Support » Plugin: Heartbeat Control » How to determine how/where/why to modify or disable WP Heartbeat?

  • Resolved hommealone


    I’ve searched this forum and the web for answers to these question without success. I hope that someone here can help.

    1. How can I determine if it is safe to disable the WP Heartbeat in various places (Post Editor, WP Dashboard, Frontend) on any given website?
    2. Where it is not advisable to disable the heartbeat, how can I determine how much I can safely slow it down?
    3. Where the plugin refers to the “WordPress Dashboard”, does that literally mean the Dashboard page itself (/wp-admin/index.php), or does it refer to any pages in the admin area?

    Regarding question #1 and perhaps also question #2, I assume that this requires that I know what core functions utilize the hearbeat, and which plugins utilize it. How can I easily determine that? Wouldn’t I need to know that, in order to meaningfully set the plugin settings?

    Regarding question #3, if the “WordPress Dashboard” refers specifically and narrowly to only the dashboard page itself, then what about other admin area pages? If it refers more generally to all admin pages, see the previous paragraph: How can I determine how WP Core, and which plugins, are using the heartbeat? Isn’t that necessary information to be able to determine whether it is OK to slow or disable the heartbeat in the admin area?


Viewing 3 replies - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • Plugin Author Jeff Matson


    Here’s a few answers to your questions:

    1. Disabling the heartbeat API is usually fine for most sites, but it’s going to vary based on your particular situation. Usually, the safest route is to disable everywhere except post editor pages and increase the interval on post edit pages. It’s entirely subjective though, so it depends on your site’s specifics.

    2. You can safely slow it down everywhere in most cases. I don’t want to give absolutes just because every site is different, but in my experience, slowing it down everywhere is fine 99.9% of the time.

    On most sites, it’s only used by post autosave functionality, so disabling everywhere except the post editor is usually fine. Of course, if you’re not worries about autosaving, you can disable it there too.

    3. When referring to WordPress Dashboard, it’s referring to the entirety of the WordPress admin.

    Hope that helps!


    Thanks, that helps a lot! I really appreciate it.

    I understood your answer to mean that WP core only uses the heartbeat on post editing pages for autosaving (as of 2018). Is it correct that core also uses it to “lock” a post if another editor is working on it?

    Plugins can use it too as I understand, though few do, apparently. What TYPES of things would a plugin use it for? Knowing the answer to that might also help us figure out if disabling is likely to hurt any given plugin’s functionality.

    I’ll bet a lot of other people have some of the same questions that I posted. I hope you’ll consider adding this info to the FAQ section of your WP Plugin page, or at least making this forum post sticky. It might help to widen the popularity of your plugin to a bigger circle than just server admins and developer types.

    Thanks again.

    Hi @jeffmatson,
    What does Frontend mean? Is that like what the user is seeing?
    I managed a NEWS wordpress site where several users are creating and editing posts at the same time.
    1) So I have modified the post editor to 60 seconds. Does that mean it will autosave every 60 seconds? How frequently does WordPress normally do it?
    2) And WordPress Dashboard and (Frontend?) to 100 seconds.

    Which one prevents other users from editing posts (locking them)? dashboard or frontend?

Viewing 3 replies - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
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