Make Fewer HTTP Requests

What are HTTP Requests?

Less of something does not always mean more, but in the case of HTTP requests, less does equal more. HTTP requests are requests for action made to a specific resource. HTTP requests act as the go-between between the client/browser and server. The client makes a request, and the server accepts and responds accordingly. Some responses, like the 404 Not Found error status message, can be seen by users, but most responses are hidden from users behind the scenes. We have briefly touched on some of the types of HTTP requests in previous sections, like GET and POST, but other types of HTTP requests include PUT, DELETE, HEAD, PATCH, TRACE, and CONNECT.

How to Make Fewer HTTP Requests

We have touched on why reducing the overall size of your web page can help reduce page load time, but another way to make your page load faster is to simply reduce the number of requests that need to happen. To begin, you can run website speed test and view each request (and the file size) within the waterfall chart. You could also view this in the Network or Developer panel of your browser. From here, you can make decisions on the elements that can potentially be combined as a single file, instead of individually, such as CSS files and JavaScript. Or, after reviewing the waterfall chart, you identify some requests or files that can be removed completely. It is a fair assumption that most visitors to your site are going to be new visitors, so anything that can speed up your page load time will make for a better experience.



Lighthouse is an open-source tool that is used to run an audit against your web pages and provides scores and suggestions for improving page performance, accessibility, SEO, and more.


PageSpeed Terms

PageSpeed Insights is a tool created by Google that reports on the performance of a page on both mobile and desktop devices, and provides suggestions on how that page may be improved.



YSlow is an open-source website analysis tool that can be used to identify web page performance issues. Learn more about the YSlow to enhance your web pages and the user experience.