Shopify speed optimization affects dramatically the customer’s behavior, conversion rate, and your profits. The reason is that if the website loads more than 3-4 seconds, an average customer will abandon it and go anywhere else, searching for a faster website.

Such customer behavior turns improvement of the Shopify e-commerce website into a quest for speed – and the winner takes it all: higher Google rankings, more customers, and consequently, more profits. Let’s discover how you can win this game and stay on top. Firstly, let’s speak of the tools that will help you analyze the effectiveness of your website and know the current state of affairs.

How to Check Your Shopify Store Performance

Here we advise using analysis tools to measure the efficiency of your e-commerce website. Below you can find a list of the popular analytics programs that deserve your attention:

  • Google PageSpeed Insights (PSI). PSI is a great tool for general performance analysis and gaining an overall insight into your store’s productivity. 
  • GTmetrix. Business owners adore this instrument for its complex test and detailed report. To get more advantages, we recommend you to register a free account. 
  • WebPage Test. Currently, this tool is one of the most helpful and accurate one when it comes to Shopify performance optimization.
  • Uptrends. Being pretty basic, this tool is sufficient enough to give you a comprehensive impression of how optimized your Shopify store is. The thing about Uptrends is that it offers 35 locations to inspect your website’s performance.

In order to get more accurate result, you can use several tools together to run the performance analysis and get an overall picture. If after running analysis you’ve found any issues with your Shopify store performance, keep calm! Proceed with reading the article, and you’ll find salvation!  

When it comes to the need to optimize the Shopify online store, there is neither a full access to the platform’s source code, nor is it possible to customize third-party functionality. What to do? Read here!

Most Common Shopify Performance Issues and What to Do With Them

Shopify has many performance bottlenecks that professional developers always improve, and therefore many methods to deal with them were invented. Below we’ve compiled a list of the most viable techniques. Let’s review them in detail:

#1 Too many Shopify apps installed

Every app you add to your store is an additional burden for the website. The more apps you install – the more requests are being sent to the server, and, consequently, the more time it will take for your website to be loaded. 

Solutions:

  • Run an audit of all the installed apps and sort them. Probably, you’ll find that some applications aren’t so necessary. So, you can carefully remove them from the store. To do this right, learn thoroughly support documentation and uninstall instructions.
  • As for the applications which you find useful and necessary for the website – you can optimize them by merging all the app’s stylesheets into one single file. 
  • Keep in your mind the following: even if you disable a particular application, its JS and CSS files are still running, consuming resources and making a website load slower. Therefore, consider removing them completely from your store. 

As for the future – give your preference to the trusted application providers only. You should also fully test your website before and after installing every app – so you can figure out the affection of the particular app on your website performance.  

 

#2 Large number of HTTP-requests

While opening any web page, it is rendered element by element, and each of which sends a separate HTTP request to the server. The more complicated the webpage is, the more elements it contains, such as CSS and JS files, images, texts, and so on. On average, each request takes around 20 ms to be executed, and consequently the more requests – the longer the page loads. 

Solutions: 

To solve this problem you can turn to caching and minification. Caching is a mandatory feature when it comes to the pages with a large amount of data: videos, images, and so on. So, if you cache the data, the server does not regenerate it every time the user lands the website. Caching is a nifty trick to speed up the data receiving process and relieving the server load.

With regard to minification – that’s a process of removing unnecessary and redundant code (such as comments and formatting symbols) and renaming too long variables into short ones. Then processed code is merged into one single file. In order to minify your code you can turn to online resources such as CSS Minifier and JavaScript Minifier.

#3 Non-optimized images

On average, images take over 50% of the overall page weight, and thus they play an essential role in the site loading speed. The customers like high-quality pictures, unlike your server. In such a case, Shopify image optimization comes to the rescue. 

Solutions:

  • Use CSS sprites. This step reduces the number of requests to the server and, consequently, optimizes your Shopify store – instead of downloading all images one-by-one (1 HTTP request per copy), the CSS sprite loads one large image sending only one request to the server. CSS, in turn, allows the display of each element separately throughout the page. You can easily generate your own set of sprites at SpritePad.
  • Utilize the WebP image format. Changing the format of your current images is one more surefire way to affect product images for the Shopify e-commerce platform. Google recommends addressing the WebP – an image format that is designed specifically for the web and provides superior lossless compression. Use online services such as Online Convert, WebP Converter, Egzif to convert your images into WebP.
  • Compress the images. This step allows to reduce the burden on the server. You can run such online tools as TinyPNG, TinyJPG, Compress JPEG and many more to compress your images without any distortion and loss in quality. All you need to do is to drop your files, wait for a while and finally download the compressed images to be published. As for already published images compression – you can use Image Optimizer and Crush.pics Shopify extensions.

 

#4 Utilizing slow, unresponsive theme

The selection of the theme for your website is a real cornerstone which directly affects the website speed. To check whether your store theme is fast and responsive, run a separate Shopify performance test of the theme through any of the tools listed above. Focus on three parameters: page weight, number of HTTP requests, and time to load. In case there are any issues with them, proceed with reading the following section.

Solutions: 

  • Look for any theme updates from its provider and install them to your store.
  • When choosing a theme for the store, make sure it’s responsive. It makes tons of sense since nowadays around 60% of traffic comes from mobile devices, and customers want to get the best mobile shopping experience possible. 
  • If any improvements needed, you have three options. The first one is to change the current theme’s code. The second option is to search for a new theme, perfectly optimized and responsive. And the third option is creating a brand new custom Shopify theme. 

As for the duration of Shopify performance optimization – it depends on the number of issues found while analysis. On average, it takes from half an hour to several weeks.  

 

Final Thoughts

If you think that the Shopify site optimization process is tough – that’s true. Nevertheless, your efforts in this field will be rewarded handsomely, since good performance is key to the better Shopify conversion optimization, and, consequently, higher profits! Don’t hesitate to make your store stronger – find a reliable Shopify service provider today, and bring your store to the next level of success and profits!