freshest available version. As a rule, every Magento release provides additional tweaks and features that can assist in administrating the backend and improving its performance.

Apart from constant issues and bug fixes, every release brings new and enhanced possibilities. Not to mention that it also makes sense to get the latest version of Magento to speed up your Magento site across devices in general. Let’s bring up some specific examples:

  • As such, after switching from the 2.2 to the 2.3.2 version, Magento stores can enjoy the beneficial effect that the asynchronous task execution feature brings. Due to the changes in the queue logic, Magento 2.3.2 has shown an almost 20% increase in frontend speed. This also regards better response times for the store’s pages (including those of the catalog and advanced search pages) and enhanced logic for concurrent access (that deals with cache blocking), especially in cases of high load. Furthermore, the re-indexing of the catalog rule has also been optimized in this version which led to a close to 80% improvement in re-indexing time (skyrocketing the usual 20-minute procedure to as little as 5).
  • What is more, the even fresher versions of Magento also have a lot to offer to speed the store up. For example, in Magento 2.3.3, the product flat data re-indexing performance and resize image operations were upgraded. Plus, the version can now handle the issue with URL rewrite regeneration, resulting in improved page load.
  • What’s for Magento 2.3.4, this version accelerated the Product Categories indexer and boosted the performance of various operations (including sales order updates as well as edit and save operations on configurable products).

Therefore, keep an eye out for the new releases. They can be very handy for your Admin Panel speed and store on the whole!

Moreover, switching to the latest version of PHP that’s supported by the installed version of Magento can also help make the Admin Panel quicker. Note that it is important that PHP has OPcache enabled. You can find out more about how PHP versions differ in speed in our comparison article devoted to PHP 7.3 vs PHP 8.0 performance on Magento.

8. Enable JavaScript File Merging

Next on the list of tips on how to enhance your Magento Admin Panel is enabling JavaScript file merging. By doing so, you’ll unite all the Javascript files into just one. Consequently, this will cut down how many HTTP requests your store makes to the server and, thus, uplift the performance.

This point is especially relevant if you have a lot of modules installed that affect the Admin Panel. Additionally, keep in mind that it is possible that after enabling JavaScript file merging some functionality may break. This is due to the peculiarities of JS merging, thus, you might have to edit JavaScript in some parts of your code.

To do so, go to:

System > Configuration > Developer > JavaScript Settings > Merge JavaScript Files > Yes

The method provided above enables merging for the entire store. This means that this will also have an effect on the frontend which is useful for improving its speed (as well as your Magento Core Web Vitals).

Nevertheless, if required, you can change this setting only for the Admin Panel. To do this, you’ll need to enable the merge at the global level and turn it off at the store level. Make sure to keep in view the fact that you can’t make this change in the Admin Panel when you’re in production mode. You’ll have to do this either directly in the database or using commands.

9. Make Sure Magento Runs in Production Mode

Judging by the frequency that users forget about this particular fix, it’s one of the most popular solutions and one of the most overseen issues with both Magento 2 Admin and frontend slowdowns.

When the platform runs in Developer or Default mode, the engine will use a PHP script to process all static files. Production mode drops this slow script for a faster but less flexible approach.

Long story short, switch to production mode ASAP to speed up Magento 2 backend.

Connect through SSH to your Magento 2 install and make the switch:

After the switch, you’ll notice that both Magento 2 Admin Panel and your front-end are faster and more responsive to every action.

10. Clean Database from Excessive Third-Party Logs

The average Magento store uses a great number of third-party modules and extensions. 

However, with so many modifications on the market, you can’t be sure all of them follow the same strict development rules. Sometimes best practices are not the highest concern. This resulted in overloading your database with dozens of modules creating logs upon logs of useless data.

Depending on the gravity of your situation here, truncating these overgrown locations can be of help to make Magento 2 Admin page faster.  

Turning off logs sounds unreasonable for security and stability reasons. To be clear, most of the time disabling Magento logging is a bad idea. 

But unless your store is in constant development, we say go for it. When you need to squeeze every last bit of performance out of your Magento store, it’s a valid option.

11. Increase Memory Limit If Your Magento 2 Admin Panel Doesn’t Work 

Lack of free memory is one of the most common issues with Magento 2 install. However, this issue can’t be the reason for the slowdowns. When the memory limit problem occurs, you will see either a completely blank page or a page with a server error after login into Magento Admin. 

In other words, if your Magento Admin Panel has stopped working, the first thing you should do is to check how much memory your server allocates from php.ini or .htaccess. Allocating less than what Magento system requirements specify will result in scripts crashing and your Admin Panel simply won’t open. So, you can fix it by increasing memory limits.

Depending on your hosting provider, you can access these files either through the cPanel or from the root folder.

Find or add the following line. Make sure it’s at least 2048:

Save the setting and test your Magento 2 backend performance.

💡 In some cases, to increase memory limits, you may need to edit php.ini or alter the HTTPaccess file. We have 9+ years of expertise in managing servers and know how to deal with exceeded memory limits in Magento. Turn to our expert Magento consultants for support.

Get the Best Performance for Your Magento Admin Panel

Magento 2 Admin Panel will never be as fast as Magento frontend. The reason for that is because the Admin area doesn’t allow caching (which is one of the main ways to improve Magento checkout speed and to accelerate Magento’s Add to Cart). To compare, optimizing only the images can already influence your Magento store’s page speed and performance since media and image compression, using images of modern formats (such as WebP or JPEG), or extensions can make the frontend faster (feel free to browse our Magento image optimization guide for more details).

But on the bright side you can still do a lot to the Admin Panel itself to make the job of your store admins, content managers, SEO specialists, and business partners so much better.

There are a plethora of smaller optimization techniques that tackle specific aspects of Magento 2 slow loading, but most of them get used on a case-by-case basis. And as new versions of M2 roll out, our team accumulates more and more in-depth tricks of how to speed up Magento 2 Admin Panel.

Need a bigger boost for your Magento store, or your Magento 2 website is slow after the upgrade? Hire our Magento developers who are optimization experts and will run an in-depth audit of your online shop and make sure it works lightning-fast.

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