A developer explains how to minify CSS & JavaScript on WordPress

Harikrishna Kundariya

Harikrishna Kundariya

CEO and founder eSparkbiz

Core Web Vitals were launched in 2021 as the new official ranking factor on Google.

cwv new ranking factor

The problem is that because this ranking factor is so technical, many SEOs don’t have the skills to execute it properly and this often reflects in the bad experiences users have with websites.

If you are an SEO pro or a business owner without too many coding skills, this article is for you.

Wouldn’t it be nice if your website could operate more effectively, even only slightly faster? Would it be even better if you can beat one Google ranking factor?

If so, you should become familiar with WordPress minify when you need to make a difference.

Your WordPress site can load more quickly if you select to minify its CSS and JavaScript files.

It’s a way of minimizing the size of specific files (such as CSS, JavaScript, and HTML files) without sacrificing their functionality.

The best part is that you can minify these files without knowing how to code! So, how can you minify CSS and JavaScript on WordPress?

Let’s take a look.

minify css & javascript on wordpress

What is Minification & why would you need it?

To make CSS and JavaScript files more compact, minification means cutting unnecessary components.

Line breaks, white space & comments are used by developers to make their code easy to understand.

It’s not required for your browser to interpret the code. This optimization method massively reduces the file size of the general code while maintaining its primary function and behavior.

For instance, this is what a normal CSS code looks like:


body {
margin:20px;
padding:20px;
color:#333333;
background:#f7f7f7;
}
h1 {
font-size:32px;
color#222222;
margin-bottom:10px;
}

And this is how it looks after minifying:


body{margin:20px;padding:20px;color:#333;background:#f7f7f7}
h1{font-size:32px;margin-bottom:10px}

Thus, reduced bandwidth utilization, page size, and loading times are the key advantages of minification.

So, which resources can you minify? Typically, just minifying files that are transmitted to users’ browsers are encouraged.

It means CSS, HTML & JavaScript files.

PHP scripts can also be minified, but doing so won’t make your users’ pages load faster. Given that PHP is a server-side programming language, nothing is delivered to the visitor’s web browser before having a chance to run.

WordPress will run faster and perform better due to file compression because small files load more quickly.

Some experts, however, think that the trouble is not worth the modest performance boost that most websites see. Most WordPress websites lose a few kilobytes of data after minification.

By online image optimization, you can speed up page load times even further (below 3 seconds would be ideal). Minifying CSS and JavaScript will greatly increase your score if you’re trying to attain a 100/100 rating on the GTMetrix or Google Pagespeed tools.

Why is Minification important?

It’s critical to minify CSS and JS to reduce file size, boost page performance, and pass associated PageSpeed Insights assessments.

Here are the main four benefits of minification. The efficiency of your WordPress site is enhanced on four separate levels by CSS and JS minification:

1. Improve Loading Time

The minification of JS and CSS speeds up site loading and improves page performance. For instance, minifying JavaScript results in a smaller JS file payload, which cuts down the time needed to parse scripts. It has the effect of accelerating page loading and improving user experience.

2. Improve the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

A Core Web Vitals metric called Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) determines precisely when the massive piece of the page becomes visible to the user. A bad LCP can be improved using minification. Web.dev recommends both methods to speed up resource loading times, reduce JS and CSS blocking, and enhance server response times.

3. Reduce File Size for a Faster Delivery

When compared to minifying, gzipping reduces the file size by roughly five times. To give your site a small boost and hasten data transmission, minification is encouraged.

4. Reduce CDN billed bandwidth usage

The script files are optimized and loaded faster, thanks to minification, which lowers the amount of CDN bandwidth used by your websites. The amount of data that is transmitted from the servers to the customer determines how a CDN typically charges you.

A minified code uses less bandwidth, which brings down the CDN’s monthly cost.

Ways to Minify CSS and JavaScript on WordPress

Now that we have covered the basics of minification and why it is essential, let’s dive into how you can minify files on WordPress. You have two choices for minifying WordPress resources: manually or with a plugin.

How? Let’s take a look.

Manual minification

With the aid of a special program, manual minification allows you to quickly condense JavaScript and CSS code. As a result, you can quickly write code that is simple to read and understand before quickly minifying it.

To begin with, you can use a program like CSS Minifier, CSS Minify, or Clean CSS. Minify can be an excellent place to start with JavaScript.

JSCompress and JavaScript Minifier are other alternatives. Fortunately, all of the tools will function uniformly.

For instance, when using Clean CSS, put your original code into the appropriate section and select CSS Minify.

You can copy and paste the results from the other field into your website.

However, if you are unsure of your coding skills, avoid using manual minification. Instead, start using a WordPress minification plugin.

Using WordPress plugins

You can automatically minify the CSS and JavaScript files required to run your website by using a WordPress plugin. However, given how sensitive these files are, you’ll want to select a trusted and secure plugin.

Fast Velocity Minify


Both inexperienced users and seasoned users should consider Fast Velocity Minify. Without any additional settings, it delivers automated minification of all the HTML, JavaScript, and CSS code on your website by default. 

If you want to play around with the details, it also offers a tonne of other possibilities. Additionally, you can request that the plugin’s developer create unique optimization settings.

Autoptimize


One of the more well-known minification plugins is Autoptimize (and for good reason). Your files will be bundled together, optimized, and cached to reduce the number of queries made to the website. 

This plugin is perfect for people who wish to take a “set and forget” approach to minification even though it does provide some additional choices.

Additionally, it offers a variety of caching options that can aid in website speedup (below 3 seconds). You should give this plugin a shot because it can make your website perform faster than ever.

WordPress Super Minify

WordPress Super Minify is a plugin for WordPress that can combine, minify, and use browser cache for your site’s files. It is also one of the easiest and most lightweight plugins for this purpose. Once you install the WP Super Minify plugin, minifying is incredibly simple and takes less than a minute.

Any plugin you select will function in the background once you have selected the files you wish to minify. Nevertheless, because those WordPress minify plugins provide various additional capabilities, it would be excellent if you tried them all to determine which one offers you the biggest benefit.

Reducing your CSS and Javascript doesn’t have to be difficult

WordPress minify is a helpful optimization that can improve the speed of your website. The best part is that anyone can execute it without any hassle.

Although minifying your WordPress files may seem like a technical challenge, you don’t need to be an expert in CSS or JavaScript.

All you need is a plugin, and you are ready to minify your CSS and JavaScript files. If that seems overwhelming, hire dedicated developers in India to do it for you!

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