We learned many things regarding to the various WordPress optimization techniques and their ensue at negative side in our previous posts like Be Smart While Optimizing WordPress Website-Object Caching.
Now, we need to think over other performance boosting techniques used by modern WordPress website developers in order to deliver best results in their side. Among these all techniques usage of sprites are highly favourite in web developer community. Smart developers are adding all navigational elements and most of UI elements in to sprite.
Concept of Sprite
The basic concept of sprite is to combine multiple images into one image adding pixels in one code so they load image in progressive manner and save our visitors to abandon the site waiting for full loading of different images. This speed up the process of page loading as well as boosting interactions in dynamic website with dynamic content.
Problems with Sprite
We need to be careful while adding more pixels into the sprite as mobile browsers have some limit to load heavy images or hefty pixel data at one time. Particularly, iOS and Android devices showing problems in loading with excessive sprite data. If you are going to split sprite image in to two or more fractions by calculating the dimension of the image you can load them easily, but it seems weird when they display on the mobile.
Thus, the ultimate solution of this problem is to limit the size of image by calculating them using a tool devised by William Malone for Safari browsers. This way you will able to devise new images with different sprite and will save yourself from adjusting CSS code that a big sprite is using in order to split the big image.
The problem arises with these plugin usage when they act aggressively and start rearranging CSS selectors or grouping the properties in weird ways. This ultimately breaks the logic of the document code and resulting into unpredictable behaviour of the web page or entire WordPress website.
Therefore, I would like to advice my WordPress developer fellow to avoid such aggressive minification plugins at all and use online FreeFormatter services.
Gzip is an another speed boosting services where you will find all code and components downloading in zip file manner compressed in certain ways. Latest browser can unzip or decompress these Gzip components and reduce load on bandwidth and time in loading. Unfortunately, Gzip demands mod-deflate installed on server and many hosting services are not equipped with it.