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How to Speed Up a Shopify Website?

How to Speed Up a Shopify Website?

Running a successful business on Shopify can be quite a task. There are many aspects that need to be taken care of and most of them require your time, attention, and expertise.

One of the aspects that need attention is the speed of your store. In this article, we will show you how you can speed up your Shopify store to improve conversions and keep your customers happy.

What is Page Speed?

Page speed is defined as the time it takes for a user’s browser to fully render an HTML web page. This includes all content of the webpage, including images and scripts. It’s important to understand that the page speed metric is for that specific page, not the entire website.

Why is a Fast Ecommerce Store Important?

A fast store is important because it affects the user experience for your potential customers. In fact, slower websites have higher bounce rates and lower conversion rates.

Slow websites are a serious problem for businesses. This is because they lead to customer dissatisfaction, and nobody wants their business to be associated with that sort of negative sentiment.

How Do I Know if My Site has a Problem?

There are many tools available online, which allow you to get an estimate for how long it will take for any page on your website to load. You can then see where there are bottlenecks in the page load and decide what can be done to improve it.

person looking at a computer screen intently

Top Recommendations for Improving Shopify Page Speed

1.) Optimize & compress images

Compress any images that you use on your site to reduce the size of image files. However, make sure not to compress them too much as it will lower their quality and impact load time. You can compress images by using Adobe Photoshop, TinyPNG, or any other photo editing software.

It’s also important to make your images the correct size. If they’re too big, then they will take longer to load and display on your page. There’s no need to upload a 5000 x 5000 image if you only need a 100 x 100 thumbnail.

Speaking of big, take a look at our post on how to speed up your BigCommerce website!

screen shot of image optimizer program

2.) Use browser caching

One way we can reduce load times is by using our browser’s cache feature, which stores copies of webpages locally rather than downloading them each time they’re needed. This means that if you visit the same page more than once, your browser will load it from its cache instead of downloading it all over again.

google left open on a laptop

3.) Implement accelerated mobile pages (AMP)

AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is a relatively new open-source project that aims to create fast, easy mobile web browsing with content written in HTML.  Implementing AMP can speed up your Shopify website and make it faster for customers to find the products they are looking for!

4.) Reduce round trips

A great way to lower the number of round trips you make with your server is by combining several files into one. If all these files are related, then this should save a lot on bandwidth and time! You see, the browser will reduce load times simply by making just one request.

a computer with an arrow going to a server and a server with a arrow going to the computer

5.) Use a CDN for assets not on Shopify servers

A Content Delivery Network (CDN), like Cloudflare, takes content and duplicates it across servers around the world for faster loading. When a user makes a request to load your webpage, the CDN will redirect them to the server that is geographically closest to them, which saves time because they can download your page in a quicker amount of time.

Cloud Flare logo

6.) Minify CSS/JavaScript

When pages are loading slowly on your Shopify website, you might want to take a look at some of the more technical aspects of how your site is constructed. One common issue with slow page load times can be attributed to code bloat.

Code bloat happens when developers include unnecessary lines or files into their code, which slows down page-loading time for visitors who don’t require all those features! Luckily there are tools like YUI Compressor or CleanCSS, which help remove such extra code from your webpages to make them lighter and faster. Our Shopify developers are trained in identifying code bloat!

7.) Use a fast theme

A theme is the foundation of your site, and it can make or break a business. Most people don’t care about speed when they are choosing themes for their website because aesthetics matter more to them than anything else. However, if you want any success with your online presence, then you need to have fast-loading pages.

When you’re running a shop on Shopify, it’s very likely that the theme that you’re using is slowing down your website. This happens for two main reasons: either the theme was not designed with speed in mind or the code of the theme has been poorly optimized, which involves unnecessary files.

To avoid this problem, be sure to use themes from coders that have speed at the forefront of their philosophy. It’s also important to note that not all themes work well on both desktop and smartphones. As such, spend some time finding a responsive Shopify theme that works on any device!

Shopify bag on someone's head riding a scooter

8.) Cache web fonts

Web fonts are downloaded every time they visit a page, which increases load time. Luckily, we can get around this issue by caching web fonts, which will store the font in your browser’s cache so that it doesn’t have to be downloaded each time you visit a page.

google fonts search results

9.) Analyze your website with Google’s PageSpeed Insights

The PageSpeed Insights tool is the perfect way to see what areas of your Shopify website need improvement. This handy tool will give you a score for how well-optimized and fast your pages are. The site even ranks your pages on a scale from 0 (no optimization) to 100 (perfectly optimized)!

Person doing webpage speed tests on a computer

10.) Minimize redirects & broken links

Interference between your Shopify website and the user’s browser can lead to slower loading time. This happens when, for example, there are many redirects or links that don’t work leading up to a page on your site which makes it difficult for the visitor to find what they’re looking for.

computer with a 404 page on the screen

11.) Don’t use image sliders

You know that image slider you have on your store? Yeah, it’s not doing much for speeding up the loading time of your site. This is because images load one by one and this can be a long process if there are many slides in the slide show! If you want to keeper your slider, then at least use lazy loading or an image slider that preloads so users don’t have to wait for each slide to load.

screenshot of image sliders

12.) Use fewer apps

When it comes to optimizing for speed, we want to limit the number of different apps that are running on our Shopify stores. The more scripts an app runs in the background, the slower your website will load, so you might need to take some time off from using certain applications.

13.) Use lazy loading functionality

Some Shopify themes come with lazy loading functionality that will only load the code and content on a page as they are needed. This means there’s less need for your browser to download it all upfront before displaying anything, which can speed up web pages!

Final Thoughts on Speeding Up Your Shopify Store

Phew! That was a long list of ways to speed up your Shopify store. I hope this article has been useful for you and that you’re able to implement these tips to make your store run smoothly and efficiently!  In any case, slow loading times can be avoided with the right tools and knowledge, so don’t settle for them without trying all of the tricks above first!

Disclaimer: WebCitz, LLC does not warrant or make any representations concerning the accuracy, likely results, or reliability of the information found on this page or on any web sites linked to from this page. This blog article was written by Timothy A in his or her personal capacity. The opinion(s) expressed in this article are the author's own and may not reflect the opinion(s) of WebCitz, LLC.