How to Avoid Using Too Many Shopify Apps
Published by: Allison Dulmage
December 18, 2019
Shopify Apps are super helpful, they fill in gaps when features are missing on your storefront and in the admin.
The key thing to remember when using Apps is to use them in moderation. It is a good idea to keep an eye on the Apps page in your Admin. Testing and downloading apps can add up. You can quickly go from 5 Apps that genuinely help performance and workflow, to 25 apps where 17 are unnecessary and are no longer in use.
Three App Types
There are three main app types, Storefront Apps, Admin Apps and POS Apps.
Storefront Apps make changes on your Online Store. These can be pop-ups, header bars, upsells etc.
Admin Apps primarily have to do with back end/admin solutions. This can be email apps, fulfillment (print on demand), fraud prevention etc.
POS Apps, these can be used with your POS in a brick and mortar. Employee scheduling, customer reward systems etc.
Some apps are not so black and white and fall into multiple categories. A Subscription app, for instance, effects your storefront by allowing customers to subscribe to your service through product page and checkout changes. Subscription apps also give you the interface in your Admin through the app to track those orders, customers and allow for recurring charges.
Speed and performance is vital to UX and retaining customers for the time they are spending on your website. You will notice the performance issues when you have multitudes of Storefront Apps effecting the theme code.
There are a few ways to prevent Apps from effecting your website speeds and slowdown.
How to avoid Apps
Remove Seasonal Apps
Apps downloaded for seasonal promotions can be deleted while no promotions requiring an app are ongoing. They can always be re-added to your store.
Maybe you have a banner app downloaded but have only used it for a Summer Promotion a few months ago, it’s time to remove it! Reach out to the App developers to ensure all code has been removed from your theme.
Talk to Shopify Support
If you are using a Shopify designed theme (they are the free ones in the Theme Store), you qualify for one hour of design time. An app feature that you’re looking for might fall under the customization umbrella and qualify for design time. You might find out the feature isn’t able to be customized but there might be a similar feature already built into the theme. It doesn’t hurt to ask!
Talk to Theme Developers
If you are using a paid theme, reach out to the theme developer support teams. Shopify themes are built with so many features and not all are always showcased. Something you’re looking for might be hidden within the documentation or Theme Editor. If you are able to find a similar feature within the theme, adding an app would lend to having duplicate code with no need for it.
Talk to a Shopify Partner or Expert
Partners or Experts might be able to build you a custom solution that would take a lot of the excess bulk of features from an app that you might not need. This may seem like the most expensive way to get a solution, however, if you are using 10 Apps and each are paid monthly, a one time payment might end up costing less than monthly payments.