Easy to Reduce HTTP Requests to Speed Up Your WordPress Site

Every time you visit a website, there’s an entire heap of technical stuff happening behind the scenes. whereas words and pictures are loading on your screen, within the background your browser is requesting and receiving files.

These communications protocol requests impact page load speeds and, ultimately, have an effect on user expertise, bounce rate, and SEO. the fewer communications protocol requests your website sends to the server, the quicker your website can load.

So what’s Associate in Nursing communications protocol request and what are you able to do to scale back them? Let’s take a glance at however server requests work, tools to assist estimate precisely what number communications protocol requests your website is causation, and tips about the way to scale back your site’s requests and build it quicker.

What are HTTP requests?

Every time somebody visits a page on your website, their browser pings your network server and requests the files that contain the content of the page. These files would possibly embrace HTML, CSS and JavaScript files, images, icons, and different files.

The request is named AN HTTP request. HTTP stands for machine-readable text Transfer Protocol and primarily the name for a browser causation an invitation for a file, and therefore the server causation that files to the browser.

When the server receives AN HTTP request from a user’s browser, your server responds by causation the desired files. The user’s browser then renders the page.

Why is it thus necessary to stay track of HTTP requests? as a result of on every occasion, somebody visits your website, their browser has to create a separate HTTP request for each Indian file required to render the page they’re visiting. If you’ve got a minimalist website that doesn’t have several files, it won’t long to request and transfer your files. however, this isn’t the case for many websites, notably ones that use loads of pictures, animations, and different dynamic content.

By reducing the number of components in your site’s pages, you’ll be able to minimize the number of HTTP requests that are needed to render an online page. This, in turn, can facilitate speed up load times for your website.

But first, you wish to grasp what percentage HTTP requests your website is creating.

Checking How Many HTTP Requests Your Website Makes

If you’re a Chrome user, you can use the browser’s Developer Tools to check how many HTTP requests your site makes each time it loads.

To do this, right-click the page on your site that you want to check and click “Inspect.” Then click the “Network” tab.

The Network panel will display your web page’s network activity. To see what happens when your load loads, refresh the page with the panel open and you’ll see your HTTP requests as they happen in real-time.

Here’s what you’ll see when you check the HTTP requests for the WP Rocket blog:

Chrome Developer Tools provides network information, including HTTP requests.

The left-hand column contains all the files the page needs to display. In the “Size” column you’ll see the size of each file. The “Time” column lists how long it takes to load each file, while the “Waterfall” column displays a visual waterfall of all network requests.

But the number you really want to know if how many HTTP requests your site makes. You’ll see this number in the bottom left-hand corner, in this case, 51 requests.

Tools like GTmetrix and Pingdom can also help you track HTTP requests.

How to Reduce Your Website’s HTTP Requests

Optimizing your site and reducing the number of files your site needs to render can help speed it up – fewer files mean fewer HTTP requests.

Minifying and Combining HTML, CSS and JavaScript Files

Every HTML, CSS and JavaScript file your site requires adds to the number of HTTP requests it takes to load your site. So by combining and minifying these assets, you not only reduce the number of files that need to load, but you reduce the total file size of your site.

“Minification” means removing any unnecessary characters, like comments, formatting, white space and new lines from HTML, CSS and JavaScript files that aren’t necessary for the code to execute.

Combining files, meanwhile, is just like it sounds. For example, if your web page load 5 external CSS files and 5 external JavaScript files, combining your CSS and JavaScript into a single separate file each would result in just 2 requests instead of 10. However, it’s important to note that if you’re using HTTP/2, it means that several requests can happen at the same time and combining files will have less of an impact on the loading time.

Using WP Rocket, you can easily minify and combine your files under the “Static Files” tab. Check the files you want to minify and combine. Don’t forget to hit “Save Changes” when you’re done.

WP Rocket lets you easily minify and combine your site’s files.

Fix Render-Blocking CSS and JavaScript Files

If you have CSS and JavaScript on your web page that’s not asynchronous, it’s best to make it asynchronous or defer it.

Why? When a user’s browser loads your page, it loads the page’s assets from top to bottom. When the browser reaches a CSS or JavaScript file, if that file is not asynchronous the browser will stop loading everything else on the page until it has fully loaded that CSS or JavaScript file.

When you load your files asynchronously, the user’s browser will load them at the same time as it continues loading other elements on the page.

Deferring files means moving them to another section of your page to load. For example, moving JavaScript from the <head> section of your site to the bottom of your page just before the </body> tag. This technique ensures the rest of the page will load without having to wait for the JavaScript to fully load.

With WP Rocket, you can fix render-blocking CSS and JavaScript simply by checking the options at the bottom of the “Static Files” tab.

The render-blocking CSS and JavaScript options in WP Rocket.

Note: If you choose to use WP Rocket’s render-blocking feature, do so with caution and follow WP Rocket’s tips and documentation. This feature is intended for advanced users.

If there is any CSS you want to be loaded above the fold, you can enter specific CSS rules in the text area to ensure loading your files asynchronously doesn’t impact how your site is displayed to the user.

Deleting and Optimizing Images

Images are usually the files that take the longest to load on most web pages. While they’re absolutely necessary – after all, websites look boring without visual content – you might have images on your site that you don’t need. So take the time to evaluate your images and remove any from your media library that you aren’t using.

Once you’ve gone through your images and decided which ones you want to keep, you should optimize and compress them. Optimizing your images will remove unnecessary file information. I recommend using the popular Imagify plugin.

CSS spriting can further images the number of image files requiring HTTP requests. This technique allows you to take multiple images and reduce them into a single image. Then using CSS techniques, you can manipulate the sprite and only display a specific part of it. There are some great tools that can help with creating CSS sprites, such as SpriteMe. Creating CSS sprites is well worth the efforts, especially for smaller files like social media icons – fewer individual icon files means fewer HTTP requests, though this is less necessary if you use HTTP/2 and multiple files from your site can be transferred simultaneously.

Lazy loading your images can also improve your page load time. This technique works by using JavaScript to only load images that come into the user’s view as they scroll through your page.

Another way to ensure images won’t make your pages load slowly is using a “lazy loading” plugin. Lazy loading is a technique where some JavaScript looks at the current viewport of the visitor and only loads images that are (almost) within view. A good plugin for this is the Lazy Load plugin which delays loading of images until the user starts scrolling down the page.

Evaluating and Reducing External Scripts

At this point, it’s a good idea to refer back to the Network panel in Chrome and see what other files are adding requests.

For example, you might find that Gravatar is adding a second to your load time when it retrieves user images for your blog comments. Twitter integration might also be adding to the number of HTTP requests your site is making.

Knowing which third-party integrations are slowing down your site will help you make informed decisions about which assets to keep and which ones aren’t worth slowing down your page speed for.

Bonus: Use a Content Delivery Network

Using a CDN can further speed up how quickly your pages load for users. A CDN is a network of servers, usually located at various sites around the world. These servers cache the static content of your site, such as images, CSS and JavaScript files. When someone lands on your site, the static content is served from the server located closest to the user’s physical location. Shorter distances to the server mean faster data retrieval. But keep in mind that if the majority of your site visitors are local, a CDN isn’t unnecessary – CDN’s are more suited to websites that have international traffic.

With WP Rocket, you can integrate your website with CloudFlare, a popular CDN. Go to the “CDN” tab in WP Rocket to enable CloudFlare and then add your account.

While Cloudflare is a useful free option for users with small websites, larger websites should invest in a premium service, such as MaxCDN (now StackPath), KeyCDN or even an open source option like jsDelivr.


Knowing exactly how many HTTP requests your site makes is to reducing them and speeding up your site.

While there isn’t really an optimal number of files or file size your web page should be reduced to, Hubspot suggests aiming for between 10-30 files. However, this isn’t a realistic goal for many large websites that require high-quality video, images, and other dynamic content.

Over to You

For those who are doing it for the first time, reduce HTTP requests to speed up your WordPress site sounds like a tricky thing to do. But if the steps here are followed correctly, you can do it in a matter of just a few hours. If after doing that your website is still slow, it might be a good idea to move to a more reliable web hosting. If you need to move your hosting provider, I recommend ASPHostPortal for you. I hope this post was helpful to you. Do not know if you can do it correctly. We would love to hear from you.

Anjali Punjab

Anjali Punjab is a freelance writer, blogger, and ghostwriter who develops high-quality content for businesses. She is also a HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certified and Google Analytics Qualified Professional.