Part of my startegy is to stick to out of the box functionality. So I have turned off the 3rd party swatches extension and turned on the Magento one.
It works great on the product page, but on the category page it is really slow, with it off, page loads in 1 seconds, with it on, it takes 30 seconds.
I have a massive catalog, 26000 simple product which make up 300 configurable product. But I have ESI cache systej, excellent server setup (all my pages load less than 2 seconds, including images);
I started doing some googling and found;
Also found this extension that specifically solves the issue:
Just wondering whether Magento know about the issue?
Are others experiencing it?
What are you doing to work around it?
Seems to me that with magento, it's near impossible to completely stick to out of the box functionality. Out of the box, it's border-line unusable.
At anyway, I found the same posts you did. The Ajax Swatches did nothing for me. It still seemed to be doing all the processing it was doing before and THEN doing the ajax on top of it. Additionally, sometimes the ajax would hang and the swatches would never show up. (Not often mind you, but if I run into it once, I have to assume with a lot of traffic, it's bound to show up at the wrong time and I lose a sale)
The solution in this your first link however did seem to help a little. My category pages showing 24 products was loading about 4-5 seconds. With this, it was coming in around 3.5 seconds. Still not ideal but pretty good for taking out 3 lines of cod
What backend cache are you using,
In using swatches there is significant additional processing in the category / layered navigation pages, if you are using the standard file based caching then you are going to struggle, my preference is for Redis Cache as it handles sessions and data
Additioanlly turn off the Category Counts this will remove a level of processing you really dont need.
You can swith this off in the following option.
Catalog > Layered Navigation > Display Product Count
I had the same issue with speed and ended up writing an extension that allows me to turn off the swatches for the category page, but keep them on for the product page. More info here: https://www.dwdonline.com/blog/configurable-swatches-slowing-magento-to-a-crawl.html