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5 Important Ways To Minimize Mainthread Work

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By Author: Palash Ghosh
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Introduction

Excessive main thread work can impede the responsiveness and speed of your site. In the Diagnostics Area of the performance report, you see a recommendation to minimize main thread work.

This suggestion aims to optimize the performance of your website. It is generally encountered during the testing of your WordPress sites.

Now let’s look at what is the “main thread work”, why it is important to minimize main thread work, and how to reduce it.

What is Main Thread Work

The main thread in the browser is an integral part that is accountable for displaying the user interface, managing user events, and executing Javascript code. It can be considered as the central processing unit and plays a crucial role in the browser’s operations.

The main thread serves as the central control unit of the web browser, akin to the brain. It is responsible for executing crucial tasks such as displaying web content and facilitating user interactions through clicks.

In its default state, the browser operates with a main single thread, thereby lacking the ability to handle multiple ...
... tasks simultaneously. During the initial page-loading procedure, the main thread undertakes a multitude of tasks.

These tasks encompass retrieving the essential CSS styles and implementing them, constructing the DOM tree, executing and examining the JS code, and creating the layout of the page. By performing these tasks together, the browser can successfully render the webpage.

In the context of multi-threaded programming environments, it is responsible for managing key operations. It includes processing user input, updating the user interface, and handling other essential tasks that have a direct influence on the responsiveness of your site and overall performance.

The effective management of main thread operations plays a vital role in maintaining a site that is both highly responsive and smooth.

Why is it necessary to minimize main thread work


It is of utmost importance to minimize main thread work as it has a significant influence on the performance and overall user experience of a website.

Code is transformed into the web page that users interact with through the browser’s rendering process. The main thread plays a crucial role in this procedure by performing various significant tasks.

It creates the structure of the web page, implements the styles using CSS and HTML, and executes the JavaScript code. Moreover, it manages user inputs such as clicks and inputs.

When the main thread is occupied with other activities while attempting to engage with the website, it hampers quick responsiveness. It leads to a sluggish and exasperating site experience.

The main thread holds immense significance as it oversees crucial responsibilities such as refreshing the user interface and managing user input. It acts as the medium through which communication with the site occurs.

Effectively handling the main thread work is essential for enhancing the Core Web Vitals and optimizing the web performance. Applications can enhance loading speed, visual stability, and user interaction by reducing the workload on the main thread.

Moreover, minimizing main thread work has a significant influence on important metrics like FID and TTI. These metrics help improve the better user engagement.

By improving TTI, the application enables quicker access to the content, whereas the reduction in First Input Delay ensures swift user response. These enhancements work together to enhance user gratification, and extended session durations, and contribute to the application’s success in a fiercely competitive digital environment.

5 Important Ways to Minimize Main Thread Work :-

To minimize the main thread work of the site, you need to follow some important methods mentioned below:

1) Splitting the Code

The browser’s efficiency in handling and executing JavaScript code is enhanced when it deals with smaller portions rather than larger chunks. This is why code splitting holds immense significance.

Breaking down the code into smaller modules facilitates easier parsing and compilation by the browser, resulting in smoother rendering. By employing code splitting, the loading of unrequired JavaScript can be reduced. It leads to a quick page loading time.

This method ensures that only the essential codes for particular routes such as /user and /blog.

It does so by eliminating any excess code that is not important for accurate rendering.

2) Minify Javascript and CSS


The downloading of CSS and Javascript files is a prerequisite for browsers to render web pages. However, if these files happen to be excessively large, they obstruct the main thread. It causes difficulties in the loading of the page.

The presence of unrequired characters such as white spaces, comments, and redundant code causes files to become bloated. Eliminating them collectively leads to a decrease in the file size.

The process of minimizing, eliminating unused CSS, and compressing effectively decreases the file size. It leads to improved speed in executing and fetching these resources.

By effectively combining and tailoring these approaches to meet the particular needs of a site, developers can successfully decrease the workload. It guarantees the responsive, smooth, and effective functioning of their software.

3) Optimization of JavaScript Code


By making use of asynchronous operations, the main thread can be relieved from the need to wait for time-consuming tasks. Thus it enables it to maintain a level of responsiveness and effectively manage other functions.

Boost the effectiveness of JavaScript code by improving the speed of its execution on the main thread through the implementation of asynchronous programming methods. These methods include promises, callbacks, and async/await.

4) Optimize Fonts

Proper optimization of fonts is crucial for a site’s critical rendering path and significantly influences the loading time of your site. Inadequately optimized fonts can have a detrimental impact on Core Web Vitals such as Cumulative Layout Shift and Largest Contentful Paint.
You should establish a hierarchy of priorities for various tasks. It ensures that high-priority operations are handled first and prevents lower-priority tasks from overpowering the thread.

5) Use Web Workers

To prevent UI blockages, it is recommended to use dedicated web workers in web applications for executing scripts alongside the main thread.

To ensure smooth execution you should use synchronization mechanisms such as mutexes, locks, and semaphores wisely. By doing so, you can mitigate the unrequired contention and blocking. Furthermore, the utilization of data structures that minimize the reliance on locks and synchronization can enhance thread efficiency by decreasing contention.

Final Thoughts

Minimizing the main thread work is crucial for the development of your website performance and helps you deliver a better user experience. You should optimize the main thread works by making use of the above-mentioned techniques.

You need to implement these strategies to improve the performance of your site by optimizing the First Input Delay and Time To Interactive to generate a better user experience.

More About the Author

Hi, my name is Palash Ghosh and I am a Content Writer at Rabbitloader. I write creative blogs on a niche such as Business, saas, marketing, Technical and more. Apart from writing I like to read novels, plays and short stories, and also listen to soft music.

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