I'm not the person you were speaking with, but I appreciated your helpful reply to them (and am also interested in adding subscriptions down the road).
Would you be willing to also point me in the right direction? Here's my site: https://bodywork-alive-movement-with-jason-rumohr-chp-lmt.myshopify.com/
I do have a custom domain, which I will be connecting to my Shopify site once the new site is built. You can see what I currently have here: http://jasonrumohr.com
I'm a service business - a massage therapist who has gone 100% online (I expect more of us to be coming soon, too), at least during the pandemic. I'm teaching classes and private sessions. I'm convinced Shopify is the platform I want to use, but I'm overwhelmed on choosing a Theme. Currently I'm eyeing the California theme sold in the Shopify theme store. My current hesitation is this thread on reddit I found yesterday, shows that California is a very slow-loading theme. I think it has the features I need and perhaps the load speed isn't as big of a deal as I thought, but I won't really know until my site is fully built out (I've barely begun) and by that time I will be fully committed to whatever theme I've chosen, due to customization, so I want to pick the best theme on the first try!
Welcome to Shopify Community.
Thanks for sharing your question with our network. Site speed and optimization is often based on many factors that go beyond just the theme you choose. Since California is a third-party theme, I won't be able to comment on the specifics, but you can definitely reach out to the developer with your concerns to aid in your decision.
With that being said, I'd be happy to chat more with you about the things that impact site speed and how you can ensure your store runs smoothly and efficiently regardless of which theme you choose. You might even be interested in reading a similar forum post re: speed I answered here. As per that post I mentioned:
An unedited Shopify theme typically makes 25-50 requests to function. While there's no limit to the number of requests you can have on your site, once you surpass 160 requests you can expect a decline in site performance. So what is a request? This will largely depend on your theme and any apps you have installed. The best rule of thumb here is to remove any functions that are not actively helping you make sales.
This reference is based on themes developed by Shopify, but you can definitely cross-check with the California theme developer to clarify how many requests an unedited copy of their theme requires to function. That will give you a great ballpark number to use as your starting point, and then build your customizations (either through custom code or apps) based on that.
Another important point to note is that paid themes like California typically have more base features than the free themes offered by Shopify. This means they will undoubtedly have a larger baseline for function requests, and looking at its features in greater detail can help you decide if the pay off is beneficial. Either way, talking to the developer can address your specific concerns and shed light on the information you read online.
Also from my related post:
While we are on the topic of site performance and page speed, I highly recommend you take a look at these 13 tips to boost site performance and increase your conversion by up to 2x!
Make sure to give that article a read for more insight while you build your store.
I trust you will find this information helpful, but let me know if you have other questions around this.