13 Best Methods To Make Fewer HTTP Requests in WordPress

Do you ever wonder what happens behind the scene of your browser while browsing stuff on the internet? How the images, videos, and all website contents come from and how they load. Well, it is a tech part that nobody likes to talk about especially the digital marketers, and think it is only meant for web developers or IT experts.

But it is all wrong, if you are running a website that slows down over time and lags it is not the technical part you need to concern about but it also majorly affects your overall user experience as well. If your website’s loading time is more than 3 seconds, it will increase your bounce rate and visitors will likely abandon your website immediately. That will ultimately decrease your website user experience and affects SERPs rankings.

So, keeping in mind regarding all these issues, it has become important for you to know how to fix a slow website as soon as possible before losing your website traffic. But the main thing, is where you should start from? Well, there are a lot of things that you can do to improve your website speed, but the main thing you need to do is to make fewer HTTP requests for your website.

You might find the term “HTTP request” quite technical which is best suitable for developers as well as IT professionals. But you do not need to worry about it. With proper definition and explanation with basic knowledge about the internet can easily be able to understand.

To make you better understand this term, let us get into details about what these HTTP requests are and how can it help you to enhance your overall website’s performance.

Let us get started!!

Understanding HTTP request

Before hopping into deep about HTTP requests, you must clear your basic concepts about it first.

The term HTTP or full form Hypertext transfer protocol is a language that is used by browsers and web servers to communicate. Whenever a user wants to visit your website, the browser at the user end sends a request to your server which is called an HTTP request. Then the server allows this HTTP request and initiates the request to display the webpage.

But it is not that simple as it seems, there is something a lot more needs to happen, the browser will not display the web page content immediately but it requires a series of copies of the various webpage files, such as plugins, videos, and images to load the webpage properly.

But now the question is, How does the browser will able to get all the different copies of the webpage files? It can only be possible by making multiple HTTP requests. If due to any reason, the browser isn’t able to make different HTTP requests, the contents of the webpage will not be loaded completely.

The more webpage components the more HTTP requests will add up, which can become a problem if you do not follow some methods to make fewer HTTP requests.

But Why you need to make fewer HTTP requests? Let us find out why.

Why you need to make fewer HTTP requests?

The main reasons why you need to make fewer HTTP requests for any website are:

  1. Page Load time- The first reason for making fewer http requests is to reduce page load time. The more number of http requests your website receives, it takes longer time to load the requested webpage. For instance, let us suppose, a webpage recived 10 Http requests, it will load faster than another webpage with 50 http requests.

And the real problem associated with page load time is visitors. Higher the page load time, lower will be the web traffic because visitors will not like to wait for the content to load on your website. Especially, when there is a lot of competition around on the internet, high page load time websites can lose their traffic over time and hence low leads, which you won’t like to happen.

2. Bounce rate– Now let us see how high page load time and low leads can influence your website’s other parameters. As per the reports published by Google in 2017, whenever page loading time gets slowed by 1 to 3 seconds the bounce rate eventually increased by up to 32 percent. And to make things worse, poor loading time also affects your SEO rankings, and all your efforts will go in vain.

You can better understand this scenario with an example, Suppose you are having an online store with poor optimization and design. Your visitors won’t get impressed by it and eventually they won’t like to buy anything from your website. Even they won’t recommend their family or friends to shop from your website. Over time, your online store will not get good search engine visibility, poor traffic, low leads, and decreased conversion rates.

Now you can be able to understand how important it has become to make fewer HTTP requests that would not affect your website key metrics and your online business.

How to analyze your website’s unnecessary HTTP requests?

So far we have already tried to make things easier for you to understand how HTTP requests work and why you need to make fewer requests. Now, it is time for you to identify how many HTTP requests your website is dealing with and How can you analyze it? Let us see!

Identify HTTP requests your website is dealing with

you cannot remove or make fewer HTTP requests without knowing how many your website receives. But fortunately, there are various online tools available that help you to identify your website’s HTTP requests.

For instance, Pingdom is one of the popular website performance test tools, that gives you a free website performance report instantly, and you will also be able to see how many requests your website is receiving.

Pingdom: Website performance tool
Pingdom: Website performance tool

However, if you use a chrome browser, you can also check the number of HTTP requests in its DevTools. To do this, all you need to do is right-click on the page you want to check and select the “Inspect > Network” option.

Run an audit to analyze your website’s grades

For better upkeeping and maintenance, you must assess your website’s performance in regular intervals. Let us understand it in a better way.

Like earlier, we used a free website performance test tool named Pingdom. But there is one problem with free tools, i.e their features are limited and you will only get basic results. However, there are a lot of premium tools are also available that provide you with in-depth website performance and analysis reports.

Semrush is one of the premium audit tools that you can choose. To get started with this tool, all you need to do is go to All tools > Projects > Add a new project, as shown in the picture below:

Semrush Site audit tool
Semrush Site audit tool

Now the next step is to enter your website domain and name, followed by clicking on creating a project and you are ready to go.

Semrush: Add new Project
Semrush: Create Project

This SEO tool is run tests and analyses the website performance for both desktops as well as mobile devices. In addition to it, you have also been provided with a feature to schedule the craw at whatever time you like.

Semrush Audit tools
Semrush audit tools

Now after adding your project, you can enter the site auditing dashboard, where you will see various types of tools are available, they are:

  1. Site audit
  2. Position tracking
  3. On-page SEO checker
  4. Social Media Poster
  5. Social Media tracker
  6. Brand Monitoring and many more.

But in this blog, our main focus will be on the Semrush site audit tool.

Semrush site audit

The Site audit tool will provide you a detailed site audit scores which are in the range from 0 to 100%.

Semrush site Audit report
Semrush site audit report

From the above picture, you can see a semrush site audit report showing site health of 82% has been shown. This website health score is calculated on various other parameters and factors on which a website’s performance depends. Such as website pages with errors or issues, broken pages, pages that the crawler is unable to crawl, and many more.

From this website heath score you can analyze how well your website is doing, the greater the score is, the better will be your website’s health. In addition to it, Semrush also provides you reports and information regarding all the errors and warnings your website has received from the crawlers. Hower warnings can be taken as a secondary concern but you must not ignore the errors on your website, and give it your priority concern to fix them as soon as possible.

Boost Your Site Speed And Grow Rapidly 13 Best Methods To Make Fewer HTTP Requests in WordPress

This tool can check for more than a hundred various types of website issues, which you can easily identify and work upon.

10 Necessary Steps to make fewer HTTP requests

Although, there are various other reasons on which a website’s performance can be compromised and it also varies from one website to another. But they usually have a common main problem, i.e excessive HTTP requests. Considering this, we are providing you with 10 easy and comprehensive steps by which you can able to make fewer HTTP requests passing through your website.

1. Delete or Remove unused plugins

WordPress is famous for its flexibility and wide range of WordPress plugin choices. But it has its problems. Some plugins are multifunctional and some are useless. Generally, a beginner or a new user, without much prior knowledge about the WordPress plugin, tends to install and activate them blindly. As a result, instead of providing features, they start slowing down your website by consuming its resources.

2. Delete images which are not in use

Media such as images and videos sure helps your website to improve its appearance and enhance the overall user experience. But it is only important to note that, unless or until your content doesn’t require heavy images try to refrain from their use. We know how infographics and images can be helpful to make your content more enjoyable and comprehensive. And it is also great if you are using them, but only use them when necessary.

Another thing you must keep in mind is that every image creates an HTTP request, the more images you have there will more HTTP requests. These media might give your views a visual appeal but it won’t be helpful if they are affecting website load time.

So, try to audit each and every web page and remove the images that are irrelevant to your content, without any hesitation.

3. Remove and Replace heavy plugins with light ones

To make fewer HTTP requests to the minimum, you cannot simply remove every plugin you have. But, you can choose the alternate path by replacing the heavy ones with the more light ones with basic functionality.

For example, sometimes you just need a particular feature for your website but there are some plugins available that have other features bundled. You cannot simply install them under the temptation to get more features. Because these types of plugins can be resource-intensive.

Hence, it is better to look for those plugins which provide more streamlined features rather than bundled feature plugins. These types of streamlined plugins won’t slow down your page but help you out to make fewer HTTP requests rather than other plugins.

4. Enable Lazy Loading feature

“Lazy loading” is one of the best features you can enable to make fewer HTTP requests. With this enabled feature, the images or videos on the website won’t load until the user begins scrolling down your website. But you may wonder how this feature will help to make fewer HTTP requests?

Here is the answer, the media won’t get loaded until the user has not scrolled the webpage, hence it won’t trigger an HTTP request for the initial page load. Due to this, it won’t affect the user experience as well. The fun fact is, majority of the users do not know about this feature and the difference between regular and lazy load.

Now the main question is, How you can enable this feature on your website? Well, like any other adding feature, there is also a plugin available named Lazy load in the WordPress directory. Now you might think, adding again a plugin will affect your website site, but to your knowledge, this plugin takes only up to 10KB of space and even does not consume too many resources. All you need to just install and activate the plugin and you are ready to go.

Lazy load helps in to make fewer http requests
Lazy load make fewer HTTP requests

Some key features you would like to know:

  1. Make fewer http requests
  2. Improves loading time
  3. No javascript librabry is used
  4. Can replace youtube iframes

Pricing

Owned by WPRocket, lazyload is an open-source plugin available free to install and use from the WordPress directory.

5. Compress/Reduce the file size of existing images

After successfully purging or removing the unnecessary images from your website, it is now time to work on the existing ones. You can optimize the existing images by either compressing or reducing the file size of the existing images without compromising the quality and also improving load time.

Compressing and resizing are two different terms in context to image processing. where compress retains the image quality by reducing the file size, whereas simply resizing the file size will compromise the quality as well.

You can compress images by various tools available on the market, in which Adobe is quite popular and premium. But you can also try free tools such as JPEG optimizer, from which you can compress the images without compromising their quality.

Free Image Optimizing tool: JPEG Optimizer
Free Image Optimizing tool: JPEG Optimizer

6. Delete or Remove unnecessary Videos

Like we have already mentioned how it becomes necessary for you to purge unnecessary images on your website. Similarly, you also need to remove or delete unnecessary videos from our website. It not only consumes your server space but also affects the webpage loading time.

Frankly speaking, this step is really simple and straightforward to do, just like you did while purging unnecessary images and plugins, you can also reduce the number of videos that are irrelevant to your website. But the main question is, How can you decide which video should be removed and which not?

Well, no trick would help you here, you cant only analyze yourself which video is irrelevant to your audience and does not add value to your content, either remove it or shorten the length of the video. That’s it!

7. Use Content Delivery Network (CDN)

In recent years, CDN has shown huge positive results and has become more popular. Why not? after all CDN provided users a great benefit by boosting website speed, enhancing SEO, and reliability.

CDN or Content Delivery Network is a smart solution that provides a smart solution on how websites are loaded. They are best known for boosting website speed and it is not that complicated to understand. They simply deliver cached website content from the nearest possible location. Although there are more other things that are associated with it, for now we need to focus on how CDNs help you out to make fewer HTTP requests.

Due to its huge popularity and ease of access, its demand has risen among many WordPress users. Some of the famous CDN provider companies from where you can get CDN are Cloudflare, Amazon CloudFront, and many more. Once you can properly configure it with our website, it will work like a charm for your website speed.

But for all these features comes under some fees which on average cost you around $20 per month.

8. By Using Caching

Another one of the best ways to make fewer HTTP requests is to use content caching. The term caching in the IT industry refers to a visitor’s browser usually stores copies of the scripts that have been used to display content on your webpage, instead of deleting them. Whenever a visitor tries to open the same website again, then there will be no HTTP request required. It is because the script needed to display content on the webpage has been already stored in the browser unless the visitor has not cleared your cache.

Some points you should follow for Let me give you some tips for informing your website to prepare for content caching:

  1. Avoid using cookies unless they are very much required.
  2. Create a library of all the media files and use them again and again,
  3. Use the same URL
  4. Take help from Free tools available online that help you to assess your website’s cacheability.

9. CSS and Javascripts

Another method by which you can make fewer HTTP requests is by combining multiple CSS and javascript files.

I know a majority of the users have no idea about CSS and javascript files and even how to combine them. You do not need to worry about it, there are some alternate easy methods are available from which it becomes easy for anyone without manually adjusting your CSS file.

Like always, WordPress has to cache plugins that are available with this feature. It means all you need to do is to just install them and enable Combining CSS and javascript files by correctly configuring the settings. In some situations, you might even do not need to install even a WordPress plugin for that.

Nowadays, there have some WordPress themes are released which has included these features.

10. Limit third party requests

When a visitor tries to open a page on the browser, the browser starts sending requests from third parties to display content on the website properly. This third party can be either Youtube or any other Website. Now here comes the main issue, during third-party requests, you will have no idea about how long it will take to load the third-party content on your website since it solely depends on the response from third-party servers.

This becomes a real issue because you will become clueless and you cannot do anything about that. However, you can take alternate solutions such as enabling lazy loading and hosting scripts rather than linking them directly. Similarly, if you found that a plugin that you use, requests its third-party requests, either remove it or try another plugin.

11. Limit your external scripts

You might have heard about the term external scripts on many occasions but have no idea what exactly it is especially if you are not a developer. Well, you can try to understand it in simple words, such as \an external script is something that pulls requests from other websites.

Now you might doubt, whether external scripts are good or bad? The best answer is neither it is good nor it is bad. It depends on how you are using them, lesser external scripts won’t be able to do amazing things, and if running excessively it will start requesting HTTP in large amounts.

There are some external scripts that you are heard of but are unaware of the fact that they are external scripts running constantly:

  1. Social media plugins
  2. Embedded Gifs or videos
  3. Widgets and many more

You can limit or make fewer HTTP requests by using your creativity of problem-solving, for example, instead of using the maps plugin in your website, you can take a picture of the map and use it. An image will have lesser HTTP requests than a Plugin in all cases.

12. Minification

From the best definition available in Wikipedia.Minification (also minimisation or minimization) is the process of removing all unnecessary characters from the source code of interpreted programming languages or markup languages without changing its functionality. “

In simple words, it is a simple process in which you can remove all the unnecessary characters such as comments, white space characters, etc. that are used in source codes for better readability, and still be able to execute without any issues.

So, when you choose to use the modification option in your caching plugin or theme options, it simply removes all the unnecessary characters or comments from the website’s source code. During this process, the codes become lighter and eventually make fewer HTTP requests, so your website starts loading faster.

13. Using WordPress Plugins to make fewer http requests

You should always refrain from using plugins for most of the features or settings. Since you well know, how installing too many plugins can also affect your website speed. But the main problem is not everyone out there is a developer or has technical knowledge of WordPress.

On average user prefers to use a plugin rather than accessing or editing core files. Because it reduces a lot of time and effort. For your convenience you can consider all in one plugin that helps your website to make fewer HTTP requests:

WP Rocket

WP Rocket is one of the best WordPress caching plugins available in the market currently. It is very easy-to-use and the best beginner-friendly WordPress caching plugin that you can go for. It provides you with everything if you are not a tech geek by providing so many caching tools and options.

We checked with the WPRocket plugin’s official website to see their site speed result and this is what we got below

wprocket plugin wordpress cache plugin site speed.

This plugin allows you to cache your website in just one click. The crawler provided by the plugin automatically fetches your WordPress pages to build up the cache. The best part of this WordPress caching plugin is that it automatically turns on the required WordPress caching settings such as gzip compression, page cache, cache pre-loading, etc.

Features of WP Rocket Plugin

Now, let’s give a deep dive into the features provided by the WP Rocket plugin:

  • Get your WordPress site cached away, cashing makes your site load ultra fast.
  • Compress web pages on the server and decompress them in the browser.
  • Automatically preloads the cache after every change.
  • Excludes sensitive pages from the cache.
  • Stores the frequently accessed resources in the local memory.
  • Compatible with the most popular themes and plugins.

So, now you can imagine how helpful this WordPress caching plugin is! Just requires a small investment but the outcomes will be so very impressive.

For our complete list of plugins and their review you can read out another article “11 Best WordPress Caching Plugins To Speed Up Your Website (Free + Premium)“.

However, after using all the above methods, still, your website is dragging, the last thing you can do is to hire a developer who can help you out from every core of your website.

Or, if you have already hosted your website on WPOven, you might not need to follow the above methods to make fewer HTTP requests and improve your website load time. But we recommend you still go for testing it as it can still be beneficial to some sites, but in real life, you won’t find any difference.

Conclusion

As far now, you came across from knowing What HTTP requests are, How it can be beneficial if you make fewer HTTP requests. Although HTTP requests are very much important to display website content and provide your visitors an appealing and more engaging experience.

And you won’t like anything would happen wrong with your website. After all, it not only disrupts your website performance and but your relationship with your potential customers.

But the best part is, you have various methods by which you can ensure browsers make fewer HTTP requests to your website. You will be able to reduce loading time, better optimize its media files, improve its SEOs, and ultimately generate more leads.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I reduce the number of HTTP requests?

There are some various methods you need to follow so that you will be able to make fewer HTTP requests,
1. Delete or remove unused plugins
2. Delete unnecessary images on the website
3. Remove or replace heavy plugins with the light ones
4. Enable Lazy Loading
5. Compress the existing image files
6. Remove unnecessary videos
7. Use CDN
8. Use content caching
9. Combine CSS and javascript
10. Limit third party requests
11. Limit external scripts
12. Minification
13. Use WordPress plugin that makes fewer HTTP requests

What does make fewer HTTP requests mean?

The term HTTP or full form Hypertext transfer protocol is a language that is used by browsers and web servers to communicate. Whenever a user wants to visit your website, the browser at the user end sends a request to your server which is called an HTTP request. Then the server allows this HTTP request and initiates the request to display the webpage.

How many HTTP requests is too many?

It is assumed to be less than 50 HTTP requests are meant good, However, if you manage to get less than 50 HTTP requests it would be awesome. But you also need to understand one thing that, HTTP requests are not a bad thing, they are essential for your website to display all its content. But the only catch is while reducing HTTP requests you should not compromise with website experience as well as its content.

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