Having a Shopify site is one of the best investments you can ever make for your e-commerce business. As the home of more than 800,000 stores, Shopify is flexible, scalable, and easy to use.
And while your Shopify store has all you could ever need in terms of online selling, a thing that most owners tend to ignore is site speed and performance. Sadly, the slower the page load times are, the higher the bounce rate will be.
Just consider these statistics:
- 47% of online shoppers expect a load speed of less than two seconds
- 64% of mobile users expect a page load time of less than four seconds
- 79% of customers are less likely to buy from slow-loading Shopify sites because of the poor user experience
More importantly, you can readily increase your conversion rates by 7% simply by improving the page speed by just one second. Given these implications, it truly is a must to speed up your Shopify store.
Here are three ways to do it:
Image Optimization is Important
Without a doubt, using high-quality images is beneficial for your online store. Since your customers can’t have a feel of the real thing, they need their eyes to guide their purchase — and they can do that by scrutinizing every image on your site.
Unfortunately, it can take your site additional time to load images, especially if the photos are just too big or too many.
And to make your website go faster, you need to follow these Shopify speed optimization tips for images:
- Name your photos in plain yet descriptive language.
- Use alt attributes as they can land you on Google search engine results.
- Reduce the sizes of your images with a free tool like Canva, PicMonkey, or PIXLR.
- Choose the right image format, which is JPEG or PNG.
- Keep your thumbnail images small. Make sure that its alt text is unique from the bigger photo.
- Add an image sitemap and submit it to Google.
- Reduce the size of your decorative image by using PNG-8/GIF for borders and CSS for colored areas.
- Use a content delivery network carefully, as it can strip you of SEO-boosting links. This is only recommended for Shopify stores that have bandwidth issues due to numerous transactions.
- Test images to see the best angles, the right number of products per page, and the like.
Get Rid of Shopify Apps You are No Longer Using
There are thousands of Shopify apps you can install. By loading these programs, you can post your products in other marketplaces, create an email list, create custom ads, and build FAQ pages, to name a few.
While helpful, these apps can end up affecting website performance. That’s because they need more resources to load.
According to a report, you increase page load times with every app you install. To compare, a site with no apps loads in a mere 2.19 seconds. On the other hand, a home page with six apps will need 7.25 seconds to complete loading.
If you want your content to load quickly on mobile or desktop pages, you need to uninstall every app you are no longer using. Just retain those that are necessary for your website performance.
A theme is like a brick-and-mortar shop storefront. This is what the users see when they enter your Shopify store.
And because first impressions last, it’s essential to pick the right theme for your store.
Many experts recommend the Turbo theme. Apart from having a beautiful website design, it has features that you can scale to fit your online store.
Additionally, the Turbo theme can help improve page speed through its:
- Preloading images, wherein it starts loading images for the next page once the users hover over the link. That way, when you click on the URL of the next page, it loads immediately.
- Responsive image loading, where it serves the appropriate image size according to the device accessing the site. That way, your mobile site won’t serve photos intended for desktop web pages.
If you can’t afford Turbo, you can always go for free responsive themes. These include:
- Simple, which is a clean, fuss-free theme
- Pop, a lightweight theme that boasts of a unique navigation style
- Narrative, which is best if you have a small product collection
Should you decide to use a product not listed above, remember to do speed testing.
An app you can use is Shopify Analyzer, where you can test page speed to see if your store loads in the fastest time possible. As it also comes with recommendations, it can give you insights on how to improve your store’s performance. Optimizing the speed of your Shopify store might seem like hard work, but it’s a necessity. And as long as you follow these three tips, you’re sure to enjoy a more responsive site.