In today’s competitive digital landscape, website speed matters a lot when it comes to the success of an online business. Search engine giants like Google prioritize fast-loading sites, recognizing the necessity of providing a seamless user experience.
According to studies, quicker page loads boost user engagement and conversion rates. In fact, a one-second delay in the time it takes for a page to load may cause a 7% drop in client conversions. Given this, it is obvious that website owners should place a high focus on website performance.
Google takes website performance seriously and considers it when determining search results. Consequently, websites that load quickly are more likely to show up first in search results, drawing more visitors and, eventually, generating more revenue. But how can you fulfill Google’s requirements and load your website quickly?
However, removing these resources can be challenging and time-consuming, especially for individuals lacking technical skills.
In this article, we will explain render-blocking resources and how they impact website performance and provide a step-by-step guide for eliminating them from your WordPress site. So, let’s start optimizing your website for speed and success!
Render Blocking Resources
Any resource that must be loaded before a webpage can be shown is considered a render-blocking resource. These resources influence a website’s performance & effectiveness and extend the time it takes to load a page.
Types of Render Blocking Resources
Here is a list of render-blocking resources:
A web page’s design and presentation are determined by CSS stylesheets. A CSS file will be regarded as a render-blocking resource if it is placed in the <head> section of an HTML page.
Texts on a web page are displayed using different fonts. Fonts are also regarded as a render-blocking resource if included in an HTML page’s <head> section and loaded from a local server or a CDN.
These are the older HTML feature that enables web pages to include elements from other HTML documents. Even though HTML imports aren’t used as often anymore, they may still be seen on certain older sites. HMTL imports are also considered render-blocking resources.
Why Are Render-Blocking Resources Terrible for Webpages
If your WordPress site includes render-blocking resources, you will fall behind in the search results. Even if you are currently on the front line, better-performing sites will eventually overpower you.
Sites with render-blocking resources will load extra files while rendering the site. Before seeing the website, users must wait while the files are processed. The following performance indicators for websites will get impacted by those resources:
- Largest Contentful Paint: This determines how long it would take to load the page’s primary content.
- First Contentful Paint: The time it takes for a browser to produce the first document Object Model (DOM) content on your website.
- Total Blocking Time: This evaluates how much time it takes from the Frist Contentful Pianto to how long it takes for a page to become entirely interactive.
Though render-blocking resources are not necessary for loading, they might hamper the rendering of a website or webpage. Therefore, it is essential to remove such resources to prevent making it difficult for users to navigate your website.
Let’s take a closer look at why render-blocking is a serious problem for the webpages:
Slow Page Loading Time
Render-blocking resources will cause the website to load more slowly, which is one of its main downsides. A webpage loads slowly when it contains resource files with unnecessary elements. Hence, it will affect the search results’ appearance, lower user engagement, and higher the bounce rate.
Often a browser stops rendering a webpage when it comes across render-blocking resources because it wants the render-blocking resources to get retrieved and processed.
Ultimately, users will get annoyed and leave your site due to the unresponsiveness of the page or slow rendering.
Furthermore, if a resource loads slowly, the browser can also give up and stop attempting to load it. This might lead to broken pages or missing information.
Decreased User Engagement
When rendering delays occur, the user experience goes down with it. Users are always expecting fast loading times, and they usually quit a slow-loading site. So, they end up on a site that loads faster.
Slow-loading sites have a detrimental effect on consumer satisfaction and brand reputation. With that, the website traffic and the conversion rate also drastically decrease.
There are different approaches to removing render-blocking resources from WordPress. However, we will introduce you to manual methods to eliminate render-blocking resources. Then we will show how you can do it using some of the renowned plugins in WordPress.
Eliminate Render-Blocking Resources Manually
You can avoid doing it manually, so don’t get frustrated. But going through this section will surely assist you in learning some WordPress performance optimization techniques. But first, look at this video to familiarize yourself with the discussed terms.
#1. Identify Render-Blocking Resources
You must first find out the render-blocking resources before removing those from your website. Simply follow these steps to find out the render-blocking resources on your WordPress website:
- Go to Google PageSpeed Insights.
- Enter the URL of your site in the search bar.
- Click the “Analyze” button to get insights on your website.
- Scroll down and Check the Opportunities Section.
- If your page has any render-blocking resources, they will be listed.
#2. Using “Defer” & “Async” Attributes for JS
When it comes to the “defer” attribute, it allows enables the browser to download the JS file and then execute it. But it happens when the page has finished loading and is ready to display its content.
Another approach is the “async” attribute which allows the browser to download the JS file whenever available. This happens without blocking any other elements of the page. Consequently, the JS file may load parallel with other elements, speeding up the loading process.
You can get rid of render-blocking resources and boost your website’s speed by utilizing either the “defer” or “async” attribute.
#3. Using “Media” Attribute for Conditional CSS
Utilizing the “media” attributes for conditional CSS is another approach to eliminating render-blocking resources. With this attribute, you can define unique CSS files for desktop and mobile browsers.
For instance, you may include a CSS file that is dedicated to desktop devices and another CSS file that is tailored to mobile devices. You can indicate to the browser that the desktop CSS file will load when accessed through a desktop device.
Similarly, the mobile CSS should only be loaded when accessed through mobile devices. By loading device-specific CSS for designated devices, you can reduce the render-blocking resources and boost the loading time of your site.
#4. Deferring Non-critical CSS
In addition to utilizing the “media” attribute for conditional CSS, try deferring the non-critical CSS. For this approach, you need should load the essential CSS primarily. Next, you load the rest of the CSS as the page loads.
For example, you may have a huge CSS file that includes all the styles for your website. But only a small portion of that CSS file is required to show the content on the above-the-fold region of your site. The above-the-fold content can be displayed quickly by delaying the non-critical CSS, and the remaining CSS can be loaded when the page loads.
#5. Removing Unused CSS & JS
By removing any unused CSS & JS files, you can reduce the number of render-blocking resources. You can easily utilize tools such as PurifyCSS or UnusedCSS to remove any unused CSS file from your website.
#6. Locally Loading Custom Fonts
Custom fonts can also include resources that restrict rendering. Instead of depending on outside sources like Google Fonts, you should locally load your own custom fonts to avoid needing these resources.
You can guarantee that your custom fonts load quickly and efficiently without slowing down the performance of your website by locally loading them. This may lead to a quicker, more responsive website and enhance user experience.
#7. Minifying JS & CSS
To minify your files, you may use tools such as MinifyJS or CSSNano. Keep a copy of your original files just in case you ever need to make modifications to them.
Eliminate Render-Blocking Resources With Plugin
In this section, we will show you how you can eliminate render-blocking resources using WordPress plugins. These plugins are renowned in WordPress and can quickly remove render-blocking resources. The best part is you can even improve your website performance without any specialized expertise.
#1. W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache (W3TC) enhances the entire user experience of a WordPress website. It eliminates render-blocking resources and improves SEO, Core web vitals, and more. The plugin utilizes features like content delivery network integration to implement the best practices.
To eliminate render-blocking resources, Install and activate the W3 Total Cache plugin and follow these steps:
- Go to the Performance section in the WordPress dashboard and click on General Settings.
- Under the Minify heading, enable Minify and select Manual as the minify mode.
- Now click Save all settings.
- Followed by going back to Performance > Minify.
- Now, in the js section, first, click Enable for the JS Minify settings. Then under the Operations in areas section, select Non-blocking using the “defer” type for the Before <head> tag.
- Now scroll down a bit to the CSS section. Select your theme from the drop-down menu on the CSS file management section and click on Add a Style Sheet. Now you simply follow the previous step and copy-paste the URLs collected from PageSpeed Insight that have issues.
- Since all the settings are configured, click the Save Settings & Purge button to execute.
#2. JCH Optimize
JCH Optimize enhances WordPress website performance measured by Google PageSpeed insight. The plugin improves the First contentful paint (FCP), Largest Contentful paint (LCP), Speed Index (SI), Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), Time to Interactive (TTI), and more.
Thus, the overall user experience and website performance get improved significantly.
After installing and activating JCH Optimize, follow these processes to eliminate render-blocking resources:
- Go to Settings>JCH Optimize, scroll down a bit, and go to the Basic features settings.
- Enable the Optimize CSS delivery to eliminate CSS render blocking. This feature automatically determines the essential CSS required to display the content above the fold on each webpage. Additionally, it inlines it in the <head> section of each page’s HTML content.
- The preload link is then used to load the concatenated CSS files asynchronously.
- On the JCH Optimize dashboard, go to the Combine Files Automatic Settings section.
#3. Speed Booster Pack
To improve your site’s performance and overall usability, Speed Booster Pack is another great WordPress plugin. Your site will rank higher in major search engines such as Google. You will get increased traffic and massive speed with this plugin.
After installing and activating the Speed Booster, simply go through the following steps:
- Go to Speed Booster Pack on your WordPress Dashboard.
- Now, click the Optimize CSS option to remove the CSS render-blocking resources.
- You will get options to enable Critical CSS, which optimizes the CSS delivery according to Google’s recommendations. This option will defer all the CSS files and inline the style of your content above the fold.
You can enable Inline all CSS to inline all CSS files into the HTML output. There is also an option to Minify all inlined CSS to minify the already inlined CSS.
- After configuring the plugin, Save all settings to eliminate render-blocking resources.
Autoptimize is yet another plugin to optimize and eliminate render-blocking resources easily. The plugin streamlines the JS scripts and CSS styles by relocating them to the footer, aggregating, minifying, and caching them.
It optimizes the CSS by injecting it into the page head, inline critical CSS, and referring to the full aggregated CSS. Additionally, it automatically minifies the HTML for better optimization.
Install and activate the Autoptimize plugin and then follow these processes to remove render-blocking resources:
- First, go to Settings > Autoptimize from your WordPress dashboard.
- On the CSS options section, tick mark the “Optimize CSS Code?”
- Now click save Changes and Empty Cache.
This usually suffices to resolve the render-blocking resources. However, the outcome may change based on the theme and plugin installed on your WordPress site. To verify that the issues are solved, run your site through PageSpeed Insights again. For further optimization, follow these steps:
- Now you can enable the Also Aggregate CSS and Aggregate JS Files
- Finally, click Save Changes.
#5. WP Rocket
WP Rocket is a renowned and premium WordPress plugin for caching performance optimization. But it’s more than just a chasing plugin, including removing render-blocking resources from your site. As a result, the core web vitals performance and PageSpeed insight score get boosted significantly.
After installing and activating the WP Rocket plugin, eliminate render-blocking resources with the following steps:
- Click on WP Rocket, go to the File Optimization tab, and go to the CSS file section.
- Enable the Optimize CSS delivery
- Save all your changes by clicking the Save Changes button.
Benefits of Removing Render-Blocking Resources from a Website
Faster page loading time can greatly impact the SEO of a website. Since Google always prefers sites that load faster and performs smoothly. Therefore, pages that score above 90 will always get higher priority regarding search results. Using the plugins mentioned above, you can achieve the following PageSpeed score:
Faster page loading times can lead to increased user engagement, as users are likelier to remain on a site that loads quickly. Thus, Users can comfortably navigate the site or make a purchase quickly.
Additionally, removing render-blocking resources can significantly improve the mobile user experience because mobile users are more likely to utilize slower networks with limited data.
We’ve mentioned both the manual and automated (Plugin) processes of removing render-blocking resources. If you are keen on optimizing every angle of your website performance, you can do it manually. But if you want to minimize your hassle and achieve a better PageSpeed score right away, try the plugins that we’ve mentioned.
We’ve already witnessed some amazing performance score practically on several websites. Now, it’s your turn further to optimize your WordPress website with minimal technical knowledge and provide an exceptional website experience.
You may also explore hacks to make your website load at lightning speed.