Minimalistic designs are the cookie cutter for fast web performance.
They involve fewer elements, such as images, graphics, and animations. And as you know, smaller file sizes mean a lighter website that loads fast.
But let’s be honest—a minimalist website isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
Most of us want to create intricate and immersive online experiences filled with fascinating features and interactive components.
But here’s the catch:
The results? A slowly loading page, a clunky and downright frustrating browsing experience for users.
Usually, when writing code using your code editor, you use spacing, comments, and well-named variables to make code and markup readable.
It also helps others who might later work on the assets or your team you’re collaborating with understand your code.
However, when it comes to performance, these characters are useless to a machine. A web browser doesn’t need to read your comments in the code or recognize whitespaces to parse web page content.
Minification removes unnecessary characters like whitespace, line breaks, comments, and redundant code from a source code without affecting its functionality. This reduces the overall size of your document leading to faster website performance.
As you can tell, white spaces, line breaks, and comments have been generously utilized to make the code readable.
However, when it comes to performance, these characters don’t add value as a web browser perfectly ignores them.
Now here’s the exact version of the code after minification.
As you can see, it’s more compact, only occupying a single line of code.
Although minification is an ideal way to optimize your JS scripts, doing it manually can be cumbersome.
If you’re using WordPress as your CMS, JS minification is even simpler. Most caching plugins offer this feature. One good example is the WP Rocket.
This approach aims to reduce the overhead of establishing multiple connections, leading to faster page load times and improved performance.
By minimizing the number of HTTP requests, bundling reduces network latency and decreases bandwidth consumption, resulting in a more responsive website.
The cart.js file.
The product.js file.
And the app.js file.
Using a bundling tool like Webpack or Rollup, you can combine these files into a single bundled file. The result may look something like this:
As you can see, the bundled file contains all the necessary code from the original files in a single, self-contained unit.
Instead of making three separate network requests, the browser now only needs to fetch the bundle.js file.
By doing so, the browser can download and parse only the necessary code for the current page rather than loading the entire codebase.
This reduces the initial load time and improves the perceived performance of the website.
In this case, we have two modules: modal.js and button.js.
When the user clicks on the button with the ID myButton, it triggers the openModal() function from the modal.js module, which opens the modal.
Now, let’s discuss how code splitting can help improve the performance of this code.
In a non-split scenario, both the modal.js and button.js modules would be bundled together. However, as your codebase grows, the initial bundle size will increase.
When a user visits the web page, their browser has to download the entire bundle, which includes code related to the modal functionality, even if they never interact with the button.
To address this issue, we can apply code splitting to separate the modal-related code into distinct chunks.
This approach reduces the size of the initial bundle, containing only the necessary code to render the button. Consequently, the initial load time is improved.
With code splitting, the modal-related code is loaded lazily only when needed. When the user clicks the button, the chunk containing the openModal() function is fetched asynchronously.
As a result, the modal code is not downloaded and executed until the user interacts with the button. This optimization significantly enhances the initial load time, as the browser doesn’t have to fetch and execute the modal code immediately.
You can utilize tools such as Webpack or Rollup to implement code splitting. These bundlers analyze the dependencies and split the code into separate chunks based on the configuration settings you provide.
When visitors land on your website, their web browser begins reading your site’s code from the top and progresses downwards.
Unfortunately, this synchronous behavior brings about certain drawbacks.
Consequently, the HTML content that appears above the fold will take longer to display, creating the perception of a slower website for your visitors.
Just think about it—the time spent in this “paused” state, downloading and parsing those resources, could be utilized more productively.
For instance, it could be used to load the visible portion of your website’s content that immediately captures the attention of someone landing on the page.
This ensures that scripts are run in the order they appear in the HTML and do not obstruct the parser.
Take a look at this code, for example:
Adding the “defer” attribute tells the browser to fetch the “script.js” file asynchronously while parsing the HTML document.
The async attribute indicates that the script should be executed asynchronously as soon as it is downloaded.
Here’s how it works:
When a browser encounters a script with the async attribute, it immediately fetches it without blocking HTML parsing.
Once the script is downloaded, it is executed immediately, even if the HTML parsing is not completed.
It’s, however, important to note that the async attribute is not suitable for all scenarios.
If a script has dependencies on other scripts or relies on certain elements of the web page being available, using the async attribute alone may lead to errors or unexpected behavior.
In such cases, use the defer attribute to ensure proper script execution order.
WP Rocket allows you to do that without touching a line of code on your website.
Here’s how to do it:
Once you’ve installed and configured the WP Rocket plugin, proceed to the “File Optimization” tab.
Simple as that.
Use a Content Delivery Network
CDNs consist of a network of servers distributed across multiple geographic locations.
This geographical proximity reduces the distance data needs to travel, resulting in faster response times and improved performance.
Here’s a list of the best global CDN providers to reduce latency and improve page load times.
Using the HTTP/2 Protocol
The new version of the transfer protocol provides various significant features designed to enhance web communication efficiency.
One of these features is multiplexing. This feature allows multiple requests to be sent and received simultaneously over a single TCP connection.
Another key functionality is header compression. Unlike HTTP/1.1, where headers are sent with each request and response, HTTP/2 employs a more efficient compression algorithm.
This compression effectively reduces the size of headers and minimizes the amount of data transferred, leading to improved performance.
And the cherry on top—the server push.
This remarkable feature allows the server to be proactive and send resources to the client even before they’re requested.
However, all these additions come at a cost. They consume your users’ precious resources, from CPU and GPU to memory and network capabilities.