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.

 

Recommended Links

 

Each week, we share articles, blog posts, videos, infographics, books and more related to ecommerce. 

Have a suggestion of something to include? Leave a comment below or contact us!

 

CONTENT MARKETING

Develop an effective content strategy to help your audience and turn visitors info customers

Ecommerce Sales Funnel: Content Strategy to Help Customer Decisions
Matt Ellis | Ecomdash

You can add some classic persuasion techniques into your site copy, promotion announcements, pricing techniques, and product descriptions to make your products seem even better. For example, you can use framing to make a normal feature seem like a bonus feature, or price anchoring to show how much lower your price is compared to the suggested retail price.1

 

ABANDONED CARTS

How do you abaonded cart numbers stack up compare to the industry averages?

Ecommerce Sales Funnel: Content Strategy to Close More Online Sales
Matt Ellis | Ecomdash

Based on statistics from SaleCycle, emails about cart abandonment have an open rate of 40-50%, compared to a 15% open rate for normal ecommerce emails.
But even more important, cart abandonment emails are proven effective in making a sale; they have a conversion rate of 2-3%.2

 

RETURN POLICIES

Learn how to make your ecommerce copywriting more effective – and where you should spend more of your time.

The 80/20 of eCommerce Copywriting
Andrew Youderian | eCommerceFuel

You’ll learn:

How eCommerce copywriting differs from other forms of copywriting
Where you should spend the majority of your copywriting time
Tips for creating product titles and descriptions3

 

CHATBOTS VS LIVE CHAT

Customers prefer chatbots over other communication methods – but not in all situations. How to when to use chatbots.

How to Know When to Use Chatbots vs Live Chat
Neil Patel | Quick Sprout

According to studies, 73% of consumers say live chat is their most preferred method of communication.
This ranked highest compared to other methods. In fact, 61% of consumers said they preferred email, 48% preferred social media and only 44% preferred phone.
Furthermore, live chat had a 92% satisfaction rating.
This was also the highest satisfaction rating compared to other forms of customer support.4

 

NEIL PATEL’S MARKETING SECRETS

Here’s Neil Patel’s “secret playbook” with hacks to grow traffic and sales.

My Secret Playbook: 28 Hacks Guaranteed to Grow Your Traffic and Sales
Neil Patel | Neil Patel

I know some of the hacks I mentioned above seem simple, but they work. And if I had to bet you a dollar, you don’t do most of those “simple” hacks.
No matter what vertical you are marketing in, it’s competitive. You aren’t going to find one hack that’ll drastically increase your traffic. You’ll find that you need to do a lot of little things.
But don’t take them for granted because all of those little things add up to a massive amount of traffic over time.
What other hacks do you leverage to increase traffic and sales?5

 

LOOKBACK: MARKETPLACES IN 2018

Check out this look back at 2018 for the major ecommerce marketplaces

Marketplaces Year in Review 2018
Marketplace Pulse | Marketplace Pulse

Despite their size and growth rate, marketplaces are the most overlooked player in the US e-commerce. Amazon doesn’t mention theirs often, retailers and brands are focused on Amazon the retailer, and shoppers don’t notice it thanks to FBA and Prime. And yet the largest online retailer in the US is not Amazon, but the Amazon Marketplace. Made up of millions of sellers it will account for 31.3% of total e-commerce sales this year.6

 

 

 

  1. https://www.ecomdash.com/ecommerce-decision-phase-content-strategy/
  2. https://www.ecomdash.com/ecommerce-action-phase-content-strategy/
  3. https://www.ecommercefuel.com/ecommerce-copywriting/
  4. http://www.quicksprout.com/2018/11/15/how-to-know-when-to-use-chatbots-vs-live-chat/
  5. https://neilpatel.com/blog/marketing-hacks/
  6. https://www.marketplacepulse.com/articles/marketplaces-year-in-review-2018

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.