HTTP Requests

A client's HTTP request is made to a named host, which is located on a server. The request aims to access a resource on the server. To make the request, the client uses components of a URL (Uniform Resource Locator), which includes the information needed to access the resource.


Steps involved when you visit a website in a browser :

  1. When you visit any site on your browser.
  2. An HTTP request occurs when your browser requests files to download.
  3. The server that the website is on returns all the files that are needed to load the website.
  4. Once all these files have been loaded, you can view and interact with the content.


All of the above occurs instantly. At the same time, the bigger the files, the longer the HTTP request takes. So it is recommended to reduce the number of files on your site to only what you need. Also, make sure all those files are as small as possible.


Reduce HTTP Requests in WordPress

There are several things you can do to minimize request size. Let's go over a few of them together.


1. Combine CSS and JavaScript

Every WordPress website has various CSS and JavaScript files. One of the most reliable ways to reduce HTTP requests is to combine them.

Remember, this is WordPress, and one of the best things about WordPress is that you have access to plugins and combine external JavaScript using a WordPress plugin. 


2. Minify HTML, CSS, JavaScript

Minification is the process of characters out of source codes that are not necessary. To minify HTML, CSS, JavaScript code, using the Fast Velocity plugin will help you quickly minify so that your site makes fewer HTTP requests.


3. Take Advantage of Lazy Load

A lazy Load is an option provided by all of the best WordPress image sizing and compression plugins out there. You want to make sure images are taken care of properly. One of the ways to do this is to enable the Lazy Load function within the plugin you are using. This will contribute significantly to fewer HTTP requests.

Lazy loading is not a complex process. You are telling the page to do when you enable it to defer loading any images that are not needed immediately on the page.


4. Remove Images That Are Not Needed

We all love pages that give us stunning and informative images. According to SWEOR, a staggering 40% of people will leave a page and website if the pictures take too long to load. 

When it comes to fewer HTTP requests, this is also important. The less-is-more approach works well here.


5. Reduce Image File Sizes

It is essential to know that uploading large images to your website takes up allotted space and slows your site tremendously. You don't need to upload massive images. You can use outside tools like Tiny PNG to compress them and size them down before unloading them.


6. Delete or Disable Unneeded Plugins

Just in case you aren't aware of this, two issues can plague you when it comes to plugins. First, if there are too many plugins running, and there are cases where unneeded plugins need to be deleted.

Secondly, high CPU plugins - increase the number of HTTP requests. If you can find ways to delete plugins that you don't need and use plugins that don't have high CPU usage, you can ensure your website will make fewer HTTP requests.


7. Use a CDN to Help Make Fewer HTTP Requests

You can make fewer HTTP requests is using a CDN. A content delivery network (CDN) delivers cached website content to users based on where the user is located geographically.


Easily Test Your Site For HTTP Requests

Testing your site to see how many HTTP requests are happening is not difficult. There are two ways to do it.

You can use external tools like Pingdom or GTmetrix. Both of these tools allow you to enter some site info, and they will automatically do a full rundown for you.


Query Monitor

Query Monitor can help you with database queries and debugging. It gives you a ton of feedback on things like PHP errors, hooks, and actions, block editor blocks, enqueued scripts and stylesheets, HTTP API caalls, and much more.

Use this plugin to see how many HTTP requests are happening on your website. Try it before you perform optimization and then after to see what progress you have made.


I hope you can understand that too many HTTP requests can bog a site down and return poor page load times. Having some techniques in place to help with this issue is essential. Follow the steps above and see if that helps with overall site speed.


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