Ask Yoast: why and how to minify your JS and CSS

If you check your site speed with Google PageSpeed Insights you might get the advice to minify your Javascript (JS) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) files. Your JS files contain the code of the interactive elements of your website. And in your CSS files you specify the design of your pages. Minifying those files will decrease your page load time and thereby provide a better user experience.

We received a question about minification of JS and CSS at Ask Yoast. Besides that, we also get the following question quite often when performing one of our SEO reviews:

“Why and how should I minify my JS and CSS files?”

Check out the video or read the answer below!

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Minify your JS and CSS files

“JavaScript (JS) is the stuff that makes your web page interactive and CSS is the stuff that makes your web page look good. Basically, these two things are code that you send to the browser, and that the browser needs to render.

A browser, like any other computer program, doesn’t care what the language that it receives, looks like. It doesn’t need the spacing and the comments and all other stuff, that your developer needs to make sense of it all. He needs the structure to get through the code, however the browser has no benefit from that.

Stripping all of that down, actually makes the file that you send to the user a lot smaller. Because when you minify it, you remove all the extra spaces, all the line breaks and all the comments. Stripping all that, can save up to 30-40%, or even 50% of file size in some cases. There really is no benefit of sending that stuff to the end-users, so minifying saves time and money for everyone. 

That’s why you should do it. Good luck!”

If you’re on WordPress, there’s a vast amount of plugins that can help you minify your HTML, CSS and JS files. We generally recommend WPRocket for this and some further improvements to speed up your site.

Ask Yoast

In the series Ask Yoast we do our best to answer your SEO question! Need some help with your site’s SEO? Send your question to ask@yoast.com. You might get a personal answer on video!

Read more: ‘DIY: optimize your browser cache’ »

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Author: Search Engine Optimisation Company

Our team have been offering SEO expert services to clients since the early days of the internet. Whilst the tactics have evolved over the years, our overall goal by no means has and thats making sure our users web pages to rank on page 1 for appropriate keywords at the same time only using honest and long term strategies. Plan to Dominate the Search Engines? While many agencies are convinced that they have to resort to black hat SEO tactics to get results, we can get the 1st page rankings for all of our customers despite the fact that constantly guaranteeing we stick to strategies that are not frowned upon by the the search engines. What happens when you turn to black hat strategies? Without a doubt, you will get some early success, however the internet search engines will quickly discover what you are doing and you can face severe penalties which includes having your website banned with the google search results altogether. We work within guidelines of leading search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing! so you never need to be concerned about receiving any penalties as a result of the work we carry out for you.

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