Shopify Speed Score: All You Need to Know

Mar 3, 2024
Alice Pham

In the digital age, the speed at which an online store loads can make or break its success. Optimizing the speed of Shopify stores is paramount to providing customers a seamless and satisfying shopping experience. One of the key metrics used to assess the performance of a Shopify store is the Speed Score, which evaluates various factors contributing to loading times and overall efficiency. Understanding what constitutes a good speed score, how to improve it, and how to monitor it is essential for you to maximize your store's performance and drive conversions. This guide will delve into these aspects, providing insights and strategies to help you optimize your Shopify speed scores effectively.

What is the Shopify Speed Score?

The Shopify Speed Score is a metric used to evaluate the loading speed and performance of Shopify online stores. It measures a website's speed, including page load times, server response times, and overall responsiveness. A higher Speed Score indicates a faster and more efficient website, which can offer better user experiences, improved search engine rankings, and higher conversion rates. Shopify provides you with insights and recommendations to optimize your Speed Score, helping you enhance your store's performance and ultimately drive more sales and customer satisfaction.

How is Shopify Speed Score Calculated?

The Shopify Speed Score is derived from a weighted average of the Lighthouse performance scores for specific pages on your Shopify store. These scores typically include:

  • The homepage Lighthouse performance score.
  • The product page that has received the most traffic over the past 7 days.
  • The collection page that has received the most traffic over the past 7 days.

Each of these scores contributes to the overall Speed Score, with different weights assigned based on their importance to the overall performance of the store. It's important to note that the Speed Score is not solely a measurement of loading speed but also encompasses other performance factors evaluated by Lighthouse, such as First Contentful Paint, Time to Interactive, and Cumulative Layout Shift.

By using Shopify's Online Store Speed Report, you can gain insights into how your store's performance compares to competitors. This nuanced understanding allows you to identify areas for improvement and optimize your store's speed, ultimately enhancing user experience, conversion rates, and search engine rankings.

What is a Good Shopify Speed Score? Does It Impact Conversions?

A good Shopify Speed Score often starts from 70, although higher scores are always desirable. However, it's essential to understand that what constitutes a "good" score can vary based on industry benchmarks and user expectations. Generally, a higher Speed Score indicates that the website has faster loading times and offers users better overall performance, which can positively impact user experience, search engine rankings, and conversions.

Speed directly influences user satisfaction and engagement in an online store. According to a study, faster loading times lead to lower bounce rates, higher engagement, and increased conversion rates. Since the customers are more likely to leave a website if it takes long time to load, leading to lost sales opportunities. Therefore, optimizing for speed is crucial for improving conversions and maximizing revenue. 

Source: bloggingwizard

What Factors Can Impact Your Shopify Speed Score?

Several factors can impact your Shopify Speed Score, potentially slowing down your store's performance:

  • Apps: As your store expands, adding more apps for additional functionality can increase load times. Some apps may require more time to communicate with Shopify's API or slower servers, affecting overall speed.
  • Images: Large or poorly optimized images, as well as an excessive number of images, can significantly slow down page load times. So, by optimizing images for the web, you can improve your site’s speed.
  • Tracking codes: Incorporating numerous tracking codes to measure conversions can also contribute to slower page load times. Each additional tracking script adds to the overhead and can impact performance.
  • Coding errors: Errors in the code can cause delays as browsers struggle to load elements correctly. Ensuring clean, error-free code can help mitigate speed issues.
  • Theme customization: Customizing a theme can impact speed, particularly if modifications increase file sizes or introduce inefficient code. Disabling unnecessary theme features, utilizing system fonts, and optimizing CSS and JavaScript files can help maintain performance.

By addressing these factors and optimizing your Shopify store accordingly, you can improve its speed score and deliver a faster, smoother experience for your customers, ultimately enhancing user satisfaction and increasing conversions.

Why the Shopify Speed Score Isn’t an Indicator for Speed?

The Shopify Speed Score isn't a direct indicator of loading speed but rather a comprehensive evaluation of various performance factors, including adherence to best practices. Here's why it's important to interpret it correctly:

  • Shopify's Inherent Speed: Shopify's infrastructure and optimized software/hardware ensure fast-loading websites. Even if your store's score seems lower compared to similar ones, it likely still outperforms average online stores.
  • Google Lighthouse vs. Shopify-specific Tools: Google Lighthouse assesses websites universally, which means complex eCommerce elements naturally lower scores. However, Shopify-specific tools like TestMy StoreSpeed offer higher scores by focusing solely on Shopify's parameters.
  • Functionality vs. Speed: Essential eCommerce features and apps may lower scores but enhance user experience. Sacrificing functionality for speed isn't advisable. Features like Dynamic Checkout Buttons or analytics tools are vital despite potentially lowering scores.
  • Accuracy Takes Time: Lighthouse takes days to calculate an accurate score, requiring patience during optimization efforts. Improvements like code refinement, image optimization, and app removal need time to reflect in scores.

By understanding these nuances, you can interpret and optimize your Shopify Speed Score effectively, ensuring a balance between performance and functionality without compromising user experience.

Shopify Speed Score: FAQs

What is a good speed score for a Shopify store?

A good speed score for a Shopify store typically falls within the range of 70 to 90. However, it's essential to understand that what constitutes a "good" score can vary based on industry benchmarks and user expectations. Generally, a higher speed score indicates faster loading times and better overall performance, which can positively impact user experience, search engine rankings, and conversions.

How do I fix my Shopify speed score?

To improve your Shopify speed score, you can take several optimization steps, such as:

  • Optimize images by compressing them without sacrificing quality.
  • Minimize the use of apps, especially those that may slow down your site.
  • Apply lazy loading for images and videos to defer loading off-screen content.
  • Enable caching to store frequently accessed data and reduce server load.
  • Optimize code by removing unnecessary elements and reducing CSS and JavaScript file sizes.
  • Utilize a fast and lightweight theme designed for performance.
  • How do I check the speed of my Shopify store?
  • You can check the speed of your Shopify store using various online tools such as Google PageSpeed Insights, GTmetrix, or Shopify's built-in Online Store Speed Report. These tools analyze your store's performance metrics and provide insights into areas for improvement.

How often does Shopify speed score update?

Shopify's speed score, which is based on Google Lighthouse performance scores, may not update in real-time. It typically takes a few days for Lighthouse to recalculate an accurate score after any optimizations or changes made to your store. Therefore, you may need to wait a while to see the effects of your optimization efforts reflected in the speed score.

Final Words

In conclusion, the Shopify Speed Score is considered a critical benchmark for assessing the performance of online stores on the platform. While achieving a high speed score is desirable, it's equally important to understand that speed optimization is an ongoing process rather than a one-time task. 

By implementing best practices such as image optimization, app management, code refinement, and theme customization, you can improve your speed scores and enhance the overall user experience. Regular monitoring and optimization efforts will ensure that Shopify stores continue to perform optimally, driving conversions and fostering customer satisfaction in an increasingly competitive eCommerce landscape.