Why is My Shopify Site So Slow?

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Loading. Loading. Still loading. Why is it taking so long? Sound familiar? You’re probably wondering, “Why is my Shopify site so slow?” 

Shopify is an excellent choice for your ecommerce platform. But like any backend platform, your site’s speed can suffer if you don’t maintain it. If you’re questioning why your Shopify site is so slow, it could be time to audit your site for some of the most common issues that decrease site performance. 

In this post, we’ll:

  • Review why site speed is crucial to your business success
  • Outline the most common problems with slow Shopify sites
  • Explain best practices for resolving site speed issues. 

Why the Speed of Your Shopify Site Matters

Before exploring what could be slowing your site down, it’s important to understand why site speed is a key metric to monitor and optimize. Your site speed directly impacts how your ecommerce site performs in search rankings and its conversion rates. 

Site loading speed is one of the many factors that search engines like Google consider when determining how high to rank your site in results. The slower your site, the lower you’ll rank in search results. So if you want to increase your chance of landing on the first page of Google results, you’ll need to optimize your site for speed. 

Impact on customer conversions

A slow site can directly impact your conversion rate — the percent of customers who make a purchase. Conversion rate is one of the most important ecommerce metrics to monitor. How is site speed connected to conversion rates? If your site is too slow, customers might get frustrated and leave before they make their purchase. 

You’ve likely seen the real-world version of this effect at the grocery store. If all the checkout lines at the store are 10 people deep, you’ll often see people with only one or two items put them down and walk out. 

A slow Shopify site is the online equivalent of a slow and backed-up checkout line. But it isn’t limited to checkout. A slow-loading homepage or sluggish search could turn customers away too. Customers buy online for convenience. If your site doesn’t deliver a flawless and speedy customer experience, buyers will look elsewhere. 

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Reasons Your Shopify Site Might Be Slow

In general, Shopify sites perform well. It’s one of the main reasons it’s one of the ecommerce platforms we recommend for our clients. But, when a Shopify site starts to slow down, you’ll need to troubleshoot. 

These culprits are the most likely answers to why is my Shopify site so slow:

  • Too Many Apps or Unused Apps. Shopify’s App store has many great add-ons for your site. But the more apps you install, the longer it takes for your site to load. This is because each app adds code to your site, and it will take browsers longer to process and render the page. 
  • Themes. Some theme features can slow down a website. For example, you might love that your theme includes a quick-view pop-up. But if the theme is loading all the data for the pop-up for every product on a page, you’re wasting time loading extra data that most customers won’t see. 
  • Complex or Inefficient Liquid Code. Liquid is Shopify’s templating language. Your theme comes with written Liquid code. But, sometimes lower-quality themes that Shopify hasn’t vetted might include overly complex code. Or, if you’ve customized your site by writing your own Liquid code, that should be one of the first areas you examine when troubleshooting a slow-loading site. 
  • Unnecessary and Overuse of Images and Videos. Images and videos slow down your site. Be sure to check image file size and resolution. Loading too many large photos or too many embedded videos can cause page loads to slow down to a crawl. 
  • Fonts. If you’re using custom web fonts, it will take time for the font to load if it’s not installed on the customer’s device already. Instead, consider using system fonts as backups that will load more quickly. 

How to Speed Up Your Shopify Site

Now that you know why your Shopify might be slow, here’s what you can do to speed it up.

Tips and best practices for optimizing your Shopify site for speed:

  • Choose a High-Quality Theme. Make sure you use a theme from a trusted developer. A tip from our guide to choosing the best Shopify theme is to pick from the Shopify theme store because Shopify quality checks each theme before listing it. 
  • Limit Apps to What’s Most Necessary. Review the apps you’ve installed on your site and remove the ones you’re not using. But don’t just stop at clicking uninstall. Many times after uninstalling an app, you’ll find remnants of the app’s code still on your site. You’ll need to uninstall the app and delete the code. If you’re uncomfortable with modifying your site’s code, an experienced Shopify developer can help. 
  • Optimize Media Files. Be sure to optimize your media files so you’re not trying to load high-resolution images for every product. Compress your media files for faster loading. 
  • Keep Your Shopify Theme Updated. Be sure to update your Shopify theme regularly so your site runs smoothly. 
  • Reduce or Optimize JavaScript and CSS. You’ll also want to make sure you’re not loading unused JavaScript for CSS. These scripts are another area where a Shopify developer can help. For a general overview of how your CSS can slow down your site, check out this guide to removing unused CSS from WordPress. Shopify is a different platform, but the post still gives an excellent overview of how CSS can impact your site speed. 

How Mindsize Can Help Fix Slow Shopify Sites

At Mindsize, our experts can help you find the answer and the solutions to the question, “Why is my Shopify site so slow.” Schedule a call today to discuss our customized site performance audit. A full audit takes about two weeks and will provide you with a report detailing any issues we find. We’ll also provide a prioritized list of recommendations to improve your site’s speed.