How to Make Fewer HTTP Requests
By Neil Patel
When you browse the internet, do you ever stop to wonder what’s happening in the background? If the answer’s no, don’t worry. You’re not alone. Most marketers, even great ones, don’t give the “tech stuff” much thought. How a website performs is just something for IT specialists to worry about, right?
If your website’s slow or clunky, it directly affects the user experience. In fact, 40 percent of people won’t hang around if your website takes more than 3 seconds to load. With this in mind, it’s crucial you know how to fix a sluggish website and streamline your page loading times before you lose leads.
Where do you start? Well, one way is to make fewer HTTP requests for your website.
Although an HTTP request sounds like a really technical term best reserved for engineers and IT pros, don’t panic. It’s something any good marketer can understand. Now, let’s take a deep dive into how these requests work and how you can use this knowledge to boost your website’s performance.
What Are HTTP Requests?
Before we get started, it’s crucial you’re clear on what HTTP requests actually are.
HTTP stands for “HyperText Transfer Protocol.” Think of HTTP as the language browsers and web servers use to talk to each other. We (thankfully) don’t need to cover all the intricacies of web code to understand how HTTP affects load time, but here’s a breakdown of the key steps marketers need to know.
When someone wants to visit your website, their browser sends a “request” to your server. This is known as an HTTP request. Your server acknowledges the response and kicks into gear, ready to display the webpage.
Here’s where it gets a little tricky, though. The browser can’t display the page right away. It needs copies of the various different files, such as plug-ins and images, to load the page properly.
How does the browser get these files? By making multiple HTTP requests. If the browser doesn’t make these requests, the page components won’t load.
Depending on how many components your page has, these requests can really add up, which is a problem. Here’s why.
Why You Need Fewer HTTP Requests
There are two simple reasons why every website should aim to reduce the HTTP requests associated with it.
Firstly, let’s start with page load time. The more HTTP requests your site receives, the longer it takes for the requested page to load. For example, a page with 20 HTTP requests will load faster than a page with 70 requests.
The issue? People don’t want to hang around waiting on a website loading.
- 39 percent of visitors won’t return if your images or videos don’t load properly, as research by SAG IPL shows.
- 45 percent of respondents won’t buy from a retailer if the website takes too long to load, according to research by Unbounce.
In short, …read more
Source:: Kiss Metrics Blog