Alright I need some help here.

I am commonly asked to speed up certain sections of some websites that I program for. I have yet to be able to figure out how to use a good php diagnosis/profiling tool. Some things to consider:

  1. The sites I am working on are already built, getting a testing server set up locally is just a huge pain..I have to rewrite include paths and just so many things. This is a results oriented deal and spending days to get a site fully working on a testing platform so I can debug one page probably isn't an option.
  2. I can write tons of php, but I have no clue how to interact or mess with servers. So every tutorial I read about setting up xdebug or xhprof all seem to involve getting something installed on a production server that I don't have access to or have no clue how to work with.

So are there any solutions out there that will show me where my php is slow without having to do all sorts of server stuff that I just don't know how to do? Xhprof seems to be the closest to useable for me but from what I can tell it still has to be installed on a server.

If anyone can just point me in the right direction on this I would be very grateful. Maybe getting these things put on the server isn't a big deal...but I have never interacted with server command lines or anything like that. I suppose I should start sometime but I really have no idea where to start.

Plus I realize that profiling on a live platform is not the greatest idea either but I feel I am in a tough spot. I have speed issues to solve and setting up a local environment while a great idea, just doesn't seem real practical at the moment.