This article will explain what minification covers, its benefits, and some of the most popular minification solutions. So, you can decide how to handle performance and speed improvements for your site.
What is minification?
When the code in the site files they are all written in a way that we intend to allow for an interpretation. So however, computers running this code don’t care if the files have blank comments, formatting, space, or newlines. At the same time, the website files are just what needs to be necessary.
This is when minification comes into play. This means it removes the surrogate characters, which are not a specification to run the code written. The depreciation of working and rewriting the code. This reduces the overall size of files and, by extension, the website’s length so that it can load itself faster in the user’s browser.
For example, suppose you have a stylesheet file that uses CSS code to style your website.
Stylesheet file intended for styling your website
Before you start to minimize your site files, you can either backup your entire site or just individual backup files. In addition, if you have a staging site or a local staging environment, we recommend shrinking the site files. And you can make sure everything is working before you go to the active site.
Also, you should check your site’s page speed before and after you minimize files. So, compare the results and see if the minimization is an improvement. Using GTmetrix, a handy testing tool that generates website optimization results, you can do this.
You can use a plugin or manually use a plugin with an online tool to minimize files. So, we will explain both methods in more detail in the sections below.
Minifying files using plugins
Auto-Optimization is one of the most popular minification plugins you can find. It is straightforward and offers possibilities, and it is very accessible. This plugin can combine scripts, shrink and cache your code.
You will not have additional options to optimize these files as well. However, you can enable them and customize file minimization. So, in the end, all you need to do is click on the Save changes and clear the cache button.
Reduced fast speed
Your website files will be automatically minimized and optimized when installing and activating this plugin.
WP Super Minify
To verify that this plugin works, just check the source code of your website. And the easiest way to do this is to open the website in your browser and press Ctrl + U (for Windows) or Option + Command + U (for Mac). Moreover, if all goes well, you will see the following message at the end of the source code.
The message at the end of the source code
Ultimately, no matter which plugin you choose, all you have to do is select the file you want to minimize, and the plugin will do all the work for you in the background. All minification plugins on the market offer various features other than depreciation, so you should try different plugins and choose the one that works best.
Minifying files manually
Firstly, shrinking files manually doesn’t mean that you manually go through all the files on your site and remove the blanks or empty spaces. Manual minification involves using one of the popular online tools. One is Shrink Code, which we’ll use to show you the steps you need to take to minify your code. This tool has a friendly, simple, and user-friendly interface. And many online tools of this kind have similar or the same shrinking process.
After a while, you will see a minimized version of the code you entered. You can copy and paste it into the original file. Moreover, back up your files before overwriting the original code with a summary code.
A shortened version of the code
Manual minification is primarily helpful if you want to minify some files or code you’ve written. For example, if you’re customizing your site with child themes, CSS files containing custom code are good candidates for shrinking. So, in this case, you can make a backup copy of the original file, use online tools to flatten the code and replace it directly in the file.
So, if you decide to change something later, you can always do it in the saved backup file. Then, shrink it back down with the changes you made and replace the code in the file on the server. That way, you’ll always have a backup file ready that you can edit, and the minimized file will stay on the server, doing its part to optimize your site as much as possible.