How to Optimize the CSS Code in your Website

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Have you ever wondered why some websites perform better than others? Web pages execute countless requests to load all their content. Some use codes such as CSS for improve your performanceBut how to optimize the CSS code of your website?

It is common to find websites that take forever to load, regardless of your internet speed. This is partly due to the fact that when sites start to grow, their code expands, becoming heavier. CSS code can help improve the performance of such a site, if you want to know how, read on!

What is CSS code and what is it for?

The acronym CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) translates into English as "Cascading Style Sheets". It is a language that is used on the HTML code of a website to customize and improve its final appearance. CSS applies features following a priority scheme, from top to bottom like a waterfall, hence its name.

The CSS code facilitates the work of designers and programmers web. Previously, site customization had to be done manually by editing the structure of the HTML code. With cascading style sheets, this structure serves as a skeleton, but is separated from its presentation.

Since they are stand-alone documents, it is easy to quickly modify the aesthetic aspects without affecting the content. Generally, everything the user sees on a website is designed using CSS. In addition, style sheets simplify the structure of a website so that the browser can load it more quickly. 

How it works on your website

The CSS language allows you to create different styles for a document. HTML. With him, customization options are almost endlessand you can apply them quickly and easily. Below, we will tell you how it can improve the performance of your website.

Separate content and presentation

If the HTML code is the skeleton of the site, the presentation is all that the user sees when visiting it. The style sheets are in separate files from the main code. In this way, when modifying the aesthetic section of the site, we do not run the risk of interfering with or altering the code base.

Greater flexibility and customization

CSS will allows you to modify the appearance of part or all of a product of your website. You can renew its image by changing the design to commemorate a special date or celebrate a particular event. To do this, you only need to edit the style sheet without altering the content.

More cost-effective and at the same time moldable

When we use CSS, we can tell the browser exactly where and how we want the elements of our site. At the same time, we will be able to apply variables that adapt to our needs. It is possible, for example, to indicate where an image will be, but with the possibility of expanding or contracting as required.

Accelerates loading times

The speed with which your website loads doesn't depend only on a good hosting. CSS splits up your site's appearance and content, which translates into lighter files. This means that your site will take much less time to load compared to the competition. 

Better design with less work

Websites are usually made up of a handful of web pages. Maintaining the same aesthetics on all of them can become tedious and, in some cases, overwhelming. However, by linking your pages to the style sheets you want, you streamline the process and reduce the work.

Simplify the code

By separating the customization details, we keep our HTML code sheet more uncluttered. This way, it's easier to find the lines of code you need or edit the ones that don't work.

Guaranteed compatibility

CSS established the pillars that now serve as the rules and standards within the web design. The CSS specifications are compatible with almost any browser. In case a browser is not supported after upgrading, backward compatibility is guaranteed. 

Distinguishes between on-screen display and print versions 

By using stylesheets you can lay out the print and screen display styles separately. In this way, we will be able to choose how what users see on our website will be printed. This ensures that the printed output on paper is as tidy and visually appealing as our site.

Why is it necessary to optimize it? 

Optimize CSS code

While it is true that CSS facilitates the management and design of websites, it is necessary to keep it optimized. The unorganized or unsystematic use of style sheets can cause us problems in the long run. That is why it is important to keep our CSS files as organized and small as possible.

Steps to optimize the CSS code of your website

Poorly optimized stylesheets often grow to the point of slowing down the loading speed of our site. By compressing our stylesheet, we considerably reduce the time it takes for the browser to load our website. Therefore, we will now show you several methods to optimize the CSS code of your website.

Eliminate unnecessary CSS

You can edit or remove portions of CSS code that are no longer needed. Some legacy pages, frameworks or widgets lose their usefulness as the site evolves. Keeping those lines of code will make your stylesheet increase in density without any usefulness. 

This task can be overwhelming if you are optimizing a large website. However, there are tools that analyze HTML and CSS usage of your website at compile time. With them you can easily identify redundant code and remove it if necessary.

Avoid abuse of properties

Although they open up a world of design possibilities, some properties can cause problems when overused. Properties such as "position:fixed", "transform", "background-blend-mode", "filter" and "opacity" can trigger costly calculations when abused. Therefore, we recommend that you reduce their use to when strictly necessary.

Use CSS containment

Containment is a relatively new feature of CSS code. Using it can improve the performance of your site because it allows you to distinguish isolated subtrees on a page. In this way, the browser is able to identify whether or not to render a specific block of content. 

By stopping rendering unnecessary content, site loading processes are accelerated. You can use this property without fear of errors. Most browsers support this functionality, and those that don't, just ignore it. 

Activate save-data

This is an HTTP request header that establishes whether the user requests a reduced data version. When your site reacts to this header, a reduced layout that weighs less is sent. It is ideal for increasing the convenience with which mobile users access your site.

Join the "mobile first" approach

More and more users are accessing the Internet from their mobile devices. If you code the mobile design first, it will be easier to add more elements later. You can add enhancements and more functionality as screen space and browser features increase.

Split CSS file

If your site is too large, it is sometimes better to split your style sheet and identify it based on its functionality. This way, you will be able to modify specific design aspects without affecting overall aesthetics. This way, you can create a more orderly system and define more quickly what needs to be changed.

Document your stylesheets

If you create a guide to your style sheets with examples that identify them, it will be easier to maintain order. This way, you will be able to determine if any old CSS code needs to be removed or modified.

Automates optimization

Optimizing your website's CSS code manually can be quite a demanding job. However, there are tools that can identify problems, remove code, minify and much more automatically. Now we will tell you about some of the tools that can help you optimize CSS code.

CSS Compressor

It is a web application that can help compress the code in your style sheets. It offers you the possibility of compressing colors or eliminating unnecessary spaces with just a couple of clicks. At the end of the process, it shows you the percentage of minimization reached by your stylesheets.

CSS Minifier

CSS minifier is a convenient alternative to optimize your code, as you can use it directly from your website. The application allows you to shorten the code in line breaks and remove the ";" at the end of numerations. In addition, this tool converts RGB colors into a compressed hex code version.

Although automatic optimization simplifies processes and reduces work, it is not always the most ideal option. If you need help with the optimization of your site, we recommend that you consult a professional in the field. At Geekobit we have a specialized team ready to help you with design and optimization of your site.

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