Is your Shopify website slow?
Having a slow website can affect many aspects of what you are trying to achieve, whether it be traffic or the user experience. It is a factor that is often overlooked by business owners.
However, the speed of your Shopify website is not something to be overlooked. There are many things that you can do to tweak your website, to speed it up and enable countless other benefits.
But what are the benefits of having a faster website? What is the importance?
The Importance of a Fast Shopify Website
Not only does having a fast website improve the quality of the user’s experience, but it enables your website to grow faster. Customers will value the speed of your website as an indicator of what is to come, which can drive away sales if not managed.
If a customer visits you and a competitor, and has a difficult time on your website due to the speed issue, then they will more than likely purchase from them instead. Speed is a key factor when it comes to impulse buying, so you are driving away many sales that you otherwise would have made.
Google also considers speed an important factor, which is why they include it as one of the ways they rank websites on their search engine. This means, even if your website is top-quality and includes all the right SEO content, speed may still affect the ranking of your website on Google, further driving away customers.
Speed then becomes a worse situation, as you are pushing away customers that are ready to make a purchase, whilst Google isn’t ranking your website where it should be. This is why speeding up your Shopify website is essential.
There are many reasons why websites become slower, let’s jump into some of the ways you can speed up your site and get the traffic that is needed to grow your business.
How to measure the speed of your website
There are many different sites and tools that you can use to determine the current speed of your website. GTMetrix gives you the ability to find out how long it takes for your site to fully load, which is an important thing to know, and Pingdom shows you a best case scenario of the speed of your website.
Google PageSpeed Test is the most popular speed test though, giving your website a score based on how fast it is. The tool gives you a list of things you can do to improve performance, whilst also telling you how much it will speed your website up by. The downside to using Google PageSpeed Test is that Google is showing you what an absolute best case scenario looks like and it’s almost impossible to get full marks. For example, check out Google’s own website page store.google.com/product/stadia and it’s related speed test.
You can take real-life speed tests by timing how long it takes for your website to load, although these tests are not always 100% accurate as there are many factors, such as varying internet speed, that can affect the loading time speed.
Using a mixture of these methods is important and can help you to view your website speed holistically.
Tackling the main culprit – Images
Images are one of the primary reasons for a website being slow. Whether it be due to the size of the file or the pixels of the image, they tend to drag down loading times. As eCommerce websites need to include images, this becomes one of the main problems that a Shopify store can go through.
Luckily, there are ways to counter this, one of which is image deletion. There are many unnecessary images uploaded onto websites which do not need to be there, slowing down the site in the process. Take a good look through at your website and delete any unneeded images to improve speed.
Another way to counter this would be reducing the image size. Images are loaded by downloading them through the internet, so a large file size will slow down the loading process. This applies to the pixel size also, not just the file size. Images can be unnecessarily big which can drag down the speed.
Two ways you can reduce image size
To reduce the size of the file, use a photo-editing software such as Photoshop, and convert the file type to a JPG. A JPG file type compared with a PNG is a lot smaller. The photo will load faster on your site.
To reduce pixel size, change the image dimensions to a smaller size. 600 x 600 pixels is a good size for a square product image but you may want to increase or decrease this slightly depending on the image placement.
Online compression tools that are available
Websites such as Squoosh and Pixlr allow you to compress/change the file size of your image easily, with a quality option allowing you to lower the quality of your image for a smaller size. These tools are free and can be used online with no download required.
Bulk Resize can also be used to change the size of your image, however, the website is better suited for multiple images, rather than just one. It can save a lot of time if you are resizing a lot of images.
Compress your images on autopilot
For those not wanting to make any image mistakes again, there is a Shopify plugin called Bulk Image Edit by Hextom. Not only does it allow you to automatically resize images, it can optimise images – improving SEO performance.
The plugin works well with social media and is a key tool to use when dealing with images on Shopify.
Remove or reduce some of your dynamic elements
Elements on your website such as quick shop, sliders and embedded videos can drastically slow it down. This is because they work differently to static, normal elements. They load in the background whilst the page is still loading, so an abundance of these dynamic elements can soon drag up the loading time.
Remove any unnecessary dynamic elements, and keep it at the bare minimum for what your store needs. This will keep the site loading time running smoothly.
Still not fast enough? There’s more that you can do!
Website themes also play a role in loading speed. People use the fanciest themes to try and win over customers, but will see opposing results as the loading time will affect search ranking. One of the fastest themes available for Shopify would be Turbo. Made by ‘Out of the Sandbox’, Turbo is designed specifically to run at a faster speed.
If you are still struggling with speed on your Shopify website, you may need to seek professional help. An expert in web-editing will be able to fix image issues, as well as many other tweaks and changes that can help your website prosper.
Here at Xune, we focus on Growth Marketing and have long-standing experience with improving traffic to websites. Click Here to book a call with us to discuss your website.