Experienced E-commerce Agency for Magento/ Adobe Commerce/ Shopify/ Shopware Development

Speed Score Shopify: What and How to Improve?

Have you ever wondered why your Shopify store does not perform as expected, despite carefully optimizing your product pages, titles, and descriptions? With a detail SEO strategy and strategically put keywords throughout your storefront, complemented by captivating images, you’d expect soaring through the rankings and attracting floods of traffic. However, you’re back at square one, with your sales funnel showing no signs of progress.

If this sounds familiar, you may have overlooked a crucial aspect in your optimization efforts: Shopify page speed. Optimizing page speed may seem obscure, as you cannot directly edit it; instead, you must optimize other areas that influence overall page speed. Yet, some factors remain beyond your control, such as the speed of a customer’s network, their device, and their location. Even Shopify’s infrastructure can impact the loading time of your online store.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through what a Speed Score Shopify entails, why it holds significance for your business, and the various components of your online storefront that you can adjust to enhance your speed score.

What is Speed Score Shopify?

What is Speed Score Shopify?

A Shopify speed score measures the loading speed of your storefront within the Shopify test environment, based on Google Lighthouse performance metrics. This score is reevaluated daily, allowing updates as you make adjustments and improvements.

As one of the largest online marketplaces globally, attracting millions of customers annually, understanding the significance of a speed score and methods to improve it is crucial. A slow storefront can deter potential customers, resulting in lost revenue opportunities and driving them towards competitors.

Website conversion rates significantly drop within the first five seconds of load time. Google recommends a three-second load time, as anything beyond this increases the bounce rate by up to 32%. Search engines favor websites with optimal speed, as it enhances the user experience.

Consider the perspective of a customer. If you are looking to buy a handbag online and find one you like, you would want to add it to your cart and buy it immediately. If the website takes a long time to load, dissatisfaction can appear. Slow-loading product images or an unresponsive cart are major deterrents, prompting customers to move to another website.

With numerous options in online retail, customers can easily switch from one website to another. They are not specifically purchasing your handbag; they are purchasing a handbag, and their priority is obtaining it without hassle.

Why Shopify Speed Score is Important?

Understanding the significance of your Shopify speed score is essential for meeting and exceeding your business objectives. The speed score, calculated based on various performance metrics, is a crucial factor that can influence your online store’s success.

A poor speed score can significantly impact the difference between attracting regular customers and having no traffic at all. Often overlooked by eCommerce business leaders during storefront optimization, the speed score operates in the background but plays a vital role. A fast-performing site attracts more customers, as search engines favor quick-loading sites by ranking them higher than their slower competitors.

Consider the importance of reaching a sales target of 10 sales per day with a conversion rate of 10%. This goal requires reaching 100 potential customers daily. Ranking on the first page of Google, or within the top 10 results, yields an average page conversion rate of nearly 40%, compared to 18.7% for pages 3 and 4, and 10.2% for even lower rankings. 

This substantial gap indicates that moving from a rank of 30 to 10 can quadruple your traffic, bringing more potential customers to your site and increasing conversion rates. For more detailed information on optimizing your Shopify store for search engines, refer to our ultimate guide to Shopify Speed Optimization.

In conclusion, considering page loading time as part of your SEO best practices is essential, as it influences how search engines rank your content. Higher-ranking content results in more traffic, which ultimately leads to increased sales.

What is a good Shopify Speed Score?

Several factors are considered when evaluating your Shopify speed score. This score is calculated based on a weighted average of the Lighthouse performance scores for your store’s home page, the product page with the most traffic over the last seven days, and the collection page with the most traffic over the same period.

The Web Performance dashboard provides insights into the performance of your online store, using real user data from the past 28 days. It evaluates your store against the three Core Web Vitals and assigns a ranking of “good,” “moderate,” or “poor” to each metric, reflecting the top 75% of user experiences.

You can view data for different devices by using the drop-down menu at the top of the page. Options include “mobile,” “desktop,” or “all” (the default option), allowing you to customize your view.

Due to the way the metrics are calculated, your metrics might not change immediately after you make updates to your online store. If your store is new or password-protected, metrics may not be available.

Loading Speed

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) measures loading speed, based on how quickly the largest element on the screen becomes visible.

RankingTarget MetricDescription
Good≤ 2500msMost users experience a fast page load.
Moderate> 2500ms and < 4000msSome users experience a fast page load; there is room for improvement.
Poor≥ 4000msMost users experience a slow page load; this should be improved.

Interactivity

Interaction to Next Paint (INP) measures the time it takes for the browser to paint the next frame or display a change on screen after a user interaction, such as clicking a link or button.

RankingTarget MetricDescription
Good≤ 200msMost users experience good responsiveness on pages.
Moderate> 200ms and < 500msSome users experience good responsiveness; there is room for improvement.
Poor≥ 500msMost users experience slow responsiveness; this should be improved.

Visual Stability

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) measures visual stability, based on how much the content shifts unexpectedly during loading.

RankingTarget MetricDescription
Good≤ 0.1Most users experience a stable layout as the page loads.
Moderate> 0.1 and < 0.25Some users experience a stable layout; there is room for improvement.
Poor≥ 0.25Most users experience an unstable layout; this should be improved.

By monitoring and optimizing these metrics, you can enhance the performance and user experience of your Shopify store.

In determining the weight of these performance scores, Shopify takes into account the relative traffic of these pages compared to similar stores within the same industry. This monitoring process spans seven days to ensure accuracy. A good Shopify speed score is considered to be 50, while a score of 70 or more is deemed excellent.

How to Improve Shopify Speed Score

How to Improve Shopify Speed Score

Now that we understand what a Shopify speed score is and why it’s important, let’s explore some ways to influence and improve your score. Here are four tips to help make your website run quickly.

Shopify Apps

Shopify offers countless integrations and third-party apps. While these apps can benefit your store, they may also slow down your page loading time. Evaluate which apps are relevant and useful, and keep only the necessary ones to minimize negative impacts on your Shopify speed score.

To determine the effect of your apps on page speed, conduct a test by checking your speed score with the app installed, then uninstall it and compare the updated score. If you notice a significant performance improvement, consider removing the app.

Pro Tip: If uninstalling an app does not improve your page speed, excess code might be left behind. You can manually remove this code from the backend to resolve this issue.

When deciding whether to delete an app, consider the customer experience. Think about your storefront journey from the customer’s perspective. Will the benefit of a pop-up window outweigh the slow loading time, or will the low speed deter customers despite the pop-up window’s advantages?

Pro Tip: Regularly audit the apps you use and remove any that are unnecessary to eliminate deadweight dragging down your speed score.

By following these tips and carefully managing your apps, you can significantly improve your Shopify speed score and enhance the overall performance of your online store.

Themes, Fonts, and Code

Adjustments to your base theme and code can significantly lighten the load on your Shopify storefront and improve speed.

As a marketing-savvy eCommerce business owner, you’ve likely customized your Shopify storefront to align with your unique brand, incorporating custom fonts, colors, and imagery. While this consistency is essential for maintaining a cohesive image across all sales channels, poorly written or excessive code can clog your theme and affect page loading time. 

Conduct an audit of your code, either personally or with a professional, to identify and implement efficiencies. Utilizing base themes, which are built for speed and efficiency, and making edits from there can also be beneficial. Regularly checking your theme and updating it when necessary ensures optimal performance.

In terms of branding, custom fonts may enhance your store’s appearance, but they require significant space and code. Consider using Shopify system fonts, designed to minimize negative impacts on loading time. The general rule is that the more you customize, the more code is required, which can slow down your website.

Lastly, ensure that no coding errors are present, as these can prevent the browser from loading content, leading to serious page-loading delays.

Images and Sizes

Images and Sizes

Including attractive, high-quality images of products is important for any Shopify storefront, as it showcases product features and attracts potential customers. While uploading multiple pictures to your product page is necessary, it is crucial to consider the size of your images. Higher-quality pictures tend to carry a heavier load, which negatively affects the speed of your website.

Fortunately, you don’t need to choose between image resolution and page speed. There are methods to adjust images without compromising quality. Here are a few ways to optimize your images:

  • Compress: You can manually compress images using Photoshop or other digital design software, or use automatic image compression tools.
  • File Type: Using an inefficient file type can clog your page loading time. Shopify recommends using JPEG for product images and PNG for decorative visuals.
  • Responsiveness: Ensure that your images are responsive and load properly on both desktop and mobile devices.
  • Testing: If you’re unsure how efficient your images are, test your speed score before and after adding images to your Shopify storefront.

By optimizing your images for speed performance, you can boost your potential for conversions. If customers are deciding whether to buy your product and your images are slow to load, it could deter them from adding the product to their cart. Bypassing blockers in the user journey while improving your speed score can be achieved simultaneously.

For further insights on taking the perfect picture and optimizing your product images for Shopify, explore our ultimate guide to Shopify product images.

Database Optimization

Database Optimization

Database optimization is an important yet often overlooked aspect of improving page speed in a Shopify store. Efficient database management can significantly impact loading times and overall site performance.

Regular Database Cleanup

Regular database cleanup is essential for maintaining optimal performance. Vendors should periodically review and clean up their databases by removing redundant, outdated, or unnecessary data to streamline operations. Deleting old or unused entries, such as outdated product listings, customer information, or redundant records, helps organize the database and enhance efficiency.

Index Optimization

Database indexing plays a vital role in optimizing database queries. Merchants should use indexing to speed up data retrieval by indexing frequently queried fields. Regularly reviewing and optimizing the indexing strategy ensures it aligns with evolving data patterns and usage, maintaining optimal performance.

Query Optimization

Optimizing database queries is another key factor. Merchants should analyze and improve the efficiency of their database queries, using efficient query writing techniques to retrieve data faster. Reducing complex or resource-intensive queries helps minimize their impact on database performance, ensuring quicker data retrieval.

Database Caching

Implementing a caching strategy significantly enhances speed by storing frequently accessed data in memory, reducing the need to retrieve data from the disk. Allocating sufficient memory for caching ensures that frequently accessed data is effectively stored for faster retrieval, improving overall performance.

Use Efficient Database Managers

Utilizing efficient database manager tools available in the Shopify ecosystem, such as Oracle or Excelify, aids in optimizing and managing database operations. These tools provide comprehensive solutions for maintaining an efficient and well-organized database.

Regular Backup and Maintenance

Performing regular backups of the database is essential for ensuring data integrity and minimizing the risk of performance issues. Scheduled backups and regular maintenance help prevent database-related problems from affecting overall site performance, keeping the store running smoothly.

Data Compression and Archiving

Compressing large or less frequently accessed data reduces storage requirements and optimizes data retrieval times. Additionally, archiving historical data in separate archives keeps the live database lean and responsive, further enhancing performance.

Efficient database management through regular cleanup, index optimization, query optimization, caching, using effective tools, regular backups, and data compression ensures a high-performing Shopify store with improved page speed and a better user experience.

Maintenance

Optimization is an ongoing process akin to gardening – the work is never truly complete. Once you’ve optimized every factor to improve your page speed, you must maintain it to a high standard. As an eCommerce store owner, continually managing optimizations for your page speed can become a time-consuming task, diverting your attention from other important areas. 

Fortunately, many tools and software solutions are available to automate optimization tasks for your Shopify store. Check out our article on the top Shopify Optimization tools. These tools can save you time, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business while understanding the role of AI in creativity and innovation.

Beyond automated processes, it is best practice to regularly check your site speed and identify areas for improvement. Google’s PageSpeed Insights is a quick way to monitor your speed performance on both desktop and mobile devices. It also provides recommendations for enhancements. By simply entering your Shopify site URL into PageSpeed, you can receive a score ranging from 1-100, with scores below 11% being poor and scores above 81% considered good.

Maintenance

Implementing a few minor adjustments as suggested by PageSpeed Insights can significantly improve your Shopify speed score with minimal effort. Therefore, it’s always worth regularly checking to ensure your site remains optimized. Additionally, conducting a site audit once a quarter is recommended, especially if you have a large or frequently changing seasonal inventory.

Enhancing Speed Score Shopify With Mageplaza’s Solutions

At Mageplaza, we position ourselves as your dedicated and experienced eCommerce solution advisor. With over a decade of experience in the industry, our mission is to introduce tailored digital solutions that drive success for businesses seeking transformation in the digital realm. Leveraging our wealth of experience and upholding values of transparency, loyalty, and dedication, we desire to be a reliable partner for your digital commerce journey.

Our expert services at Mageplaza are prepared to tackle these challenges and significantly improve your Speed Score Shopify. Here’s an overview of what we offer:

  1. Comprehensive Speed Analysis: We conduct a detailed assessment to identify improvement areas, including page load times, server responses, and overall website performance.
  2. Google PSI Audit: Our evaluation measures performance against Google’s standards to provide optimization recommendations for both desktop and mobile devices.
  3. Shopify App and Plugin Analysis: We ensure that installed apps and plugins do not hurt your site’s speed, removing unnecessary ones.
  4. Image and Web Font Optimization: We reduce file sizes, optimize images, and enhance web fonts to boost load times.
  5. Server and Hosting Optimization: Our team enhances speed and performance by configuring settings, upgrading resources, and implementing load balancing solutions.
  6. Browser Caching and Code Optimization: We reduce page load times and server responses by optimizing code and caching content.
  7. CDN Implementation and File Request Reduction: We improve load times and reduce server responses by implementing CDN and streamlining file requests.
  8. Lazy Loading and Mobile Optimization: We enhance load times by loading content as users scroll and optimizing design and content for mobile devices.

Mageplaza’s Speed Score Shopify services are not solely focused on increasing speed; they aim to transform your online store’s performance. With our tailored strategies, we strive to provide a seamless, lightning-fast shopping experience for your customers. Fast-track your success with Mageplaza’s optimization services!

TALK TO OUR SHOPIFY EXPERTS NOW

Conclusion

In conclusion, understanding Shopify’s page speed score, its importance, and ways to improve it are crucial. By understanding how your storefront is classified on major search engines and using the suitable tools and strategies, you can enhance your ranking. A high-performing website is important for maximizing potential sales and ensuring you don’t lose customers due to slow loading times.

The customer journey is leading in eCommerce. It is easy for customers to click away from a slow site and move to the next option, so optimizing your Shopify store for page speed is a surefire way to improve your ranking, sales, and overall customer satisfaction.

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A data-driven marketing leader with over 10 years of experience in the ecommerce industry. Summer leverages her deep understanding of customer behavior and market trends to develop strategic marketing campaigns that drive brand awareness, customer acquisition, and ultimately, sales growth for our company.
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