Design Before You Minify

Lisa Melton:

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t use tactics like minification, resource concatenation, server-side compression, etc. to improve performance.

But have a strategy for performance first. Have a design. Consider whether you need all those libraries you’re tempted to include. Consider whether you need to write even more JavaScript, CSS, JSON and Christ-knows-what-all to “improve” the user experience.

Maybe leveraging those Content Delivery Networks will let you get away with it. But maybe they won’t.

Consider, too, the weight of code that isn’t being written directly, instead being added by plugins and addons. Analytics, advertising, and retargeting scripts tend to consume far too many resources each — combined, they’re a recipe for a website that’s disrespectful to its users by being bloated and invasive. That can’t be saved by code minification.