Identifying and improving performance bottlenecks in code and server environments.


Wedabo (now defunct) was an online apparel store startup, built with WooCommerce and various plugins. After 6 months of development work, their website was ridden with performance issues. Among these issues were input latency (you had to wait 2 seconds for a menu to open after clicking it) and extremely poor loading times (29.39 seconds for a full page load).

Input Latency.

I found 3 different plugins, that were loading separate menus, but hidden with CSS.

Poor Loading Time.

The cause of this was harder to pinpoint because it was shared hosting and I wasn't allowed shell access. That said, performance issues with shared hosting is unsurprising. Given that the website's TTFB was 6 seconds (which is slow by any measure), I decided to provision a VPS with a conventional WordPress stack, and run the website on that.

I used Pingdom to run a speed test, since that's a tool that non-technical people can also use themselves. Without any other modifications, loading time was over 5x quicker. The screenshots of that test are below:

Old Server

New Server

Other Issues.

These were also found and fixed during the course of the project:

  • PHP Injection Script
  • Hidden SEO link injection
  • Erroneous POST requests during page load
  • Render-blocking scripts

These issues were due to the use of themes and plugins that were poorly made. All of which, could have been avoided if they were properly evaluated beforehand, but this is rarely accounted for in most WordPress development projects.