Shopify Ecosystem

How To Speed Up Your Shopify Store

how-to-speed-up-your-shopify-store

With every app and customization added to a website, its site speed suffers. Think of it as buying a home; before making the final payment, you should already know that you’ll need to make regular maintenance to make sure it stays in prime condition. So, you’ll probably ask your real estate agent for a list of the best maintenance companies in the area. 

Now back to eCommerce and Shopify stores, with every app or customization modification, your site speed slows down a little, and you’ll need the best maintenance company to bring it up. EcomExperts is a team of proficient Shopify experts and developers committed to improving Shopify store speed. With over 3 years of experience in Shopify site speed optimization, we have managed to crack site speed, recording over 90+ speed on our client’s stores.

What’s even better, we have achieved this high number using only legitimate techniques that in no way bypass or cheat Google speed. 

Speeding Up Your Shopify Store

In the last couple of years, the internet has become increasingly faster, and with ever-advancing technology, this change comes as no surprise. 

Site speed is critical when it comes to managing your e-business, but despite this, store speed has slowed down from 7.36 seconds to 8.56 seconds in a year.

The world is increasingly fast-paced; customers are always on the move juggling their lives, families and careers. There’s really no time in their busy schedules to wait for a slow Shopify page to load. 

In e-commerce, every second is critical; it can take a customer one second to decide to place an order or leave your store. 

Did you know that each additional second it takes your page to load increases its bounce rate? A slow-loading page may cost you in more ways than one. Customers are unlikely to return to a slow site. This will affect your bottom line.

What do the statistics say? 57% of shoppers will leave your store if it doesn’t load after three seconds. 79% of customers are unlikely to return to a store with slow speed. 64% of mobile users expect a page to load in under four seconds, while 47% of desktop users expect a page to load in under two seconds.

What does this mean for you as an online store owner? It means less converting, less traffic, and less revenue.

You have worked hard to build your site. Don’t let all those valuable hours of planning, designing, and adding content go to waste with a low Shopify page speed. 

The good news is there’s a solution. We, at Ecomexperts, are here to help you with a guide on how to speed up Shopify.

Shopify Page Speed Optimization

Ecomexperts has developed a tool to gauge your Shopify speed. TestMyStoreSpeed is a Shopify speed test that analyzes your Shopify store loading time (speed). TestMyScoreSpeed examines your collection, product, and cart pages, letting you know what actions to take to achieve Shopify speed optimization. It will also help you find apps you thought you deleted but are still there, resulting in restored bandwidth for your store. What’s even better, TestMystorespeed is completely free. 

This Shopify speed checker will provide you with a detailed website analysis report that identifies all performance issues you should correct to enhance your page loading speed.

TestMyStoreSpeed is a Shopify speed analyzer with an app checker. It will give you an exhaustive list of apps you’ve installed that may be affecting your store’s performance. This will include apps you thought you deleted but still exist in your code. Make sure this list of apps contains only apps that you’re currently using.

TestMyScoreSpeed is an extremely useful tool to have because, unlike other speed checkers that only analyze your home page, it gives you a breakdown of the performance of your home, collection, product, and cart pages. Further, it doesn’t just list the problems with your pages; it also provides step-by-step instructions to fix the issues. With TestMyStoreSpeed, you’ll also receive a performance history to show you when your speed problems developed.

Why Do You Need To Speed Up Your Shopify Store

Why do you need a fast website? A fast site is necessary and directly related to sales and conversions. Don’t believe us? Look at these statistics:

  • AliExpress made their store faster in 2016 and received 10.5% more sales.
  • Amazon discovered in 2010 that for every 100 ms of latency, they lost 1% in sales.
  • According to Akamai’s research, every second it takes to load a page results in a 7% decrease in conversions.

How to Speed Up Your Shopify Store

There are several tips and strategies to influence your Shopify speed score, and there are also easy fixes that anyone can use to make their speed score even better.

Theme Selection

One of the most significant determinants of page speed is the theme you’ve chosen for your store. So if you’re new to online store ownership and you haven’t yet chosen a Shopify theme, consider this. Why are some themes faster than others? There are a few factors:

  • The theme’s file size. Smaller themes tend to run faster.
  • Amount of coding. The server processes less coding more quickly.
  • The site renders faster with cleaner CSS and in-line CSS
  • They don’t have to access the JQuery or JavaScript library.

These qualities allow themes to render faster from the server and take the stress off the web browser for easy assembly of the page in less time.

When choosing themes, people go for aesthetics and customizability, often overlooking speed, but speed has the ability to make or break your business.

Make sure you choose a responsive theme, which will translate well to both desktop and mobile devices.

In a recent publication, Ecomexperts ranked the top 100 fastest Shopify themes. The top 15 highest-performing themes had a Shopify speed score average of 83.8, with an average load time of 2.8 seconds, with the very top scores being 95 or better with under 2.5 seconds load time. Notably, the fastest themes were Native Shopify themes, with five themes in the top 15. According to the study’s data, Sunrise, Avon, and Kalles were the top three themes with scores of 99.

The data was further broken down into page types: home page, product page, collection page, and cart page. 

Home Page

A fast home page is crucial because it is often the first glimpse into your store. If you don’t have a brick-and-mortar store, your home page is your storefront. It should be well-designed, easy to navigate, and clearly show what the customer is looking for. If shoppers must wait beyond three seconds, there’s a 40% chance you will lose them to your competition. The fastest home page was Maker, with a desktop score of 100.

Product Page

You want a fast product page because your products are what the shopper is most interested in. 79% of customers will not return to a slow site. The fastest product pages were Symmetry, Cascade, Kingdom, and express, with scores of 99.

Collection Page

Speed influences your Google rankings. This means the faster your site, the higher you’ll rank. The higher you rank, the more traffic you’ll get in your store. To keep your competition at bay, create a fast-loading collection page. Motion, Debut, Kingdom, and Simple were the fastest collection pages with scores of 99.

Cart Page

A lagging cart page may lead customers to believe that your site isn’t functioning healthily enough to process a transaction correctly. We all know how nerve-wracking it is when a site takes too long to process a payment. Do you push the Purchase button again (don’t do it!)? Do you wait for your computer to finish thinking? How long is this going to take?

You need a fast and smoothly running cart page for your store because your shopper is on the verge of making that pivotal purchasing decision that will generate a sale. 

The highest cart page score was Debut, at 100.

To determine whether you have a fast-running theme, you can run your theme preview page through Google Page Speed Insight. TestMyScoreSpeed is working on a feature that will tell you whether or not you have a fast-loading theme.

Compress Images

Images that are not sized correctly or have strange formats can slow down your page speed. Yet you need them for customers who want to see what they’re buying. The best thing to do is to compress your images. You can do this easily on an online site, where you simply drag and drop or select files to be compressed. In terms of fast loading, JPEG is the best format to use.

If each product on your page isn’t optimized, there could be hundreds of images slowing down your page. Even if the pictures look small, they could contain large quantities of data that you can compress to increase your speed. 

When you are compressing images, there are several things to be aware of:

  • File size: indicates the weight of an image. Compression is when you reduce file size.
  • Image dimensions: length and width of an image, measured in pixels.
  • Image resolution: image quality. Resolution is measured in pixels per inch. The higher the number of pixels, the better quality of the image.

Image dimension counts the pixels in a specified length and width, while image resolution counts the number of pixels per inch. Two images may have the same dimensions but different resolutions. Knowing the difference between the two will help you get an idea of the dimensions you need to preserve your images’ quality. If you have consistent file sizes and dimensions, it will help your site load faster. Images generally shouldn’t be larger than 70kb.

Don’t Use Image Sliders

An image slider is a way to display many images of an item. Avoid using image sliders altogether. Not only do they add unnecessary images, but they are bad for SEO and load poorly on a mobile device because they push your content down.

Combine and Minimize Files to Lower Server Response Time

Fewer elements on your page mean fewer HTTP requests and a faster page. If you’re using a slow DNS, it will take your customers more time to find your store. You may want to consider switching to a faster DNS service to meet the demands of your customers.

Minimize Redirects

If you must use redirects on your site, minimize them. Each redirect is a request to the server that elongates load time. Retailers frequently keep redirects from the old links to the new ones. Once your shoppers are accessing the new URLs, you should remove the redirects.

Reduce Round Trips

Lower the number of round trips to the server by combining several files. You can combine multiple JavaScript files into one file and then access the server, rather than accessing several files separately. The browser will make only one request instead of making many trips, which reduces load times. You can use CSS Sprites to allow multiple images to load in one request.

Dimensions of Images

If you specify your images’ height and width, the browser will make placeholders for the images. If you don’t do this, the browser has to load the image entirely before doing anything else. This ends up being more time-consuming. If you make height and width specifications, the browser will know the image’s size and make room for it while loading other parts of the page.

Utilize Caching Technology

Use caching technology to avoid accessing a database. Such technologies can store site search indexes, customer information, and e-commerce product catalog, which would prevent calling the database.

Shrink the Page Size

Page size includes all elements on a page: CSS, Javascript, and images. Using large images or objects can slow down your page speed. Keep this in mind when building your pages. You can measure your page by saving it on your computer as a web archive folder off the browser.

Improve Your Site Speed Now!

Site speed is something you can’t ignore. In fact, site speed makes a lot of difference between a successful ecommerce store and an unsuccessful one. As a Shopify merchant, it is important that you check your Shopify site speed regularly and make the necessary modifications where necessary. 

To check your store speed, simply go to TestMyStoreSpeed.com. It will tell you everything you need to know about performance, any lingering apps, page breakdown, recommendations, and performance history.

If you do find a problem with your store, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at EcomExperts, we’ll get your page speed up to 90+ score in no time. 

This blog was written by Andrew Durot. Andrew Durot lives and breathes ecommerce. After his time at Airbnb, he founded EcomExperts.io— a world-leading speed performance agency. Andrew and his team specialize in Shopify store speed and site performance.

Special thanks to our friends at PushOwl for their insights on this topic.
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