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The primary purpose of a JS minifier is to compress the code by eliminating unnecessary whitespace, line breaks, and indentation, which are added for human readability but are not required for the code to function properly. Additionally, it removes comments that are typically used for documentation purposes but are not necessary for the execution of the code.
JS minifiers use various techniques to achieve code compression, such as:
By minifying JS code, developers can significantly reduce its file size, leading to faster downloads and improved website performance. Smaller file sizes also contribute to bandwidth savings and reduced server load, particularly on high-traffic websites. However, it's important to note that minification makes the code less readable for humans, so it's recommended to keep a non-minified version for development and debugging purposes.
JS minifier tools are available both as standalone software applications and online services. Developers can integrate them into their build processes or use them directly to minify individual JS files. Popular JS minifiers include UglifyJS, Terser, Closure Compiler, and many others.