Shopify's poor display of images.

32 1 13


I'm still in my 2 week free trial period, but have spent most of it continuously re-editing pictures thinking that something is wrong with my pictures.  Here's the irony, I'm a professional photographer and have spent almost 3 months taking hundreds of professional product images ready for my online shop.  When I first started uploading pictures, I noticed images looked 'washed-out' 'dimmed' 'grainy' and lacking any colour vibrancy at all.  Re-editing images to combat this, just results in images looking exactly the same, but now looking bleached out where trying to combat dimness/dullness.  After wasting several days, and actually doubting my own pictures, I came to the conclusion that the issue is with shopify's platform and general design of templates.  I have a photography website and also done my son's, and images display excellently on both, vibrant, sharp etc.  


Of course, shopify cannot make bad pictures good, but being a platform for online commerce, design etc should be done with visuals at their optimum.  It's been a quite depressing free trial.  After realising this is definitely not my images, I searched forums only to find lots of complaints about the way people's images look once uploaded to shopify (noticed all complaints seem to come from those using free templates).


Usual response from shopify gurus or other helpers is "colour profile" remove "over-lay" etc, some say shopify downgrading images to save on bandwidth, I dunno, but with that's being said, I've come to the conclusion the overall flaw is in shopify's platform/designing (which may only effect free templates?).  I decided to take a look at some "feedback my store" sites, and all of them have the same washed-out look, you can tell the images are decent images, but the overall look is almost vintage/antique look, all lack vibrancy, sharpness and have a greyish tinge - as if looking at products through a window/clear film.  It's hard to describe, but I have yet to come across a site which doesn't have this issue with images.


To the undiscerning eye, most images will be taken at face value by most shoppers, but I don't think that's good enough, or how shopify should think of this issue.  Images are probably the no: 1 selling point for products shops, optimising images to be vibrant, sharp and clear should be a priority, especially in this age of less text more images for online shops.


I feel in between a rock and a hard place, as I like shopify for it's potential features, but everytime I upload an images, a slight depression comes over me and I think, is shopify worth it?



Replies 17 (17)
Shopify Expert
1405 114 231



Can I have your website URL?


Shopify Partner
2247 339 900

I agree that the picture quality is lack luster, though not immediately noticeable to a passerby. I'm not exactly sure how shopify does their image compression or why, but I can only assume it's because of the ability to change image sizes on the fly from the image url. You can upload an image to the Settings > Files portion of the admin and copy that cdn url, and right before the extension (.jpg) and add an underscore and dimension (_300x) for the image to scale to. This saves me a hugeeee amount of time having to serve out different image sizes for all my images and will gladly take it over the slight loss in quality. That being said, yes it is a little depressing. Shopify is super diverse and rich in features that make up for it's shortcomings and in my opinion definitely worth it. 

If my solution helped you, please like it and accept it as the solution!
If you'd like to make any edits to your store, please send me a personal message and we can discuss what you'd like to accomplish :D
32 1 13

Hi ninthony,


Yes, I agree, having weighed up the features, cost & excellent customer services, this shortcoming is greatly out-weighed.  And as I said, and you reiterated, most passers by won't even notice this or be that bothered by it if they do.  I'm coming to the end of my trial and very likely to go onto plan.  It just seems like something an e-commerce platform would make sure is tight from the get-go.  Thanks for your reply, if only to get me to focus on the other features rather than just image quality.  

New Member
1 0 2

I have the exact same problem, its so frustrating!

All my image uploads change into dull, lifeless copies with washed out colours.

I really wish they would do something about it, its effecting my sales as my products

are very colour sensitive.


32 1 13

Hi Capesucculents,  what theme are you using?  I changed my theme from minimal to debut, and debut displays my images great now.  I realised after trying that theme that each theme has its good and not so good parts and some themes do poorly display images.  Before you waste time on re-editing your images, see what they look like in a different theme.  I'm glad I changed as there's nothing more disheartening than crappy looking display images.

New Member
1 0 1

I could not agree with you more and it has nothing to do with being on a free theme. I am using Flex the top premium theme from Out of the Sandbox. I am a jewelry designer and just finished a professional product shoot. My original images look amazing. Now when I add them into my new products the stone colors lose all of their vibrancy. So depressing and also critical to selling jewelry. I risk have a customer return an item saying it looks different or worse never buying it in the first place since it looks dingy. Thank you for saving me the time to not go and try to re-edit my photos to punch them up as it appears this has no effect. Big bummer.

6 0 4

Hey this solved my color issues completely.

Highly recommend you or anyone else checks it out to fix washed out coloring. 

Photoshop's saved for the web tool does a great job of fixing this problem. The key thing to note is that it bypasses Shopify's automated color fixing described here:

What that shopify provided breakdown does not detail, which it should, is how to keep your color profiles. The above articles worked wonders. 

Highly recommend it. Good luck all!

New Member
1 0 1

I am having the same issue with my online store. I sell upscale furniture and FINE ART that changes the colors and washes them out?? Please help with this fix. I have spent months, hours and even a professional website designer trying to make my site more professional and competitive. This is NOT helping me. - Thank you.

4 0 1

I have the same issue.  The rep I talked to just sent me a link to photo shop (which we don't even use).  The color is unbelievable desaturated.