Optimizing Your Website for Speed: SEO for CSS and Javascript Files

Posted: July 7, 2010

Back in April 2010, Google posted an article to their blog that discussed how speed matters in web search rankings. Programmers have generally been obsessed with load times and efficient code, however the online marketing world has pushed websites to use heavy graphic designs, animations, and programmers have had to create long CSS and Javascript files in order to meet this marketing design demands.

Besides ensuring that all your graphics are optimized and mark-up (HTML) is well structured and minimal, you can speed up the load time of your website by compressing CSS and Javascript files. Since these files are purely text, their compression ratios allow them to be reduced by over 90% in file size, thus speeding up the time it takes to load your website.

I found that FiftyFourEleven had the best tutorial called The Definitive Post on Gzipping Your CSS. Essentially, you use a combination of PHP and an htaccess file to compress your CSS or Javascript files before being downloaded to a site visitor’s browser.

Of course, SEO items such as having relevant keywords in your content, user-friendly URLs, well optimized Page Titles, etc. are much more important at this time, however this might be a good tip for sites looking to get a slight edge and a jump into improving their website’s speed.

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