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How to Optimize your Shopify Store Speed?

Shopify Store Speed Optimization

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Shopify has become one of the most well-known ecommerce solutions for various online retailers. And customers are realizing the importance of amazingly fast load times that help build accelerated and seamless shopping experiences.

At the same time, when your website is not performing well and creating loading issues, it needs immediate attention.

If your Shopify site load times are not ideal, it needs you to work instantly for Shopify site speed optimization. There are a few simple ways you can apply to improve Shopify store speed. But, before we move ahead, it is important to know why a website with a fast-loading capacity is so crucial for your ecommerce business growth.

Why should you care for Shopify page speed ?

Website speed optimization is significantly important, especially for ecommerce sites. The most obvious reason is that it can detect the health of your site speed and prevent lost sales. As per reports from Kissmetrics, a website taking more than three seconds to load leads about 40% of online users to move to competitors’ sites. The acceptable timeframe is two seconds only. If it exceeds three seconds, customers term it a negative experience.

So, it is better to not risk your sales conversion goals and to find appropriate ways to improve the load time of your Shopify store.

Let’s take a step by step approach to optimize the page loading speed.

Leverage an AMP version to improve Shopify store page loading on mobile

Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP, is a web component structure used to improve page speed on mobile devices. AMP helps web pages follow the standard format in reducing the page size, thus improving the loading time.

As is with Shopify, this feature does not work with Shopify stores, making it slightly downgraded in terms of SEO.

However, there is a possibility that merchants can introduce an AMP version of their Shopify stores using a Shopify app. When integrated with Shopify apps, product pages or any other Shopify pages will have an AMP version, making them compatible with Google's standard protocols and enabling them to rank on search engines.

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Step 1: Shopify store optimization for mobile devices

Did you realize your mobile device is the most significant traffic source for your Shopify store? If you never thought about it, check your Google Analytics data. It gives you all the information.

Log into Google Analytics>Audience>Mobile>Overview report.

What can you see now? Is it something overwhelming you never knew? It's a mobile-first indexing strategy to help you rank content and pages for mobile versions.

This is why you should focus on your Shopify site’s performance on mobile devices. If you miss out on this opportunity, your competitors will likely impact your growth.

However, let's mind that AMP has one drawback too. As long as we utilize it, we get metrics. But, deactivation of this service means getting 404 errors for indexed links.

Step 2: Identify the factors affecting your page loading speed

When it comes to optimizing your store, it is crucial to verify the current page speed score of your Shopify store pages and note down the score in an excel sheet for future reference.

Utilize Google Analytics to check the scores. Sort out pages that have more than 90% of user traffic. Find these pages in your Google Analytics by following the steps,
Google Analytics' Behavior>Site Content >Landing Pages.

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The visitors usually land on the home and collection pages for Shopify stores. Get the URLs of the landings pages and keep them in an excel sheet.

Once the list is ready, you can test it with the Google PageSpeed Insights tool or your preferred tools.

At HulkApps, we believe in a few Shopify Apps to optimize our site's speed and our client's site. Here's a list of the top Shopify page speed optimization apps

For every URL of your landing pages, you will get the PageSpeed scores. They are available for the Desktop and mobile devices as shown below:

The speed test will fetch you scores of each landing page URL for both Desktop and mobile devices, as shown below.

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As you can view on the screenshot above, the mobile device has a page speed score of 61. Check the desktop tab to see the Desktop page speed score.

Fetch this score in your excel sheet. It simplifies the optimization process with before-after results in the future.

Apart from this strategy, Google Pagespeed tools also provide an easy way to improve your score.

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Possible Optimizations suggested by Google PageSpeed insight tool.

On top of our favorite tools to analyze page speed is Pingdom. This tool makes it easy to identify factors that impact your page speed with the correct scores.

As you analyze an URL in Pingdom, the results will appear as below:

Speed Optimization Report

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It needs you to consider the least score and highest priorities featured on the top of the table.

Shopify being a hosted solution, you are not able to fetch all of these factors to take control. Also, the servers and codes are less accessible. The best way to leverage all of these factors is to get professional help.

However, we can still apply some feasible tricks to improve Shopify store speed.

Use compressed images

Images play a crucial role to beautify any e-commerce store. There's no way you'll compromise the quality of the images, but you need to limit the sizes of the pages.

Images are significantly helping craft visual engagement for any e-commerce store. So, compromising the image quality may impact the user experience. But, by limiting the size of the images, we can boost page speed.

Lossless compression gives the best results in maintaining image quality yet provides size accuracy. Many tools include Kraken.io and JPEGmini to compress images to upload to your Shopify store.

But, in case you have loads of images on your store, these tools may not be useful. Instead, you can use Shopify apps to compress images and upload them to Shopify stores.

Below are our favorite image optimization apps for Shopify and a quick way to improve your performance on your whole site.

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Crush Pics app

Features:

  • Easy to compress images and improve site’s speed
  • Improve search engine optimization
  • Minimize efforts for speed improvements
  • Improve conversion rates
  • Enhance the performance of SEO images

    SEO Image Optimizer

    Features:

    • Boost SEO search
    • Set up SEO system easily
    • Run SEO automatically
    • Provide support immediately
    • Increase the number of website’s visit

    Image Optimizer

    Features:

    • Compress high-definition images easily
    • Assist with driving organic traffic to your website
    • Offer support to minimize issues with photo updates
    • Allow unlimited types of photo uploads
    • Compatible with image formats like PNG, GIF, JPEG

      Banner Slider

      Features:

      • Enable you to upload, edit, and showcase sliders
      • Create, omit, and customize banners and sliders with ease
      • Preview banner sliders before representing them
      • Improve SEO and page loading speed
      • Get numerous sliders

        Minifier

        Features:

        • Customize images and their designs
        • Enhance page loading time
        • Boost up SEO performance
        • Scrutinize file formats
        • Compress file size for suitability with website page

          Image Slider + Carousel

          Features:

          • Flexible customizability for sliders
          • Seamless slider transitions
          • Ease-of-optimization for sliders
          • Mobile responsive sliders
          • Multilingual compatibility

            Variant Image Penguin

            Features:

            • Upload many images per variant
            • Reduce effort in loading the images for the selected variant
            • Promote clutter-free presentation of your product page
            • Allow image edits with plug-and-play attributes

              Awesome Image Optimizer

              Features:

              • Drive numerous customers
              • Improve profitability goals
              • Offer automated image optimization
              • Save time in loading images
              • Easy-to-customize the image background

                ImageFinder

                Features:

                • Easily available product images
                • Enable users to select a display photo
                • Automated capability to allow image edits
                • Easy to remove copyright watermarks
                • Interchangeable placeholders to replace with real image

                  Plugin Speed

                  Features:

                  • Image optimization without affecting the quality
                  • Enable code minification to improve loading time
                  • Retrieve original images in 30 days
                  • Dashboard preview of the improvements
                  • Do not interact with the existing codes
                  • Improve site appearance

                    Serve scaled images:

                    There are two things in images that matter 一 dimension and quality. Hence, prioritize the exact image dimensions. If your home page banner dimension is 1500x500 px, stick to this dimension only.

                    Shopify recommends 2048x2048 px images to use for product images. The dimension helps prevent blur and haziness from images when zoomed.
                    But, the downside is it affects the page speed because it increases the memory size. Take a note; you can avoid pixel-perfect images in case you do not need to showcase every minute detail. A product page image of 800x800 px will work perfectly alright.

                    Also, if it is possible, you can prefer to limit the number of images on the home page and collection pages.

                    For Shopify merchants, it is not unusual to use third-party apps. But, what is concerning is that many of the apps affect page speed as they run scripts on the pages. Some methods are there to reduce the impacts of those apps.

                    Delete all the apps you are not using.

                    Your Shopify store may contain some apps which are not necessarily crucial for you. Measure page speed with or without these apps and check if you can go without them.

                    Your store pages may fetch some elements by default from some apps. Allow these elements for the pages you need. For say, floating trust badges may be visible throughout your store; however, you can only put them across your product page.

                    Furthermore, you can also find some ways to speed up your Shopify site you should try first.

                    Seeking professional help?

                    Until now, we talked about DIY tips. But, some issues are so grave that they need professional help to solve.

                    Here are some critical things that need professional help: 

                    Remove render-blocking Javascript in the above-the-fold webpage portion. 

                    Before a webpage can load, a browser needs to render a page by detecting HTML. But, blocking JavaScript and external scripts forces the browser to wait until the rendering takes place, triggering a delay for the page to load.

                    It is a prevalent issue associated with JavaScript or CSS-heavy websites. If the above-the-fold portion of your webpage is unable to load correctly due to these render-blocking JavaScript and CSS, you are likely to receive a warning.

                    If you want to improve loading time, avoid and reduce the use of these render-blocking JavaScript and CSS elements.

                    To minify HTML and JavaScript:

                    Website rendering ingests a lot of elements, including HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The problem starts with these files as they occupy a lot of space, block delimiters and comments, affecting loading time. Minifying HTML, JavaScript, and CSS can help eliminate the use of space, save data, and as a result, improve website speed.

                    If you think this is out of your scope, a developer or professional help is necessary to reduce this trouble.

                    Wrapping up

                    Shopify speed optimization or, in a broader perspective, page speed optimization is not a one-time process. To achieve a consistent Shopify store speed, you must regularly check your store performance. DIY processes are easy to apply. If these steps do not help, do not hesitate to ask for professional help. HulkApps Shopify experts give you practical ways to tap Shopify speed optimization services. Get in touch with us to know more about your options.

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