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How to Make Fewer HTTP Requests in WordPress and Boost the Site Speed

June 11, 2021
How to Make Fewer HTTP Requests in WordPress and Boost the Site Speed

The more HTTP requests your site makes, the slower it will load. So, if you can minimize the number of HTTP requests and optimize how they load, you can increase the speed of your website.

How to Make Fewer HTTP Requests in WordPress and Boost the Site Speed

We’ll start with a simple overview of HTTP requests, why they’re important, and how to examine the requests on your WordPress site.

Then, we’ll go through various techniques and tactics that you may use to limit the number of requests on your site.

What Exactly Are HTTP Requests?

A website is made up of many distinct components. You have image files that you utilize on a website, CSS stylesheets that regulate how content looks, JavaScript files that offer all of that amazing functionality, and so on.

When someone views your website, their browser requires a method to download all of the resources needed for that page from your server. It accomplishes this by sending HTTP requests to the server for each unique resource.

For example, it may say, “server, I need that logo.png file,” as well as “server, I also need the CSS stylesheet for that plugin.” The server then replies to those requests by delivering the requested files.

When the web browser receives those files, it will be able to construct the web page for your visitor. It’s a little more difficult than that, but you get the point.

HTTP, which stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol, is the protocol used to communicate between these two computers, the browser and your server.

It is critical to remember that each single element is a distinct HTTP request. For example, if you have six image files on a site, the browser must send six distinct HTTP requests. 

Similarly, if you install five WordPress plugins, each of which has its own stylesheet, the visitor’s browser will need to make five distinct HTTP requests.

How to Make Fewer HTTP Requests in WordPress and Boost the Site Speed #projectsengine #wordpress #sitespeed via @projects_engine

What Is the Importance of HTTP Request Reduction?

In general, the higher the number of HTTP requests on your website, the slower it will load. So, if you want to make your website load quicker, you must optimize and limit the number of HTTP requests required by your site.

While this is an oversimplification, the general notion is that the web browser will only display the website to your visitor once it has completed downloading all of the HTTP requests, but there are various tricks to signal the browser it is okay to wait for specific files.

So, if a website needs to make 50 HTTP requests before it can display the page, it will take longer than if it just has to make 20 HTTP requests. The bottom line is that making fewer HTTP requests allows your website to load quicker.

How to View and Analyze HTTP Requests on Your Website

You already know that all else being equal, minimizing the number of HTTP requests will speed up your site. However, not all HTTP requests are “equal.” Some HTTP requests are larger in size than others. Some people move more slowly than others.

A request for a massive 3 MB picture file, for example, will take much longer than a request for a little 20 KB picture.

Focusing on large, slow-loading HTTP requests first will yield the most return on your effort if you want to make the most significant improvements to your site.

Pingdom and GTmetrix analysis may be used to examine your website’s HTTP requests.

Most speed test tools do this, but the interfaces at GTmetrix and Pingdom are particularly user-friendly. You may also utilize the developer tools in your browser.

How to Optimize WordPress and Make Fewer HTTP Requests

There are two major ways for making fewer HTTP requests:

  • Remove HTTP requests – You should eliminate any unnecessary HTTP requests. For example, if you have a plugin that offers no value to your site and loads its own CSS and JavaScript, just uninstall it to eliminate all of its HTTP requests.
  • Combine HTTP requests. If you have a large number of HTTP requests that you must load, you can aggregate them into a single file. For example, instead of six little CSS files, you may merge them into a single bigger CSS file, which will still load quicker since the browser must perform fewer requests (this isn’t necessarily true with HTTP/2).

To begin, utilize the waterfall analysis (GTmetrix) to gather all of the requests from your plugins. You may accomplish this by searching for “plugins,” which will bring up an HTTP request that originates in the wp-content/plugins folder.

How to Make Fewer HTTP Requests in WordPress and Boost the Site Speed #projectsengine #wordpress #sitespeed via @projects_engine

Best WordPress Plugins for Reducing HTTP Requests

We propose to use these plugins if you’re seeking for “all-in-one” WordPress plugins to create less HTTP requests:

While you’ll still need to carefully check your theme and plugins to see if they’re producing too many HTTP requests, both of these plugins may help you optimize anything that remains on your site after you’ve cleaned it out.

In conclusion

Every new resource on your site generates an HTTP request. One HTTP request equals one picture, one CSS stylesheet equals one HTTP request, one font file equals one HTTP request, and so forth.

If you’re using WordPress, your theme will almost probably add its own HTTP requests, and many plugins will do the same. You will also get HTTP requests from any images you utilize and any third-party scripts you provide.

You may limit the amount of HTTP requests on your site by following the steps outlined above.

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