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I've heard that Magento's (all versions) Categories/Subcategories logic is slow, and resource intensive if you have lots of categories. I've got over 2500 categories and probably will be adding more. My site loads very slow now, and I'm starting to get concerned and worried. I pinpointed the slowness to the cateogylist.phtml and sidebar menu.

Question: Can Magento handle this many categories and process sidebar navigation efficiently?

I have heard from several developers that Magento is a slow dog if you have many categories.

Please advise.

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I've had similar problem in past. Mine was actually a bit anecdotal, because it was caused by a third-party theme, which loaded category tree three times (once for desktop main menu, once for category tree and once of responsive main menu element). They were all relatively slow, but having all three was catastrophic.

Eventually I solved it with cached pre-built html blocks. This solution is somewhat theme specific, but hopefully it's enough to get you started.

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  • Agree with this. It sounds like your side bar is rendering on each load, which would kill your site. Install aoe_profiler, and determine if this is the case. Also is the sidebar from custom code (ie not core)? Also, you do have flat tables enabled?
    – ProxiBlue
    Oct 26, 2014 at 23:33
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Even if your theme is optimized, you need cache the page to avoid reprocessing on each request.

Extensions like Super Page Speed or others FPC can help you a lot with that.

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