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Sometimes plugins are the problem, especially if they are badly coded, incompatible with your version of WordPress, or rely on external sources to run. In the last case, the sluggish behavior can occur if that external resource becomes inaccessible.
To fix this, disable all plugins and see if your dashboard/site speeds up. But sometimes, the admin panel is running TOO slow to allow any access at all. In this case, you can disable your plugins by accessing your plugins folder located at /wp-content/plugins and renaming it to something like plugins_backup. Be sure to rename it back after you're finished testing.
Finally, if your website runs normally during this test, go back and activate the plugins one-by-one to figure out which one was causing you problems.
If the issue occurred very randomly, there could be server issues. Sometimes the admin team are performing some emergency maintenance, or updates to the server software could have been rolled out. If you are on a shared server, you might be being affected by other accounts who are abusing resource limits (though WestHost shared servers have a number of tools in place to prevent this).
In most cases like this, just waiting for maintenance to complete can resolve the problem. If the server configuration was updated, you might need to chat with our support team.
One other potential cause for a slow-loading site is if some necessary files have been corrupted or deleted. Or even worse, your WordPress installation might have been compromised by enterprising hackers, or suffered an incomplete upgrade. To fix this problem, simply upgrade or restore a backup of your version of WordPress. You may also just need to upgrade/repair a theme or plugin that's been affected.
Before upgrading, be sure to backup all files and verify that your current theme and plugins are compatible with the upgraded version.
Perhaps your database is causing the problem(s). To fix the issue, one option is to use a plugin like WP-DBManager to help fix any database errors and optimize it for best performance.
In some cases, slowness on your site or dashboard might be related to an internet-connectivity problem. To test, do one of the following things:
This may not be available on your version of WordPress, but you might have the option to "go Turbo." You would see a link on the upper right hand panel in your dashboard.
Turbo takes advantage of Google Gears, which adds special features to your browser. Once you install and enable Gears, your WordPress dashboard should be faster because all of the the bulky scripts, images, and CSS files will be stored locally on your computer instead of loading each time from the server itself.
Please note that this a third party tool and application combo that our Support team cannot provide much assistance with. If you run into trouble with it, do visit the WordPress Codex for more information.