Whether you’re in the real world or on the internet, waiting is no fun. When it comes to websites, like Shopify ones, they can be slow to load because they have lots of pictures and videos. But preloaders can help, by making the page-loading process less annoying and more interesting.
In this blog post, we’ll talk about everything you need to know about preloaders. After reading it, you’ll have fewer questions and more creative ideas.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
What is a Shopify preloader?
In an everyday scenario, visual clues are used to keep people informed and engaged during a transactional or waiting period. Just like, Shopify preloaders work on websites to indicate that the content is loading.
Precisely, preloaders on Shopify are the animated icons or graphics that appear on the store’s pages while content is loading to prevent users from experiencing a blank or unresponsive screen.
Let’s understand how its usage as a store owner can benefit you in the above segment.
Benefits of Using a Shopify Preloader
Mainly, the user interacts with the home page, product pages, and checkout page while browsing a Shopify store. If those load at a slow speed, it gives a negative impact, but if Shopify image optimization is integrated with preloaders correctly, you can potentially increase sales and other metrics of the site.
Let’s check the benefits of the preloader feature for a Shopify store:
- Professional Appearance: The addition of preloaders on your webpage gives a professional touch. You can also customize them by including your brand’s logo and colors. This creates consistency for your brand, and you leave a lasting impression on visitors.
- Improved User Experience: While scrolling the store, if a user has to wait more time, they feel frustrated. It can be improved by including preloaders, which act as visual feedback to users. So, reduce frustration and alleviate the impatience of your site’s visitors by using preloaders.
- Faster Page Loading Time: Even if your site loads slowly, a preloader like an animated GIF can keep users engaged. For some time, it can create the illusion of faster page loading.
- Reduced Bounce Rates: When users see a preloader on the screen, they wait for the content rather than leaving the page, which reduces the bounce rate and increases user engagement.
- Mobile Friendliness: 79% of Shopify traffic comes from mobile devices. Slower mobile connection-related issues are inevitable, but having a preloader will act as a hope for users.
- SEO Benefits: Shopify image optimization increases the page loading speed and benefits SEO for the site. Just, integrate preloaders on your site and increase the chances of retaining as well as attracting more organic traffic.
Types of Preloaders
After discussing benefits, you must want to know what types of preloaders you can use for your store. Well, there are many options. Out of the below-mentioned preloaders, choose the one that will suit your requirements.
- Animated Graphs: These are the preloaders that feature graphs, charts or other visualizations.
- Minimalistic Spinners: These are the preloaders, usually consisting of geometric shapes like circles, squares, or lines that spin or animate while page loading.
- Logo/Brand Animation: Some stores prefer using their logo as preloaders. You can find them spinning, pulsing, or changing colors.
- Progress Bars: Some stores use progress bars as preloaders, which provides clear information about page loading.
- Product/Category-related preloaders: These preloaders feature icons or images related to the products or categories of the store.
- Themed Preloaders: One can use preloaders depending on the season or special promotions. It can be holiday-themed or festive season-based.
- Text or message preloaders: Preloaders can also be presented in the form of informative text. It could be tips or fun facts.
- Interactive preloaders: Visitors can be engaged by using preloaders like simple games or quizzes. This will make them enjoy their waiting time.
- Custom animations: Customization is also possible. Preloaders can be customized as per the store’s products or theme. These are visually engaging and memorable.
How to Add Preloader in Shopify?
To manage user expectations and reduce frustration, add preloaders. But how? Here is the answer.
There are two ways to use Shopify Preloader:
- Built-in Preloaders:
- Create a Backup: Go to the Shopify store admin dashboard and click on “themes”. Within the current theme, click on “Actions” and then on “duplicate.”
- Edit Theme Code: After creating a duplicate copy, go back to the current theme and click on “Actions” and select “edit code”. On the left-hand side, you will find “theme.liquid” under the layout heading. Click on it.
- Add Preload Tag: In the “theme.liquid” file, look for the <head> section. Insert the tag with the code you want to preload. Place the code within the <head> opening and closing tags.
- To save the changes, click “save.”
The other method is to select a third-party app from Shopify App store. For recommendations, read the next segment.
Best Shopify Preloader Apps
There are many Shopify preloader apps available in the market. As per our research, we are sharing some top preloader apps. Have a look:
● Elegant Preloader
- The app offers a variety of preloaders, including the ability to incorporate a logo into the loading animation.
- It has an easy installation process and flexible settings.
- Customizable options like color, background transition, size, and font are present to match a website’s style and branding.
- It uses CSS3 animations for loading animations, which enhances user experience during page loading.
The basic plan starts from $4.99/month. A free trial of 3 days is also available.
- The app supports multipage animations, which is perfect for complex projects.
- Multiple assets are present, which streamline the animation creation process.
- Users have full animation control to achieve the desired results.
- The app provides an intuitive user interface, helpful both for beginners and experienced designers.
The basic plan starts from $5.99/month. A free trial of 14 days is also available.
- The app supports the animation of a static logo, allowing it to blink, flip, or even lets you add your name to it.
- You can also customize the background and animations as per your preferences.
- Lazy loading is available for added convenience, and there are no limitations when it comes to customization.
The basic plan starts from $3.99/month, whereas the advanced plan costs $5.99/month. A free trial of 14 days is also available.
What to Consider When Choosing a Shopify Preloader?
Now that you know some popular Shopify preloader apps, their pricing, and features. But, if you are still feeling confused about which one to pick out of these, here is the section for you.
These factors will definitely help, and you can consider a better app for your store. Let’s check them out:
- Match with your business niche: It would be a plus point for your site if preloaders match your brand and business niche. Update the colors, animations, and graphics accordingly so that those can resonate with your brand identity.
- Customization features: Choose the one that gives your store a sense of uniqueness, and that is possible only with Shopify apps with customization features. It will help you adjust the appearance of preloaders added to the site.
- Pricing: When evaluating a preloader app, the most significant thing considered is its features and the budget. Many preloader solutions offer free options but with limited terms and conditions.
- Theme Compatibility: Preloaders should be compatible with your store’s theme. It should be like their addition is not creating any issues with the design and functionality of the store.
To know more about such practices, read-how to get more sales on Shopify.
Best Practices for Effective Shopify Preloaders
To get the maximum advantage of Shopify preloaders, it is necessary to implement them effectively. Here, we are sharing the best practices that one should follow while using preloaders for their store. We are sure this will give the website’s visitors a smooth and engaging user experience.
- Keep it lightweight: The main purpose of preloaders is to mask the long page load time. So, it would be beneficial if you use lightweight graphics and animations. Keeping the file size small will support your efforts.
- Create a fun element: While keeping it lightweight, you should make an effort to make preloaders for your site engaging and fun. You can add a creative loading message or any other funny animation and make your customer’s waiting experience enjoyable.
- Test on different screens: Do not forget to check the responsiveness of your site after implementing preloaders. Your site should look amazing both for desktop and mobile devices.
- Only apply if necessary: Preloaders attract the user’s attention, but that does not mean you use them unnecessarily. Just avoid it if there is no noticeable delay in loading the page content. Without the need, if added, it will just become a reason for the annoyance of visitors to your site.
How to Deactivate Preloader on Shopify?
Maybe sometimes preloaders start negatively affecting the store’s speed and performance when they do not align with the brand; at that time, it is required to disable them for specific pages. If you are going through such a situation, here are the steps you need to follow.
Step I: Open the Shopify admin panel.
Step II: Go to Online store ➜ Themes ➜ Actions ➜ Edit code.
Step III: On the left side, go to the “Assets” section.
Step IV: Under “theme.js” or “theme. liquid”, find the preloader code.
Step V: Comment out or delete the precoder code.
Step VI: Save and refresh.
These are the steps you need to follow if you are using in-built Shopify preloaders. But, if you are using a third-party Shopify app, simply disable the app, and your work is done.
How is Preloader Different from Lazy Load?
Just like preloaders, Shopify lazy loading is also used to create a faster and more user-friendly store. Both techniques complement each other, and their implementation can bring effective results. But what is the main difference between these two?
Shopify lazy loading is all about the content delay until it is required, while preloaders are used to ensure that essential images or videos are ready in advance. A fine example of lazy loading could be the product variant images on a store.
Overall, both techniques make the online shopping experience smoother and faster.
Shopify preloaders play a vital role in improving user experience and optimizing website performance. To maintain a competitive edge and drive conversions and sales, contact us. We’ll implement preloading techniques to ensure your store runs smoothly and efficiently.
We look forward to helping your Shopify store grow!
- Is it possible to disable the preloader for specific pages on a Shopify store?
Ans. As such, Shopify does not have any built-in feature that allows the disabling of preloader for specific pages. But you can achieve this through custom coding.
- How can I customize the preloader on my Shopify store?
Ans. You can customize the preloader on your Shopify store like:
The first step is to go to the Customizer and then look for the section “Theme Settings”. There, you will find an option, “General Settings”. Now, customize the preloader as per your requirements.
- What are some preloader animations that can be used on a Shopify store?
Ans. One can use a progress bar, counting percentage, logo image, or background image as preloader animations on their Shopify store.
- How to customize a Shopify preloader?
Ans. Apps like Elegant Preloader, Preloadify and Loadify can be used to get customized preloaders.
- Can I use a video as a preloader on my Shopify store?