WordPress Hosting Tips: How to Reduce HTTP/S Requests

Posted on 27th November 2020 by Fabrizio Lucenti in Optimisation
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Reduce HTTP/S Requests
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Imagine you have finally purchased the perfect domain name, and just got a great WordPress hosting package that perfectly supports your newly created website. You do the most to ensure your site is successful. You have videos, photographs, animated texts, add-ons, social media links, and plugins among other spectacular website tools that help to captivate your readers and keep them coming back for more. The only issue is, it takes forever for search engines to load your website. This is not good and can definitely stand between your website and success. Thankfully there’s a way to reduce HTTP/s requests that will speed up the fetch and retrieve process.

Having too many HTTP/s requests is a common problem that affects many websites. But first, let’s look at what causes website to act sluggish.

What Causes Websites to Start Loading Slowly?

Regardless of the CMS, device and/or search engine you use, over time your website may become slower to access.

Every time you visit a WordPress website, several batches of data is fetched from the WordPress server by your search engine and processed into the content displayed on your device monitor.

How is this done? Let’s get a little technical for this explanation.

You already know the history of how technology is controlled by ones and zeroes, programming language, but there have been several advancements over the centuries. Especially since the invention of the World Wide Web (WWW), loosely referred to as the internet.

Think of the World Wide Web as a global office with various departments that have documents on all sorts of topics. To get to this super office you need a fancy transportation, this is the internet. Cool ride to have, right?

The World Wide Web is controlled by programming languages, as well as, special protocols. A protocol is a standard set of rules which allow electronic devices to transmit, send and receive data, and determine the look of processed data, which is information.

What are Internet Protocols?

The Internet has many protocols and these protocols are divided into four categories:

  1. Link layer – DSL, PPP, Wi-Fi, etc.
  2. Internet layer – IPv4, IPv6, etc.
  3. Transport layer – TCP, UDP, etc.
  4. Application layer – HTTP, IMAP, FTP, etc.

Websites have lots of information in all forms from text, images and videos and at times retrieving all that data can be slow. HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is the application layer of the Internet protocol suite that uses a server-client system. In this system, the client may be a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or mobile device while the server refers to the WordPress hosting server or another website hosting server that you have used.

HTTP is unsecured while HTTPS is secured.

This means that websites with the HTTPS in the website’s URL are encrypted using the Transport Layer Security protocol. Without HTTPS, the data you enter into the website (like your username, password, credit card or bank information, etc.). Then it’s sent in plaintext which is susceptible to interception or eavesdropping from malicious cyber forces. When you transfer data in plain text you send unencrypted information pending input into cryptographic algorithms. To ensure cyber safety at all times, always use HTTPS. Especially before you enter any personal and confidential information.

WordPress is currently still one of, if not the most popular CMS. It is not only known for its easy usage but also the saddening fact that it is highly targeted by hackers. To optimise usage and personalise your experience with WordPress, you may be tempted to use several add-on and plugins that are owned by WordPress and third-party sites. Using the right amount is good. However, too many applications tools may lead to clutter and create a doorway for hackers to exploit you.

Apart from the physical appeal and cybersecurity, having a website that loads quickly is a must. To test your website speed you may use GTMetrix. This is a free tool that uses Google Page Speed and YSlow to analyse and provide detailed reports about your website’s performance.

How to Reduce HTTPS Requests

There are several ways to speed up your website but for now, let’s look at how to reduce http/s requests.

1. Declutter your website

Sometimes you may think you need certain add-ons and plugins to make your website exciting and engaging. However, as time passes and your website grows in popularity you forget about those application tools. These tools come with many files, such as PHP, CSS, or JavaScript (JS) and each file creates an http request when you access a website or webpage. When you uninstall add-ons and plugins that are no longer essential you reduce http/s requests.

2. Optimise Images

Pictures are perfect when you want to make your website more eye-catching, however, irrelevant pictures detract from the message you want to convey and fast become clutter which slows down your website. To reduce http/s requests, you need to remove non-essential photos and images from your website.

Combine & Minify HTML, CSS & JavaScript

This is the process of eliminating non-essential comments, formatting, white space and irrelevant new lines from HTML, CSS and JavaScript files. This method helps to keep your website’s programme files clutter-free, optimise memory usage and ultimately reduce http/s requests.

3. Adjust Render-Blocking CSS & JavaScript Files

Your website or webpages load from top to bottom. If you have render-blocking CSS and JS at the top of your webpage, your browser will pause, display a blank page before allowing the file to fully load. But this might take a longer timer than you or your viewers want to wait.

While you are waiting for your webpage to load, your browser makes several HTTP requests. Making adjustments to your render-blocking scripts, such as moving all render-blocking scripts from the top to the bottom of your web page will not reduce http/s requests on the whole. However, it reduces the number of HTTP requests needed to render an individual webpage.

Your website’s CSS and JS deliver are responsible for delivering a thoroughly engaging experience, so be careful not to move all scripts from the top to the bottom.

4. Use Caching & CDN

Caching includes storing static files on a client’s browser upon the first visit to a specific website. On subsequent visits to specific websites, your browser won’t make requests to the intended server. It will retrieve the data from the cached resources in your browser, hence, reducing http/s requests, and boosting your website’s speed.

Conclusion

It’s exciting to own a website that attracts high traffic, subscribers, clients or prospective customers. However, if it takes long to load, it will result in bad user experience, and a sharp decline in traffic. That’s why it’s important to take all the necessary steps to ensure your website is secure and the load time is fast. One way to do this is to reduce HTTPs requests.