I get a lot of requests to optimize and make a Shopify store faster.
Everyone can understand the frustrations that come with a slow site. You have seen the news and know that every second in speed is a lost sale. It’s not just annoying for customers but also bad for business. But conversely, a fast website means more sales and better customer satisfaction.
I have included 7 amazing tips that will help you increase the speed of your website. In addition, I have all the tricks you need to improve performance, from speeding up your images to using a CDN. So, sit back, relax and read on!
Why is loading time important for Shopify stores?
To understand why website loading time is so important, you need to understand a few basic concepts. If the customer has to wait for more than 5 seconds to see your product on the site, they will probably go back and look for another option. That’s why it’s so essential that your Shopify store is up and running at all times.
The best way to figure out if your store is loading quickly enough is by using Google Analytics. I know this may shock some of you. Don’t get me wrong sites like PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix are awesome sites and I use them a lot as well, but for the best and most accurate information Google Analytics is the best. It will give you insights into how long it takes for people to start looking at your products, which means the website has loaded. Then, having recorded this information, check it frequently to see if there are any changes in the loading time.
Best Ways to Make Your Shopify Store Faster
Let’s face it – there are many things that can slow down your site speed. For example, images and the amount of sections on the page can all effect how the site loads. Yes, even the number of sections. It’s better to have many small pages than a couple of long pages.
The thing is, there are several ways you can make your Shopify store faster, and this article will guide you through all of them! We have listed our favorite ways to improve loading time so that you can focus on running a better online business. Take a look at these 5 fantastic tips:
Tip1: Optimize your images for better loading times
When you upload a image on Shopify you are using their powerful CDN to hosts your content on networks of servers. When you use a CDN, you have more control over where images are stored and which web server they’re called from. In addition, using a CDN can improve loading time since it means that images are being loaded from a server that’s physically closer to your customer.
A Content Delivery Network will store all your images and assets needed before your site loads properly. This means that the content you need is stored at different physical locations, from your hosting company to your visitor’s location.
A CDN is beneficial if you have tons of products on your website, and you want them to be accessible from different locations. If you also have a lot of traffic at certain times, then using a CDN can help speed up the entire process. Also, CDNs can help deliver static content. The reason for this is that a CDN stores a cached version of your website, which customers can access quickly when the webserver has experienced high traffic
When optimizing your Shopify store, one of the first things you need is to do image optimization on your site. A smooth and fast website removes all the unnecessary files from your site. It’s also useful for you to have a backup copy of every file so that in case one gets damaged, you can replace it easily.
When working on images, you need to know how each image affects load time. It’s common knowledge that the size of your image’s matters. It’s the width and height of each image that affects load time. This means that if you need to have a large, high-quality image on your site, then make sure to limit its dimensions, so it doesn’t affect page loading speed. Uploading 4000 pixel wide images is not needed and slows your site dramatically.
You also need to make sure that you reduce the file size of your images as much as possible to optimize images. The more weight each image has, the slower your page will load, and it may even crash some people’s browsers! For example, if someone with a 3G connection visits your site, they might not be able to open all of its pages because of high-quality images.
Websites like tinypng.com and compressjpeg.com offer free online image compression. Before you upload the image make sure you are uploading the correct image size and you run it through a image compression first. Smaller size the better.
Tip2: Minimize redirects with server-side URL rewriting
It’s common sense to remove all the dead links to speed up your Shopify store. Shopify has a complete section for URL rewrites. If you find a dead link on your site and for some various reason or another you cannot remove the link then go the rewrite area in the admin and create a rewrite for the URL to redirect to a live page.
Server-side URL rewriting can also affect how other resources load on your website. Therefore, it’s a good idea to make sure that all your redirects are set up correctly since it can affect caching and static resources.
Tip3: Verify that your Shopify theme isn’t causing you problems.
Sometimes, the Shopify theme you’ve chosen for your eCommerce website can affect the performance of your store speed. For example, if your theme uses a lot of animations or large images, it might slow down your store speed. Therefore, it’s essential to make sure that you only use high-quality themes for your Shopify store.
If you aren’t sure about the theme’s quality, then ask for help from Shopify experts. They can check if any theme will be compatible with your site and even judge their performance based on store speed tests. You should consider this option before you spend extra cash on expensive themes or apps for your website.
One good option that Shopify offers via their theme store is the ability to download and try a theme before you publish it. You can then see if it will work or cause any issues. Not all themes are built to the best standards.
Tip4: Check for misbehaving apps, or code on your Shopify store.
Your site speed is critical to your business success. If you receive a lot of traffic on your site, then the site will start to slow down even more than usual making any problem you had magnified. Because of this, you should monitor your store’s performance every few days.
Apps are the number one reason your Shopify store is running slowly. Apps are very useful, but they all call in their own scripts and code. Each app you add to your site adds this making external calls to scripts and code. This slows your site down. I recommend only using an app if you really need it. Some of the smaller things can be coded directly into the theme using your themes code and script eliminating the need for external calls.
It’s also a good move to talk with an expert Shopify developer so they can tell you if there are any poorly performing apps on your site. Sometimes, the problem is not with the app but it conflicts with the code in another app or sometimes the theme.
You can check your site’s speed with a tool like Pingdom or GTmetrix and look at the results. If you notice that your website uses too much bandwidth, you should check it for any malware infections.
Tip5: Remove Unused Fonts and images
If you have a font file that was being used and you decided to change fonts you need to remove the old code where that font was being called. Because if you don’t use the font, Shopify will keep downloading it to load correctly. This means wasted bandwidth, which can slow down your site.
Bonus tips to Make Your Shopify Store Faster
Achieving a high conversion rate in your store can be difficult when multiple factors affect it. So keep these extra suggestions in mind to make your Shopify store faster and run more smoothly:
Minimize any script and CSS file in the Assets directory.
This is an advanced feature so it would recommend consulting a developer before proceeding. Basically, you go into the asset directory and find the script and CSS files being used and minimize them using a service like minifier.org.
I would do one file at a time and view your site thoroughly after each one minified. Sometimes minifying the file can break your site so that is why I say one at a time.
Take advantage of lazy loading.
This means that images and videos will not load until that area of page is scrolled to. This means that the page can load faster and only call an image when needed. If you run a site with a lot of images this will dramatically speed things up and improve your speed scores.
Add Google Analytics to your site for traffic information.
Add a sitemap for faster crawling.
A sitemap is an XML file that explains what your site’s pages are all about. Google uses this to understand how your pages are linked to discovering new ones.
You can use either the WordPress plugin or do it manually by creating a .txt file and adding the URLs. You should also update this regularly so search engines can see your latest posts.
3D product images slow download time
Load times can be affected by the file size of your product images. You should thus ensure that you’re using optimized ones so they will load much faster.
Streamline your Shopify store with Google tag manager
Instead of installing an app that installs additional code and performs DNS lookups, you’d prefer to have a theme that hosts the code locally with Shopify’s CDN. Consider Google Tag Manager if you plan to use external tracking codes such as those from Twitter or Pinterest.
In addition to compressing tracking codes and making them load faster, Google Tag Manager allows you to design the triggers for these tags, the priority (load it immediately, or wait for a specific trigger), and a lot more.
Analyze your SEO for Shopify to drive traffic to your store
If you want a Shopify store to be successful, it’s crucial that customers find you. If not, then what’s the point of installing all these strategies if nobody will be around to see them?
To get more traffic and leads on your website, you need to check your online store’s SEO-friendly. If you do this, potential customers will be able to find you whenever they search for your product online.
Make sure all the above tips are used if you want your Shopify store to run smoothly without any hiccups.
Give your Shopify store a speed boost with these tips to improve page load time and performance. These can help you increase conversion rates by providing visitors with a seamless experience on your online store.
These are some ways to make your Shopify store faster. Implementing some of these tips will allow you to deliver a more enjoyable experience for your customers. This also helps increase their satisfaction with your products or services, leading to more conversions.