How to Avoid Zombie Code
Zombie code slows your website down. Now that you know, it makes sense to want to avoid it. And since one of the reasons of getting zombie code is installing apps and services outside of the Shopify App Store, an obvious strategy would be to try and restrict yourself.
Is Using Apps Just From the Shopify App Store a Sure Protection Agains Zombie Code?
As noted before, even apps from the Shopify store leave active code behind.
Clean install app—you add the app to your store and there are no more steps necessary to get it working.
“Clean install apps” don’t ask you to install anything after you clicked “Add to store” from their page on the Shopify App Store. The apps that go away cleanly don’t require a developer to touch your theme and don’t advise you to put code anywhere by yourself.
Currently, you can’t know which apps (from those that add customer facing functionality) are going to leave zombie code and which won’t unless you install them. That puts you in a pretty bad position—to avoid a zombie apocalypse on your Shopify store you will have to be constantly keeping track of the apps that put code in your theme.
Your next challenge is to remember about them when uninstalling and clean any leftovers they leave behind.
Don’t let the zombies sneak under the radar
To avoid forgetting an app that made a modification to your theme you could set an app tracking system yourself.
A spreadsheet, Trello board or a simple list on paper could do. In it you’ll put the name of the app, a checkmark if it required “additional installation”, who helped you install it, when was it installed and if it is still present or not.
Then you can set a reminder on your calendar to regularly check if the apps with zombie code potential are still present on your store.
In one of these checks, when you notice a zombie-prone app got uninstalled, contact the person who installed it to remove the left over code.
If the app asked you to click a button to install its snippet, contact the app support from their Shopify App Store page. Tell them you are concerned about the speed of your pages and request removal of the leftover code from your store. App support representatives would likely respond OK to such a request and will either delete the zombie code, ensure you there wasn’t any or send you instructions which files you can delete yourself.
If you’ve read this far, I believe you’ll benefit from my “No Code Shopify Speed Optimization” guide! It is a quick read that’ll help you get the right mindset towards your Shopify store customizations.