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Jun 27, 2024

A Complete Guide to Improving the Shopify Speed Score

The Shopify Speed Score is a general indicator of your Shopify store's performance.

It measures your web performance based on Google Lighthouse’s assessment of:

  • Your Shopify store’s homepage,
  • The product page with the most traffic,
  • The collection page with the most traffic.

By assessing the product and collection pages in addition to the homepage, your Shopify store's speed score serves as a dedicated metric not just for loading speed and web performance but also for the shopper experience.

So if you want to improve your Shopify Speed Score, you’ll need to optimize the page speed of 1) your homepage, 2) your product pages, and 3) your collection pages.

Google Lighthouse Chrome Web Store Listing

It’s also important to note that Google Lighthouse is different from Google’s PageSpeed Insights.

Google Lighthouse works exclusively with lab data, whereas Google PageSpeed Insights utilizes user experience data in conjunction with lab data.

This means Google PageSpeed Insights reflects more “real world” and “practical” results than Google Lighthouse.

How do I know my Shopify Speed Score?

Note: You won’t get a Shopify Speed Score if your Shopify store is password protected. Shopify will only give your store a speed score after you’ve removed password protection from your online store.

Shopify How To Find The Shopify Store Speed Guide

Source: Shopify

The Shopify Speed Score can be found in the Analytics section.

From the admin panel, go to Analytics - Reports. Search for “Online Store Speed.”

Click on the Online Store Speed metric.

There, you’ll see your Shopify-calculated store speed. This 100-point score serves as your actual Shopify speed score.

Does the Shopify Speed Score Affect Online Business Performance?

As mentioned earlier, the Shopify Speed Score indicates site loading speed and web performance.

It’s commonly known in SEO and online entrepreneurship that the faster a site loads, the better patronage you’ll get from the market. This, in turn, results in more conversions and purchases.

This causation can be attributed to the internet’s preference for instantaneous things. In the online world, where information is readily accessible, people have grown accustomed to convenience and speed.

So, make sure your site provides that.

While a one-second lag behind the competition's Shopify store speed may not result in a perceivable dip in sales for smaller stores, this can be costly for larger enterprises and corporations.

It would be wise to grasp proper Shopify practices to improve site speed as early as now. That way, you’ll keep your sales revenue intact as you scale.

What Is a Good Shopify Speed Score?

It can be difficult to determine a good Shopify Speed Score.

Gymshark Homepage

Source: Gymshark

Gymshark, one of the most popular online businesses run on Shopify, can be assumed to have a Shopify Speed Score of 22. This is based on the average lighthouse performance scores of its homepage, most popular collection page, and most popular product page.

Using the same method, we calculated that Taylor Swift’s Shopify-powered merch store has a Shopify site speed score of 27.

So, there is no “good Shopify Speed Score."

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t attempt to increase it, though.

How to Increase Shopify Speed Score

General optimizations and maintenance on your site can improve your loading speed. And thus, enhance your Shopify speed score as well.

Here’s how you can increase your Shopify speed score:

Use an Optimized Shopify Theme

Shine Theme Scroll

Your Shopify theme makes up a significant chunk of your site’s performance.

That’s because a site is essentially built on these Shopify templates. So if a Shopify theme has clunky and inefficient code, it would also affect your site’s load speed.

A clean and optimized theme will allow your site to load quickly, allowing visitors to experience your site as intended.

How to Choose an Optimized Shopify Theme

You can count on Shopify-made themes like Dawn to load your site efficiently.

Furthermore, Shopify-made themes are always compatible with Shopify’s latest updates. This ensures an error-free, blazing visitor experience with minimal downtime.

But if you find Shopify-made themes too limited for your liking, you may utilize SalesHunterThemes for your online store.

Blum Theme Homepage First Fold

SalesHunterThemes creates snappy, optimized themes that create fast-loading sites without stripping them of some much-needed features and style.

The theme Shine has a Google PageSpeed Insights performance score of 80 on mobile and 95 on desktop.

A surefire way to get speedy themes is to run their respective demo stores through Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.

Go to the Shopify theme store and pick out a theme you want.

Shopify Theme Store View Demo Store Button

Click on “View demo store.”

Copy the demo store’s link and paste it into Google PageSpeed Insights.

You’d want to be primarily looking at the Performance metric. If the demo store has a score higher than 85, you’re good to go.

Optimize Your Store’s Code

Your site is likely built on a well-selected Shopify theme. If you haven’t tinkered with the code’s theme, then the store’s code is not something you have control over.

As a non-coding specialist, you can ensure your site has optimized code by choosing a fast theme and minimizing 3rd-party app use. (We’ll talk about the latter one later in this guide.)

However, if you plan to acquire the help of coding specialists to build custom tools or themes for your site, make sure you obtain ones that generate optimized code.

Ask for some of their previous work, and if it includes custom page building, run those pages through a speed test. (We’ll discuss speed tests later in this guide.)

Sites with optimized code are lighter and load faster than their non-optimized counterparts.

Compress Your Files and Media

Optimizilla Image Slider

Source: Optimizilla

Compressing your files and media makes your site load much faster.

That’s because whenever files are requested (e.g., whenever images or videos have to load), these need to be downloaded for the visitor’s current web browser session.

Hence, if a site uses smaller-sized files, it loads faster.

Here are some tips for ensuring the smallest media file size possible without compromising visual quality:

Use WEBP images

WebP Image GIMP Export Settings

These are smaller than JPGs and PNGs by a good margin. You may use free online conversion tools to turn images of any format into WEBP files. Photo tools, such as GIMP and Photoshop, can export to WEBP as well.

Use compression tools

There are two main compression types: lossy image compression and lossless image compression.

The former involves minimizing image resolution to result in imperceivable quality loss while achieving significant file size reduction. Various photo editing tools and image compressors can do the job.

The latter deals with rewriting the image file to achieve a smaller file size without reducing the image’s quality at all.

You may use both techniques for the best results.

Don’t crank the resolution to max

1280 x 720 image resolution Gimp settings

It’s nice to have large, high-resolution file sizes if you want to use your media assets for billboards and large print formats.

But for the web, you wouldn’t want to crank the resolution to the max. A 4K image won’t have more noticeable detail than a 1600p one, especially when viewed on mobile devices.

Your site will blaze much faster after following the above-mentioned tips.

Minimize Your Third-Party App Usage

Shopify Apps on the search bar

Additional customization and functionality add weight to your site, making it load slower.

It’s best to keep the bells and whistles to a minimum to ensure a better-performing website.

Some things you can do include:

  • Cut down on the third-party apps. Remove app-generated sections that add little to no value to your website. You’d just be adding unnecessary load speed.
  • Audit your site. Assess which third-party apps have significant benefits to your site. For example, would removing the third-party testimonials app result in fewer conversions? Assessing these things will allow you to make better and more holistic decisions for your site.
  • Replace web fonts with similar system fonts. Browsers need to download the respective web fonts before they’re displayed. Whereas system fonts are already on the visitor’s device, allowing them to be shown immediately.

Measure Your Site Performance

As mentioned earlier, you can see your Shopify score speed in Shopify’s Analytics section.

Gymshark Pagespeed Insights Score on Desktop

But you can also measure your site speed with other tools, such as Google PageSpeed insights.

Copy your published site’s URL and paste it into PageSpeed insights. Run the test and wait for the results.

Google Pagespeed Insights analyzing password page

Note: You’ll need to disable password protection; otherwise, these tools will just analyze the Shopify password page.

Other Tools to Measure Shopify Site Speed

The Shopify Speed Score, Google Pagespeed Insights, and Google Lighthouse will, more or less, give you roughly the same score.

It can help to acquire a “second opinion”—one that’s not powered by Google.

Some other tools to help you measure Shopify Site Speed include:

  • GTMetrix. GTMetrix gave Gymshark a 54 Performance Grade after performing the test in Vancouver, Canada.
  • Pingdom. Pingdom gave Gymshark a 69 Performance Grade after performing the test from Washington, D.C.
  • DebugBear. The website testing tool gives Gymshark a 24 on the “Real User Score” and a 51 on the “Lab Score.”

See how different these scores are from Gymshark’s Shopify Speed Score of 22.

Also, despite Gymshark’s stellar traffic and website authority, the site hasn’t scored above 70 on any of these speed tests.

Which begs the question:

Is Speed Everything?

It’s not the end of the world if your site doesn’t have satisfactory speed scores.

Speed isn’t everything.

There are other crucial areas of your site that you wouldn’t want to compromise for an incremental speed boost.

Other Crucial Factors to Consider for Your Shopify Store

These other areas include your store’s engagement, its conversion features, and the overall user experience.

Store Engagement

Blum Theme Demo Website Scroll

Factors such as the store’s unique web design, website animations, marquee text, and captivating website media all drive store engagement.

It doesn’t matter if a bland, non-engaging website loads 10 milliseconds faster than a much more engaging one.

Your site speed optimization efforts will all be for naught if you compromise website engagement.

So, don’t be afraid to use some crucial third-party apps. Add some low-impact customization to your website to make it stand out from the competition.

Conversion Features

Blum Theme Demo Store Countdown Timer

At the end of the day, a site should aim to convert visitors. This is a marketing goal that will dictate the company’s success and growth.

It helps to add conversion elements to a site, even if it means an incremental performance dip.

Conversion features include testimonials, email sign-up forms, countdown timers, and cross-sell and upsell popups.

User Experience

The website’s user experience helps mold the online brand experience. In turn, a positive user experience will result in better brand affinity.

Note: Site speed is only a part of the overall user experience.

You should also consider website navigation and proper web design.

Shine Theme Before and After

It also helps to have some added functionality. For example, if you’re a cosmetic business, a before-after section on your website can improve the user experience and their perception of the product. This is something the Shine theme provides without needing to install a third-party application.

FAQ

What is a good speed score for a Shopify store?

Ideally, a good Shopify speed score would be above 80, as with any speed score. But seeing that successful shops, such as Gymshark, are getting nowhere beyond 70, this indicates that there’s more to a sustainable shop than just raw speed.

How do I fix my Shopify speed score?

The Shopify speed score is calculated on a weighted average of the homepage’s, most visited product page’s, and most visited collection page’s Google Lighthouse scores.

Hence, merchants would need to optimize their homepage, product pages, and collection pages. This means using a fast Shopify theme, compressing media files, removing unnecessary third-party apps and resources, and optimizing the site code for these pages.

How do I check the speed of my Shopify store?

The Shopify speed score is located in Analytics - Reports - Online store speed.

But you can also check your Shopify store’s speed using Google PageInsights, Google Lighthouse, Pingdom, GTMetrix, and DebugBear, among many others.

Just make sure to remove your store’s password before doing so, though. Or else, these sites would just assess the password page.

Why is my Shopify store so slow?

Your site speed depends on various factors, such as the theme you're using, how large your media files are, and how much resources potential customers have to download when visiting your Shopify store.

Optimizing in these areas can improve your store speed.

Conclusion

The Shopify store speed is detrimental to many aspects of store owners' online businesses.

A good site speed improves user experience, engagement, and ultimately, conversion rates. Stellar web performance also impacts SEO.

However, Shopify stores shouldn't solely focus on their store speed. While a good Shopify speed score can mean better site speed, there are other areas that should never be compromised--especially for a Shopify store.

These include the Shopify site engagement and conversion features. They may often come at the compromise of site speed, but they are detrimental to a stellar user experience, and, ultimately, business goals.

SalesHunterThemes

Experienced Shopify theme developer specializing in high-performance, mobile-first themes for key commerce niches.

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