How are Shopify stores so (at least, perceptually) fast?

Disclaimer: I’m not a dev or techie and I’m completely out of my depth with this stuff, so pardon me if what I’m asking has a very obvious answer. I would love to be educated on this!

I’m in e-commerce, and I’m very used to using Shopify, however, I’m currently involved in a project where we have to use WordPress/WooCommerce – and our main struggle has been optimizing site speed.

Here’s what really confuses me: we use Google Pagespeed Insights to measure speed performance, and our site has a decent mobile speed score (about 85). However, sites that I’ve made on Shopify have terrible scores as low as 30, yet they’re actually lightning-fast – way faster than my WordPress site.

Something I’ve noticed about Shopify-hosted sites is that all of the page content loads super quickly and is interactive right away, well before the page is actually fully “loaded.” The result is an incredible perceived loading time and great user experience.

I’d love to know how exactly Shopify sites achieve this, and if there’s something I can implement on my WordPress site to achieve the same effect and make it so my site can be perceived to load in a second or less so as to improve customer experience. Currently, my site’s pages load in about 3 seconds. Any insight or tips would be greatly appreciated!

P.S. I know a well-built/coded WordPress site *should* be really fast, and in our case, there are certainly inefficiencies we need to tackle to improve speed. However, with this post, I’m really just specifically trying to learn about whatever processes are implemented to make Shopify sites load so fast as I’ve described – out of curiosity. Thanks!

  1. Ignoring page speed scores, and those adjustments, the biggest things that sped up my site was getting on a proper host (i.e. don’t host on something like GoDaddy), and using Cloudflare.

  2. We usually go with a dedicated server, Cloudflare Edge, Relay with Redis, ObjectCahe Pro and several other tweaks here.scores theme, all the JS and CSS minified and deferred (wherever possible), all the JS not needed on respective pages removed, and everything well sorted out in terms of hierarchy, hosted on a great host (I cannot stress this enough!) with Cloudflare set properly, full page cache, the works, they all load insanely fast! Then you add HPOS (High Performance Order Storage) and almost any WooCommerce site will be flying as well.

    We usually go with a dedicated server, Cloudflare Edge, Relay with Redis, ObjectCahe Pro, and several other tweaks here. The [host]( we use. Thanks!

  3. People get too obsessed with this stuff when their website isn’t converting well in the first place because of poor design and overall UX. Nail that then worry about speed.

  4. Shopify is their own host and SaaS. If you want performant e-commerce on WordPress, you need to invest in a solid host, as well as run down the checklist of performance tweaks. But, a good e-comm host like WP Engine will do most of that for you with CloudFlare and optional Edge caching.

  5. Part of Google’s scoring considers their core web vitals measurements, which measure very specific things that may or may not actually translate to a website perceived as fast by an end user.


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