What is minification and how it help in SEO?

What is minification

While you should Minify CSS And Javascript(JS) to reduce file size which will help you in SEO. As per the update from Google, more your website loads faster more are the chances of getting ranked higher.

So, what is minification? And how it helps in SEO?

Let's find out in this post.

Minification is the process of minimizing code and markup in your web pages and script files. It’s one of the main methods used to reduce load times and bandwidth usage on websites. Minification dramatically improves site speed and accessibility, directly translating into a better user experience. It’s also beneficial to users accessing your website through a limited data plan and who would like to save on their bandwidth usage while surfing the web.

Minification is used in websites ranging from small personal blogs to multi-million user services. It strips a code file of all data that isn’t required in order for the file to be executed. Minification is performed after the code for a web application is written, but before the application is deployed.

Only in the sense that web page will download faster and Google gives points for that because a faster page load is better user experience. Otherwise, minimizing a web page has no other impact. Google watches code. Not spaces between it.

There are many tools available for minification.

You can use:

  • Google’s Closure Compiler for JavaScript

  • YUI Compressor for CSS

  • An HTML minifier for HTML

 

It’s easiest to simply download the minified versions of the files PageSpeed Insights provides. If you’re running any CMS, you can take advantage of the minification by many plugins.

How does it work?

Minification works by analyzing and rewriting the text-based parts of a website to reduce its overall file size. Minification extends to scripts, style sheets, and other components that the web browser uses to render the site.

  • A web developer creates a JavaScript or CSS file to be used in a web application. These files are formatted for the developer’s convenience, which means they make use of whitespace, comments, long variable names, and other practices for readability.

  • The developer applies a minification technique (see below) to convert the file into one that’s more optimized, but harder to read. Common minification techniques include removing whitespace, shortening variable names, and replacing verbose functions with shorter, more concise functions.

  • The web server uses the minified file when responding to web requests, resulting in lower bandwidth usage without sacrificing functionality.


When combined with other compression techniques, minification can greatly reduce bandwidth usage for both the enterprise and the user.

How minification can help in SEO?

SEO is an important aspect of any webmaster, since a good ranking in the search engine ensures great traffic to your website, and thus earns many profits at the end of the day. To get a better ranking, there are some important factors you should consider to improve search engines (SEO), and that the speed of your website is definitely one of them. To ensure that your site loads quickly every time a user visits your website, you must comply with all specific rules and regulations, pre-defined by search engine giants like Google or Bing.

 

Reducing CSS / JavaScript on your website is one of the factors that will help improve the overall speed of your website.

Minifying a resource, be it a CSS, JavaScript, or HTML file—is simply the process of removing spaces, comments, tabs, and other unnecessary code in the file.

 

When creating HTML, CSS, and JavaScript (JS) files, developers tend to use spacing, comments, and well-named variables to make code and markup readable for themselves. It also helps others who might later work on their assets. While this is a plus in the development phase, it becomes a negative when it comes to serving your pages. Web servers and browsers can parse file content without comments and well-structured code, both of which create additional network traffic without providing any functional benefit.

 

To minify JS, CSS and HTML files, comments and extra spaces need to be removed, as well as crunch variable names so as to minimize code and reduce file size. The minified file version provides the same functionality while reducing the bandwidth of network requests.

Minification can reduce file size by as much as 60%. Minification has become standard practice for page optimization. All major JavaScript library developers (bootstrap, JQuery, AngularJS, etc.) provide minified versions of their files for production deployments, usually denoted with a min.js name extension.

CDN

Minification is also a major component of front end optimization (FEO), a set of tools and techniques that reduce file sizes and the number of associated web page requests.

A content delivery network (CDN) provides automated minification, relieving you of the overhead required to minify your own files. You keep your original, uncompressed files on your main server, while the CDN automatically stores minified variants on its caching servers and PoPs - keeping them in sync with source modifications.

Why use CDN?

Manual minification is a bad practice and becomes virtually impossible where large files are concerned. Performing and managing minification can be cumbersome.

CDN automatically compresses HTML, CSS and JavaScript files stored on its servers to accelerate page load times. This is done without requiring any server configuration on your end, while at the same time protecting your organization - large or small - from major threats (e.g., DDoS attacks).


 

Stock photo from An147yus

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