Client-side optimization is getting a lot of attention lately, but some of its basic aspects seem to go unnoticed. If you look carefully at pages on the web (even those that are supposed to be highly optimized), it’s easy to spot a good amount of redundancies, and inefficient or archaic structures in their markup. All this baggage adds extra weight to pages that are supposed to be as light as possible.
The reason to keep documents clean is not so much about faster load times, as it is about having a solid and robust foundation to build upon. Clean markup means better accessibility, easier maintenance, and good search engine visibility. Smaller size is just a property of clean documents, and another reason to keep them this way.
In this post, we’ll take a look at HTML optimization: removing some of the common markup smells; reducing document size by getting rid of redundant structures, and employing minification techniques. We’ll look at currently available minification tools, and analyze what they do wrong and right. We’ll also talk about what can be done in a future.