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Debugging WordPress on Azure with Z-Ray

We all know that WordPress is an amazingly rich, extendable and simple platform. That’s probably one of the reasons it powers so much of the web today. But in some cases this richness can be the downfall of your site. If you load too many plugins, for example, or alternatively – select that one theme that is too complex for your application, you might end up seeing heavy database queries and prolonged execution.

This means you need an easy, safe and reliable way to profile your WordPress app that will help you identify the bottlenecks slowing it down.

This article demonstrates a simple way to do just this. It describes how to debug a WordPress application deployed on Microsoft Azure’s web app service, using Z-Ray for Azure – a new technology that was announced a few months ago and is now in preview mode. While Z-Ray as a standlone tool for Azure developers is a new offering, Z-Ray in itself is not. Zend introduced it over a year ago as part of Zend Server. There are plenty of resources available on the web for understanding what Z-Ray is, but just so we’re all on the same page – here is a very short description.

Z-Ray is a debugging tool for PHP developers that provides information on what’s going on under the hood of your PHP apps, in your browser, and without having to change a thing in your code. Using Z-Ray Live!, developers can also profile non-browser based requests coming into the server as well, such as mobile and API requests. In addition to generic PHP information, Z-Ray also provides detailed information for specific apps and frameworks, such as WordPress, Magento, Drupal, Symfony, Laravel and Zend Framework. For more information on these features, this article provides a great overview.

Note: Before we begin, please note that to follow the steps below, you’ll need an active Microsoft Azure account (Free Trial).

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