How to speed up my Shopify store?

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Quick tips on how to make your Shopify store load fast on desktop and mobile devices.

Over 70% of traffic today comes from mobile devices. Couple that with decreased attention span, its hyper critical for pages to load super fast.

Accelerated mobile pages aka AMP is one of the best ways how to make your mobile website load fast, especially for all traffic coming from Google. Given below is a look under the hood as why AMP pages appear to load lightning fast. AMP has specific standards and rules when it comes to compatibility. While they seem draconian at first, a quick peek under the hood, and we quickly realize that it’s not the rules that are cumbersome, it’s just how we build pages today.

CSS should be less than 75kb

Benefit: Less CSS means the browser has to spend fewer cycles in parsing the DOM. By restricting the CSS, AMP, in a subtle way, is telling developers to efficiently manage their styles and layouts. This is particularly helpful on mobile devices when pages are loaded over the network. It avoids multiple trips and also frees up resources to download other critical elements such as images and javascript libraries.

Why is restricting CSS particularly hard for Shopify stores?

Shopify’s architecture has evolved around one critical backbone, aka liquid.theme file. This file serves as an entry point for everything related to Shopify, starting from the <head> tag to the close of </body> tag. While the above is a sound architecture from technical and for all pragmatic purposes, it does have a negative impact on performance.

Most Shopify stores use custom themes, or work with different agencies that enhance the user-experience. In addition, apps such as review widgets, subscriptions, image enhancers, email captures etc. are installed over time, with each app bringing its own set of libraries. These libraries further come with its own set of implementations of bootstrap, jquery and other enhancements. Pretty soon, your website has now spaghetti 🍝 code all over, and the payload has now increased by at least 3x. Typical Shopify webstore, over time, experiences a 1.2MB increase in size, within 4-months of launch.

Even with latest smart phones and high speed connectivity, connection times, time to first byte, dns resolution and other real-world depictions, a 1.2MB file takes typically 0.6 seconds to download. With additional processing time to parse the CSS , and computation times, it will add at-least 1.2 seconds to render the page correctly.

WebFives proprietary algorithm builds fully compatible AMP pages while maintaining the same branding and layout of your website.

Now, imagine a service, that not only maintains the exact look-n-feel of your website, but it also ensures that the website is fully AMP compatible!

At WebFives, our team has spent years in understanding how the browser works and we are now applying the same technology towards building AMP pages. Our algorithm goes through every CSS rule of your website, identifies the core rules that are needed to render the page and builds an AMP compatible page based of those rules.

The video above gives a quick overview on how we are able to maintain the same look-n-feel between original and AMP pages. The section on left corresponds to your original website, the one that you have worked tirelessly to make it pixel perfect. The video on middle is the default plugin offered by WordPress. Notice how the default plugin removes all the branding and gives a completely different aka bad experience to the user. The video on right is the video built using WebFives AMP technology. The rendition is pixel perfect and pages clock at about 0.753 milliseconds (that’s right, under a second) to load on mobile.

Think about what sub-second page load times can do for you and your store. Less time loading implies lot more time spent by your potential users in understanding your product, browsing the pages and most importantly, clicking on “Buy Now”. We would love to offer your store the same sub-second page load time experience.

Just text us at ‪(415) 942-2061‬ or click here to contact us here and we will get your website AMP’ed in under 48-hours!