The fastest Shopify themes: Audit of every official O.S. 2.0 theme
A list of every official Shopify theme, ranked by their Performance score average. Google Lighthouse audit of three different pages per theme, and multiple iterations for accurate results.
If you’re trying to pick a theme for your Shopify store, you need to consider many different aspects and features.
A very important one, is speed.
It’s one of the most basic factors of user experience.
And Shopify store speed can be affected by two main factors: The theme and its apps. Since apps can vary per store, we ran an experiment to determine the fastest Shopify themes.
First, some details about the audit.
Method and parameters
- Only officially approved themes from the Shopify theme store were reviewed
- Only Online Store 2.0 themes were reviewed
- The Lighthouse Node.js package was used to run the audits on a headless Chrome browser
- The themes were installed on a fresh development store
- The Home, Collection and Product pages were tested
- Every theme’s Home page was customized to only include the Featured collection section
- Since the themes were in preview, the preview bar assets were loaded during audits
- The audits are on an emulated Moto G4 with slow 4G throttling
- Every theme was audited 7 times, and the worst scoring repetition was excluded
- Repetitions ran in full cycles (Theme A, Theme B etc. * 7 instead of Theme A * 7, Theme B * 7 etc.)
- The themes were ranked by average performance score over all three pages
- The Modular theme didn’t work with Lighthouse and is excluded
The above results should not be considered in an isolated way, when choosing a theme.
For example, we might see a very low score because a theme has a lot of features that others don’t. Since these are native to it, you wouldn’t need to install apps with the same functionality. Whereas if you installed the apps on a better performing theme, it might turn out to do worse than the low performer.
Also, there are cases where Lighthouse performance isn’t completely representative of real performance. The score is calculated programmatically. So some small detail might be lowering one of the metrics to a non-representative degree. This is why you might see a difference between real usage scores and lab scores on Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
Theme speed is definitely important for an online store. Developers, designers and other professionals will often run a Lighthouse or PageSpeed Insights (which uses Lighthouse) report to see where a theme stands. And of course, the Shopify speed score is based on Lighthouse.
So as we saw, the above raw numbers should not be considered in isolation, but they can save you a lot of time analyzing and comparing these themes.
If you can’t decide which theme is right for your case, or if you’re interested in having your Shopify store optimized, you can always get help from an expert.