Testing Download Speeds of the Top Shopify Apps

By Chris Mullen, June 29, 2015

Slow Loading Websites Are Bad

As an avid Shopify shop owner, I constantly trial different apps in hopes to discover new ways to better convert and serve customers. To my disappointment, I have removed many apps due to the slowness ramifications or effect on download speeds which inhibits a visitor’s experience.

The easiest way to test an app’s effect on speed is to take advantage of an online tool such as Pingdom’s Website Speed Test. Nobody likes a slow website and multiple Shopify apps can severly slow down a store. To learn how a slow website may affect users and search engine rankings, check out this article.

Some apps have single handily added full seconds to our page’s download which is totally unacceptable. When groups of apps are combined, they can foster a cumbersome experience. Since many Shopify owners likely rely on many apps, our Shopify App Size Chart might influence which apps you select to work together as a group.

We add up the size of all known images, files and scripts associated with each app. Some apps point to third party locations for a number a reasons (like fonts) and those are sometimes difficult to track and may be overlooked. These measurements were completed in July 2015. App makers do have control over file sizes and may improve as time goes by. Also, please remember that file sizes do paint a full picture, but is still important nonetheless. Let’s get started shall we? 

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Shipping

Good news for shipping apps. Most of them do not affect website speed.

App File(s) Size Requests Grade
Aftership 0 0 No Impact
Aftership provides the tracking and transit details every step of the way to storeowners and their customers.
Shippo 0 0 No Impact
Shippo does not affect the download speeds or front side of your online business.

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Marketing

App File(s) Size Requests Grade
Better Coupon Box 443.9 KB 15 Heavy
Better Coupon Box allows you to add a pop up box to encourage people to like your company in various social networks. With 15 separate files for download totaling 443.9KB, I would never use this app for our store. Also, when you uninstall the app, some files seem to remain.
Email Offers 0 0 No Impact
Email Offers allows storeowners to consistently contact new customers, inactive accounts, great customers and more for little to no bandwidth cost.
Instagrammy 32.5 1 Light
I like Instagrammy, but I personally decided showing instagram photos on one page did not warrant adding 32KB to every single page on our website.
Mailchimp For Shopify 0 0 No Impact
The email marketing king, Mailchimp, doesn’t seem to add anything to your shop’s front end.
Plug In SEO 0 0 No Impact
This app does not seem to add any files to your storefront. We are unclear why you would download this app when so many free tools online are available though.
Pop-Up Window 16.4 KB 2 Light
Pop-Up Window notifies your visitors about sales and promotions or captures newsletter and mailing list signups, and it is very lightweight.
Receiptly 4.9 KB 4 Light
Receiptly improves email receipts, but it is interesting that it still adds files to your shop’s front end even as insignificant as it is.
Smart Popup Box n/a n/a n/a
Very few recent reviewers were still using the app making this difficult for testing. Also, many people were complaining about this app not being mobile friendly. We are still locating dependable sources for testing.
Soundest 75.4 KB n/a Medium
Soundest is an email marketing app for Shopify. 75K is not too bad at all and equals to maybe one medium sized full color image (JPG).

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Sales

App File(s) Size Requests Grade
Better Recommend 6.9 KB 3 Light
We tested home and product pages for this slim recommendation app on Shopify.
Picreel 18.5 KB 3 Light
To improve conversions and abandoned carts, Picreel offers a fairly lightweight popup solution.
Product Options (Bold) 74.3 KB 3 Medium
Product options allows you to create options outside of variants. Bold also hosts a number of other apps that will probably not add further files or requests to your webpage.
Quick View 33.5 KB 3 Light
Quickview gives shoppers quick access to product preview in one click without reloading the whole site. For only 33 KB, it might be worth it.
ReCharge 33.8 KB 2 Light
Recharge allows businesses to charge subscription based products. The developers manage to keep this app very light.
SocialShopWave 75.2 KB 7 Medium
SocialShopWave is one of Shopify’s most popular social oriented apps that is fairly light in weight compared to the many services offered.
Yotpo Social Reviews 91.2 KB 10 Medium
Research shows reviews improve conversions and 91.2 KB seems to be a fair tradeoff. If you ever uninstall the app, remember to remove the code that you manually input during installation or it will linger forever.

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Reporting

App File(s) Size Requests Grade
Lucky Orange for Shopify 123 KB 18 Medium
Lucky Orange is a pretty nifty app that offers heat maps, live chat, polls and recordings of visitors for better understanding of user behavior. A little hefty in weight, you might be able to trade other apps for this one. We might be missing some font files or something because this app slowed our website at least one full second on every test.
Vantage 0 0 No Impact
Vantage uses Google Analytics and your order/customer data and has no impact on the customer side of your store.

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Tools

App File(s) Size Requests Grade
Persistent Cart 0 0 No Impact
Only affects visitors who are logged in. Persistent Cart allows people to save items in the cart when logged in and retrieve them from a different computer or browser.
Zapier 0 0 No Impact
The Zapier app works more as a signup mechanism rather than a storefront application. This app should affect your store minimally.

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Customer Service

App File(s) Size Requests Grade
Formilla Live Chat 14.4 KB 3 Light
Formilla Live Chat seems to be the lightest solution for online chatting with Shopify.
Improved Contact Form 4 KB 2 Light
We are still investigating this app further, but Improved Contact Form doesn’t seem to impact an entire website very much at all.
Olark Live Chat + CartSaver 186.86 KB 17 Medium
Online chats are important to some shop owners, but the feature will slow an entire website down.
Tidio Live Chat 136.1 KB 8 Medium
Tidio seems to be a fairly low weight and attractive solution for adding an instant online chat system to a storefront.

Call to other developers: Your input is welcome. Please contact Chris at chris[at]printkeg[dot]com if you disagree with our findings.

Attention store owners: If you would like us to test an app’s influence on download speed that is not listed, please contact Chris at chris[at]printkeg[dot]com.

More reviews will be available soon.