Shopify loading speed - What Are Requests?

If you are wondering what are the HTTP requests, and you ask Google about it, this is one of the answers which you'll get: "HTTP (Hyper Transfer Protocol) is the underlying format that is used to structure requests and responses for effective communication between a client and a server". 

If this answer did not give you the clearest picture we would like to try to explain a little better on our way - by using a cooking analogy 

Shopify server and requests - how does it work?
Imagine yourself typing on your computer, and you are telling your browser to show you some website. You can compare that action by asking your cooking chef to make you your favorite cake, considering that a chef is your browser.
Now, the chef goes to work, but first, he has to stop at the Shopify grocery store to get a recipe for your special Shopify cake and a whole bunch of ingredients with that. Shopify grocery store is – the Shopify server.
Now the chef needs to follow the recipe while preparing your cake (your website). So he builds the navbar and goes up a banner image, a website title, and step by step he is building what you demand based on the recipe he got from the Shopify grocery store (server) - because you want him to prepare you a Shopify cake.

How do requests accumulate? 
Here comes the situation when the recipe says that the chef needs another ingredient, the one that he didn’t buy because in that store they don’t sell that ingredient. Now he has a problem because the cake won’t be made without that ingredient. To solve that problem he has to go to a different store to buy it. But, it will take much time for a cake to be done if he has to go back and forth to the store all the time while making a cake.
Now, it is the same situation as your browser building the website while you’re waiting in front, and it is doing that based on the recipe (code) got from the Shopify server.
So, while building your website the browser comes to the line of code that he didn’t get from the Shopify server. In order to get the instructions for showing that line of code, he needs to travel across the internet to some other grocery store to get it. He gets those instructions from the server and now travels back to your website and starts building the scripts, line by line.

Requests happen all the time
At some point, you’re going to need another info, which is more complicated to get than the one before, but your browser has to go again and get you that info.
It can happen a thousand times, and of course, it takes time. The worst part is telling your browser to travel across the internet to get some line of code, and in the end, it turned out that you are not even using that functionality anymore! The same happens when you uninstall the app and don't clean up the code residue from your theme code. 

Consequences:
Slow loading speed affects the future of your website a lot. 
- Google doesn’t tolerate slow websites, they go way down on a ranking list if they need to load more than 3 seconds.
- Conversion and a bounce rate are also dependent on speed.
- The customers and visitors are impatient and they have to get the best experience when they are on a website, or they won’t come back again, and they won’t recommend it to others. 

How to check your Shopify loading speed?
If you want to make sure if you need speed optimization - go check our FREE tool testmystorespeed.com! You can easily test your store speed and see how much time your store needs to load at that moment. You can have insight into the number of requests, and see what's causing slow loading to your store.

Conclusion:
As you can see you can't control requests and you can't stop them. Any search for the information you are missing makes a request that the website has to make. It cost you one millisecond here and there, it piles up over time, and in the end - you get stuck with a website that loads much longer than it should! 
Speed optimization is the crucial thing to do if you want your website to be treated well on Google, and to be favorite among customers. As no one wants to wait too long in a restaurant, because they are hungry - no one wants to wait too long on the internet too because they took their time to visit your page and make a purchase. You are not a good chef if you don’t respect that and you pile up those requests, which cause slow loading speed!

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About Andrew Durot

He is the co-founder of Ecom Experts, a Shopify focused development agency. 

Ecom Experts and Andrew's team have been focused on speed optimization - increasing the speed of over 300 stores in last year alone.

Speed Optimization is a repetitive & time-consuming task that most veteran Shopify experts try to avoid.

Andrew and his team has taken it upon themselves to maser the subject and become the largest speed optimization team on he Shopify platform even building out the only Shopify specific speedchecker tool!

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