Make “speed index score” one of your primary performance metrics for your Shopify eCommerce site. It is best representative of user experience. Be careful that load time is thrown off by asynchronous assets. Here are some more in depth tools and tips to speed up your shopify eCommerce site.
The longer you put off optimizing your site for speed, the more customers you’ll lose to a faster competitor’s site. Google’s mobile page speed study shows that a site’s bounce rate gets worse every second it takes for a page to load.
Page speed measures the time it takes the content on a URL to load. Site speed, on the other hand, represents how your site is performing overall. It’s scored by services like Google PageSpeed Insights which look at various load times on your site in aggregate.
Google also recommends running your site through the Test My Site Tool where you can analyze both mobile friendliness and mobile page speed. Head over to Test My Site to try it.
Skilled analyzed 12 case studies that revealed customer expectations of site performance:
Tip #1 to speed up the Shopify site – test, test, test
You need to test the speed of your site often, even daily – use tools like Speedcurve.com to measure the number. Do it also by device. If, for example, 80% of your traffic is mobile and roughly half is Android, half is iOS, test it on both devices – every single day, to understand trend lines.
Tip #2 to speed up the Shopify site – image compression
Using a carousel feature for “Best selling products” on your homepage can be an issue. Information is being pulled from your product pages and displayed as thumbnails.
The problem happens when a product image is pulled in a larger size than needed. It causes the user’s browser to scale it down for the thumbnail, which impacts your page load time.
Use an app like SEO Images All-In-One to reduce image size in bulk. If after that the site is still slow, look into manually optimizing banner and homepage images in the theme settings by using a single photo compressor like TINYJPG and then re-uploading the photos back into the theme settings (because the apps cannot reach these specific photos).
There are several apps that are compressing the images, thus vastly enhancing the speed of your eCommerce website. Here are some of the tools recommended by the Shopify community:
- Imagekit – use it to optimize image files and deliver a better experience;
- Tinypng – reduces the file size of your (larger) PNG images;
- Squoosh by Google – as you can expect it, Google LOVES this one ;). Alternatively you can use, for example, Imagecompressor.
Tip #3 to speed up the Shopify site – remove the clutter of apps
The more apps you have installed, from different providers, the less speed you’re going to get. Try replacing or even deleting some of the unnecessary apps.
Take into consideration installing one single large app from only one provider – a good example is VITALS. It offers 40+ apps in one and one of the best features is that it really speeds up your e-shop.
See here a hands-on example on how installing VITALS can drastically increase the speed of your eCommerce site.
Tip #4 – Switch to a FAST Shopify theme
Some Shopify themes are faster then others. According to several specialists and shop owners in the industry, some of the fastest Shopify themes in 2020 are:
- Plak – Plak Theme is a powerful Shopify theme that is conceptualized to solve three major problems of eCommerce – Low page loading speeds, low conversion, and poor SEO. Plak theme scores 99/100 on GTMetrix (a speed testing tool) which is why one has to try this for sure. Very few themes of websites can achieve such a feat with respect to design.
- Booster Shopify Theme – Booster Shopify Theme is known to offer some of the coolest features for conversions and its blazing fast speeds. It is designed to offer 2X speeds as a result of its design. It makes 56% lesser server calls as a result of the integration of app features within the theme design.
- Turbo theme- Portland is a powerful Shopify theme from OutofSandBox and is among the 5 themes form the developer’s turbo series. All these themes are designed and built for superior performance and page loading speeds.
- Boundless – A free minimalist theme;
- Simple – Simple is another FREE one from the Shopify theme store known for its performance and superiority in ease of navigation. This Shopify theme is best suited for eCommerce stores with medium to high product size inventories.
Use HTTP Requests Checker tool by GiftOfSpeed to find out how many total HTTPS requests your page makes. You can reduce HTTP requests by doing the following:
- Combine & inline your CSS scripts.
- Minimize the use of design & functional images.
- CSS image sprites.
- Convert images to Base64 code.
- Limit the number of social buttons.
How did you optimize the speed for your store? What are some tips you can share? Comment below.