Shopify Speed Optimization: How To Speed Up Your Shopify Store Website

Justin Smith CEO
Shopify Speed Optimization: How To

Choose a Speed Optimized Shopify Theme

You can make your Shopify store faster by choosing a fast theme. A theme is a set of files that provide a template for Shopify stores. It will dictate the layout of your Shopify store, which you can further customize to create a unique design.

Some themes are faster than others. They contain cleaner and more concise code, resulting in shorter load times. Minimalist themes are typically fast. They are characterized by a minimalist design, meaning they are simple and clutter-free.

Shopify recommends Dawn to speed up load times. Dawn is a free minimalist theme with an emphasis on speed. There are many other minimalists and non-minimalist themes available. Before fully committing to a new theme, perform a speed test to see how it affects your Shopify store’s load times.


Disable Unwanted Shopify Features

Themes have features that you can enable or disable. Disabling unwanted features may speed up your Shopify store. Your theme will consume fewer resources, so consumers will be able to load your Shopify store more quickly.

Go into your theme’s settings and check its customizable features. If you don’t want a feature on your Shopify store, disable it. Some features are fixed, and you won’t be able to disable them. But most themes have optional features that can be disabled.


Use Fewer Shopify Apps

How many apps does your Shopify store have installed? With apps, you can add new features to your Shopify store with the click of the mouse. You won’t have to edit your Shopify store’s source code. Rather, you can install apps for the desired features.

The number of apps your Shopify store has will affect its speed. Apps consume resources to run. If your Shopify store has an excessive number of apps, it may load slowly or suffer from other performance problems. Using fewer apps, conversely, will speed up your Shopify store. If your Shopify store doesn’t need an app, uninstall it.


Optimize Website Images

Optimizing your Shopify store’s images can make it faster. All e-commerce stores have images. In addition to product photos, you may have headers, icons, logos and blog post images uploaded to your Shopify store. Neglecting to optimize will slow down your Shopify store. Unoptimized images consist of big and bloated files that take longer for consumers to download than optimized images.

You can optimize images by resizing and cropping them. Rather than using an oversized image, shrink and crop it to the appropriate dimensions. A smaller dimensional size will typically translate into a smaller file size.

Shopify will automatically compress your images. It has a built-in compression tool that it uses to create smaller files for images. Shopify will even convert them to the WebP format. For the fastest possible load times, though, you should resize and crop images before uploading them to your Shopify store.


Use Lazy Loading

Lazy loading can help you develop a faster Shopify store. It’s an image optimization technique that involves delayed loading. Normally, consumers will immediately begin to download all of the images on any given page that they access. Lazy loading works by preventing consumers from downloading images until they are needed.

If you have a product page with 50 images, you can use lazy loading to speed it up. Lazy loading will make the product page load more quickly by delaying the loading of the page’s images. Check out Shopify’s guide at shopify.com/partners/blog/lazy-loading for more information about lazy loading and how to implement it.


Embed Product Videos

It’s not uncommon for product pages to have both images and videos. You may want to create explainer videos, for instance, that show your Shopify store’s products in action. Product videos such as these can increase conversion rates and improve consumer satisfaction.

Rather than uploading product videos to your Shopify store, you should embed them. Shopify supports both uploaded and embedded videos. Uploaded videos are those that are hosted on and served from your Shopify store. Embedded videos are those that are hosted on a third-party platform, such as YouTube.

Embedded product videos are almost always faster than uploaded product videos. You can host product videos on YouTube. They won’t consume your Shopify store’s resources. Instead, the product videos will run off YouTube’s resources. You can embed product videos into your Shopify store by clicking the “Insert video” button in the Shopify editor and pasting the YouTube embed snippet.


Avoid Redirect Loops

Avoid creating redirect loops on your Shopify store. Also known as a redirect chain, a redirect chain is a sequence of Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) redirects. HTTP redirects will automatically move or redirect consumers from one URL to a different URL. A redirect chain contains multiple HTTP redirects in a sequence.

Conventional redirects shouldn’t have any noticeable impact on your Shopify store’s speed. Whether 301 or 302, HTTP redirects are quickly executed. Redirect loops, unfortunately, take longer to execute. They contain multiple HTTP redirects linked together. A typical redirect loop may contain three HTTP redirects. Consumers’ web browsers must process all three HTTP redirects to reach the final URL.


What About Shopify Website Hosting?

With a Shopify store, you won’t have control over web hosting. All Shopify plans come with web hosting, and there’s no way to use your own web hosting. You’ll have to rely on Shopify’s web hosting to keep your online store up and running.

Fortunately, Shopify’s web hosting is already fast. It even includes a content delivery network (CDN). Shopify will deploy your online store on Fastly’s CDN. When consumers visit your Shopify store, they’ll download content from the nearest node within the CDN.

Slow speeds can spell disaster for your Shopify store. It will deter consumers from engaging with your Shopify store. Some consumers, in fact, may not even wait for your Shopify store to load if it’s too slow. By speeding up your Shopify store, more consumers will browse and order products.

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