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Speed Up Your Website with Fewer HTTP Requests

HomeTechnologySpeed Up Your Website with Fewer HTTP Requests

A one-second delay in loading time can cost you page visits, a drop in consumer happiness, and a loss in conversions in the instant gratification environment we live in.

A quick page load is crucial, as is obvious. How exactly you accelerate your website is the real question. Reduce your HTTP request volume to solve the problem.

Understanding HTTP The acronym HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. The most basic definition of HTTP is a set of instructions for transferring data over a network. Hypertext Transfer Protocol is used to transport the vast bulk of data on the Internet. The requests and responses are the subtypes of HTTP communications.

How HTTP Operates

Beginning with HTTP requests

Every time you utilize a website’s features as an Internet user, your browser creates an HTTP request. Your browser sends a sequence of requests to the website’s host as you scroll or click to interact with a particular feature, like a banner picture or video. 

In order for you to view and use every aspect of the website, it is requesting access to the pertinent data. To get access to a particular resource is the request’s main objective.

The solution to the query posed by the request is an HTTP response. Consider HTTP as the practical, all-encompassing language that both the request and the response, or the subject asking the question and the subject providing the answer, can communicate in.

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How to Make Your Website Faster

The browser must request several files each time a user accesses a page on your website. The speed at which the web page loads is directly impacted by these HTTP requests.

In general, fewer HTTP requests result in a website loading more quickly.

The speed at which a website loads now has a significant impact on its search engine ranking. Another thing you should know is that the media page for Google’s top 10 results loads in just 1.65 seconds on average.

This emphasizes how crucial it is to have a quick-loading website. In less than two seconds, the top results on Google’s search engine result in pages (SERPs) load.

The overall loading speed of a site can be greatly impacted by the total number of HTTP requests it must handle. Reducing HTTP requests can significantly speed up the loading of your website.

Here are 8 strategies for cutting down on HTTP requests while speeding up page loading.

1. Remove pointless pictures

More files result in more requests, as we just explained.

Therefore, it is important to reduce the number of files and graphics that a web page needs to load. In consequence, this lowers the number of HTTP requests and could speed up the web page’s loading time.

Two things should be noted in this case:

  1. Organize your media collection and remove any extraneous photos. Many pictures that you probably don’t even use anymore may surprise you to find. For instance, pictures from websites that are no longer in existence.
  2. Avoid sacrificing pictures in order to reduce HTTP server queries. Instead of reducing the number of photographs you typically use, the goal is to remove any extraneous ones.

After dealing with the photos, go through and remove some more pointless files. For instance, it might be a plugin for a third-party social network feed or an embedded movie. Choose the elements that aren’t necessary yet take up the most resources out of all the ones your website employs. Eliminate these to speed up the loading of your website.

2. Image size reduction

You might have removed a respectable number of pictures. There would, however, be plenty of remaining photographs. And there is no getting rid of them. You must not.

The next step is to make the photos you’ll be using on your web pages smaller in file size.

You can reduce the size of the photos you use by using plugins like WP Smush and EWWW optimizer. Additionally, using web-friendly photos is strongly advised. Use.jpg images rather than.png, for instance, wherever possible.

One of the most basic methods for speeding up the loading of web pages is to reduce the size of the images.

Utilizing picture caching is also advised to further save server load and increase page speed. If you want to understand more about picture caching, watch the video below.

3. Use the lazy loading approach

I assume you’ve heard of the lazy loading method.

Here is a basic explanation of what it is and how it functions in case you haven’t already.

Images could be numerous on a page. Your website makes HTTP server requests for each of those photos whenever a user accesses that page. This can make your website load slower, depending on how dense it is.

What if the visitor never even intended to view all those images at the page’s bottom by scrolling down?

The lazy loading method fixes the issue.

This method only sends server requests when a user scrolls down to an image on the page rather than making pointless HTTP requests.

Utilizing resources wisely and using the lazy loading strategy can drastically lower the number of HTTP requests and speed up site loading.

4. Ignore any unnecessary page assets

Similar to lazy loading, relevant assets on a web page can be ignored.

As we just discussed, lazy loading pauses sending server requests for previously unviewed images.

Similar to this, you can set up plugins like WP Asset Cleanup Plugin, which would identify plugins and files that are present on a certain page but are part of your website’s theme. When certain files are found, the plugin will stop them from loading on the page.

This is another clever technique to lower HTTP server requests while maintaining the integrity of your website.

5. Minifying JavaScript and CSS files

Minification is a crucial method for quickening a website’s load time.

It entails eliminating code from CSS, JavaScript, and HTML files that is not required for execution, such as extra characters, white space, comments, etc.

6. Combine the JavaScript and CSS files

Similar to minification, merging CSS and JavaScript files is an excellent way to minimize the overall size of your website’s files.

All of your CSS and JavaScript files should be combined into a single file for each language. For instance, there would be 7 requests if your website included 4 external JavaScript files and 3 external CSS files.

However, if you consolidate the four JS files into one and the three CSS files into one, your website will only make two requests as opposed to seven.

It is possible to decrease the number of HTTP requests and speed up the loading of your website by minifying and merging CSS and JavaScript files.

7. Keeping the number of external scripts to a minimum

It is also strongly advised to list all the other files that contain additional requests. This is possible through the Google Chrome Network panel.

The number of HTTP requests can frequently be increased by external scripts. For instance, a no longer-used marketing script, a Twitter social feed plugin, or Gravatar could be the cause of a few extra seconds of page time.

You may decide which assets to preserve and which to lose by pinpointing the precise external scripts and third-party integrations that are causing your website to load slowly.

8. Utilize a Content Delivery Network (CDN) 

We advise employing a content delivery network if you are still having trouble limiting the number of HTTP queries (CDN).

A CDN is a network of servers spread across several regions of the globe. When a user visits your website, CDNs offer the previously cached static information to them. The server that is closest to the user’s physical location is used to provide the cached material.

Several factors determine whether or not you wish to use a CDN. The most crucial factor is whether your traffic is domestic or foreign. A content delivery network is not required if the majority of the people that visit your website are locals.

A CDN might be quite helpful in accelerating your website if users from all over the world visit it.

According to HubSpot, you should limit the number of files to 10 to 30. Although large websites with tons of content, photos, and high-quality videos might not be able to achieve this total, it is still a good baseline for the majority of websites.

Determine the precise number of HTTP requests that your website produces, and then work your way down the list by carefully examining each component.

By doing this, you can decrease the number of HTTP requests sent to your website, speed up its loading time, and perhaps even increase user retention, engagement metrics, conversion rate, and online sales.

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pearls of wisdom
Mianna is a passionate writer currently living and dreaming in Europe. She is a strong believer that both mental and physical fitness go hand in hand, you can’t have one without the other.


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