Slow Shopify Store Is Just A Symptom...
…because there is no turn-key solution to speeding up your website. Problems in a number of different areas contribute to its overall slow down.
A slow Shopify website is a sign of one or more of the following issues, starting from most frequently observed:
- Broken toolset — when the tools (apps, themes, assets) are broken, but you don’t know it, your visitors suffer. Examples for broken tools:
- theme features not coded with users’ limitations in mind
- apps not coded with users’ limitations in mind
- apps running on slow servers
- apps leaving zombie code
- Not knowing you visitors — being unable to get into the shoes of your visitor you can’t foresee if the new feature you want to add to your store will actually help or hurt their shopping experience. Examples of areas most merchants lack understanding about their visitors:
- visitors’ needs and expectations of your website
- how do people (on mobile) actually use your website?
- do they really use every element on your pages?
- the technical limitations of the devices your visitors are using
- Not knowing your toolset — you are at a disadvantage when you lack understanding of what is possible and what isn’t with the tools available to you. You are either using a mediocre product or you are trying to reinvent the wheel when competitors already have flying cars. Examples of questions most store owners don’t have the answer of:
- should you make more mods on your theme or is time to get a new one?
- should you get an app for that feature or it makes more sense to have it custom coded?
- do you really need that app? Can you get the same result in a “faster package”?
- which app brings in the most money and slows down your store the least?
- what theme feature is best suited for the job you need?
- how to turn identified visitors’ needs into functionality/content on your website?
When issues from these three main areas start interacting with each other they produce complex interdependent problems. That’s why you’ll be always better off by identifying and fixing the underlying issue.
For example, not realizing there is no hover on mobile (device limitation) may lead you to believe that QuickShop is a good idea and it is actually helping your visitors (No, it isn’t). In such a case, instead of trying to speed up the quick view overlay, removing it completely will solve a number of user experience problems in one go. You’ll also get a faster website as an added bonus.
Some issues from these three main areas you could take care of yourself, some of them you could avoid in the first place.
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.