Nov 1, 2023

How to speed up your Shopify website: A comprehensive guide

how to speed up your shopify website
how to speed up your shopify website

Instant Team

How to speed up your Shopify website: A comprehensive guide

Speed is everything when it comes to Shopify site performance. Faster site speed is linked to higher conversion rates because it improves user experience. This increases the likelihood of them making a purchase.

Furthermore, customers expect fast websites. According to SimilarWeb, the average bounce rate for eCommerce sites is about 35.14%. Customers tend to leave a site quickly without clicking links, making payments, or doing anything else if the site loads slowly. But, if a website loads faster, fewer people leave, leading to more sales.

If you're wondering, why is my Shopify store so slow?, in this comprehensive guide, we’ll explain how to speed up your Shopify site. 

Step 1: Conduct a Shopify website speed test

Knowing your current website speed provides the starting point for site optimization efforts. By conducting a Shopify website speed test, you get to identify the exact areas that need improvements.

Several tools, including the Google Lighthouse, Shopify Analyzer, Google's PageSpeed Insights, and GTmetrix, offer robust capabilities for gauging your store's load time. Simply paste your URL into these platforms and allow the tool to perform a comprehensive analysis. This initial step plays a critical role in improving your site's performance.


  • Use tools such as Shopify Analyzer, Google’s PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix.

  • Note the areas that these tools identify as needing improvement.

Step 2: Optimize your images for speed

High-quality images are essential for driving customer engagement but they can significantly slow down your website if not properly optimized. Compressing your images is a smart way to reduce their size without compromising quality. This makes them lighter and quicker to load, improving your website speed. Consider adopting tools like TinyPNG or Shopify's image resizer for this task.

Tips for image optimization:

  • Use image compression tools such as TinyPNG, Jpeg Mini, or Shopify’s image resizer.

  • Strive for the right balance between image quality and speed.

Step 3: Minimize the use of Apps and Themes

While apps and themes can enhance your store’s functionality, excessive usage can cause your website to become slower. It's vital to declutter your Shopify store by uninstalling unused, outdated, or redundant apps. Also, consider customizing your current theme instead of adding different ones to avoid excess coding that burdens your site's speed.

Tips on apps and themes usage:

  • Measured use of apps and themes is recommended.

  • Uninstall unused, outdated, or redundant apps.

  • Customize existing themes rather than adding new ones.

  • Regularly review your themes and apps, removing those that aren’t contributing positively to your user experience.

With these steps, you'll be well on your way to a quicker, more efficient Shopify website. Remember, speed plays a vital role in providing an exceptional user experience and boosting your conversion rates.

Advanced Techniques for Reducing Shopify Load Time

Here are some advanced techniques you can try to improve your Shopify load time. 

Use of Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Speeding up your website isn't just about the content that's within it. The method of delivery is equally crucial. Enter the Content Delivery Network (CDN). CDN's worldwide network optimizes the delivery of your web content, reducing the distance data travels from the hosting server to your end-user. Additionally, it offers DDoS mitigation, enhancing security.

What advantage does CDN have?

Hosting your Shopify website on only one server means users far away from this server will detect your website as sluggish. By caching your site content across a CDN's global network of servers, data has significantly less distance to cover, improving load times. Additionally, CDN's replication of your website data across servers ensures your site remains live even if one server crashes.

Leverage Browser Caching

Browser caching is simply when a web browser stores copies of web pages locally on a device. This technique can significantly speed up load time on return visits to your website. It stores data of your website, such as HTML documents, JavaScript files, images, and CSS files. When a return visitor accesses your site, the browser doesn't have to reload the entire page—already cached components load quicker, shortening load times.

Leveraged correctly, browser caching can dramatically speed up load times for return visitors, provide a more seamless user experience, and conserve server resources by reducing demand on the server. Note, though, while browser caching is highly beneficial for return visitors, it doesn't significantly impact the experience for first-time visitors.

Minify CSS, JavaScript, and HTML

Reducing the load time can be as simple as condensing your codes. Minification is a process that removes unnecessary characters from your CSS, JavaScript, and HTML files—think white space, new lines, comments, and block delimiters—without changing their functionality. It's like translating a verbose English text into bullet points.

What's the big deal about minifying?

Why is minification such a big deal? Put simply: the smaller your file size, the faster it loads. JavaScript and CSS files are often bulky and filled with unnecessary spacing, indentation, and comments. Minifying these files can drastically reduce their size, speeding up load times. Plus, the minifying process is reversible. If you need to edit your JavaScript or CSS file, you can use a 'beautifier' to un-minify the document and make it human-readable again.

By employing an effective CDN, leveraging browser caching, and minifying your HTML/CSS/JavaScript files, you're ahead of the curve in speeding up your Shopify website load time. The seemingly hidden culprits of speed are unveiled, making for a more user-friendly website experience.

Common Shopify website speed issues

Here are common Shopify site speed issues and how to fix them. 

Slow mobile speed

We live in a mobile-first world, where the majority of users access websites on their smartphones. A slow mobile speed can then, be the key to deflating user experience and losing potential customers.

Take full advantage of Google's free mobile speed testing tool, Lighthouse, to address slow mobile speeds. It provides comprehensive reports about your mobile site's speed and offers specific recommendations on how to enhance its performance. Consider reducing unnecessary elements on your mobile site and focus on minimalistic design principles that prioritize user experience over unnecessary design jargon. Too many complicated features or elaborate designs tend to overcomplicate mobile websites, undermining their performance.

Another effective way to improve mobile speed is by implementing Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). AMP is a framework developed by Google to offer fast, smooth, and compelling user experiences on mobile websites.

Heavy use of JavaScript

JavaScript is an essential part of any website. It allows for interactive user experiences and dynamic content. However, excessive use of JavaScript can have the opposite effect - slowing down page load times and negatively impacting user experience.

Consider using asynchronous loading instead of overloading your site with heavy JavaScript files. This technique allows multiple scripts to load simultaneously without hurting your site's load time.

Additionally, try to minimize and compress your JavaScript files. Minification removes unnecessary characters like spaces and comments, reducing the size of the file. Compression, on the other hand, reduces redundancy in data, making your JavaScript files load faster.

Unoptimized images

Images are a vital part of any e-commerce website. They showcase your products, but unoptimized images can compromise the speed of your Shopify website.

Choosing the correct format for your images is crucial. While JPEGs provide excellent quality for detailed images, they are significantly larger than other formats. PNGs or WebP are better alternatives as they are smaller in size without compromising on quality.

Another way to optimize images is by compressing them before uploading. There are various online tools like TinyPNG or Compress JPEG that can substantially reduce the size of your images without affecting their quality.

Lastly, ensure you're using responsive images. Responsive images adjust their size based on the user's screen resolution. This means smaller devices will load smaller images, thus reducing the load time.

Remember, a smoothly running, fast-loading website is an absolute necessity in the highly competitive e-commerce landscape. Enhancing your Shopify website's speed will improve user experience and boost your search engine ranking, setting your business up for success. Don't let slow site speed be your Achilles heel.

The impact of improving Shopify website performance

Improving your Shopify site performance will have a big impact on your UX, conversion rate, and SEO rankings. 

Improved user experience

Nothing diminishes your Shopify store's credibility more than a snail-paced loading website. Speed thrills, as slow websites slaughter user experience by fostering frustration and the likelihood of abandonment. It's akin to walking into a shop, only for the doors to open in slow motion!

Boosting your website's performance dramatically betters user experience. Quicker loading times result in a smoother browsing experience, giving your audience more reason to stay and explore your products. Less time loading and more time purchasing sounds like a win, doesn't it? That's the advantage of butchered loading times.

Faster websites also boost user engagement. Imagine the frustration of trying to load a product page only for it to take forever. With a faster website, users can get the information they need more quickly. This leaves them more satisfied, improving their overall experience.

Increased conversion rates

Optimized Shopify website performance has a directly proportional relationship with increased conversion rates; in other words, your site speed will impact your conversion rate. There is an urgency in today's digital society; every second your customer waits for pages to load, you lower customer satisfaction and, thus, lower conversion rates.

A performance-enhanced website positively impacts the bottom line. Swift-loading pages signal respect for the consumer’s time, forming trust, which further opens up to transactions. Furthermore, the seamless shopping experience due to swift pages adds to the purchasing ease, again nudging up the conversion rates. Simply put, a speedy website converts window shoppers to surefire customers, enhancing ROI.

Remember, the internet generation is impatient. It's about delivering before they even have to ask. And efficient delivery pays off with higher conversions.

Better SEO rankings

Lastly, but pivotal, SEO rankings. The Search Engine Giant Google has made it clear with its algorithm updates that site speed is a ranking factor for SERP. A fast and responsive Shopify website gets the nod of validation from Google, leading to better rankings.

Higher rankings translate to better visibility. And in the online realm, visibility is the name of the game. With more people seeing your website up on their search results, you draw in more high-intent traffic.

An optimized website speed complements users' search intent by serving them the needed content quicker, creating a likable first impression. The importance of the first impression cannot be overstated. Satisfied users equal repeat visits, creating an upward spiral propelling the website to better rankings.

In conclusion, a well-performing Shopify website positively impacts user experience, conversion rates, and SEO rankings. It's an investment you can't afford to overlook.


Images that aren't optimized, crowded theme code, excessive Liquid loops, and a large number of apps all contribute to making your Shopify website slower. Don't forget a one-second delay can cause a 7% drop in conversions.

Don't consider this solely as an errand; consider it a chance to enhance your website's speed, thus boosting sales. Go ahead and start by optimizing images, decluttering your theme code, checking your Liquid loops, and sorting out the apps that are really essential for your store.

Let's not make your customers wait. After all, good things come to those who don't wait...online at least.

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Start building now

Explore Instant today to start building high-converting landing pages and sections, no-code required.




© Instant