Your users’ browsers make dozens if not hundreds of requests every time they visit one of your webpages. Each load over either HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) or HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), and impacts your site’s performance.
Fortunately, you have plenty of methods at your disposal to minimize HTTPS requests in WordPress. That, in turn, should improve your site’s performance across the board.
In this article, we’re going to show you how to track HTTPS requests for any of your pages. Then we’ll go over four methods to minimize them for your WordPress site. Let’s get to it!
Why and how to track your site’s HTTPS requests
Every time a user visits one of your pages, their browser sends multiple requests to your site’s server to load any elements it contains. This includes images, scripts, stylesheets, and more.
To see how many requests occur in the background when users load your webpages, you can run a test using Chrome Dev Tools. Once you’ve installed the extension, click on the three-dot icon in the top right corner of the browser and select More Tools > Developer Tools to access this feature.
In the resulting window, there’s a tab labeled Network. Clicking on it gives you an overview of all the requests that occur when the page you’re currently viewing is loaded:
If you look to the right, you can see the file size of each component as well as how much time it takes to load. We took a look at some popular websites to analyze how many elements each had to load and how long it took:
- BuzzFeed: 117 requests for a total of 5.7 MB in 3.22 seconds.
- Amazon: 206 requests for a total of 4.3 MB in 1.44 seconds.
- Expedia: 140 requests for a total of 4.5 MB in 6.91 seconds.
As you can see, there’s a correlation between the number of HTTPS requests and loading times. However, it’s not as simple as to say more requests equal worse performance.
Take Amazon, for example. Although it requires the most requests of the pages listed above, it manages to handle them efficiently. It does so by loading resources in the background, unnoticed unless you take a look at the logs.
In other words, Amazon’s website is so well optimized, it’s faster than Buzzfeed or Expedia even though you need to load more data when you visit it. There are a variety of ways you can boost your site’s performance as well. However, it’s still smart to try to minimize HTTPS requests in WordPress where possible.
4 ways to minimize HTTPS requests in WordPress
As a WordPress user, you have a massive advantage when it comes to minimizing HTTPS requests. Most third-party services integrate seamlessly with the Content Management System (CMS). Plus, you have access to plenty of plugins that can help. Here are four simple techniques you can try.
1. Delete unused images and reduce your file sizes
Media files are notoriously
This article was written by Will Morris and originally published on ManageWP.