Google PageSpeed Insights Support Policy
We work hard to optimize our themes and make them as fast as possible during the theme development process.
We do not provide assistance with improving individual stores’ scores on specific testing tools, including Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
Theme code is only a part of the overall codebase of your store and themes from the Shopify Theme Store are usually not the culprit when it comes to performance issues. Apps, integrations with third-party services (like Google Analytics and Facebook), and other parts of the Shopify platform, like dynamic checkout buttons, all add to the code and so all affect the final score that PageSpeed produces.
That said, it is important to distinguish between performance and the PageSpeed score. The PageSpeed score is a synthetic measurement based on a simulated worst-case scenario. It is intended to help developers pin-point bottlenecks in performance and does not necessarily represent the experience of your customers in the real world. Additionally, PageSpeed compares your site to all kinds of websites, including simpler ones that do not offer any online store functionality and so have a significant advantage. This makes it very hard to obtain a high score, for any e-Commerce website. Run some of your favourite major online stores through the tool to see this for yourself.
Features (especially ones provided by Apps), images and video all contribute to a page’s initial loading time and its responsiveness once it has loaded – weighing the balance of these against their impact on performance is a good way to start auditing your online store’s speed.
We also recommend keeping a clean version of the theme, without any customizations, as a backup. You can test this backup and compare the results to assess the impact of changes.
A note on apps
All apps contribute to page load and can both add weight to the initial page download and create additional work for the browser once the page has loaded. This not only affects the PageSpeed score but can also affect real-world performance. The effect is compounded: one or two apps will probably not make much of a difference but a dozen apps certainly will.
It’s a good idea to periodically audit your apps and remove ones that aren’t absolutely essential. Make sure to completely uninstall the app, including undoing changes it has made to theme code as part of the installation procedure. Simply uninstalling it in the Apps tab of your admin dashboard is not always enough. Unfortunately, we cannot provide support with uninstalling apps. Please reach out to the app’s developer for assistance.
A note on images
It is not necessary to resize images or lower their resolution before uploading them to Shopify. We do recommend optimizing the images with specialized tools (more on this below).
We sometimes hear from merchants who resize the images they upload to the store to make them smaller, in hopes of improving their PageSpeed score. This is not necessary and will not improve your PageSpeed score – but it may potentially reduce the quality of your product images.
Please upload high-resolution images. Our themes automatically resize images to fit the customer’s device, minimizing unnecessary downloads. In other words, if you upload high-resolution images, that doesn’t mean that all your visitors will now have to wait for these files to download – but it does mean that Shopify’s image service will have more resolution to work with when generating appropriately sized images, resulting in higher quality images.
Optimizing your images before uploading them, on the other hand, is generally a good idea – and we recommend using one of these tools to achieve this:
Homepage sections, images and videos
For stores with performance issues, making changes to theme code is usually not the solution.
If your store is loading slowly, please consider your store’s content.
It can be tempting to add a lot of content to the homepage – but each section adds to the page’s weight and load time. Same goes for images and, especially, videos. Videos are very heavy and will slow things down, especially on bad connections.
We’ve found that the amount of menu items in the header and in the footer can have an impact on page load speed. Consider reducing the amount of items in your store navigation.
If you have lots of menu items in the store’s main menu in the header and it’s not possible to reduce them, consider having a leaner footer menu.
For a good idea of what kinds of scores you can expect from our themes, we would recommend running our demo stores through the tool. These stores do not have any apps installed and so are a good representation of the theme’s score.
These are direct links to PageSpeed which will run a fresh test.