Reduce HTTP Requests to Improve Website Loading Time

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Does your website loads very slow?┬áIf yes, then you must reduce HTTP Requests to your web server. If a webpage makes a good 15-18 then it could be the main reason behind your website’s tortoise walk. Actually, 70-80% of website loading time is spend in loading external files(JavaScript, CSS, images etc) that makes separate HTTP Connections with the server. Larger the number of HTTP Connections, slower the website loads. The simple funda to improve website loading time is to reduce HTTP Requests.

HTTP Request and HTTP Connection

A webpage has several external files – CSS, JavaScript, images and others. HTTP Requests are the request sent by a browser to the web server when these files are loaded in a webpage. Most servers can quench 1-2 HTTP Requests simultaneously. So if your webpage is having 2 CSS files, 3JS files and 15 images (including images used for web page design) then it has to make 9-10 HTTP Requests to web server which consumes good time to load. HTTP Connection is the entire process of making a HTTP Request and serving it by the web server.

webpage should reduce http requests to web server

How to reduce HTTP Request to a web server

There are many ways by which you can improve website loading time by reducing the number of HTTP Connections to web server. Some of them are

  1. As most web server can make 1-2 simultaneous HTTP Connection it would be a good idea to distribute load to other web servers. You can put the logo, background pattern (marked as 1 and 2 in above image) and other images used for designing to image sharing sites like Picasa and Flickr. Only load the website content from your web server. By doing so you can reduce HTTP Requests amazingly.improve website loading time by distributing load to different servers
  2. Another awesome tweak is to combine external files into one. You can combine different CSS files into one, JavaScript into one. If your the size of external files is not big then you can put it within the website HTML code. Images used for designing – menu, background, hover effects etc can be included together using CSS Sprites. Google and Facebook does this and that’s why they are amazingly fast.combine external files into one to improve website loading time
  3. Faster and more efficient web server can also make your website load faster. Choose one which can process more than 2 simultaneous HTTP Connections. Such server would be costly, that’s evident.
  4. Google stores it’s logo to your browser. Caching is a good option to try to make website load faster. By caching you can store heavier files of your website to user browser cache, so when they visit the website again then heavier files are fetched locally from the system hence negating the need of loading the same from the web server. WordPress users can ask for the caching plugin at wordpress.org/extend/plugins. It’s important to note that you must change privacy policy for Google AdSense and state clearly about the cache you store to the user browser.
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