I read all the time how extra HTTP requests are bad practice. I also see quite a lot of combining scripts and minifying JavaScript and CSS. Maybe I'm a bit too cynical but I can't help feeling, for the most part, this is a waste of time and people are just jumping on a bandwagon.

First of all let me make it clear:

  • I understand the benefit of minifying large scripts. E.g. JQuery ~halves in size when minified
  • I don't work on huge sites, I'm talking about small-to-medium sites
  • I'm not saying my opinion is right, it's more I'm interested in why some people minify everything

My current qualms are:

  • I think minifying CSS is almost pointless. At most you save a few kb—unless you do it for obfuscation
  • For a small site minifying your site-specific scripts is equally pointless for the same reasons as above
  • Combining oft-used scripts into a single file is a good idea but I've seen web developers act in a condascending way about HTTP request yet they have an image gallery on their home page with 20 images—ergo 20 extra HTTP requests. Come on, are they that bad? If you have a decent hoster, I don't see a problem here

So what do you think? Is minifying and combining scripts (and CSS) somewhat of a bandwagon?