Tabarnapp

Understanding speed test tools grades and recommendations

I've purchased your theme for better speed but it doesn't seemed to do anything with it. Here's my site. How do i fix this? I see "F" grades on Performance insights of Pingdom.

What do bad grades mean?

Bad grades don't necessary means you have any problem with loading speed.

If you need help reading the speed test results and understanding what particular recommendations mean, please refer to our help page on the topic:

The important score from Pingdom (and from any other speed test tools) is actually the page-load speed. Believe me 2.13 sec is a pretty decent result, for such level of customizability our theme provides. Try testing any product page at Amazon.com for example, and these guys invest a lot of resources into performance.


The recommendations

The recommendations that usually lower the score: 

Google

Leverage browser caching: this is a server-side recommendation that we don't have control over. It's related to shopify servers and any of the apps installed.

Optimize images: look carefully through the recommendations, it points to uploaded images and images provided by apps that can be optimized. From our side we pushed it all to the limit - maximum compression while still looking good for a human eye.
Same with JavaScript minification, it IS minified where possible. It's all about balance.


Pingdom

Parallelize downloads across hostnames is irrelevant, because the tool doesn't recognize shopify CDN, and it is super-fast, no optimisation could beat it.

Combine external JavaScript: we pushed it to the limit with our theme, but when you add apps, their JS files cannot be merged for obvious reason - they hosted from different servers.

Remove query strings from static resources:  you won't find anywhere on the Internet how it affects the speed for search engines and end-users. Useless recommendation. Even if we wanted to fix it, we don't have control over it, that's how shopify images work.

The huge factor is  Connection errors, if you have any apps that has not been properly uninstalled, they might introduce such errors.

However Pingdom doesn't support shopify CDN which is a huge factor in resulting score. 


Please use GTmetrix, it allows to configure it to "understand" shopify CDN.


Now let's go one by one here:

Leverage browser caching: this is server side part, that we cannot control via theme. And shopify doesn't have problems with it actually, the tool's algorithms can only guess & recommend what can be improved on the server, not necessarily you can benefit from it.

Defer parsing of JavaScript: we optimised theme to the limit on this point, but if you look closely some of your apps scripts contribute to this factor with their JS files.

Minify JavaScript: same as above, but more apps contribute. And this is not bad, the main thing is how your page loads for end-user - it's fast and responsive right away. Of course blank page always wins, but has little use for customers :)

Remove query strings from static resources: you won't find anywhere on the Internet how it affects the speed for search engines and end-users. Useless recommendation. Even if we wanted to fix it, we don't have control over it, that's how shopify images work.

Switch to YSlow tab:

Add Expires headers: can't control shopify. doesn't affect speed.

Make fewer HTTP requests: same as "Have fewer features" find a balance for yourself (remove apps and modifications).

Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN): it often lower the score just because the tool doesn't recognise most urls as CDN (see "Facebook.com", any apps you installed)

Minify JavaScript and CSS: we improved the score in latest version a bit, but the gain is not significant, I meant it does not add even 0.0001 sec.

Reduce DNS lookups: look at domain names and disable features, apps and analytics you can sacrifice, but I'm sure the gain will be little to not noticeable.
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