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Spilling the beans on speeding up your Shopify site

Shopify site speed optimization

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It is a fact that Shopify is the most promising ecommerce platform for aspiring and also large-scale merchants today for their ecommerce growth trajectory. With immense opportunities to scale and grow, you have built the most pleasing user experience with regular clients on Shopify. Over time, as you focus on your growth, the Shopify site speed may bypass your attention, resulting in your store struggling with slow speed and rampant cart abandonment.

Having worked with Shopify merchants in solving their query in 'how to speed up Shopify store,' we have gained a lot of hands-on experience in handling factors affecting Shopify store speed and conversions.

If you are looking for an answer to the most concerning question, ‘why my Shopify store is slow’, and find ways to help with Shopify conversion optimization, we will spill the beans for you. Simultaneously, we will help you implement effective methods to optimize Shopify page loading speed. Keep scrolling through to know the secrets to Shopify speed optimization. 

How Does Shopify Speed Optimization Affect the Conversion Rate?

More than 1.9 billion people worldwide have shopped online at least once. However, in 2018, the average online client conversion rate turned to 2.6%! The report indicates that 26 out of 1000 potential clients who landed on a sure online store save by proceeding to the purchase.

The conversion rate is affected by several factors. You should apply different advertising and marketing strategies to promote your brand, increasing brand awareness and loyalty. However, no matter how much money you spend on ads, all your efforts will be in vain unless your website is configured.

Shopify website speed optimization has a significant effect on user behavior. If a website's loading speed is less than a few seconds, visitors leave the page and purchase from your competitor, whose site is quicker – thus, your sales and profits decrease.

To illustrate all the above, here are some facts from Kissmetrics and Google researches:

5 Frequent Performance Issues or How to improve Shopify store speed

Thus you lose more and more potential buyers with each passing second while your website loads. Not only does the number of customers who are willing to buy from you diminish, but also the probability they will visit.

Additionally, search engines take performance and load speed into account when rating them in their organic search results for the Shopify website. So, this is yet another reason why a slower website gets much fewer targeted users, and, therefore a lower conversion rate than faster online stores.

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What Shopify Website Performance Depends On?

After you measure the speed of your online store using one of the tools mentioned, you get a complete test result with all the problems found at both the front and back end of your website. Next, with that knowledge in hand, it's time to understand where the Shopify store speed will continue to be Optimized.

The performance of Shopify websites mainly depends on the following factors:

Server optimization

The farther the user is from the physical server, the more time it takes to send HTTP requests to it and receive a reply. When it comes to choosing the hosting, prefer country-specific solutions, the emphasis is on your business. Using a CDN link makes sense when your online store sells products well beyond one country's borders.

This is by no means an issue in the case of Shopify. The provider assumes all responsibility for the hosting efficiency, and owners of online stores do not have to pay an extra fee for this service. What you can do here is update your hosting plan to take your store to the next level. Switching to a better plan will at times reduce the loading time by half.

Custom functionality

Increasing installed applications adds more weight to the website pages, increases the number of requests sent to the server, and slows down the loading of the pages. In addition, some apps contain code bugs that inevitably affect the site's efficiency.

Front-end

It includes the website's design, themes, layouts, and all the other choices that make the customer's journey quick, easy to understand, and exciting. Each of the points mentioned can also hurt online stores' efficiency and pace.

Undoubtedly, Shopify is one of the most convenient platforms for those new to the online retail industry and lacking ample technological expertise, time, or ability to research the bulk of technical documentation, which is a must for most e-commerce platforms.

On the other hand, the platform vendors are responsible for the success of most of the back-end processes here. In this regard, there is neither direct access to the source code of the application nor is it possible to configure the features of third parties when it comes to the need to modify the online store Shopify.

Next, we will discuss all the issues slowing down websites and tell you how to fix these problems.

5 Frequent Performance Issues or How to improve Shopify store speed

#1 Unresponsive Theme

The suitable Shopify theme is the cornerstone in maintaining the right amount of page load speed and helping mobile optimization. But, the pain is that most online store does not let us know much about the theme layout. Let's see how you can choose a suitable Shopify theme.

Solution:

  1. You can review this separately in the PageSpeed Insights to determine if your current theme needs any improvements. To do this, run a preview page analysis of the theme, and you'll see if any changes are needed to your current theme. The same service helps discover the theme you are currently using as a storefront solution.
  2. If you detect any performance issue with the theme, look for theme updates. The theme developer or provider is the first to contact in such a case as they are responsible for providing post-sale bug fixing services.
  3. Device agnostic is the first criterion for a theme to adapt to your Shopify store. This often leads to misjudgment when users buy online using their smartphones or tablets. Test and trial correctly and ensure the Shopify theme is easy to optimize for any device to maximize user experience.
  4. Also, you can have three choices to make improvements to your Shopify themes.
  5. By changing the code of a theme, you can update your current theme. However, unless you have expertise with HTML, CSS, and Liquid, it is better not to try your hands with theme updates. Developer assistance may help you.
  6. An easy way to optimize your Shopify store is to choose a responsive theme from the Theme Store.
  7. The third option requires an extra budget to build a custom theme for your unique needs. Although this option is a little expensive, it reaps great benefits in gaining a competitive advantage.
  8. It enables you to add extended features absent from the ready-to-use themes.
  9. Custom theme design gives your store an outstanding visually-rich appearance.
  10. It will be an easy overhaul when it comes to upgrades and updates.

    #2 Too Many Apps

    While the Shopify platform offers extensive native functionality, other features are not included and can be introduced with the aid of third-party applications, however. Although some store owners carefully pick each app to be installed on the store and, after each installation, check the output of the website, others pay attention only to the functionality of the device.


    Merchants need apps. Because they help boost the store's functionality. However, the more the number of apps, the slower the Shopify site becomes. They submit more requests to the server and force your site to load slowly.

     To prevent this issue:

    1. Bring all apps together.
    2. Check which apps you use and which you do not.
    3. Remember, even if you disable apps, JS/CSS files run at the backend, inhibiting the site's loading fast. 

    Solution:

    So, it is better to remove those apps you are not using. Before you move to eliminate those apps, read the Shopify support documentation regarding uninstalling instructions carefully. It helps you avoid stocking any remnants that may interfere with your store's performance.


    At the same time, if you have any apps installed on your Shopify store that offer proper functionality but meddle with your site's loading capabilities, you can prefer optimizing them instead of deleting them.


    Trusted providers can only offer modules that do not promote any issues in the future. Before installing, forget not to check the disadvantages, for i.e., unlimited database requests.

    #3 Non-optimized Images

    Pictures play a vital role in the pace of loading online. But, a common mistake is uploading high-quality photos on homepage sliders or product pages. Beautiful images are unquestionably a must-have for every online shop.

    In addition, this is what the customer wants to see when deciding whether or not they should buy from your store. In these cases, optimizing and compressing the image in Shopify can help significantly speed up Shopify website performance. Compressing 20 MB of images to weigh about 300 KB, for example, can often increase Shopify site speed by 70%.

    Solution:

    • Limiting unwanted server requests helps improve Shopify site speed. As you use images, use CSS sprites to merge numerous photos. To achieve accuracy with code rendering and sprites creation, use the SpritePad tool. The tool requires you to drag-and-drop images and then download the sprites. The device reduces the number of HTTP requests per copy, and just by sending one single request to the server, it helps load one large image. On the other hand, CSS allows clear visibility of all image characters throughout the page.

    • Reducing the image size is another great way to speed up the Shopify store. It is better to use some tools like TinyJPG or TinyPNG to reduce image sizes. The advantage of these apps is that they do not impact the image quality. Just drop your files, and you will have ready-to-use compressed images on your Shopify store. In addition, if your site already has non-optimized photos, you can use Shopify image optimization apps like Crush.pics. All your existing images will be automatically optimized.

    #4 The Thumbnail Image Size

    Do you use carousels on the homepage to display standard products on the product page? Carousel images are fetched from the product page to show thumbnail images like related product details.
    If it remains this way, the system and browser will ingest high-res images to adapt to the requested dimensions. As a result, it prolongs the site's loading time.
    Customers browsing your site on a desktop may have minimal distraction. But, if your site has a good number of mobile traffic, it may affect their user experience due to the poor Shopify page load speed

    Solution:

    • Making changes to the Liquid code will help you eliminate the risk – all you need to do is use the "srcset" attribute, and set different screen resolutions for images.

    • The lazy load technique helps optimize thumbnail images and improves site loading speed as soon as images appear in the viewport.
      For example, your site displays a drop-down menu on the homepage with product carousels that accommodate 8 products for each slider. The total number of images counts to 68, which means thumbnail images must load these images to showcase the popular products. To improve Shopify store speed, replacing sliders with optimized static images in the drop-down menus is better. Simultaneously, using Lazy Load helps images load fast. The technique can reduce several seconds in loading the site.

    #5 The Homepage Hero Slides

    At the top of the homepage, Big Hero sliders are one of Shopify's online stores' hallmarks. No doubt, large sliders with high-resolution images can make your online store look elegant and draw visitors' attention. A slider with 4 to 6 high-resolution photos does, however, place a destructive load on your shop.

    Solution:

    • Reduce the number of slides. Make sure to use as fewer as three images only in a slide. Also, optimize images and ensure their quality does not get compromised. Remember to compliment your slider with the Lazy Load feature.

    • You can remove a Hero Slider. In its place, you can use a single hero image and implement a CTA button on it. Reducing the number of sliders does not impact user experience owing to statistics confirming less than 1% of users click on them. The truth is also showcasing their reluctance to refer to each slide.

    Final Thoughts

    I’ve discussed Top Shopify Page Speed Optimization Apps in my previous article. You might want to take a look :)

    We can find several issues that impact Shopify's page loading capacity. Depending on their severity or number of cases, it takes time to fix the Shopify speed issues. Online store speed optimization can impact conversion rate optimization if not done correctly. When you use Shopify, it comes bundled with considerable opportunities to utilize techniques to improve Shopify store speed and, eventually, customer engagement. With several complicated processes, they may look complex to handle. HulkApps, as an industry expert, can help you with Shopify speed optimization processes. Get in touch today.

     

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