In this session we show how to use Thesis Design Mode to reduce the HTTP requests. This is a new feature in 1.84 and can be found in Thesis Site options under Stylesheet Options. By unchecking “use design mode”, Thesis combines the Style CSS, Layout CSS and Custom CSS into a single stylesheet. We also discuss the plugin Better WordPress Minify.
Member: I want to make sure I have this right. I think it’s the Site Options. It was that box there, enable custom CSS? If you’re not using that and you’re just using your plugins and you want to minimize those, I think it’s called http requests, do you uncheck that box? Is that the right thing to do?
Rick: Well, the right thing to do, if you want to eliminate or reduce the http requests is in Thesis Site Options, is to click that… this is a new feature in 1.8.4.
Member: Oh, something I may not be aware of.
Rick: Well yeah, the stylesheet options right here. You would uncheck use design mode. And if you uncheck use design mode, it would combine style.css, layout.css, and custom.css into a single stylesheet. I think, it also minifies it so it’s hard to read but nevertheless, smaller. I think, you would uncheck this box right here. Now I am always working on my site so it just wouldn’t work for me to take it out of design mode so I don’t. But…
Member: Does that affect anything else? I mean, if you’re just using plugins and you want the site to load faster, if you uncheck that, would it be okay or is that hard to say?
Rick: Well, this only affects Thesis. It only affects Thesis CSS. For example, it won’t affect BYOB custom.css, it will still load separately. Now, I do have sort of in the back of my mind, the desire to add stylesheet aggregation into my plugins into another plugin so that you can aggregate other CSS files but there are other services that do that right now.
Member: And what will that be? Is that…
Rick: Well, if you look at plugins like WP Minify.
Rick: Let’s see, minify.
Member: I can find them.
Rick: Yeah, Better WordPress Minify. You’ll have to make sure that it doesn’t affect your other site. I think what this does is takes all of your CSS files and aggregates them into a single file and then minifies it which is essentially takes out all line returns and spaces and comments and that kind of stuff.
Member: Right. Okay.
Rick: It makes it very difficult…
Member: I can do that.
Rick: It makes it very difficult for you to troubleshoot though, right? You have to turn off minification when you’re troubleshooting CSS, trying to make that stuff because it’s just not…
Member: Well, I’m not clear on the CSS world yet so I’m going to…