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7 Actionable Tips You Must Know for Shopify Speed Optimization

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A quick and fast-loading website is a sales magnet.

Let's zoom into the above statement a little closer.

The digital landscape is fast-moving, and to keep up with this and succeed as an online eCommerce store, you need to ensure your website is in good shape.

When we say good shape, we don't simply mean making your website look good by adding tons of colors, fonts, images, and videos. While a balance of all of the above can make your website look attractive, if it takes too long to load, your prospects are going to run to their next option. And with every additional second, your website takes to load, your conversation rates can drop by an average of 4.42%. This can also affect your customer experience, your search engine rankings, and ultimately your bottom line - sales.

In this blog, let's dive into the actionable tips and tricks you need to know to boost your Shopify store's speed. And not just that, we will also let you in on the many different benefits you get through Shopify speed optimization, giving you a remarkable edge over your competitors. So, let's begin!


What Affects Shopify Site Speed?

While there can be many reasons for a slow Shopify site speed, a few critical factors include:

  • Large File Sizes

In the hope of providing high-quality and high-definition imagery and videos to your customers, you might upload unoptimized images, videos, and other media files to your Shopify store. These large files take up considerable bandwidth, and if they are not optimized, they might take a long to download, deteriorating the overall performance of your store and respective pages. Compressing and resizing your large files will ensure your site loads quickly.

  • Unnecessary Apps and Plugins

Shopify offers its merchants the ability to integrate multiple apps (even third-party apps) with their stores to improve the overall functionality. Apps come with additional code and functionality, which can slow down your Shopify site by increasing the overall load time. If you have any applications that are not in use anymore, remember to disable them or remove them altogether. If any particular app is causing performance issues, consider finding an alternative.

  • Insufficient Hosting Resources

The hosting resources allocated to your Shopify store can significantly impact your site speed. Most often, if the hosting plan comes with limited bandwidth, processing power, or storage, it can result in slower loading times which in turn would impact the overall user experience. To solve this, you can upgrade your hosting plan or switch to a more reliable and faster provider.

Also, remember that these factors are not exhaustive, and other issues such as network congestion, external scripts, or improper configuration can also contribute to poor speed. Conduct a thorough analysis of your store's performance using tools such as Google PageSpeed Insights or Shopify's built-in performance dashboard to identify specific areas that need improvement.

5 Benefits You Get with Shopify Speed Optimization

As we discussed in the beginning, let’s begin with the benefits you get through Shopify Speed Optimization that will ultimately help you in achieving your bottom line:

  • Improved UX

Improved UX

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User experience or customer experience is critical to the success of your brand. Let's say a user visited your website but spent over 5 seconds waiting for the homepage to load. The user becomes impatient, hits the back button, browses similar sites, and ends up visiting your competitor's website and becoming a loyal customer. What are the chances of gaining back this customer's trust? Almost none, as you have hampered the user experience.

The first five seconds of the page-load time is the make-or-break situation for your website, as it has the highest impact on your conversion rates. By optimizing the speed of your Shopify website, you deliver a seamless and smooth user experience. This means you have lesser bounce rates, more engagement, and definitely more customer satisfaction. Quick page loading will enable customers to navigate through the website effortlessly and complete purchases without the frustration usually caused by slow-loading pages.

  • Boosted SEO Performance

Boosted SEO Performance

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SEO or Search Engine Optimization is not just about keywords or simply ensuring your titles are optimized with the right keywords to rank on search engines. Search engines like Google consider website speed as a top priority for ranking in their algorithms. A quick-loading website is more likely to rank higher in SERP, giving your brand more visibility and more organic traffic.

Shopify speed optimization lets the search engines know that you prioritize user experience, in turn positively impacting your SEO efforts. By taking the necessary steps to optimize the performance of your online store, you increase the chances of it appearing on the first page of search results, driving more traffic and potential sales.

  • Increased Conversion Rates

Increased Conversion Rates

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Online shoppers are accustomed to instant gratification and expect a smooth and fast purchasing process. If your website doesn't load quickly, or if your pages and product images take too long to load, you are going to lose potential customers. This can also lead to abandoned carts as visitors are unable to complete their transactions due to the long and frustrating loading time.

A speed-optimized Shopify website, on the other hand, reduces the friction in the purchase process and increases the likelihood of visitors becoming paying customers to loyal customers.

  • Reduced Cart Abandonment

Reduced Cart Abandonment

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As an eCommerce store owner, you might be well aware of the term 'cart abandonment' and might have even faced this particularly common challenge faced by most online retailers. If you look into this problem in depth, you will know that slow-loading websites and pages can exacerbate this issue.

When there is a significant delay in the checkout process, you are essentially giving your customers time to second-guess their purchase decisions, which can even lead to a complete loss of interest in buying from your business. By boosting your website and Shopify page speed, you are reducing the likelihood of abandoned carts and increasing completion rates and revenue.

  • Better Mobile-friendly Experience

Better Mobile-friendly Experience

Mobile shoppers are increasing day by day, emphasizing the very need to have a mobile-friendly and mobile-optimized website for retailers. At the same time, mobile users expect quick and fast-loading pages when they shop, and if your Shopify website fails to meet those expectations, you risk losing potential customers. With Shopify speed optimization, you are giving your customers an improved mobile-first experience. With a responsive design, optimized images and videos, and streamlined code, you can enable a faster and smoother shopping experience for mobile shoppers.

7 Must-know Tips to Boost the Speed of Your Shopify Website

  • Choose a Theme that is Fast Loading and Responsive

Choose a Theme that is Fast Loading and Responsive

A fast theme enables your customers to browse through your website and make informed decisions effortlessly. At the same time, it plays an important role in your website's speed optimization.

Shopify themes consist of four primary components, which are Liquid, HTML, CSS, and finally, JavaScript code. When you edit and customize your Shopify theme, there are chances to happen to file sizes, and this can affect your store's speed positively or negatively.

So, if you are choosing a new theme for your store, there are a few things you can do to ensure your website's speed is optimal and that your theme isn't impacting the speed negatively.

  • Look for a fast and responsive theme. For example, the Blum theme on the Shopify Themes store clearly highlights the fact that it is a fast-loading theme. There are many more fast themes from Shopify that you can pick and choose for your store.
  • To ensure the theme you prefer is actually fast loading, check out its demo/preview, and run it through Google Pagespeed Insights.
  • You can also find a few stores at the bottom of the theme page that have utilized the theme for their store. Do check them out to understand their performance, and run it on page speed insights for more info. Compare and check more than one store's insights before making a decision.
Pagespeed insights

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If you think your existing theme is slowing down your website, then here are a few steps to take:

  • Themes come with tons of features - theme code, features, images, apps, and much more. But the truth is, you might not want to use them all. So, disable the features that are not in use or are unnecessary for your store. If you are still determining which feature to remove, you can take into account your customer's overall shopping experience with your store. Understand the experience they want, the kind of homepage they would prefer, etc., to make a decision.
  • You can consider using a system font or a font that is already installed on most users' devices.
  • Consider involving an experienced Shopify developer or hiring a Shopify Expert, especially if you are using a third-party theme, to ensure your theme is not hampering your Shopify site speed. If you are using a free theme, you can reach out to their support for more guidance.
  • Pick and Choose Apps that are Necessary For Your Store

Apps by Shopify

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Shopify apps make your eCommerce journey a lot easier and even automate several mundane tasks, saving you time and money. When you integrate these apps into your store, you are changing the functionality or appearance of your store. This means these apps are adding some code into your theme to run smoothly.

While these codes can be modified to improve your store's performance, it is imperative to remove or avoid the use of any apps that can degrade your website's performance.

Here's what you can do in this case:

  • Disable apps that are no longer in use.
  • If you are removing any apps, don't forget to remove the code that was added as a part of this app. In some cases, these codes will be wrapped in {% comment %} tags.

If you are still not sure about how to do this, consult your app developer, or hire an expert. Remember, apps have JS and CSS files running in the background, slowing down your website, even if you aren't using these apps. So, take these necessary measures to keep your store seamlessly fast, always.

  • Minimize HTTP Requests

Minimize HTTP Requests

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If you are new to the world of eCommerce, then HTTP requests are something you need to know of. HTTP requests are the communication between the client (the internet browser) and the server, where the client requests the server for the information to load the website.

If your website has a lot of redirects, then the HTTP requests are more, which can delay the data transfer. And the solution to this is to remove unnecessary redirects. Here's how you can do this:

  • Combine and inline your CSS and JavaScript.
  • Reduce the use of design and other functional images.
  • Consider converting images to Base64 code.
  • Reduce the number of social buttons.
  • Reduce broken links, as they can trigger additional HTTP requests. Use audit tools to check and fix broken links. SEO tools with in-built audit tools are also available, such as Ahrefs.
  • Create custom 404 pages to redirect visitors who have accidentally entered through an incorrect URL.
  • Optimize and Compress Your Images and Videos

Compress Images and Videos

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You need your customers to get a clear view of the products to help the buying process. So, you might end up adding high-quality and high-definition images and videos, which in most cases, could be oversized images that take too long to load. If the visitors have to wait too long for the images to load, they might perceive your store to be slow. In order to safeguard you from overloading your online store, Shopify has put in place the following measures:

  • No more than 50 products can be there on a collection page.
  • Only sections of up to 25 are possible on the home pages.
  • Themes with lazy loading.
  • Many themes also load a specific size of an image based on the screen size it's displayed on.

Even though these steps are imperative, you might want to go above and beyond to ensure your website's speed is truly unaffected.

  • Check the image optimization guide.
  • Use a tool like Shopify’s image resizer or for compressing and optimizing.
  • Limit the featured image slideshow to 2-3 images.
  • Consult with your theme developer to know the best ways of optimizing the visual elements.
  • Choose Appropriate Fonts

Choose Appropriate Fonts

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Like we mentioned before, it is always ideal to use the system font for your website so your visitors or customers don't have to wait long to get the font downloaded and displayed. However, it is normal to want to have funky and catchy fonts on your website to attract customers. The system font comes with plenty of options. This makes it easier for you to choose one that doesn't affect your store's speed.

You can choose between mono, serif, or sans-serif font families and use them in both bold and italic styles as well. Here are a few examples from these font families:

  • Mono: Menlo, Consolas, Monaco, Liberation Mono, or Lucida Console
  • Sans-serif: BlinkMacSystemFont, Segoe UI, Roboto, Ubuntu, or Helvetica Neue
  • Serif: Iowan Old Style, Apple Garamond, Baskerville, Times New Roman, Droid Serif, Times, or Source Serif Pro

Note: The font that displays on your customer's computer will completely depend on its operating system. Using fonts from the above choices will increase the chances of quicker page load in their systems.

  • Leverage a Hero Banner Instead of a Slideshow

Moss Botanicals

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You might have seen feature slideshows on homepages and collection pages on many websites (maybe even your competitors). This design technique is not only attractive but gives your customers a chance to quickly view what your store has to offer.

But did you know that they can impact the website speed?

While sliders and carousels are an excellent way to display your product images, it increases the weight on your website, pushing down the speed.

Moreover, when you use multiple high-quality images, it takes time to load. This can then lead to increased bounce rates, as visitors might leave before all the images can load. Solution? Use hero layouts.

A hero layout is basically a larger image, with compelling text placed on top of the homepage to gain the attention of your visitors almost instantly. Even though this image needs to be of high quality, the elimination of multiple images as sliders can significantly improve the loading time. Also, sliders and carousels don't seem to work well on mobile devices, as customers tend to interact with them less. Hero layout helps influence your customer's buying behavior as well.

  • Leverage Mobile Accelerated Pages or AMP

Mobile Accelerated Pages

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A good mobile experience is important, and with its increased usage, it only makes sense to optimize your Shopify store for mobile device users. To make this happen, you can use Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP.

AMP is an open-source framework that helps you create web pages that run fast on mobile devices by simplifying the HTML and CSS code used. At the same time, it reduces the JavaScript used to enable Shopify merchants to create mobile-friendly pages with faster loading times.

With this, you improve the overall experience of the user, and nudge them to make a purchase. There are many apps on Shopify App Store that you can use to create AMP pages, such as AMP by Shop Sheriff.


While there are many different strategies and tricks to Shopify speed optimization, these 7 tips can effectively increase the store speed, improve user experience, and consequently, search engine rankings. This quick and comprehensive guide is aimed at enabling Shopify merchants such as you to understand the importance of a fast-loading website and how to ensure your website doesn't slow down at any point.

Unlike many other steps and strategies we take to amplify store performance, these tips will reap benefits almost immediately. So, get started with your store optimization today!

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