We recommend that CSS files larger than 5K have whitespace removed. Search “minify CSS.”
Font files can be very large — commonly 1MB. If your custom font does not compress well, and you do not use it much on your site, you might decide it’s not worth slowing down your page. For example, if you use a bold version of a font in only one place, consider if the cost of loading it is worth it.
Some external services can help with managing font file size sizes, and may possibly serve cached fonts. Two to consider are Google Web Fonts and Typekit.
It is not a good idea to load a custom font to make your logo — it is much more efficient to use a graphic instead. Also, you can’t really control how or if a web font is displayed.
To benefit from common scripts cached by browsers, you should use the Google Library APIs whenever possible. As an example, over 85% of sites use JQuery, and this 20K-ish script does not need to be re-downloaded for every single site.
However, always have a local fallback when linking external scripts that may be included locally.
You don’t want users staring at a white screen. Confirm that Start Render time is within 2.01 seconds. (Please remind me to justify this number I am now offering as a rule of thumb with no explanation.)
WebPageTest.org can tell you Start Render time as well as a lot of other useful information. Waterfall charts — which WebPageTest.org will generate for you — indicate Start Render time as a first vertical line, usually blue.
If Start Render time is greater than two seconds, you will need to optimize.
If a class name you have selected is very similar to an HTML element name, this often indicates that your HTML can be more semantic. Use <footer>I am a footer</footer> instead of <div class=”footer”>I am a footer</div>.
Code such as <h1 class=”largeHeading”>Title</h1> is redundant since h1 means “largeHeading.” A preferable class name would be more specific and indicate how the heading is used. For example, <h1 class=”masthead”>Title</h1>, would indicate both how and where the class is used.
Height and width are not officially required attributes for <img>. However, including them guarantees faster content download. That information also helps the browser determine the viewport space for the image, making page rendering visually smoother.
Missing the alt attribute for an image may seem like a small thing, but it is important for accessibility and it is required.
The HTML5 character set is very elegant: .
Failing to include a character set is a security risk. While this is important, it is uncommon to forget it.
This is especially important for mobile devices that show customized keypads and widgets for different types.