How to Limit WordPress Heartbeat and Boost Website Performance.

How to Limit WordPress Heartbeat and Boost Website Performance.

Alright, listen up, folks! We’re about to take a wild ride into the world of WordPress Heartbeat.

What is the WordPress Heartbeat and its purpose?

Picture this: your website is like a bustling city, with visitors strolling through its virtual streets, clicking buttons, and leaving comments. And guess what? WordPress Heartbeat is like the traffic cop, directing the flow of information between your browser and the server.

How WordPress Heartbeat affects your website performance.

This little feature is responsible for real-time updates and autosave, ensuring your site stays fresh and up to date.

But here’s the catch: sometimes, this heartbeat can go a bit overboard, constantly sending requests to the server and slowing down your website’s performance.

It’s like having a hyperactive drummer who can’t stop banging those drums, throwing off the rhythm of the entire band.

How limiting WordPress Heartbeat boosts your website performance.

That’s where limiting WordPress Heartbeat comes into play.

By putting a leash on this energetic heartbeat, you can save your website from becoming a sluggish mess. Think of it as telling that drummer to calm down and find a more balanced beat.

With fewer requests flying back and forth, your website will load faster, visitors will stick around longer, and the whole experience will be smoother than a well-lubricated dance floor.

Let’s drop the WordPress beat and get started!

So, my friend, if you’re looking to boost your website’s performance and keep things running smoothly, it’s time to rein in that WordPress Heartbeat. Trust me, your visitors will thank you, and your website will become the talk of the town. Now, let’s go out there and show the world what a well-behaved heartbeat can do!

Why limit WordPress Heartbeat?

Well, my friend, answering this question ultimately rests on your website’s needs and your server’s capabilities.

With its incessant requests, WordPress Heartbeat can be a bit of a resource hog. All those requests can put a strain on your server. Its frequent visits to the server can slow down your site’s loading speed, leaving visitors tapping their feet and twiddling their thumbs.

However, the Heartbeat can be a lifeline if you have a bustling website with dynamic content and real-time updates. It ensures that everyone is on the same page, delivering fresh content and keeping things snappy like a well-oiled machine.

Should you limit WordPress Heartbeat or not? That is the question, my friends.

It’s a balancing act being completely transparent. If your server is strong and your website needs that real-time connection, let the Heartbeat dance.

But if your server is struggling and your website needs a speed boost, consider taming the Heartbeat or upgrading your web hosting plan for sufficient memory and processing speed before tinkering with WordPress Heartbeat.

Methods to limit WordPress Heartbeat.

More often than not, upgrading your web host plan does the trick to rein in the pesky WordPress Heartbeat from irregularly utilizing server resources that bog down your website’s performance.

However, there are a few other methods to consider to control or limit WordPress Heart, such as modifying and adding code or using WordPress plugins.

Top 3 plugin options to limit WordPress Heartbeat.

When it comes to reigning in the wild WordPress Heartbeat, a few trusty plugins can lend a helping hand. Here are my top three recommendations:

  1. Heartbeat Control (RECOMMENDED) is a free plugin with a simple interface that allows you to customize the Heartbeat settings. You can set the interval at which Heartbeat makes requests and disable it altogether.
  2. WP Rocket is a premium plugin with a wide range of features that offers a number of performance optimization features, including the ability to control the Heartbeat. WP Rocket also offers a number of other features that can improve the performance of your WordPress site.
  3. Dynamic Front-End Heartbeat Control is another free plugin that allows you to control the Heartbeat. This plugin uses a dynamic approach to determine the optimal settings for your website, which can help to improve performance without any manual configuration.

Manually Limiting WordPress Heartbeat with PHP Code.

Now if you’re like me, then you may want to opt out of adding additional plugins to keep your website’s WordPress plugin bloating in check and fully optimized. One of the best ways to limit WordPress Heartbeat is by adding code to your theme’s function.php file.

Here is an example of code you can use to limit the WordPress Heartbeat to 60-second intervals. Feel free to change this number, but a reminder that the value must ALWAYS be captured in seconds.


// Limit WordPress Heartbeat API to 60 seconds
add_filter('heartbeat_settings', 'limit_heartbeat_interval');
function limit_heartbeat_interval($settings) {
    $settings['interval'] = 60; // Set the interval in seconds
    return $settings;


This code snippet uses the heartbeat_settings filter to modify the Heartbeat API interval. By setting the $settings[‘interval’] value to 60, the Heartbeat API will run every 60 seconds instead of the default 15 seconds. 60 seconds seems to be the sweet spot for a fully optimized WordPress Heartbeat.

Simply add this code to the functions.php file in your theme, and it will limit the Heartbeat API to a 60-second interval. This can help reduce the frequency of AJAX requests made by the Heartbeat API, saving server resources and improving website performance.

As always, make sure to back up your functions.php file before making any changes. In addition, if you’re uncomfortable with code modifications, consider using one of the aforementioned plugin options.

Best Practices for Limiting WordPress Heartbeat.

When considering and tinkering with limiting the WordPress Heartbeat, adhere to the following practices to ensure that your website performance for both the front-end and back-end experiences is fully optimized.

Once you have decided between using a plugin or not and the appropriate interval, the following are best practices to consider:

  1. Test and monitor: After implementing any changes, monitor your website’s performance and functionality. Ensure that essential features relying on WordPress Heartbeat, such as autosave and real-time notifications, still function as intended.
  2. Consider specific scenarios: Certain plugins or themes may have specific requirements for the WordPress Heartbeat. In such cases, it’s essential to analyze the impact of limiting or disabling the heartbeat on its functionality.
  3. Evaluate server resources: If you’re on a shared hosting environment or have limited server resources, reducing the frequency of Heartbeat requests can help alleviate resource usage and prevent performance issues. Cloudways and A2Hosting are two of the most affordable website hosting providers that offer more than enough memory and RAM that don’t hit the wallet.
  4. Regularly review and optimize: As your website evolves, periodically review your Heartbeat settings to ensure they align with your current needs. Optimize the interval based on your website’s performance and ALWAYS after adding or removing ANY features or plugins.

Remember, finding the right balance between reducing server load and maintaining necessary functionality is crucial. Keep an eye on website performance, and if you have any concerns or encounter issues, consider seeking assistance from a WordPress developer or your web hosting provider.


I hope this tutorial helps because taking control of WordPress Heartbeat can be a game-changer for your website’s performance. Limiting the frequency of Heartbeat requests allows you to optimize server resources, reduce the strain on your hosting environment, and enhance the overall user experience.

Whether you modify the code or rely on plugins, the key is finding the right balance that suits your specific needs. So, don’t hesitate to take control, optimize your Heartbeat, and watch your website soar to new heights of speed and efficiency. Your visitors will thank you, and your website will thrive!

Written by Alvin Brown
He's an experienced and passionate serial entrepreneur, founder and publisher of Kickstart Commerce. Alvin possesses a great love for startups dominating their market using profitable digital strategies for greater commerce.