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Shopify speed optimization: Tips to implement it efficiently

Shopify speed optimization: Tips to implement it efficiently

Page speed is a Google ranking factor, but its influence isn’t limited to your organic visibility. For e-commerce sites, speed is always a concern because low page load times improve the user experience and, in turn, conversion rates. If you are running a Shopify e-Commerce website, the following tips can significantly increase your site’s loading speed.

1. Choose a Lightweight Shopify Theme

Choosing a fast and responsive theme can immediately put your site in an amazing position from a performance standpoint. Some templates might come with unnecessary bloat out of the box, putting your site at a performance disadvantage. Conversely, a more lightweight theme will set your website up for powerful performance moving forward.

Once you have chosen a fast theme, remember to check for an up-to-date copy of your theme and test the live preview of the theme. Run the theme preview page through Google PageSpeed Insight and see the recommendations to make that page faster. Also, remember to keep it up to date. Below you can find the top-performing themes our tests identified:

Of course, this is not to say that high-performing themes cannot be made slower or that these are the best options for your Shopify store. However, if speed optimization is top of mind for you, these might be the ones to determine to choose.

2. Reduce Image Dimensions

Resizing large image assets can be one of the effective solutions to speed up a Shopify site. While images are a great way of improving the UX and branding of your website, they often relate to a performance tradeoff. Image files are generally much larger in size than standard HTML or CSS. The result of using a huge number of images on the page can be a very heavy page weight that takes visitors longer to download than a less image-intensive page. You can use Shopify’s Image Resizer to diminish image dimensions.

Shopify speed optimization
  • First, navigate to Shopify’s Image Resizer tool.
  • Upload the photo you want to resize.
  • Then click “Submit.”

3. Limit Party Javascript and Shopify Apps

Similar to the other platforms, Shopify provides “Apps” that easily allows site owners to add features to their websites without requiring a developer background. Apps are a great way to augment your website’s abilities. The same goes for any extra third-party scripts. However, keep in mind that these additions come at a performance cost.

Every time you intergrade the apps or scripts to your website, this adds to the total number of requests your website is making. Additionally, the size of these scripts should be taken into consideration. Too many apps or third-party codes can reduce the performance of your store.

4. Improve Mobile Performance with AMP

Your store needs to be ready for users on mobile devices because they won’t hang around for a store that moves at a snail’s pace. Luckily, it’s easy to generate Accelerated Mobile Pages that load in the blink of an eye.

In fact, we found that people read AMP content for longer than they read standard web content. And the longer someone engages with your Shopify store, the more likely they are to purchase and they’ll buy more, too.

5. Streamline Your Shopify Store with Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager is a fantasy solution that assigns you to easily include and remove tags from your website without ever having to touch the code. It is an effective way to control all of your website’s tracking code in one place. As well, one of the great things about Google Tag Manager is that all of the code loads asynchronously. You can do this by following the below steps:

  1. Add Google Tag Manager to your Shopify website
  2. Move to Tags > New and search for built-in tags in “Tag Types” that you’re using on Shopify.
  3. Use these tags on Google Tag Manager
  4. If you didn’t find any built-in tag, you can select “Custom HTML” and add your tag
  5. Set your triggering suitably. Often times this is set to “All Pages”
  6. Publish your Google Tag Manager changes
  7. Move back to Shopify and remove any apps that you included via Google Tag Manager
  8. Move to your website and test that your new tags are working properly. You can do this using Google Tag Manager’s “Preview” mode

Determine moving tracking pixels such as Google Analytics, Hotjar, Facebook, and other third-party codes to Google Tag Manager.

6. Smooth Navigation by Reducing Redirects and Broken Links

The performance problem may occur due to too many redirects and broken links. The easiest solution to diminish the number of Redirects and Broken Links? Avoid unnecessary Redirects and solve the broken links.

For redirects

Unnecessary redirects generate performance and speed problems, and this can could affect the overall load time of the site. In Shopify, you can use 301 redirects by the built-in redirects function called “URL redirect.”

Shopify speed optimization

For Broken links

Broken links on your Shopify store can be hurtful which can improve your unnecessary HTTP requests and make a bad user experience. To find out and solve broken links across your store you use free tools like Broken Link Checker 

7. Use Hero Layout Instead of Using Sliders

Sliders have been common for a while, and people typically add 5-6 high-quality images to the slider, which improves the overall load time of the website. Research has shown it’s time to neglect them completely. Instead of a slider, use a single, high-quality Hero Layout image with a clear call to action. See Dropbox; they are using a hero layout. 

8. Replace Gifs with Static Images

An undeniable trend we’ve seen with the slower Shopify website is the utilization of GIFs. GIFs can be extremely useful as they offer a more interactive experience for customers. Once again, this can help improve your site from a UX and brand perspective.

However, GIF assets are extremely large. Using even just one GIF on a page can completely increase its size:

This single GIF asset accounts for 2.8MB 

We’ve seen instances where just using two or three GIFs has accounted for 10MB+ of a single page. These files significantly add to page weight so we suggest you replace them with static images where possible. This can result in significant resource savings and enhanced Shopify speed optimization.

9. Compress Images

Images can also be unoptimized when they are not compressed. It’s very popular to see Shopify stores where no compression has been used to upload images which leads to bigger image sizes than are crucial.

By utilizing compression, you can make sure that your image assets have much smaller file sizes than the original image. The smaller file size will enable browsers to load your site content faster.

When it comes to image compression, we prefer using a combination of these two ways

  • Shopify Apps: Some apps will automatically compress images upon upload.
  • Optimizilla: This helps you to manually compress large image assets before uploading to your site.

10. Reduce the HTTP Requests

Use HTTP Requests Checker tool by GiftOfSpeed to find out how many total HTTPS requests your webpage makes. You can diminish HTTP requests by doing the following:

  • Combine & inline your CSS scripts.
  • Inline smaller JavaScript’s.
  • Combine all JavaScript’s.
  • Minimize the use of design & functional images.
  • CSS image sprites.
  • Convert images to Base64 code.
  • Limit the number of social buttons.

Head over to this guide on How to make fewer HTTP requests.

11. Minify Assets to Improve Page Speed

Code can be scary to mess with. CSS (the code that controls how your Shopify store looks) and JavaScript (the code that controls how your store features) are important to running your website. But the file sizes are can be a burden. Lucky for you, there’s a process called “minification” that can minimize these file sizes by a TON.

Minification deletes excess white spaces (including newlines) in the code. Your Shopify website, which is a computer, doesn’t need white space to read code. They’re only in there for humans.

The effective way to reduce your asset files is to use a paid app like Plugin Speed. This app comes with a 7-day free trial; then it’s $39/month.

12. Upgrade your Shopify plan

Sometimes, a lack of hosting capacity is the only reason for a slow Shopify speed optimization. Usually, this occurs with websites seeing a growth in the traffic flow. According to the official data, Shopify hosting does not limit the store traffic or a number of product listings. And the capacity of the server automatically scales along with the rising requirements of the website. However, sooner or later, those super fast-growing website with only a basic Shopify subscription face performance problems

So, if you’ve already analyzed the whole website and still didn’t find the reason for the poor Shopify website performance, you should ponder upgrading your Shopify subscription plan. This move can potentially enhance the website load speed two times.

13. Implement lazy loading functionality

Lazy loading allows store visitors to load images as they scroll through your web page instead of all at once, which would result in longer upfront load times. “It’s actually exceptionally easy for developers to use in most cases,”

Start with these easy and practical suggestions for immediate enhancements in Shopify speed optimization. Which tip will you try first? Drop a comment below to tell us or to ask any questions you still might have. We’re here to help. Also, check out some useful Shopify tutorials, and our roundup of the best sale-boosting Shopify apps and Themes

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