Unmasking Performance Killers: Detecting and Removing Unused CSS and JS

Unmasking Performance Killers: Detecting and Removing Unused CSS and JS

Did you know a mere 1-second delay in page load can result in a 7% drop in conversions? One key factor that may be affecting your site speed is unused CSS and JS. These superfluous codes act like an invisible anchor, weighing your website down. We will specifically focus on how to manually identify and remove these using Google Chrome’s Developer Tools.

Understanding the Value of Website Speed

First impressions matter, and in the digital world, your website often sets that first impression. A slow website can significantly impact your user experience, conversions, and ultimately, your bottom line. Plus, Google uses site speed as one of its many ranking factors, meaning a slower site may lead to lower visibility in organic search results.

Identifying and removing unused CSS and JS from your WordPress site can significantly improve its speed.

Manually Identifying Unused CSS and JS in WordPress

You can identify unused CSS and JS using the Coverage command in Chrome Developer Tools. Here’s how:

Step 1: Open your website in the Google Chrome browser. Right-click anywhere on the page and click on ‘Inspect’. This opens the Chrome Developer Tools panel.

Step 2: In the DevTools panel, press Ctrl + Shift + P (Windows) or Cmd + Shift + P (Mac) to open the Command Menu.

Step 3: Type “Coverage” and select “Show Coverage”. A new Coverage tab will appear.

Step 4: Click the reload button in the Coverage tab. The browser will reload the page and provide a report showing which CSS and JS files have unused code.

Manually Removing Unused CSS and JS from WordPress

Once you’ve identified the unused CSS and JS, the next step is removing it:

Step 1: Navigate to the WordPress editor for the page where the unused CSS/JS resides. This could be in a theme file, a custom CSS/JS field, or within a page/post editor.

Step 2: Using the report from the Coverage tool, locate the specific CSS or JS files and the unused code within them.

Step 3: Carefully remove or comment out the unused code. Be cautious as some code might be used on different parts of your site, even if it’s not used on the specific page you’re examining.

Step 4: Save your changes and clear any caches if you’re using a caching plugin.

Step 5: Re-run the Coverage tool to verify that the unused code has been successfully removed.

Step 6: Regularly revisit the Coverage tool, especially when making changes or updates to your site, to keep your site lean and fast.

Wrapping Up

Website speed is a critical component of your online presence. Improving it by manually identifying and removing unused CSS and JS can enhance the user experience, increase your SEO rankings, and ultimately, drive higher conversions. Your website is a living, breathing part of your business – regular care, including periodic cleanups, is a must to ensure optimal performance.

Stay on top of your game by ensuring your WordPress site is as streamlined and speedy as possible. Here’s to efficient and effective optimization!

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