Render-Blocking JavaScript and CSS in WordPress: 5 Plugins to Fix It

It was not a long time ago when Google announced that the websites taking more than three seconds to load are not SEO-friendly.

In this era of internet and digital marketing, you need to have the fastest website if you want to compete with thousands of rivals all over the world effectively. There's no doubt that a faster website has better chances of attracting visitors and increasing their engagement in their content.

Running a WordPress website means a significant number of scripts that run at the same time to make your site accessible.

However, not all of these items are always essential to load. If you've ever checked your website's performance with Google PageSpeed Insights, you've probably come across the render-blocking JavaScript and CSS option that impacts its speed.

Today we're going to talk about these extraneous files and enlighten you about the ways you can remove them to improve your site.


What Is Render-blocking JavaScript and CSS?

In sum, render-blocking JavaScript and CSS are a series of style-sheets and scripts necessary to run entirely before a site loads and becomes visible.

The themes and plugins you install on your WordPress website add plenty of these files to the front-end section of your website. And as you may have guessed, some of them slow down the page load time and prevent your pages from getting rendered.

When a website visitor opens your website, the internet browser first loads the necessary JavaScript and CSS files before the HTML.

This is an ordinary procedure since a page without these essential elements will be unusable. The problem is that the web browser can't render the page before these files are loaded completely.

The trick here is that you can postpone the loading of some scripts without causing any problems for what the visitors see upon opening a page of yours.

Website owners can make modifications to their site to prevent the web browsers from loading any codes outside what is necessary for the upper part of the page a user sees immediately.

In other words, the browsers only load the essential files for that section before a user scrolls down the page. This area of webpages is called ATF that stands for Above the Fold. Other parts that require users to scroll down to be able to see is the non-ATF section.

Therefore, if your website loads the JavaScript and CSS codes related to the non-ATF sections, it takes a longer time for the pages to load. And that's why Google tries to tell you to stop running the unnecessary resources in your website's codes.


Find Render-blocking JavaScript and CSS

The easiest way to find out about this issue is to run a speed test using Google PageSpeed Insights. Once you visit the page, all you need to do is enter your URL address in the required field and then click on the ‘Analyze' button.

If you have this issue running on the page, you'll see a suggestion that tells you to eliminate render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content.

It would be best if you did not forget that most websites score somewhere between 70 to 90, and even the top-performing ones rarely achieve a number near to 100. So you shouldn't ever force your site to reach 100. Do as much as you can to achieve the highest score without affecting the user experience negatively.

Depending on the theme and tools you use on your site, some scripts are essential for the perfect UX you're supposed to offer to your audiences. Therefore, it's wholly unwise to remove them in an attempt to reach a little higher score on the results page of this Google tool.


Fix Render-blocking JavaScript and CSS

There are plenty of strategies to eliminate render-blocking JavaScript. The main methods are Async and Defer.The first method allows the user's browser to download the JavaScript while parsing other HTML parts.

Although it doesn't completely stop parsing during the time the file downloads, the HTML parser pauses to execute the script when it downloads. On the other hand, the Defer approach lets the browser download the JavaScript while parsing other HTML parts and doesn't execute the script unless HTML parsing is over.

Eliminating the render-blocking CSS is more challenging since you may delay the necessary codes for loading the ATF content. The procedure is a bit complicated and requires a good understanding of web development.

Nevertheless, we're addressing the average users who run their website on their own.

We all know that WordPress is a modular system that allows average users to tweak everything without writing a single line of code. Fixing this issue is also the same, and you can quickly solve the problem by installing the appropriate plugin.


Best WordPress Plugins to Fix Render-blocking JavaScript and CSS

In the next paragraphs, we'll introduce five top-performing WordPress plugins that help you solve this issue most profoundly.

Caution: Before using any of the following tools, make sure to back up your website to prevent any probable loss of data.



Render-Blocking | Autoptimize

The Autoptimize plugin is explicitly made to address the problems suggested by the website analysis tools like Google PageSpeed Insights. It improves the delivery of JavaScripts and CSS files without much focus on other aspects of website performance.

If you're looking for basic optimization features, this plugin will give you what you need. A good part of this tool is that it converts your website's images to the optimized WebP format.

Once you install and activate Autoptimize, you need to check the boxes of ‘Optimize JavaScript Code' and ‘Optimize CSS Code' options found in the plugin's settings. Be careful not to check the boxes below these two options that aggregate the CSS and script files.

Although this plugin is available for free, you can also purchase premium packages that help you with website configuration.


WP Rocket

Render-Blocking | Wp Rocket

WP Rocket is a well-known name among WordPress optimization tools that assists you in different aspects such as JavaScript and CSS modification, lazy loading settings. The setup process of WP Rocket is pretty simple, but you may find it difficult in the first place to understand how things get done on the interface.

It's ready right out of the box and applies optimal settings on your website immediately after installation. Considering the inevitability of website malfunctions due to script changes, the plugin doesn't activate the render-blocking JavaScript and CSS settings by default.

But you can easily switch this feature on by heading over the plugin's settings and looking for the related options in the ‘CSS Files' and ‘JavaScript Files' sections.

The main plugin costs $49 a year that comes with one year of supports, too. Moreover, you can find multiple free extras for the core plugin on WordPress, too.




RabbitLoader is a cutting-edge WordPress performance optimization plugin designed to make a website run faster, smoother and more efficiently.

Similar to the widely acclaimed WP Rocket, RabbitLoader not only takes your site's performance to newer heights but also introduces some innovative features that set it apart from other players in the game.

Caching Magic: RabbitLoader takes it up a notch by offering a dynamic caching system that adapts in real-time to changes on your site, making sure your visitors always see the latest content without sacrificing speed.

Image Optimization: Images can significantly slow down a website, but RabbitLoader's image optimization feature is a game-changer. It automatically compresses and resizes images to an optimal size without compromising quality, ensuring your site loads quickly without sacrificing visual appeal.

Lazy Loading: Both WP Rocket and RabbitLoader offer lazy loading for images and iframes, but RabbitLoader goes further by offering deferred JavaScript loading.

Compatibility: RabbitLoader is designed to work flawlessly with a wide range of WordPress themes and plugins, just like WP Rocket. Whether you have a simple blog or a complex e-commerce website, RabbitLoader is engineered to enhance your site's performance without conflicts.


W3 Total Cache

Render-Blocking | W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache is a robust performance enhancer that handles not only caching problems but also the problems caused by scripts and style sheets.

You can easily remove the render-blocking JavaScript and CSS by first enabling the Minify option from the plugin's settings and setting it on the manual mode.

Next, you should click the ‘Eliminate render-blocking resources' tab and copy the necessary files' full link address for blocking scripts and style sheets. Now you can use these links and enter them in the ‘JS section' of the Performance>Minify tab.

W3 Total Cache has more than one million active installations, and you can download it to your site for free from the website.


Speed Booster Pack

Render-Blocking | Speed Booster

Speed Booster Pack is a reliable tool to optimize style sheets, JavaScripts, lazy loading, and clutter removal. The developer team is continuously updating this plugin to keep it up to date with the latest updates and security measures.

If you sell products and services online, the WooCommerce-specific optimization features of Speed Booster Pack will help you a lot in increasing the visibility of your store on the internet.

You can quickly fix render-blocking JavaScript and CSS on your WordPress website by clicking the ‘Advanced' tab from the Speed Booster Pack menu of your admin panel.

For JavaScript, activate the ‘Move scripts to the footer' and ‘Defer parsing of JavaScript files' options. Next, head over to the ‘CSS Optimization' menu and choose from the available options to improve your site's performance.

Speed Booster Pack is a free solution available on the website.


JCH Optimize

Render-Blocking | JCH Optimize

JCH Optimize is the last item on this list of suggested plugins that comes equipped with useful tools to speed up page loading. For instance, it helps you reduce how many HTTP requests are required to load your pages and, at the same time, decrease the size of those pages.

Sprite Generator is another exciting feature available in this plugin that reduces the number of HTTP requests to load the background images.

Using JCH Optimize, you can remove the render-blocking JavaScript and CSS if you upgrade to a premium plan. All you need to is activate the ‘Premium' or ‘Optimum' options from the ‘Automatic settings' section. CSS delivery settings are likewise available only in the Pro version.

You can install this plugin for free from, but you need to purchase a premium plan to unlock its full potential. The pricing plans start from $29 for six months and reach $99 for lifetime access.



Render-Blocking | Summary

The website loading speed is one of the most critical elements to attract, engage, and retain audiences. You should give it a high priority when optimizing your website for search engines and use the Google PageSpeed Insights tool to measure how well you perform in this field.

The render-blocking JavaScript and CSS item is one of the most common suggestions you might see when using Google's powerful tool. You can easily fix this issue by installing one of the five plugins we introduced in this article and speed up the loading speed of your pages largely.

We hope that you find this tutorial beneficial and enjoy a fast-loading website for the best possible results.


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