Speed up your Shopify Store: Tips and Tricks for Optimizing Page Load Times
Table of Contents
Optimizing the page load times of your Shopify store is essential to provide a great user experience and to help boost your search engine rankings. In this article, we’ll explore some tips and Shopify-specific tools that you can use to improve the performance of your store.
1. Network and Code Optimization
Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
The built-in CDN from Shopify can be activated from the “Settings” portion of the admin dashboard. This feature allows for the files on your website to be delivered from a server that is geographically closest to your customers,resulting in faster page load times.
Images that are large in size can cause slow loading times for your store, which can negatively impact its performance. To overcome this, apps like Crush.pics or TinyIMG from the Shopify App store can be utilized to compress your images
Optimize code and eliminate unnecessary scripts
GTmetrix and Google’s PageSpeed Insights are tools that can be used to discover and resolve problems like render-blocking resources and code bloat. Additionally, Shopify has an in-built option for minimizing and merging scripts and stylesheets that can be activated from “Online Store > Themes > Actions > Edit Code” in the admin panel.
Minimize redirects and broken links
Redirects and broken links can slow down page loading times. Use tools like Google Search Console to locate and fix these issues. Additionally, broken links caused by incorrect URLs can be resolved in the “Online Store > Navigation” section of your admin panel.
Use a good hosting service
To ensure your website performs well, it is essential to have a hosting service that offers fast and dependable performance. Shopify offers multiple plans that can meet your requirements, including dedicated server and VPS (Virtual Private Server) options. These options ensure that your website has the necessary resources to handle heavy traffic.
Shopify already has caching enabled for common elements such as products and collections. However, you can also use third-party apps such as Shopify Turbo from the App Store to enable caching for other parts of your store.
Ensure that your theme is optimized for speed and performance. This can include customizing the theme’s code or switching to a theme that is more lightweight.
2. Theme Optimization
The theme you choose plays a critical role in optimizing the page load times of your Shopify store. A theme that is not optimized can significantly slow down your site, even if you have implemented other performance optimization techniques. Consider the following when choosing or optimizing a theme for your Shopify store:
Use a lightweight theme
Choosing a theme that is heavy with features and animations may look visually pleasing, but it can negatively impact the loading speed of your site. Opt for a theme that is lightweight and optimized for speed and performance.
Check code quality
The codebase of a theme can greatly impact its performance. Before installing a theme or hiring a developer, ensure to check the quality of the code if possible.
Test for mobile performance
Many themes may be optimized for desktop devices but may not perform well on mobile devices, which is increasingly becoming an important factor as more and more people access the internet through their mobile devices (60%-80%). To ensure the theme’s performance on mobile devices, use tools such as Google’s PageSpeed Insights to check the theme’s performance on different mobile devices.
Be selective with apps
Use JPG images instead of PNG and make sure the images are the appropriate size and optimized by compressing them. A good tool to use for this is Bulk Product Edit by Hextom , available in the Shopify App store. Use developertools in Chrome to check how large images are being rendered to determine the optimal upload size for yourimages.
Preload the First Product Image on the Product Detail Page (PDP)
Preloading the initial image on the PDP can decrease the time it takes forthe image to appear, enhancing the user experience.
To improve page load times, minify your CSS files to decrease their size.
Lazyload is a technique that defers the loading of images until they are required, which can decrease the number of HTTP requests and enhance page load times.
Avoid redirection chains
Reducing the number ofredirects by fixing broken links and eliminating unnecessary redirects can also help to minimize the time added to the page load.
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