Is Woocommerce slow?

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How many products can I manage without affecting the performance of WooCommerce ?

What if I have a product with many variations? Will everything slow down?

If you have a shop with more than 500 products avoid WooCommerce, use PrestaShop, WooCommerce can’t handle them.

In this post, I’ll show you that it is possible to manage your store with WooCommerce, with 35,000 products, or many more if you wish, and have page loading times of less than 1.5 seconds!

Biases about WooCommerce

I spend time in several WordPress and ecommerce groups and the saying is always the same. WordPress is a blogging platform and was not designed to create e-commerce.

That statement is very true, but that doesn’t mean, as so many say:

If you have more than 500 products don’t use WooCommerce, because WooCommerce slows everything down.

If you have a product with many variations, everything slows down.

WooCommerce is slow, better to use a CMS that has been created to manage e-commerce like PrestaShop or Magento. In some cases, it is true as I will explain later, but not because WooCommerce is slow.

My position

Before I start I would like to clarify one thing, I am not a fan of any CMS, I believe that everyone has different needs and abilities and should therefore choose the platform that best suits their needs.

What I don’t like is when people create prejudices. Precisely because if a store created with WooCommerce exceeds 500 products it should slow down? What if I have 499 products and 8000 blog posts instead?

Blog posts and products are stored in the same table….

What if I have 3 products and 8000 blog posts?

Who decides these numbers? Do I have to go to a bingo hall or the fortune teller?

WooCommerce performance: my thesis

Every time I read posts with statements like the ones I listed above, I ask myself: why?

Why if I increase the number of products should it slow down the site?

Why if I have products with so many variations should this slow down the loading speed of my site?

MySQL is designed to handle huge amounts of data, so when I make a query on the database it shouldn’t make too much difference if in that table there are 500 records or 5000, we are not talking about millions.

Most definitely WooCommerce is slow and it’s a heavy plugin, as I wrote in my post plugins that slow down WordPress. It adds a bunch of javascript and CSS to the pages of your site in order to work, and of course it runs additional queries on the database.

In this post with various tests I will show you that WooCommerce is a great software to create your ecommerce, albeit with its limitations.

But how much does this slow down the loading of your pages in reality?

And above all: how much does the number of products affect WooCommerce performance?

Testing WooCommerce performance

To do these tests I decided to take into consideration two factors:

  • The loading time on gtmetrix testing from London
  • The number of database queries

I installed WordPress with WooCommerce on a semi-dedicated hosting plan and used the storefront theme, the basic WooCommerce theme.

Let’s establish a baseline

First of all we need to establish some baseline values, to have a benchmark, both in terms of performance and database queries.

I installed WordPress and the query monitor plugin. In order not to distort the tests I installed and activated the storefront theme on WordPress and did the first test.

Opening the query monitor window I see that a WordPress installation with storefront theme performs 27 database queries to load the page.

Woocommerce Slow Database Query

The site loads in 0.5 seconds according to the gtmetrix test. If you were looking for a fast hosting you are in the right place. If you don’t trust us you can put us to the test, we offer a 14 days free trial to test and stress the service.

Woocommerce Slow Speedtest

The page has a size of 115kb and has 16 requests. Easy result to achieve with a blank page without images. However, it is not difficult to achieve results around the second if you know how to speed up WordPress.

Woocommerce Slow Page Details

Now that we have a basis for seeing how quickly a WordPress page loads, let’s see what WooCommerce adds.

I installed WooCommerce and set up the basic settings following the setup:

  • I didn’t install jetpack, I’ve never understood what use that plugin is, other than slowing down the site.
  • I set the shipping with fixed rate, 1 for Italy and 1 for foreign countries.
  • I have not configured the taxes since it’s a demo.
  • I set as payment method to bank transfer to avoid wasting time.

WooCommerce has installed these plugins:

Woocommerce Slow Installed Plugins

We see that to load the home now 49 queries are needed, an increase we could expect.

Woocommerce Slow Basic Query Monitor

Obviously also the loading time has increased, this is because WooCommerce adds css and js in addition to the queries we saw above.

Woocommerce Slow Speed Basic Page

In fact we notice that both the page size and the number of queries have increased, as we could expect.

Woocommerce Slow Basic Page

Obviously it doesn’t make much sense to test the home page, we need to test the product page. However, I wanted to report the home page test to have a direct comparison with the test before installing WooCommerce.

SPOILER ALERT: I kept testing the home page with each test, but I won’t report the results. The number of queries, number of resources, page size and loading time never changed during the various tests. So the number of products and their variations does not affect the loading time of the home page, and consequently of the pages that are not part of the shop.

If nothing changes in the home page the differences should be seen in the products page, since WooCommerce has to search the database and show only some of them, in our case 16, I left the default settings at 4 rows and 4 columns.

This way we can evaluate WooCommerce Performance as soon as we pass the fateful number of 500 products.

Let’s see a few more queries, 2 to be precise, keep in mind that the store doesn’t have any products yet, here we are just defining a baseline.

Woocommerce Slow Query Monitor

Loading time remains unchanged. A fluctuation of 2 tenths of a second is probably due to loading/unloading of the gtmetrix test server, or our server.

Woocommerce Slow Gtmetrix

The page size and the number of requests also remain unchanged.

Woocommerce Slow Product Page Details

Now we can get into the heart of the testing.

WooCommerce performance and number of products

The first hypothesis to prove was: if I exceed a certain number of products, does it affect WooCommerce performance, would it make WooCommerce slow?

If yes, to what extent?

Let’s see what these tests tell us.

WooCommerce with 18 products

We’ve established a baseline, now let’s go add some products and run the same tests.

I used WooCommerce’s CSV for the import, so we’ll import various products, with images and some variations.

As I said the home page doesn’t undergo any kind of variation, so from now on I’m going to run the tests on the store page, which I set to show the last 16 products.

Now that we have some products the number of queries goes from 51 to 92. This also results in an increase in the time to run the queries, about 3 hundredths of a second more. Nothing tremendous, yet….

Woocommerce Slow 18 Products Query Monitor

In terms of speed we notice a slowdown by 4 tenths of a second, a result we could expect since content and images were added, compared to the test before which was on an empty page.

Woocommerce Slow 18 Products Speed

In fact, we observe an increase in page size and in the number of requests. I was saying that we are showing 16 products per page, in fact the number of requests increases by 16: the 16 images that are shown, one per product.

The additional page size is given just by these 16 images.

Woocommerce Slow 18 Products

So if we use WooCommerce with few products, we can expect very good performance.

Certainly this first test shows that WooCommerce is not slow, far from it.

WooCommerce with 200 products

Let me save you a set of identical tests, the WooCommerce performance with 200 products is identical to the results above. So up to 200 products WooCommerce remains fast, no noticeable performance degradation.

The only difference was in the number of queries on the product page. Having multiple products in our store, there were 3 related products on the single page instead of just one. This for obvious reasons increased the number of queries (9) and added 2 queries, the two additional images.

But what if we exceed the limit number of 500? What happens in that case?

WooCommerce with 1000 products

This is where the problems began, exceeding the fateful invented number made WooCommerce slow, it stopped working and then my computer exploded.

I am obviously joking…

There was a further increase in database queries. However, I noticed that this parameter tended to change in a “strange” way depending on the number of products, as we will see in the next tests.

Also the time to execute the queries, as we note, does not depend on the number of queries, but on the server load at that given time.

Woocommerce Slow 1000 Products Query Monitor

As for the speed, it remains optimal, we note that it even loads faster with 1000 products than with 18 or 200 products.

This oscillation is due to the moment. 4 tenths of a second depends more on the load on the server and the test server than on a degradation of WooCommerce performance due to the number of products in the database.

Such an oscillation is completely normal and irrelevant.

Woocommerce Slow 1000 Products Speed

The page size remains almost the same. The difference in the number of requests and page size is due to the fact that 2 products had two identical images, so they were only uploaded once.

Woocommerce Slow 1000 Products

WooCommerce with 3000 products

I kept importing more products on top of products….

Woocommerce Slow Performance 3000

As I mentioned the number of queries was variable during testing, not directly related to the number of products. The same goes for the loading time.

The fact remains that there is no noticeable increase in queries, or their execution time, based on the number of products.

Woocommerce Slow 3000 Products Query Monitor

The loading time does not change either. In these two different tests you can see that it varies from one moment to another, as is normal to happen, but you don’t notice a substantial difference between a store with 18 products and one with 3000.

Woocommerce Slow 3000 Products Speed

The page size also remains the same, which we could expect since we keep loading the last 16 products.

Woocommerce Slow Products Speed

WooCommerce with 35000 products

At this point I decided to do a couple of imports to see if I could take this installation to the limit.

Woocommerce Slow Performance 15000 Products

I created two files of about 15000 products and imported them. The CSV was about 12MB, it took quite a while but I finally managed to take WooCommerce to the limit and slow it down properly.

Or maybe not?

The number of queries always stays in the same range. It took a little longer to execute the queries, which is understandable given the volume of data now present in the tables, we are talking about a tenth of a second, should not affect the final loading time. Or does it?

Woocommerce Slow 5000 Products Query Monitor

Performance remains excellent, the number of products has no influence on WooCommerce performance.

Woocommerce Slow 35000 Products Speed

Page size once again does not change.

Woocommerce Slow 35000 Products

We can assert that the number of products doesn’t make any difference on it and doesn’t make WooCommerce slow, it seems to me that these tests prove it without a shadow of a doubt.

WooCommerce performance and product variations

The second hypothesis was: does a product with so many variations affect WooCommerce performance or is it just an urban legend?

These tests should provide some clarity.

WooCommerce product with 9 variations

I tested a product with 9 variations: 3 colors and 3 sizes.

To load the single product page with multiple variations WooCommerce needs to run more queries than when it loads the store home page. In this case we see 130 queries executed in 2 hundredths of a second.

Woocommerce Slow Basic Varations

In terms of speed we notice very good performance.

Woocommerce Slow Speed Variations

The page size didn’t change one bit during testing, so I’m not going to report the result of testing.

WooCommerce product with 10,000 variations

At this point I added another 97 colors and 97 sizes. There was an increase in queries, pretty much insignificant.

Woocommerce Slow Varations 10000 Query

If you are curious about the speed test result check out the test above. There was no difference between 9 variations and 10,000 variations.

At this point I decided to try to stress it down and make our dear WooCommerce slow.

WooCommerce product with 100,000,000 variations

Yes you read that right, 100 million variations.

I added two more attributes with 100 variations each, to get to 100 million. I doubt there is a real store with so many variations, and if there is I feel bad for their users, can you imagine choosing from so many available options?

Here we observe a noticeable increase in queries compared to the previous test, but nothing major.

Woocommerce Slow Speed Varation 10000 Products

In terms of performance, again, there was no difference.

The test result

So we can answer the question: does the performance of WooCommerce vary depending on the number of products we have or are the questions we asked in the introduction just unfounded assumptions?

I would say that in light of these tests we can definitely say that WooCommerce is a great ecommerce platform and has the potential to offer you great performance.

Those who tell you that if you have more than 500 products you have to use a CMS dedicated to ecommerce are not right, at least not 100%.

In some cases you should use a software like Prestashop or Magento, as I explain in one of the next paragraphs.

Why are sites made with WooCommerce slow?

This is a question that makes sense.

Many customers have sites made with WooCommerce, and they have sub-optimal performance, not even close to the tests you see in this article of mine.

If you have a site with WooCommerce and you’re not happy with its performance, here’s the answer.

WooCommerce themes

The first problem is the theme. Many themes are beautiful and well made, but they load a huge amount of resources. Css and js files that are not used, but they inflate the weight of the page and the number of requests. These files, even if unused must be downloaded from the browser every time the page is displayed.

Many themes that are sold, by necessity, must provide for all possible cases. You probably will never need a slider or carousel, but a theme that offers that feature sells more, so it gets added, this usually involves adding at least one css and one javascript, maybe more.

This applies to all other features in the theme.

Try creating a staging staging installation and changing themes, put storefront and see what changes:

  • loading time
  • number of resources
  • page size.


This is perhaps the main problem with WooCommerce. Since WordPress wasn’t created to create a store, WooCommerce’s functions are limited.

To make up for these shortcomings, we tend to use a variety of plugins. I’ve rarely seen stores with WooCommerce that had less than 15-20 plugins.

If we calculate that many plugins, in addition to adding calculations and queries, also add a css and a javascript, it’s easy to understand that adding too many plugins is not good for WooCommerce performance.

Precisely in these cases, as I explain in the next section, it is advisable to choose a CMS designed specifically for ecommerce.


In many cases high resolution images are uploaded, when you could upload a good resolution image and the effect would be the same.

If the images are optimized properly they are smaller in size and don’t affect WooCommerce performance. We have two guides on the blog about this:


Of course, I had to mention the engine behind your website.

During our tests I used a semi-dedicated platinum 1 plan.

I noticed in some cases the tendency to save on hosting, looking for a cheap solution at all costs, without thinking about how important it is that your site is fast, especially for an ecommerce site.

If your company doesn’t have 100-200€ per year to spend on the engine that keeps up your online store, maybe it’s time to completely re-evaluate your online business.

How to choose a CMS for ecommerce

As I mentioned the main problem for WooCommerce performance are the plugins, often necessary, sometimes purely useless, that we add to have extra functions for our ecommerce.

In the design phase we should make a list of the functions we will need, and understand if it makes sense to use WooCommerce or if it’s better to use an ecommerce system like PrestaShop or Magento.

If you can use WooCommerce with few plugins, and you choose a light and performing theme you won’t have problems. If you need a lot of additional functions, instead of installing 30 different plugins and slowing down the whole process, the advice is to look for a platform that has most of the functions you are looking for in its core, so you can reduce to a minimum the use of plugins and external components. In this case I suggest you to check our article on how to install PrestaShop if you want to start from there.


WooCommerce itself is not slow, far from it.

Just like WordPress is not slow.

If the performance of your store is not optimal, the fault is not with WooCommerce nor with the number of products, as we have seen with the various tests I have shown you in this article.

The problem, similarly to WordPress, is the theme you choose and the plugins.

What do you think of my tests and results?

Let me know in the comments below!

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17 responses to “Is Woocommerce slow?”

  1. I have an issue on my site 500 items published with at least 24 variations for each item and having severe slowness

    1. Most likely the problem is due to the theme, a plugin or the provider you are using. Contact us telling us the website url, and we’ll do our best to help you.

  2. Thank you for this article, it’s great.

    I currently have two shops on prestashop running in multistore. I am now migrating to Woocommerce. Why? Possibilites, the community, simplicity and beauty of WordPress in general.

    I read sometime ago, and I feel this is to the point exactly:
    Wordpress / Woocommerce is created for the actual users of the software.
    Prestashop is created for the developers by developers of the software.

    Most ecommerce store owners doesn’t have an inhouse theme of developers. They try their best with what they have an know. And I am 100% sure that most people can come a much longer way with woocommerce than with prestashop.

    Prestashop is not more secure (I was hacked 2 times the past 5 years), it’s much more difficult to handle on a day by day basis.. (there are so many things I wish I could do, that I decided not to do, because it either was a lack of possibility to do it, or it where to high cost)

    I agree that plugins and the wrong theme slows down woocommerce – but for those that think they are ALL SET and ready to go with Prestashop out of the box – think again:

    Yes, prestashop already have EAN numbers and Wholesale prices in the core. They do have some more core functionality – but I can’t say enough how many times you STILL need something more.. And what do you do then? You develop or purchase prestashop modules.

    Prestahshop modules is the same as Woocommerce plugins. And if they are badly coded – the site will slow down.

    And believe me – it’s insane how much easier it is to fix things in Woocommerce, than it is on Prestashop. If you are not a developer, or can afford $1000-2000 / year in prestashop maintenance – stay away.

    My shops have now ran on Prestashop 1.6 for many years.. Prestashop 1.7 was released a couple of years back – I still have not updated. Why you ask? Because it’s easier to start from scratch than to update.

    Don’t get me wrong, I really love what Prestashop has given me over the years. It’s the core of my income source, and I will always know to come back to that platform if woocommerce fails me. But I don’t think it will. I am pretty sure the speed won’t be an issue.

    As with all platforms of either cms’s, erp’s or ecommerce systems – you need to be careful, and think twice before you do any changes. And test, test, test, test everything before you launch anything new.

    That’s my thoughts of comparing two great ecommerce solutions.
    They are the same – but with different possibilities, depending on who is going to run the stores.

    1. Woocommerce is more on the easy/basic side, while PrestaShop is more advanced, and thus has more functions and is more complicated to use.

      They are both amazing software, but at the end of the day one has to pick the one that more suits ones needs.

      One thing is for sure, being WordPress and WooCommerce more popular it’s easier to find freelancers for a help and cheaper addons.

  3. Marcos Nakamine Avatar
    Marcos Nakamine

    Really good article.

    1. Thanks, I really appreciated your comment!

  4. Robin Kukken Avatar
    Robin Kukken

    Hi Ivan,

    What an amazing article, very well-written!

    I do have a question for you tho.
    Currently I’m building my own webshop using WooCommerce. The website is hosted by WordPress.com itself. Are their servers fast or will they slow my webshop down compared to a SupportHost server or any other business?
    I can’t really find an answer anywhere to my question so maybe you know the answer?

    I’d love to hear from you!

    Kind regards,
    Robin Kukken from Reneed

    1. Hello Robin, thanks for asking.
      There is only one way to know for sure.

      Get a trial hosting plan (it’s free for 14 day, no obbligation) and upload your website. Let us know about the results, I’d love to help you test it (if you contact us via the contacgt form a member of the staff can give you my personal email.

  5. Serkan Avatar

    Hi, I’m really appreciated your article. Can you please tell us a few beautiful and not tiring themes. And do you have a list of should not be used plugins? Thank you so much again.

    1. Hello Serkan, thanks for taking the time to comment.

      You can find info about themes here: https://supporthost.com/wordpress-themes/

      You can find more info on plugins here: https://supporthost.com/plugins-slow-down-wordpress/

  6. Cintia Avatar

    Hi Ivan!
    I was impressed by the peak memory usage in your article, and looking for better performance in my websites. Normally on my sites that number is never below 50mb. So I asked for a free trial for 14 days of a semi-dedicated hosting at supporthost, I installed WP + Woocommerce + Storefront, but I don’t have the same results as in your article: it doesn’t go below 46mb of memory and the number of queries are also higher. I only uploaded the 20 sample products that Woocommerce comes with. What could be the difference? What am I doing different?

    1. Hello Cintia, thanks for commenting. Things change in time. It might be that the script is now a bit different and uses more ram, or that you didn’t configure litespeed cache correcly. I checked your trial website and it’s incredibly fast, which is the important element, having a fast website is important

  7. You tested it wrongly. I don’t know how your mind works. But testing single product page will not affect performance even you have 100millions product.

    The real performance issue is when you do search and filtering the products.

    1. Of course it doesn’t. But reading in different facebook groups there was a conviction that too many products slow down woocommerce, which is completely false as shown here

      1. Because you don’t test searching product. For most ecommerce site, the highest conversion rate is when user do search. That’s why all ecommerce make search bar so prominent.

        Then having many products does indeed slow woocommerce site when searching is used.

  8. Johannes Gangsö Avatar
    Johannes Gangsö

    Thanks for enlightening a common misconception about Woocommerce being inherently slow. Woocommerce is a powerful tool in good hands (read: with a good tech partner).

    I’d like to point out another misconception which is that lack of core functionality and the high number of plugins as a natural consequence thereof plays a significant role in performance.

    The issue is obviously more nuanced than that. One shitty plugin will cause more harm than 60 well curated ones. Naturally there is the correlation between the number of plugins and the amount of static resources requested, but that is something a good tech partner can handle without problems.

    The key question here, too, is “why” do the numerous plugins make the site slow. 🙂 There is hardly a generic answer to that.

    I’ve got recently more convinced that Woocommerce should never be chosen because it’s somehow “free” or cheap. If you want cheap and fast, go with SaaS solutions such as Shopify. If you’re unsure whether the SaaS solution is flexible enough for your future needs, partnering with a good Woocommerce partner might be just right choice. 🙂

    1. Yes, this is such a common misconception that became almost true.
      I totally agree with you, a good tech partner can easily solve all the problems, and will also allow you to take advantage of the unlimited customization you can have with woocommerce.

      I have another post where I write about the plugins that slow WordPress down, and it’s definitely not the number of plugins, but how they are coded that is slowing a website down.

      I personally do not like a SaaS solution (in general) as the data is not yours, you are limited to the customizations they allow, and you have a single point of failure: if the SaaS decides they don’t like you they can shut down your account, and you have to start from scratch.

      In my opinion, you only have a business if you own the data.

      With an open source solution like WordPress + WooCommerce you own the data and you have complete control. If a hosting providers shuts you down you have unlimited hosting providers that can host your website.
      Furthermore you can customize it however you want.

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