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How to improve your Shopify theme speed score

Last Updated on November 30, 2020 by Emily B

How to improve your Shopify theme speed score 

There are many factors that can affect your Shopify theme speed. Some of these you can control, others are factors that you can’t control.

Shopify recently rolled our Speed Score for Shopify themes, which is a combination of Pagespeed by Google Lighthouse and a custom approach by Shopify. Your Shopify page speed loading time is the amount of time it takes for your store to load on any browser and device.

Why is your Shopify theme speed score important?

The quicker your Shopify theme and store loads on a browser, the better-ranked you’ll be on Google. It can easily affect your SEO ranking. Having a fast-loading Shopify theme can significantly improve the user experience for consumers visiting your store, which in turn results in better shopping for them, making Shopify merchants more money.

Improving your Shopify theme speed

We’ve included some factors that could be impacting the speed of your Shopify theme and your online store, and how you improve the speed of your Shopify theme.

Your chosen Shopify theme

Themes that are used to create great-looking online stores are made up of code. This includes the likes of Liquid, HTML, JavaScript and CSS. Editing or customising the code or any part of your Shopify theme can affect your Shopify theme speed. You can look to compress and minify CSS and JavaScript code.

If you believe your Shopify theme is slowing down your online store, you could try the following:

  • Disabling any of the theme’s features that you don’t use, such as pop-ups on product and collection pages. Loading extra data your customers aren’t viewing can impact the speed of your online store
  • Try contacting your theme’s developer for some insight into how you can increase your Shopify theme speed
  • Think about using a system font. These include:
    • Lucida Grande
    • Trebuchet MS
    • Garamond
    • Palatino
    • Time New Roman
    • Courier New
    • Monaco

Shopify Apps

You could have Shopify Apps that you no longer are using on your store that you could uninstall. If you’ve added apps to change the functionality or appearance of your online store, they would have added extra code into your chosen theme so they can work. You can remove parts of the code to improve your Shopify theme speed.

Apps that run in admin-only will not affect the speed of your online store.

Liquid code

Shopify allows you to edit all of the Liquid code that’s used for your online store. Complex operations with Liquid code can increase your Liquid render time, which in turns affects your overall store speed.

To see how optimised your Liquid code is, you can use the Shopify Theme Inspector for Chrome.

You can also look to minify your Shopify store’s CSS and JS. This is another important process that will help speed up your site and improve its loading time.

Your images and videos

Large images and videos take a long time to load, which can add to your Shopify theme speed. Shopify has put in place safeguards to stop Shopify merchants from overloading their stores with images and videos.

  • You’re unable to have more than 50 products on one collection page
  • You can’t have more than 25 sections on your home page
  • Some themes are set up to defer loading images that aren’t currently on screen
  • Themes can load a specific size of an image based on the screen on which it’s being displayed

Although these safeguards are put in place, they don’t always stop images and videos from affecting your Shopify theme speed. Some other steps you can try are:

  • Keeping slideshows of images to two or three, or even better, just use one main image
  • Compress your images
  • Ask your theme developer for any advice on how best to use images with their theme

If you have a free Shopify theme, then you can contact Shopify support for guidance and support.

If you are using a third-party theme, then look to consult the theme’s developer.

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