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What Is CSS, JS, and HTML Minification?

In this tutorial article, we will cover how to minify CSS, JS, and HTML. We will also talk about what this means and why it’s beneficial to your website. Additionally, we’ll explore the various ways you can minify CSS, JS, and HTML.

What are CSS, JS, and HTML minification?

Minification of CSS, JavaScript, and HTML involves removing unnecessary characters from within a file to reduce its size and make it load faster. Here are some examples of what is removed during file minification:

  • Whitespace characters
  • Comments
  • Line breaks
  • Block delimiters

Most of the time, the process of minification doesn’t affect the file’s function but optimizes it for downloading. Minifying the CSS, JavaScript, and HTML files on your website is very useful in boosting performance. Especially since Google takes into consideration speed and page load times when ranking.

To distinguish minified files from unminified, a .min file extension is sometimes included within the filename, such as header.min.css.

What is the difference between minification and compression?

Minification and compression are not the same things. Although they aim to reach the same goal – faster load times, they are both different in how they work.

Compression is used to reduce the file size by using a compression scheme or method, like Gzip or Brotli. Additionally, with compression, files are compressed before they are sent from the server to the client (browser). The way it works is as follows:

  1. CSS, JavaScript, and HTML files are compressed.
  2. A request is made from a client (browser) for the compressed version of files.
  3. The compressed files are sent from the web hosting server to the client (browser).
  4. The client decompresses the file and renders the information in the browser.

The method of compression used will vary from server to server and client to client. When a client requests the server, in the request headers is information regarding what compression methods the client supports so that the server can optimize the client’s response. If the client doesn’t support compression, the server will respond simply with uncompressed data.

How to minify your files

There are a lot of tools available for performing CSS, JavaScript, and HTML minification. This section outlines a few tools you can use for minifying each file type.

Minifying CSS

You have a few options to choose from for the minification of your CSS.

Web-Based

  • csscompressor.net – This site gives you the option to select the minification level that you would like to perform on the code. Depending on the level you select, the tool will determine how much memory you have saved.
  • cssminifier.com – This tool is very straightforward and you need only paste the existing CSS and the minified version will be created. Then you have the option to copy the minified code to your IDE or you can download it as a file and replace that version on your server.

Tools You Can Use When Developing

These tools provide processes and pathways for you to build in minification, renames, and saves, for optimized files in a production directory.

Minifying JavaScript

Web-Based

  • closure-compiler.appspot.com – Google’s own Closure Compiler can be used as both an online tool and an API. This tool allows you to select your optimization and formatting preferences.
  • jscompress.com – The web-based Jscompress tool enables minification of JavaScript by copying it directly into the compression tool. Additionally, you have the ability to upload a JavaScript file and run the minification process on one or more files at once.
  • javascript-minifier.com – This tool is from the same creators as cssminifier.com. You copy and paste your original code, then copy/paste the minified code to your IDE or you can download a minified file.

Tools You Can Use When Developing

These tools provide processes and pathways for you to build in minification, renames, and saves, for optimized files in a production directory.

Minifying HTML

Web-Based

  • htmlcompressor.com – This HTML minification tool offers numerous options, including the option to select between different levels of minification and inline CSS and JavaScript options.
  • minifycode.com – This minification tool for HTML doesn’t have any options you can configure,  and instead is very easy to use. You paste in the HTML you want to minify, click go, and paste your newly minified HTML into your IDE.

WordPress Minification Tools

There are several plugins you can use which offer minification to help further optimize your WordPress site. Some recommended examples are below:

If you host your Website with ChemiCloud, you should know we use LiteSpeed Web Server and you can (and should) install the LiteSpeed Cache plugin.

Enabling CSS Minify in the LiteSpeed Cache plugin for WordPress is super easy. Just visit the plugins Settings page, navigate to the Page Optimization area, then click the CSS Settings tab and click On for CSS Minify, as shown below:

Be sure to click Save Changes after toggling the setting to the On position.

Next, visit the JS Settings page and click the On button next to JS minify as shown below:

Be sure to click Save Changes.

Finally, visit the Optimization tab and click On next to HTML minify, as shown below:

 

Be sure to click Save Changes.

And that’s how you enable CSS, JavaScript, and HTML minification using the LiteSpeed Cache Plugin for WordPress.

If you enjoyed this tutorial, then you’ll love our support! All ChemiCloud’s hosting plans include 24/7 support from our amazing support team. Check out our WordPress hosting plans and have your website migrated today!

Updated on March 12, 2021

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