Knowledgebase: Tips & Tricks
WordPress Cron File (wp-cron.php) site slow down fix
Posted by Support on 31 March 2014 08:14 AM

WordPress uses a file called "wp-cron.php". It is a virtual cron job (a scheduled task on the server), and is used by WordPress to in order to automate commands that need to happen certain times of the day, week, etc. These tasks may be checking for WordPress updates, sending email notifications, etc.

WordPress is setup so that the wp-cron.php file runs every time someone (a real person) or something (a search engine bot) visits your WordPress website. This cron job can take a minute or so to run, depending, on the size of the website. If your website doesn’t have a lot of visitors, it may not be an issue. If there are several visitors at once (or, if a search engine bot comes to index your site for search rankings), the resource usage on the server can increase exponentially in a very short amount of time.

What can be done to maximize the efficiency of the WordPress cron jobs? You can tell the WordPress installation that you're going to handle the execution of the wp-cron.php file. Here’s how:

DISABLE THE DEFAULT WP-CRON.PHP USAGE

1) Download the wp-config.php file via your FTP program to your computer.
2) Open the wp-config.php file in your WordPress installation using a plain text editor such as vi for linux or notepad for windows.
3) Disable the cron job by going to the bottom of the database settings in that file and adding the following line:

define(‘DISABLE_WP_CRON’, ‘true’);

4) Save the file and upload it to your web site using your FTP program.

CREATE A MANUAL CRON JOB

In this example, we’re setting it up to run one time every six hours.

1) Login to our control panel, manage your service and in the service controls area, click the Cron Jobs link.
2) Click the add new cron job button at the top right.
3) In the "Add New Cron Job" area, click the "Common Settings" drop-down menu select the option for "Once an hour".
4) In the "Hour" drop-down menu, select "Every 6 hours".
5) In the "URL" field, type in the following:

http://yourdomain.com/wp-cron.php?doing_wp_cron

(Replace "yourdomain.com" with your actual domain name.)

6) Click the "Add New Cron Job" button.

This will help your WordPress site/blog to run faster, as well as help the server its hosted on be more efficient.

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