Why is Shopify so slow ?!
I’m David, I am the founder of Deathground, and I also run a handful of e-commerce companies. These are all in tight ad spaces, which means all we can do to gain traffic is improve SEO. Now a big part of the ranking is of course the performance of the page.
If your page is performing poorly – for example: a snail pace to load, you’ll hurt yourself in the rankings.
Google said it, first in 2010 and again in 2018:
The research team announced that speed would be a ranking signal for computer searches in 2010 and from this month (July 2018), page speed will be a ranking factor for mobile searches too.
It’s safe to say then, I’m obsessed with page speed. Literally.
It will probably be my image – I don’t like slow sites if Google doesn’t like them. I could go on exploring the blog to explain why this bothers me, but you understand. I run e-commerce businesses and need to rank. Therefore, we must focus on the fast.
You’re probably here reading this guide on how to speed up your Shopify store with the same dread in mind. Every day, hit Google Page Speed Insights asking yourself « Why is Shopify so slow ?!
Well I promised you a solution and this is what I will give you.
How much did it cost me to speed up my Shopify store?
Here are the consequences of a slow Shopify site for a business owner:
- It took at best 6 years of double-duration work weeks (90-100 hours).
- Countless new theme developments and purchases to find them faster.
- Hundreds of disgruntled messages on the Shopify app store asking for the code to be changed.
- Lots of apps ending up in the suppression stack when I sacrificed the UX for speed.
- Developers working in relay to find ways to compress the code
- Learn CSS and JS to a minor degree to complete these tasks
- Shopify speed optimization apps that never kept their promises (except one *)
- Abandoned attempts to migrate to Magento
- Abandoned attempts to migrate to WordPress
- AMP configuration
- AMP de-configuration
- AMP reconfiguration
- Adding page builders
- Removing page builders
- Repeat this process 3 more times
It continues. The list is almost endless, you are probably the same if you ask here how to speed up your Shopify site.
Have you ever received this message from an app developer in Shopify’s Slow App Store that says:
But our application works asynchronously …
Every Shopify app owner
Yes man, that’s right, on EVERY BLOOD PAGE!
I never could figure out why an email marketing app had to have its scripts called on the homepage (Klaviyo), or why a delivery timer app had to run on it either. This all adds up to a tedious level of scripting that only slows down your Shopify site.
Only to be met with the suggested Shopify speed optimization answer:
Did you get rid of unused apps?
All Fiverr Speed Optimization Freelancers
There comes a stage, when you have a substantial ecommerce business, that some apps just can’t leave the listing. Yes, we were asking how to speed up a Shopify site, but we’re not about to get rid of live chat, loyalty apps, review widgets, or conversion tools. Some features are a necessity.
Note: if you have a spinning wheel reduction app this MAY be fine. Ditto for those who have several banners rolling on a loop.
NOBODY – NOBODY – EVER will sit there and wonder what happens next. You are only slowing down your Shopify site.
What can you do to speed up your Shopify site?
* Before I continue, I want to highlight one agency that is good eggs at Shopify Speed Optimization, SpeedBoostr. They don’t cost the land and while they can’t move it for you either, they can make a difference.
In addition, Stamped Reviews worked so hard to isolate the script for certain pages, and Shop Sheriff AMP has been tirelessly patient with me. Finally, the reviews of the Virthium feedback discounts have also helped a lot.
They represent 4 out of the hundreds of app companies that just don’t seem to care enough. And no, I wasn’t paid or sponsored by them to say that. Credit, where credit is due.
Back to you – first, let’s check your site landscape
How do I know if my site is slow?
Anyone wondering how to speed up your Shopify site should know these 3 URLs.
- OK 2 URLS, no one actually knows the URL of Google Page Speed Insights – Google it
These three sites will tell you what state your Shopify site is in. They will give you an idea of the page load speed, obvious technical issues and the 3rd site will tell you what Google thinks of you.
Let’s be blunt, if you want to do well with Google, you want them to like your website. While they won’t speed up your Shopify site, they will give you the roadmap.
So my Shopify store is slow – what now?
Okay, you have the news that your site is slower than the average bear. Welcome to the club. In fact, don’t lose heart, here’s Shopify giant ‘Gymshark’ on Page Insights.
It doesn’t read well – but it’s a global brand where people search for their products and will likely wait a few seconds.
The search position for them is probably a little less important. Nevertheless – take heart. Most websites have performance issues. BUT if you’re a new business or an established business trying to take it to the next level, wanting to speed up your Shopify site isn’t just helpful for organic traffic growth – it’s also good for sales conversions.
Pages that load in 2 seconds convert almost twice as fast as those that load in 4
Read our guide on why you’re not getting sales from your online store
If after checking your site on these apps and can see it for yourself, Shopify’s slow load times are a problem, you’re going to want this super speed optimization hack. But first I’ll suggest a smaller one.
By the way, there are many other Shopify speed optimization tips, most of which are already encountered. Converting slider banners to a single strong image, compressing files, using Cloudflare CDN to convert images to WebP, etc. I’ll assume you did this.
Do you have a chat app?
Just in case you’ve seen the value of using a live chat app on your site, you might have noticed that these tools are extremely heavy during the initial page load. Sometimes it’s not the overall size of your page that’s the issue, it’s the size on first load.
What I mean by that is how far does Google or Bing have to crawl in order for your site to load properly?
Chat apps are extremely useful conversion optimization tools, but come with a performance cost. One trick that we have started using is to remove the app from our site while maintaining the subscription.
Almost all chat apps have a live chat URL, which we mistakenly discovered once when we noticed a chat about what we thought was an outdated app.
This link, when embedded in a page object such as a button or anchor text, can be configured to open a new window outside of your site, but still gives you the ability to communicate in real time with your customers.
Granted, this means chat triggers can’t be used, but it will take a whole bunch of code out of your site and retain basic functionality. Worth to be considered. It’s one way to speed up your Shopify site, but it’s not THE way.
Here it is – How to speed up your Shopify site