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How we broke our WooCommerce performance record 2022

On Thursday the 2nd of June 2022 our team successfully helped one of our clients do a flash sale in their shop that broke our previous order per second record.

What is a flash sale?

A flash sale is usually defined as a temporary sale / campaign that creates high demand over a short period of time, meaning that the amount of traffic will increase significantly over a short period of time.

Doing a flash sale means that the back-end performance of your site needs to be as high as possible so that you can serve as many potential customers as possible without the site crashing, as the huge amount of people trying to use the site puts loads of strain on the application and servers.

This marketing strategy is particularly used by many of our clients that are influencers that have started their own webshops. WooCommerce has given them the freedom to do what they want and follow their dreams at a very competitive price, and this type of marketing works very well for them.

Back-end performance matters

If the back-end performance is not good enough, the site will crash and produce error messages and be inaccessible as long as the hosting provider can provide the site with internet access.

A new record

This flash sale, thanks to the amazing marketing efforts of our client, produced astonishing results. The numbers are so high that it broke all of our internal records from 2018 with iDeal of Sweden (10 orders / second on Black Friday), and set a new record in maximum orders per second for WooCommerce for us. We’re visualising the orders per second, per minute, and per hour in the attached graphs.

  • Max orders per minute: 644
  • Max orders per second: 26
  • Max Transferred data (to browsers, total): 20 Gbits per second
  • Max Transferred data (HTML/JS/CSS to CDN): 2.126 Gbits per second

We do not want to expose the monetary gains achieved by our clients, but we can say that they were substantial.

How did we do it?

To be able to achieve these types of numbers, what’s important is to continuously work with performance. We run a tool called Blackfire that together with years of experience helps our great team to find the bottlenecks.

We’ve worked hard with using methods such as ESI (Edge side includes) and other methods to make sure cache invalidation is properly handled, but we’re also inventing methods to try to offload back-end performance on the platform level when using popular WordPress plugins as part of our hosting stack.

And oh, did I mention that we’ve built in all that we’ve learned in our Gutenberg-first MVP project Qala that you can do with us for a really competitive price? We’ve basically spent thousands of hours taking our best learnings and packaging them into a starter project so that even small businesses can get the benefits of what we’ve done while still being fully open source and customizable, together with a custom design put together by our design team.

Premium hosting

Having premium hosting is of course also extremely important. What is especially important is having a dedicated sysadmin that oversees the flash sale. That way, in case anything goes wrong, fixes can be applied quickly. The Angry creative group has its own hosting company with dedicated staff for premium hosting called Synotio, and the vertical integration between us means we’re able to do feats like this – and we’re very confident that we’ll not only repeat this feat together with the right client, we’ll exceed it.

Are you running a WooCommerce store and getting into trouble when traffic starts to scale? Reach out to us and we’ll help you out.

Or, are you an agency running a WooCommerce store that’s scaling and getting hard to deal with it? Reach out to us and we’ll figure something out together where everyone wins.