This calls for the need for Minification.
This programming process incorporates analyzing a site’s text to lessen each page’s file size. After all, the smaller the file size, the faster it will load.
The Minification process does not impact the function of the file. Instead, it optimizes it for download purposes.
File modifications are usually not made directly in production. Thus, the need for a visually appealing code is not felt.
Google does take a website’s speed into account while ranking. In this regard, Minification does help improve your website’s speed making both your site’s visitors and Google happy.
It involves removing any avoidable characters from within a file to reduce the file size and make it load quicker. Here are the aspects that get removed during file Minification:
- Line breaks
- Block delimiters
- Whitespace characters
How does Minification work?
When you will practice Minification, you will require to follow 3 steps:
- The developer codes the CSS or JS file using good programming practices. It includes leaving blank spaces that make the file easy to read, inserting comments where necessary, and much more.
- Then, the developer utilises several Minification techniques to optimize the file. This makes the file size smaller and makes it easy to read as Minification removes unnecessary things.
- At last, the minified page gets uploaded to the server. If somebody loads the website, it’s this minified page that is retrieved. This, in turn, allows the page to load quicker and use less bandwidth.
The individual loading for these minified pages does not need to view any of the source code at all.
Various tools are available on the internet for Minification. (Some of them are even free to use). They broadly fall under these 3 categories:
- Online Minification tools
For CSS: clean css
They all are easy to use. Just insert a code file in them and receive a minified version in return.
- Automated tools
Here, you can use NitroPack to optimize your website’s code files.
- Compression and Minification: NitroPack applies both tactics automatically. Minification is performed on AST Trees and not regexes, offering the finest results in terms of code size and stability.
- Command-line tools
These tools are recommended by Google a time ago:
- For HTML Minification: HTMLMinifier
- For CSS Minification: CSSNano and csso
Except for HTMLMinifier, these tools are updated regularly. They will be fine to test and to be used.
However, online-based development tools are not the only possibilities available for Minification.
HTML Minification can be done using Google’s PageSpeed Insights extension for chrome. It even has a command to minify HTML. Just click on that option to minify the HTML code of the page.
Difference between Minification and Compression
Users mostly confuse Minification and Compression. Both tactics essentially offer the same benefit; reducing the file’s size.
Although, there’s a central difference between the two.
Minification removes the redundant data from a file. On the other hand, Compression rewrites the files’ binary code and encodes the information using fewer bits than the original.
Compression is utilised to reduce the file size using a compression scheme or method, such as Gzip and Brotli. In addition, files are compressed before they are sent from the browser to the client.
It works as follows:
- A request is made from a client (browser) for the compression version of the files.
- The compressed files are sent from the web hosting server to the clients
- The client then decompresses the file and renders the information to the browser.
The compression method varies from server to server and client to client.
Especially for WordPress users, there are few relevant plugins available to minify those files automatically.
Hence, decide the best option for yourself and give your web pages an edge over your competitors.