A Complete Guide to Shopify Speed Optimization for eCommerce Businesses

A Complete Guide to Shopify Speed Optimization for eCommerce Businesses

Article by DesignRush DesignRush
Last Updated: September 16, 2022

Shopify is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms today, occupying about 20% of the market. Till January 2022, in the US alone, there are almost 2.6 million online stores that use Shopify as the platform.

A Shopify site is a must for business owners trying to succeed with an online store. However, like most other websites on different platforms, a Shopify site needs to be optimized for higher speed. A slow Shopify site will negatively affect the store by bringing down its credibility and revenue potential.

This article will take readers through Shopify speed optimization, throwing light on the tips and practices that can promise the best possible user experience.

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Shopify Speed Optimization: What's Already in Store?

Before we move on to the tips on optimizing a Shopify website's speed, it is essential to be aware of what you can already expect.

One of the advantages of Shopify is that the store already comes with some out-of-the-box speed optimization. As a result, Shopify sites are faster than other platforms and solutions.

Once you have created a new Shopify website, you will enjoy certain performance features such as:

  • Browser Caching – Shopify can cache your site's internal resources by default. Caching allows a part of your content in the form of images, CSS etc., to be stored locally within the users' browsers. This facility speeds up the store as users can see some content faster than earlier. This implies they need not be re-downloaded while viewing the same resource twice.
  • CDN – Shopify uses Fastly CDN or Content Delivery Network, which allows some of the site's content to be stored on servers worldwide. This decreases the physical distance between the users and the site's content, improving the site's performance.

Why Does Shopify Site Speed Matter?

Optimization is vital for any website and even more so for eCommerce sites because it directly affects sales. As per research, as many as 40% of online shoppers leave a website that takes longer than four seconds to load. The acceptable load time is two seconds.

That is why your Shopify website's speed matters a lot, and it's a good idea to test the load time of the pages and optimize accordingly to make a significant difference to your sales conversions and customers' experiences.

5 Tips to Speed Up Shopify Website

Here are a few tips and related recommendations for speeding up the Shopify website:

1. Use Compressed Images

Images are indispensable when it comes to increasing the website’s visual appeal. Regarding an online store, a well-placed image of each product is necessary so that customers know exactly what to expect when they make a purchase.

However, high-resolution images are large files, which can slow down page load speeds to a great extent. On the other hand, one cannot compromise the image quality. So, here are a few recommendations for you:

  • Opt for a lossless compress using a tool like JPEGmini to compress the image before uploading them to a website.
  • If the images are already uploaded, use any Shopify apps that help compress the images in a Shopify store.
  • It is ideal for uploading images of the exact dimension required for the page. This is because image size depends on the quality and dimension of the picture.
  • The Shopify recommended product image dimension is 2048*2048, but if multiple images are used, then 800*800 images would work fine.

2. Optimize the Use of Shopify Apps

When you build an eCommerce site on Shopify, you must use many third-party apps. But most apps run scripts on web pages, reducing the Shopify page speed. So, it is best to delete the ones that are not used.

However, once an app is uninstalled, it does not disappear completely. So, here are some of the recommendations to follow:

  • The injected app does not get eliminated just as it is uninstalled. So, to prevent the code from slowing down Shopify, the apps need to be manually removed.
  • Some apps add new elements to the Shopify store pages. You need to restrict these elements to pages unless necessary. For instance, if the app provides floating trust badges on the store, you should use them only on product pages where they are required.

3. Implement AMP

AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Pages, was created by Google to speed up mobile apps. The app converts some sections of a Shopify store to AMP. It also indexes the pages with Google to facilitate instant page load time, higher placements on mobile search results, and faster mobile page loading.

AMP enables Shopify sites to be mobile-friendly so that every page loads with lightning speed. However, it would help if you remembered that one could not natively implement AMP in Shopify. For this, one has to use apps such as Shop Sheriff, RocketAmp Apps, or FireAMP.

Implementing AMP requires little work but is worth the ultimate result: fast loading pages on mobile.

4. Seek Professional Guidance

The Shopify developers best handle a few issues to optimize the Shopify site speed. Some of these are:

  • Getting Rid of the Render-Blocking CSS and JavaScript – In CSS/JavaScript-heavy websites, some batches of CSS code and JS can increase the page load time while also blocking the rendering of the page. The browser has to load the CSS and JS scripts before loading the rest of the HTML on the web page.
  • Minifying the HTML and JavaScript – Every website loads several files with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The majority of these files include comments, space etc. Naturally, this requires the page to need extra time to load correctly. Experts need to compact the HTML code along with the inline JavaScript and CSS. This saves data, speeds up page loading and is best done by a professional.

5. Use a Single Hero Image

Several sites use sliders to display multiple product images. From a design perspective, it quickly gives potential customers an idea of what you sell while also adding to the site's visual appeal.

However, sliders also reduce the website speed because multiple high-quality images take time to load when the user clicks on the site link. There are chances for the visitors to bounce off the site even before the images load.

That is why; it is helpful to put a single high-quality hero image that captures the site's essence. It takes little time to load. You can also pair it with a clear CTA to let the users know what to expect from the site.

Resources to Help Optimize Shopify Site Speed

Apart from abiding by the tips mentioned above, you can also use additional ways that improve your Shopify site's performance. There are resources in the form of site speed tools that can help.

Some of the page speed testing tools to consider:

  • Pingdom
  • Think With Google
  • WebPageTest.org
  • Google Lighthouse
  • Chrome Dev Tools
  • Google Pagespeed Insights

There are specific image optimization tools like Optimizilla and Crush.pics that can help too.

Shopify Speed Optimization Takeaway

If you are looking forward to optimizing your Shopify store's speed, there are significant adjustments to make. Implementing lazy loading, reducing requests, and improving image optimization are great ways to ensure the site loads fast.

Shopify speed optimization improves performance and user experience for all digital channels. It would help if you considered the Shopify website costs before taking the steps towards speed optimization.

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