Shopify Site Speed optimisation overview
Shopify offers merchants the opportunity to efficiently establish powerful ecommerce websites. But no matter how dynamic, attractive, and well designed your site is, conversions will remain low because of substandard speed. This is why Shopify site speed optimisation is such a crucial process.
Not only is your site’s speed an important factor when it comes to search engine rankings, but it also directly affects end-to-end ecommerce performance. For instance, 53% of mobile users will abandon a site if it takes more than three seconds to load. Additionally, as page load times increase from one second to ten seconds, the bounce rate increases from 32% to 123%..

Clearly, every second counts in the fiercely competitive world of ecommerce. The following post provides useful tips for Shopify site speed optimisation to help you improve your store’s performance. But first, we look at how to assess your site’s speed.

Checking your Shopify Site Speed

There are numerous online tools available to help you run a Shopify speed test and many of them are free. Three of the most popular ones are:

For each of these free analytic tools, all you need to do is enter your web address in the search field. You will then be presented with a series of metrics indicating your website’s speed.

Once you have an idea of how your site is performing, you can then begin to optimise it. Below are 10 ways you can achieve this on a Shopify site.

Checking your Shopify Site Speed

1. Choose a Fast Theme for Your Store

A fundamental aspect of your store that has a huge impact on speed is the site’s theme. With a wide selection of free and paid-for Shopify themes to choose from, you must ensure that you pick a fast and responsive one. Once you’ve chosen a theme, keep it updated to guarantee the requisite fast speed.

2. Streamline Data Collection with Google Tag Manager

Collecting customer data is vital for developing effective marketing strategies. However, the numerous JavaScript tracking tags that are used in collecting this data can negatively impact your site’s speed. Fortunately, Tag Management Systems (TMSs) such as Google Tag Manager streamline this process by condensing all tags into a single JavaScript request. This both improves your website’s performance and acts as an added layer of security against outage. Specifically, if your site crashes due to a tag failure, a TMS will enable you to quickly eliminate the tag.
Choose a Fast Theme for Your Store

3. Optimise Your Site for Mobile Devices

In 2021, 72.9% of all ecommerce sales are expected to be generated through mobile devices. Clearly then, having a mobile optimised site should be a high priority. The good news is that Shopify is one of the most mobile-friendly ecommerce platforms available. But even so, taking some additional steps, such as implementing a simple site navigation, will further improve the user experience for browsers on mobile devices.

4. Avoid Using too Many Pop-Ups

Using pop-up windows for products can be a strategic way of conveniently allowing customers to view an item. After all, it gives the customer an opportunity to get an overview for items of interest without having to navigate to the respective product pages. However, for all the convenience, pop-ups can also significantly lengthen website loading times. Overall, your online store will perform better in search results by avoiding features that slow down your site speed.

Don’t Use too Many Liquid Loops

5. Don’t Use too Many Liquid Loops

Liquid is a sophisticated Shopify coding language, which can be used to develop advanced features on your website. But sometimes, utilising it can lead to your system having to “loop”, or search, through lots of products.

Loops can negatively impact Shopify performance and cause significantly increased loading times. This can be a particularly salient problem if you have a large product catalogue. In these instances, consider proceeding without using the Liquid code in question.

6. Optimise Thumbnail Images

While a carousel feature is an engaging way to showcase your products, the thumbnails used can slow your site down. This is because data for these is being pulled from the product pages. If the images there are too large, then the browser has to scale them down, impacting page loading times.

Thankfully, there are a range of tools available to help with this issue. Apps such as SEO Image Optimizer will enable you to reduce the size of images without adversely affecting their quality.

7. Use Homepage Hero Slides Sparingly

Prominent hero-image slideshows are an impactful feature for your homepage. The only problem is that you need large, high-resolution images, which negatively impact your site speed. As a workaround, consider using a single hero image with an effective call to action.

8. Limit the Number of Apps Your Site Uses

Every app you install on your Shopify store slows down website performance a touch. Before you install new plugins, weigh up the benefits they will provide against the cost of increased loading times.

Additionally, go through the apps you’ve already installed and conduct a similar analysis. Removing unnecessary ones will lead to a faster store, which can potentially translate to higher conversion rates.

9. Remove Broken Links and Reduce Redirects

Broken links and an excessive number of redirects not only lower your Shopify site speed, they also negatively affect your SEO. Go through your site carefully, ensuring that all links are working.

Also, avoid 302 redirects, which cause additional HTTP requests and delay data transfers. Use Shopify’s redirect function from your navigation panel instead to avoid this issue.

10. Use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to Boost Shopify Site Speed

AMP is a framework, which enables the creation of web pages that load quickly on mobile devices. There are numerous apps available that can help you leverage AMP for your Shopify store, such as FireAMP or RocketAmp. These plugins will empower you to develop a faster website for mobile users.
Use AMP to Boost Shopify Site Speed
Shopify Site Speed Optimization

Maintaining Shopify Site Speed Optimisation

Following the steps outlined above will help your Shopify store run smoothly. That being said, it’s important to note that your Shopify site speed optimisation is an ongoing process. You need to regularly run Shopify site speed audits to stay aware of your site’s performance and identify emerging issues.

Shopify performance takes a lot of time and effort, but ultimately it will be worth it. You’ll improve customer satisfaction, experience higher conversion rates, and have a successful store that delivers results. For extra peace of mind that your site is running at peak performance, you can get in touch with the trusted Shopify experts at Vsourz.

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