Shopify Store Slow To Load? Try These 7 Tips For A Faster Website

 

Fast page speed and site performance are key factors if you want to succeed in the e-commerce world.  If you have a slow loading site, you risk a higher bounce rate, low user engagement, decreased traffic and ultimately, low sales numbers.

Below are seven tips that can help increase your site’s loading speed.

1. Use fast and reliable hosting

When it comes to your website’s overall performance, the hosting service you go with has a huge impact and can cost your business thousands of dollars in lost revenue if you go with the wrong one.  In order to ensure you do not fall prey to this, consider these factors when researching a hosting company to go with:

  • What is the company’s memory and/or bandwidth limitations.  You want to make sure that they can handle a heavy load for times when you have a big sale or promotion.
  • What the projected user load looks like.  Can they handle a sudden spike in visitors to your site without crashing.
  • Make sure they are PCI compliant so you know users’ data is protected at all times.

2. Use a content delivery/distribution network

These types of networks consist of multiple servers that are all around the world.  It will distribute content from the server that is closest to the location of the website visitor.  This helps make the user’s experience more reliable and faster. E-commerce tends to be international so this is a step you don’t want to miss.

3. Use accelerated mobile pages

AMP is an open standard framework created so that you can create fast loading web pages specifically for mobile devices.   With more than half of people shopping from their mobile devices, it is critical that your website loads quickly and is mobile ready.

4. Compress your images

When it comes to the images you use on your Shopify website, you want to make sure you compress all of them (do keep in mind the quality of the image).  This is necessary if you want your pages to load faster.  You also want to make sure your image sizes are the acceptable size and that you are not over loading images onto any one page.  Here are the image formats that Shopify accepts:

  • JPEG or JPG
  • Progressive JPEG
  • PNG
  • GIF

For any new images, there are some sites that will reduce the size for free.  Tinypng.com or tinyjpg.com are two popular ones.  Once you optimize all your images, your load time will automatically improve.

When it comes to existing images, you can use either Crush.pics or Image Optimizer.

5. Choose the right theme for your Shopify store

Much of your sites speed will be directly related to the theme you choose.  You want to choose a theme that is fast and responsive.  You also want to look at the live preview and run it through Google PageSpeed Insight and see if they have any suggestions to help make the page faster.  Once you choose a theme, make sure to keep it up to date.

6. Don’t go crazy with installing lots of apps

Most of the apps you will download from the Shopify app store will load JavaScript/CSS files to your store.  The issue with this is that even when you are not using the app, these scripts are still running in the background slowing down your site.  Take the time to go through the apps you have installed and see which you are not using and delete them.

There are certain apps you want to be using like one for email marketing or for collecting reviews.  You also want to use something like exit offers to help boost sales numbers.  If someone starts to navigate away from your store, the app will display a pop-up with a promotion to entice you to make a purchase.

7. Use Google Tag Manager to organize your tracking codes

Normally, you create separate tracking codes for everything from your Google Analytics to remarketing tags.  This can be time consuming and will definitely affect the overall performance of your site.  This is where Google Tag Manager comes in.  You can store all your tags in one place.  This guide explains it all:  Add the Google Tag Manager Code to your Shopify Plus store.

Final thoughts

If your store is running slow, it will definitely have a negative impact on your bottom line as well as lower page views, engagements and ultimately, conversions.  The above tips will help you tweak your site so that it is running as optimally as possible.