How can Critical CSS improve my website speed?

You can improve your website speed by loading only the Critical CSS elements that are above the fold first such as images, CSS and javascript.



Step #6: Critical CSS

Loading elements above the fold of each web page will increase the speed significantly

Improve CSS Loading for Speed
Coding for Critical CSS

After you have cleaned up your code with the HTML Validator you will move on to Critical CSS which refers to splitting off all of the CSS code for your website that is above the fold (what users can visually view on a webpage before they start scrolling) into two separate files.


Why is Critical CSS Important?

Applying Critical CSS to your page allows the page to load quicker and it also improves the CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift) of each webpage. CLS is how your web page visually shifts and moves as the page elements are being loaded. The results of improving your CLS can be tested in Lighthouse, which is a ranking signal with search engines. You can improve the render times of you website with implementing critical CSS technique.


How do I implement Critical CSS on my Website?

The first step is to remove all of the CSS from your webpage and combine them on a notepad including, if possible, any Inline CSS (any CSS added directly to a div, span, or p tag through the style attribute). Here is an example of an inline CSS at the style attribute (style="float:left"):


<div class="noo-social social-icons" style="float:left">


Once you complete this, then add the combined CSS to the webpage and then run your page through a Critical CSS software generator that will speed up the process. Over the years I have found the following software to be the best Critical CSS generator:


Critical Path CSS Generator

You can reduce the amount of CSS your browser has to download and render as the web page is loading which will increase the speed. You can access our Critical CSS software by signing up for a subscription for our services.


Critical CSS


Where to find our Critical Path CSS Generator software:


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How to use it: Copy all of your CSS copy and paste it into the “FULL CSS” field. Then copy and paste the URL you are trying to correct. Once completed you will have a CSS file to insert into the header of your webpage. The remainder of the CSS you will put into the footer of your website but you will want to test your web page’s javascript, php, etc. to be assured that some of it was not needed in the header when loading the page but this is not usually the case.


Critical CSS’s Improved Service

Reduce the CSS on your web page and improve the speed of your website by reducing the amount of CSS being captured above the fold.


How to use it: Create an account and insert the URL you are wanting to create the Critical CSS file for. Once the files are created insert the files on your website.


Once you complete this process, it will split your CSS code into two separate files. You will take the Critical CSS the generator gave you and add it near the meta tags of your headers. This will allow the CSS file to start loading the moment a user enters your website and quickly improve visual shifting which should result in a much lower CLS. The remainder of the CSS you will add closer towards the footer of the page so it loads last since it is irrelevant to anything above the fold. If you have scripts that need to be pre-loaded for the CSS to function, be sure to manually remove them from the footer and add them back to the Critical CSS file above the fold. You can test this in Lighthouse to see the improvements to your website speed and CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift) which you will learn about in a later chapter.


Removing Unused Javascript and CSS

This online tool will help you remove unused Javascript and CSS from your code but you should be careful using it as it could affect the functionality of some elements of the page. If you notice some functions break, add those lines back into the original code. Where to find the UnCSS Online:


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The above information is a brief explanation of this technique. To learn more about how we can help your company improve its rankings in the SERPs, contact our team below.