Shopify Speed Optimization: 7 Proven Tips to Make Your Site as Fast as Usain Bolt


Weekly Loop #26

Shopify Speed Optimization: 7 Proven Tips to Make Your Site as Fast as Usain Bolt


Many sites struggle with Shopify speed optimization. Out of the box, it’s tough to get a decent score on Google Page Speed, GTMetrix, or any other speed test.

While there are many apps available that can help increase the speed of Shopify sites, adding more apps, often with recurring charges, isn’t always the ideal way to tackle the problem. There may be ways to increase your Shopify page speed through updating your theme’s code, optimizing images, and removing unnecessary elements.

If you need help with your Shopify speed optimization process, check out these 7 proven tips to make your site run like Usain Bolt.

  1. Test your site using Google PageSpeed Insights tool to identify problems. This is a free tool from Google. And since it’s from Google, it’s fairly safe to say that addressing any issues can only help you search engine results as well.

    After inputting your site address, the tool will give an overal score for both mobile and desktop, as well as more detailed stats. Most helpful for identify problems is the Opportunities section, where the biggest issues are listed first. 

  2. Test your site in GTMetrix. Similar to Google PageSpeed Insights, this is a free tool that gives an overall score, as well as more detailed stats. The results typically will differ in some way, giving you both more to work on and a “2nd opinion” of the biggest problems. (Note, the same site was used in both screenshots for GTMetrix and PageSpeed.)
  3. Reduce image size. Often, images are much larger file sizes than necessary and the size shoudl be reduced. This can be done manually using free online tools (google “image optimizer” for a list of options) or using an app like Crush Pics.

    While I argued against relying on apps, the advantage here is that all new images will also be optimized. If not, make sure images are optimized before uploading.

  4. Use Lazy Loading to defer below-the-fold images from initially loading. There’s no sense loading images at the bottom of the page right away. By using lazy loading on Shopify, only the images visible on the screen will be shown. As visitors scroll down, the remaining images will be loaded. This is built-in to some themes, but certainly not all.

    If it’s not built-in to your theme, lazy loading can still be added to your Shopify site by customizing your them. Here’s a guide on how to do so.

  5. Combine and Minify CSS and Javascript files. Most sites have many CSS files and JS files and each one slows down your Shopify page speed. Unfortunately, there aren’t any apps that can solve this issue, and it can be a bit tricky to implement. Shopify offers a way to fix this through the use SCSS.liquid files. Here’s a tutorial on how to get that setup on your own.
  6. Defer loading of CSS/JS files. Similar to lazy loading, uneeded elements are ignored upon first load. This can be done by editing your theme to either asynchronously load files or defer loading altogether. Often, it means moving CSS/JS references out of the element of your themes altogether, which may cause problems upon loading, but the next tip solves that.
  7. Deliver Critical CSS only. To make sure your Shopify site loads fast and still looks right, deliver all critical css upon first load. This can be retrieved manually using tools like Sitelocity and CriticalCSS. Once you have this code, create a custom CSS file, then load that in the head (without async or defer). More info on this method here.


It’s important for your Shopify site to load fast, both for your visitors and for search engines. Use these 7 tips to improve your speed – and run like Usain Bolt.

If you need help with Shopify Speed Optimization, be sure to get in touch.


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Andrew @ EcomLoop
Are you looking to start or grow a standalone ecommerce shop? I help independent businesses achieve success on the Shopify and WooCommerce platforms. As the owner of multiple ecommerce businesses, I've had the opportunity to get experience with nearly every aspect of the ecommerce industry. I started EcomLoop to help other quality independent businesses using my knowledge and experience. To stay on top of new ecommerce developments, I publish The EcomLoop Weekly Loop, a blog and email newsletter with original thoughts and curated links to help independent businesses improve their businesses.