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How to Reduce HTTP Request for WordPress in 7 Simple Ways

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How to Reduce HTTP Request for WordPress
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For any WordPress website or a blog, one of the key performances that you need to be aware of the speed in which your page loads. In today’s digital age, all website visitors just have no patience for slow loading pages.

One of the key methods to maintain a fast loading page is by reducing the HTTPS request coming from visitors who are browsing your website.

Here’s the thing, with the need to constantly add custom images, dynamic content, and videos and such, it’s important to make sure that you do all that you can to keep your page loading fast and smoothly.

So when you have all that HTTPS request happening in the background, your page loading speed will take a deep dive which might cause you to lose your visitor.

So, what can do you to WordPress website to avoid this problem? Well, we’ve got just the tip for you! But before that, let’s take a look at what HTTP Server Requests are and why it’s important.

Understanding HTTP Server Requests and Its Importance

User experience is the key to making a good website. If you provide a good user experience, you will encourage your visitors to continue to visit your website, consume your content, buy products from you, or even reach out to you for your services.

If that user experience compromised at all—even if it’s your page taking a bit too long to load—it can and will affect your overall conversion rate.

webpagetest wpall - How to Reduce HTTP Request for WordPress in 7 Simple Ways

Above is the example of HTTP requests for one of the WPAllClub blog posts. You can use tool such as WebPageTest.org to check the duration for each component on your webpage to load.

So, how do HTTP server requests comes into the equation? Here’s a quick rundown:

Whenever a person visits one of your web pages, their browser puts in a request to your website to download the files from your site so that they can load it properly for the user.

What happens then is that, your website will send all the files that your WordPress website is comprised of (this can either be text, images, video embeds, CSS and JavaScript files, etc.), with each file receiving a separate server request.

Once all the server requests are processed, the files will then be transferred to the user’s browser which will allow your website to be loaded properly onto their screens.

Now, here’s the big question, what do you think will happen if your website has a lot of files that needs to be requested?

Spoiler alert: It’s going to take a long time to load!

If that’s not scary enough, imagine if your website suddenly experiencing a burst in traffic and you received multiple HTTPS server requests simultaneously! You can bet that your website’s performance is going to take a hit and ultimately affect your conversion rate.

Now, you might think that cutting down on those files will help keep your load times stay fast and lean, BUT, you’ll then end up with a very minimalistic design that can be overwhelmingly boring website.

While keeping the sizes and quantity of your files is important, there are workaround that you can use in WordPress to reduce HTTP requests for your website.

7 Ways to Reduce Your HTTP Requests

Now that you know what HTTP requests are and how they can affect your WordPress website, let’s take a look at the ways that you can implement to help improve your website’s overall performance.

And, if you’re a beginner, don’t worry, a lot of these tips can be done by anyone on any level as it doesn’t require any technical knowledge whatsoever (though it does help!).

1. Clean Out Any Unused Image Files

For most people, the requests that tends to cause a lot of problems are image files that you have on your website. Does that mean you shouldn’t have any images on your website? Of course not!

Instead of sacrificing image quality just to keep your HTTPS server requests down, focus on keeping the clutter in your media library to a minimum. What that means is, if you have a bunch of images that you’re not using, then delete them immediately.

When you have all those images stored in your site and not being used, they just end up adding too much and weight and server requests that’s not needed.

2. Clean Out Any Unused Data Files

While images tend to be the biggest problem for server requests, there are times when the issue tends to lie in data files or plugins that’s installed in your website and that you’re not using.

Things such as social media feed plugins or an embedded video that are unnecessary can add bloat to your website and cause dips in performances, let alone skyrocket your HTTPS server requests.

If there are any plugins, themes, programs, etc., that you’ve installed and are not using at the moment, uninstalled and delete them immediately!

3. Optimize Your File Size

Here’s a great tip that often overlooked when it comes to managing your files. Optimize the size of your image file BEFORE you upload it to your website in order to reduce taking up huge server resources.

Use tools such as WP Smush plugin to automate the image compression on your website. This way, you still get to upload high-resolution and beautiful images on your website with their quality intact while still keeping their file size optimised.

4. Use Lazy Loading

Another cool technology that you can use to reduce HTTPS server requests is to use lazy loading. What’s lazy loading? Basically, it’s a plugin that limits your server requests by sending them only when a user scrolls down to an image on the page.

What this does is help you reduce having any unnecessary HTTPS server requests from your website to the user’s browser for images or data that your visitors have not opened or encountered yet.

5. Keep Tabs On Irrelevant Assets

WP Asset Cleanup plugin uses technology similar to lazy loading plugins but instead of delaying server requests for images that are not being viewed, the plugin delays requests for any plugin, file, or any other data asset that’s not being on the page a visitor is in.

It helps decrease the number of server requests that goes to a user’s browser by keeping the asset from being loaded and detected on a page that’s not using the data.

6. Combine Both CSS and JavaScript Files

One of the things that a WordPress website tends to a lot of are CSS and JavaScript files. The problem with these files is that each file requires a separate server request whenever a user visits your website.

However, you can avoid all that by merging them into a singular file. However, doing this requires some technical knowledge so if you’re not confident on doing, it’s best to study up a bit before attempting it.

7. Keep External Images To a Minimum

You might not realise this but that are parts of your website that tends to get populated with external images. One such area where that occurs frequently is in the comments section of your website.

Here’s an interesting fact: the default WordPress commenting system automatically uses Gravatar to load a commenters’ picture and bio. That’s quite cool except fo the fact that those pictures then becomes additional server requests that you need to send, which gets even messier if your website tends to get a lot of comments.

What’s the solution? Use commenting plugins from WordPress to help you avoid any unnecessary HTTPS server requests from your comments section.

Wrapping Up

For any blogger, small-and-medium businesses, or entrepreneur to start a website, you can’t go wrong with WordPress.

However, it’s important to remember that as easy it is to create a website with WordPress, it’s just easy for you to bog it all down with unnecessary images, themes, plugins, and tools that can slow down your website.

Keep an eye on the number of HTTP server requests, keep them down with our tips above, and you’ll have a smooth and fast loading website for your user.