When it comes to e-commerce stores, speed is the name of the game. It would be best to make sure that your Shopify page loads as soon as someone clicks on it. In today’s age, consumers have grown accustomed to web pages that load in an instant. As a result, they won’t have much patience with a page that takes more than a few seconds to load.
So you need to know how to make your Shopify website faster. But how?
You can compress images, install a theme optimized for speed, and limit the number of apps you use.
These are just a few techniques to increase your loading times. If you’re struggling with the speed of your Shopify store, then you’ve come to the right place. We’re here to explore the most effective ways you can increase the loading speed of your store.
Top Factors Affecting Online Store Loading Times
First off, you need to get familiar with the factors that can cause slow down. There are lots of variables at play when someone visits your Shopify store. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to control and improve all of these factors.
The good news is that there are lots of factors that you can control. To improve loading times, you’ll need to focus on the variables that you can manipulate.
Some reasons why your page may load slowly that you can’t control include:
- Customers with outdated devices or browsers. You won’t be able to control what type of device your customers use to visit your store. If they have an old iPhone that they never update, then the chances are high that your page will take forever to load. The same is true if the customer has a poor internet connection due to geographic location.
- Content delivery network. The CDN ensures that your page loads as quickly as possible. If there are errors with this network, you won’t be able to fix them by yourself.
- Shopify’s infrastructure. If there are problems with Shopify’s servers, then your page won’t load properly. Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait until Shopify fixes the issue. The good news is that these issues are virtually nonexistent.
Now that you know about the factors outside of your control let’s look at what you can do to increase loading times.
Tweaking Your Apps to Increase Speed
Luckily, you have complete control over your apps. You can tweak their settings to improve loading times. Sometimes, removing a few apps is necessary to speed things up.
If you suspect your apps are slowing you down, it’s time to take an inventory of them all.
Go over each app and determine whether you need it or not. When’s the last time that you’ve used the app? Is it adding any crucial capabilities to your store, like dropshipping?
Any apps that you aren’t actively using should go by the wayside. An unused app will do nothing but harm your performance. If you find an app that you don’t want to get rid of but is slowing you down, you don’t have to delete it entirely.
Instead, you can venture into your app settings. From there, you can disable certain features of the app that you aren’t using. That can help you salvage the parts you need and get rid of the ones slowing you down.
Another option is to remove unused code from the app. Yet, this will require knowledge of programming languages. If you aren’t familiar with these, you can seek out the help of an app developer or Shopify expert.
Compress Your Images and Videos
An essential part of learning how to make your Shopify website faster is to control your images. Oversized images with massive file sizes will take a long time to load. If customers have to wait 15 seconds for your product images to show up, they probably won’t stick around.
Another issue Shopify merchants run into is images that get hidden from view. It’s essential to preview your storefront on lots of different devices. It’s best to pay close attention to the pictures and videos on your page and make sure that they all show up.
If your store is running slow and you suspect your images, here are a few steps you can take:
- Double-check the file size of each image. If you notice that your images are larger than a few hundred megabytes, it’s time for compression. Don’t worry; there are ways that you can compress an image without losing any quality. There are many tools out there, such as JPEG Optimizer, that allow you to do this.
- Check the file sizes of any videos that you have embedded in your store. If they’re bigger than a gig or two, you need to compress your videos as well. Or, if you find that your videos aren’t adding anything to your store, you can get rid of them.
- Limit your product slideshows to 2-3 featured images. One featured image will suffice in many scenarios. Limiting your featured images will help the performance of your store.
- Check the image sizes recommended for your Shopify theme. You can also reach out to the developer of your theme to see which image sizes work best.
- Reach out to a Shopify expert. They can help you optimize the images and videos on your page.
Limit Your HTTP Requests
An excess number of HTTP requests will kill the performance of your store. To improve the speed of your store, you need to limit these requests as much as possible. You can use the HTTP Requests Checker tool to learn how many requests your page currently makes.
From there, you can go about reducing your requests. Here are a few ways to do so:
- Combine your CSS scripts and inline them
- Limit the use of functional images and design
- Try to reduce the number of social buttons on your page
- Convert all images to Base64 code
- Limit CSS image sprites
Once your page starts getting fewer requests, your performance will increase. Remember, use the checker tool first to determine if HTTP requests are indeed your problem.
Improper use of Liquid Code
If you weren’t aware, Liquid is the programming language Shopify uses for all stores. It’s unique to Shopify, and it takes some knowledge to operate correctly. Like any other language, there are efficient and inefficient ways of doing things.
If your developer wasn’t too familiar with Liquid, they might have made your code too complex. Operations that are too complex will take longer to render, hindering the performance of your store.
For a Shopify store to function correctly, the Liquid code should be as efficient as possible. If you suspect that your code isn’t optimized, you should:
- Hire a Shopify expert that knows Liquid code inside and out. They can help you find useless code and inefficiencies that are slowing down your page. You can hire a Shopify expert using this awesome marketplace called Fiverr follow this link to get started.
- Install the Shopify Theme Inspector for Google Chrome. Running this inspector will identify lines of code that are slowing down your store. That’s a great option if you don’t have the money to spare to hire a Shopify expert to help you. Yet, you’ll need some basic knowledge of code to be able to use the inspector.
- Learn how to use Liquid by following a tutorial properly. The good news is that Liquid is a straightforward language to learn. Once you know how to use it, you can identify all the issues with your store. If you want to learn how to make your Shopify website faster, learning Liquid is a must.
Don’t Use Uncommon Fonts
Yes, even your font choice can impact the loading time of your store. Mainly, this occurs when you choose a font that your customer doesn’t have installed. Their computer will have to download the font first to view your page. As you can imagine, that will add a significant amount of loading time to your page.
To avoid this problem, you should always select system fonts. What are those? They’re fonts that are already installed on most computers. The font families that qualify as system fonts are:
- Mono: Consolas, Monaco, Liberation Mono, Lucida Console, and Menlo.
- Sans-serif: Segoe UI, Roboto, Ubuntu, and Helvetica Neue.
- Serif: Iowan Old Style, Baskerville, Times New Roman, Droid Serif, and Apple Garamond
As long as you stick to these fonts, you shouldn’t have any issues. A majority of computers out there have these system fonts installed. Bear in mind; you’ll still be able to font styles like bold and italic with system fonts.
How to Make Your Shopify Website Faster? ( quick video )
By now, you should know how to make your Shopify website faster. Many factors go into your loading times. As long as you closely monitor the factors that you can control, you should maintain a speedy Shopify store with ease.
For more great content to help you develop your Shopify strategies, check out the rest of the merchant posts on the site. If you want to see a list of our top recommended Shopify apps visit this link here.