I am working on a site where the home page loads pretty quickly however the categories pages are too slow.


This report shows that the "Wait" time is the highest, we have tried many options available with us to debug this, but failed. Can anyone give me pointers as to where this could be wrong. I can add much more details, however at this stage even I am not sure what may be needed to get it in the right direction. Kindly let me know and I shall provide more details.

7 Answers 7


You need to profile and find where the actual bottlenecks are. If your TTFB (time to first byte) is 32 seconds (wowzers) it means that Magento is taking a long time to render the page to be delivered to the browser.

I wholly agree with @MageWH that the issue is likely that you're loading product swatches. However, I see that these are all media cache images and that leads me to believe that you're probably calling Mage::getModel('catalog/product') in a loop. This is likely the source of your problem.

Vinai Kopp has a writeup about why you wouldn't want to do this and potential ways to avoid it:


Magento's Expert Consulting Group (ECG) also has a writeup about best practices to apply (and antipatterns to avoid) when building your store:


Liberally employing some block caches and a full page cache will only mask your real problem here. I think you should use some tools from ECG to find other potential problems:



Best of luck!

  • Thanks for this detailed comment, I shall go through each one of them and try and see if this fixes
    – skv
    Commented Jul 18, 2014 at 18:17
  • Looped Mage::getModel('catalog/product')->load(...) was the problem for me. Commented Jan 11, 2016 at 9:31

The page is slow because you are showing the color for every products and magento is very slow when has to work with the attributes

My recommendation is to remove the color swatch from the category page or install a cache system

  • I don't disagree with this.
    – philwinkle
    Commented Jul 18, 2014 at 17:41
  • I have checked through my admin, there are no plugins specifically doing this, can you point me at where I could check for any default settings which may be enabling this
    – skv
    Commented Jul 18, 2014 at 19:03

With so much ad-hoc profiling advice, only the best one suggests profiling the page. Let's go into more detail.

There is a built-in profiler in Magento.

  • Enable it in System > Configuration > Advanced > Developer > Debug > Profiler > Yes.
  • Edit the main index.php and add/uncomment Varien_Profiler::enable(); there.
  • To add SQL profiling, edit app/etc/local.xml and add <profiler>true</profiler> inside global/resources/default_setup/connection element.

You will start seeing profiler output at the bottom of the page. A good blog on it.

There is one another profiler by Fabrizio Branca.

It installs as a module. It is available on GitHub.

It has a better GUI and a template performance analysis tool.


If you are using 1.9.x.x with swatches then check this topic out.

Configurable swatches slow site down

I used the 1st answer and my load went from 25s to 10s. then I tried the 2nd answer which says to try https://github.com/wigman/AjaxSwatches and my load time went down to 3s.


My debug way would be,

disable all plugins in community, and look if the speed is better.

disable all plugins in local, and look if the speed is better.

Go back to the blank / default theme, and look if the speed is better.

I see that you are loading a lot of configurable products, in Magento there is a problem with the function isSalable it makes the products pages very slow. For a solution look to this, http://turnkeye.com/blog/magento-performance-optimization-configurable-products-2/


i don't know exactly what options you have enabled but these are compulsory:

  1. enable flat product and category tables
  2. enable full page cache option
  3. enable compilation option

(I have assumed your hardware is optimally configured and server setup is capable of running magento efficiently)


One of the methods to enhance the performance of Magento would be to install web accelerators like "Apachebooster". It enhances the cache using varnish and nginx and thereby reduces the site loading time. More details may be found from here

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