WooCommerce Slow Store Case Study – 20 sec Response Times to under 1 sec

WooCommerce slow store case study time for B2B (business to business sales)!

This WordPress site sells beautiful light fixtures aimed for other businesses.

Nosa manages this multisite WooCommerce store running 68 plugins!

They wanted to add some cool new feature that allows visitors to generate detailed technical specifications in PDF form for a group of products.

This feature is expected to increase their leads, conversion rates and sales!

However, the site was performing terribly. Users were waiting up to 20+ seconds for pages to load.

Obviously it makes no sense to add fancy new features to your site or store when it is performing like a turtle.

See how we helped Nosa get her site loading in under 1 second instead of 20 seconds 🙂

WooCommerce Woes in Performance

We always ask ‘how is your slow site impacting you, your business, your visitors and your employees’.

Here was Nosa’s response:

“The site isn’t consistently slow. It’s been a mix of issues. We’ve run out of php workers quite often on and the entire site just times out until we restart php. Somehow the workers are getting locked up on random page loads (30-40 seconds for seemingly simple pages). It seems like the slowest results are coming back generally on filtering products or categories on the woocommerce pages.

The site is only using woocommerce for catalog functionality to display products. There is no cart/checkout or anything like that, and it’s only 250ish products – so it doesn’t seem like that much data.

The GTmetrix and pingdom scores both seem low. Just ran one and for the homepage gtmetrix came back with: https://gtmetrix.com/reports/solais.com/Hq5l6srr. This is the one from pingdom: https://tools.pingdom.com/#5d4767088c000000 (score of 74)”


You may be wondering how the homepage is only taking 997 ms but they still have these performance issues.

This is incredibly common, learning how to test your site speed properly is something you learn over time!

Nosa continued:

“Browsing in the dashboard is hit or miss, if the site is running out of workers or their getting hung up on stuff then it’s definitely unusable, normally I’ve found it to not be too bad though. I know Nosa has had way more issues with load time in the admin dashboard though than I have.”

Reducing stress and frustration motivates us like nothing else can.

You deserve a website that runs fast, so do your visitors and employees, along with any contractors who help out.

Your website performance is something you should feel proud to showcase to friends, family and colleagues.

Not something to feel embarrassed about or ashamed.

Nosa and her team had just finished rebuilding the site after 6 months of hard work only to be faced with a super slow site.

We knew we had to help her, Nosa deserved answers!

Website Troubleshooting Approach

We take a holistic approach to troubleshooting WordPress and WooCommerce so we can cover the full spectrum of performance culprits.

  • New Relic audit – we are certified (verify here)
  • Server audit – we have sysadmin skills!
  • Plugin audit – we help find the troublemakers
  • Theme audit – want to know if your theme is up to quality standards?
  • Database audit – we can tell you if you need a cleanup
  • Infrastructure audit – often overlooked, infrastructure should never be neglected!

Website Troubleshooting Diagnosis

After our emergency differential diagnosis approach, we found the following issues

  • Server configuration issues
  • Infrastructure problems
  • Plugins misbehaving and causing huge lags

Here are some New Relic screenshots showing how bad the performance was before we started troubleshooting.

Over the last 3 days the average response time was over 5 seconds.

It is very hard to convert visitors into customers with a site that slow!

During peak times a 9.4 second average response time from the server hosting the WooCommerce store :O

There were plenty of slow page requests to analyze taking an average of  20 seconds.

This particular WooCommerce store had a ton of 404 page that took 20 seconds to load.

These were sucking up resources and creating a poor user experience.

The average response time for all product category pages was almost 8 seconds.

These are the most popular pages!

The 404 pages had an average response time of 7 seconds!

Let’s see how our troubleshooting approach helped the performance of Nosa’s site.

Website Troubleshooting Results

In less than a business day her site was performing way better.

We corrected the infrastucture misconfiguration and disabled the problematic components in the plugins and theme.

Look at that beautiful stable tiny blue line!

The average application response time is now under 1 second down from over 5 seconds.

Looking over the last 3 days we can see the incredible improvement.

The product category pages now have a much faster average response time of 1.5 seconds.

The 404 pages are being fixed, in the meantime they aren’t tying up resources anymore!

Nosa wanted a guarantee of a 50% reduction in response times.

We overdelivered with an 80% reduction in response times.

Nosa had a big smile during our follow up call 🙂

Nosa and her team can now move on to the next phase of their project.

If your WooCommerce site is a source of stress, let somebody help. You deserve it!


When code runs where it isn’t supposed to, it can crush the performance of your site!

Some components that were supposed to speed the site up were actually making it crawl to a halt.

Response time is very closely related to overall load time. If your response times are super high on your store, it will affect your page load times.

High server response times also negatively affect conversion rates and your visitor experience.

As we’ve pointed out in our thorough why your site speed still sucks post, website performance can be a challenging problem to solve.

Trying to solve these problems on your own can result in a lot of wasted time and energy, sometimes making the problem even worse!

If there is more than one solution necessary for your performance issues, we will find them so you can get back to business as usual.

Get help troubleshooting your WordPress site to see how we can help you!

Work with Pros!