What is minification for WordPress and how does it help?

Minification for WordPress includes HTML, CSS and JavaScript files.

When creating HTML, CSS and JavaScript (JS) files, developers tend to use spacing, comments and well-named variables to make code and markup readable for themselves. It also helps others who might later work on their assets.

While this is a plus in the development phase, it becomes a negative when it comes to serving your pages. Web servers and browsers can parse file content without comments and well-structured code, both of which create additional network traffic without providing any functional benefit.

What does a minified file look like?

To minify JS, CSS and HTML files, comments and extra spaces are removed, as well as crunching variable names so as to minimize code and reduce file size. The minified file version provides the same functionality while reducing the bandwidth of network requests.

However, the main difference here is it’s just a big block of code – there are no line breaks or white spaces, so it’s not very legible to human eyes – but it’s all the browser needs to read.

How does minification for WordPress help optimize my site?

It’s not uncommon for pages to load lots of files – anywhere from 50-200 is frequently seen. Each of these when minified can save a small amount of file size, so each loads faster. And by loading faster, the first render on screen appears sooner.

Even if scripts are combined, having them minified is still helpful.

Minification is safe and should rarely if ever cause issue, as it doesn’t affect the code itself.

What can I use to add minification for WordPress?

If you are using OpenLiteSpeed, then you will use LS Cache.

If you are on any other web server, my preference is for AutoOptimize, and it’s additional connector plugin, Async Javascript.

Need help adding minification for WordPress?

This is part of our optimization service. We can help you optimize your site above and beyond minification, just let us know what you are trying to achieve, and we will let you know how we can help.