How to Remove Unused CSS

How to Remove Unused CSS

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Your website’s performance needs to be at its best — no matter what device or connection the visitor uses. Unfortunately, there will always be cases where the site’s performance is subpar. One primary reason is unused CSS. You can learn more about this by watching a video on how to load your web page faster from Google Chrome Developers team.

If you’re finding it challenging to see unused CSS on any page, you can follow these instructions from developers.

Also, the page needs to be fast to render excellent page performance to any online web user. Since unused CSS slows down the loading period of any page, you need to remove it first.

What Does “Unused CSS” Mean?

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a language developers use to describe how to render information and elements on the screen correctly. Any CSS style rules in the stylesheet that aren’t used on the page are considered Unused CSS. For example, unused CSS in WordPress has no meaningful use or impact on the page’s elements.

Unused CSS is commonly a result of adding features during development and then removing them later on. Rules associated with those features can be left behind and linger in your style sheets.

What Triggers This Issue?

A “remove unused CSS” warning can be triggered by using a single CSS file to manage all of your stylesheet elements. As a result, there’s a higher chance of having unused CSS in the code file, which can be harder to pinpoint among the rest. Coincidentally, this warning can also be a result of inserting CSS into your website with the use of plug-ins or third-party themes.

How To Check the Issue

There are tools or trackers you can use to find unused CSS. However, it’s best if you know how to do it manually. To check the issue, you can follow these steps using the free Chrome Developer Tool:

  1. Go to the page you want to inspect.
  2. Open the tool by pressing Ctrl + Shift + I or by pressing F12.
  3. Go to the Sources tab and run a command by pressing Ctrl + Shift + P.
  4. Enter “Coverage” in the search bar and select “Show Coverage.”
  5. Click on the reload button to show all scripts on a new window or page.
  6. Check for the percentage of unused scripts.
  7. Click on any of the scripts, and another page will load. This new window will specifically show all the unused lines of the page.

Also, you can check your website for broken CSS. In the Sitechecker SEO tool’s “Site Audit” section, one crucial category you’ll find is the “Broken CSS files” issue. This tool is designed to help you quickly identify and address any CSS files that are not loading correctly on your website, which could affect both the appearance and functionality of your site.

Broken CSS File Issue

When you select the “View issue” option for this category, the tool doesn’t just give you a count of how many pages are affected but also provides a detailed list of those specific pages, along with insights into what might be causing these issues.

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Why Is This Important?

Browsers download all stylesheets by default before rendering content to the screen. With unused style sheets, the browser will need to download irrelevant and useless CSS. This will defer and slow down the online rendering of the page as a result.

How To Fix the Issue

Removing the unused ones will ultimately fix the issue of a slow page. To remove, you can use various automatic removers or tools. You can also manually do it using the Chrome Developer Tool to review and remove any CSS rules that aren’t required. Additionally, you can try any of the following:

  • Splitting large CSS files into smaller ones
  • Using automatic CSS cleaner plug-ins
  • Using lightweight and performance-optimized themes
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