Optimizing Site Speed: Removing Render-Blocking JS & CSS

Creating a website that is both visually appealing and functional is crucial for any business or individual looking to establish an online presence. However, it is important to remember that the content and loading speeds of a website are just as important as its aesthetics. WordPress is a popular platform that provides users with a range of plugins and themes to create custom websites quickly. However, these plugins and themes often require JavaScript (JS) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to work, which can slow down your website considerably.

In this guide, we will explore how to find and remove render-blocking scripts to increase the loading speeds of your WordPress website. Render-blocking scripts are JavaScript and CSS scripts that are embedded into the HTML document of a web page. These scripts are kept in a queue that your web browser uses to render the web page. The more complex scripts your webpage has to call from the queue, the longer it will take to render. This can be frustrating for readers, so it is important to optimize your website by finding and fixing these render-blocking scripts.

Before deciding which scripts to terminate or optimize, you must assess your website or web page’s speed. You can use online platforms such as GTmetrix or Google’s PageSpeed Insights to grade your website and provide insights on how to make it faster. These platforms will also suggest audits you can use to reduce unused CSS and JavaScript or use fewer elements in your webpage. GTmetrix will even show you which scripts need to be optimized.

Alternatively, you can use Chrome DevTools’ Coverage Tab to show you the utilization data of your scripts. Once you identify which scripts are suboptimal, you can do a few things to fix them. Here are five ways to fix render-blocking scripts and increase the speed of your webpage:

1. Optimize the load order: The head section of the web page is used for pre-loading elements, so you should avoid placing JavaScript in here. You need to order calls to scripts according to their importance and complexity.

2. Minify code: Minifying code involves rewriting it and deleting unnecessary characters, which ultimately reduces the size of the script and increases loading times for your web page.

3. Use deferred and asynchronous loading of JavaScript: You can use the async attribute to load the script in parallel with the web page and execute it as soon as it’s available. Alternatively, you can utilize the defer attribute to defer the parsing of scripts.

4. Replace JavaScript Visual Elements with CSS3: If you notice that your web page is using JavaScript to pick up the slack where previous versions of CSS fell flat, you should alter it and replace all unnecessary JavaScript with CSS.

5. Eliminate All Unnecessary Scripts: The best way to optimize the speed of your website is to eliminate all underutilized scripts. You’ll need to analyze which scripts are completely unnecessary and remove them.

If you are not experienced in coding, there are a range of plugins geared towards script optimization that you can use. Some of the best plugins for script optimization include WP Rocket, Autoptimize, W3 Total Cache, and Async Javascript. However, some of these plugins may cost money, so it is important to weigh the costs against the benefits.

In conclusion, optimizing your website by finding and removing render-blocking scripts is crucial for increasing its loading speeds. By following these tips, you can improve the functionality and user experience of your WordPress website.

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