Web Content Optimization: HTML

Tasks that minimize HTML are available for Grunt and Gulp and both are based on the HTML minifier tool.

Option Description Default
removeComments Strip HTML comments false
removeCommentsFromCDATA Strip HTML comments from scripts and styles false
removeCDATASectionsFromCDATA Remove CDATA sections from script and style elements false
collapseWhitespace Collapse white space that contributes to text nodes in a document tree. false
conservativeCollapse Always collapse to 1 space (never remove it entirely). Must be used in conjunction with collapseWhitespace=true false
preserveLineBreaks Always collapse to 1 line break (never remove it entirely) when whitespace between tags include a line break. Must be used in conjunction with collapseWhitespace=true false
collapseBooleanAttributes Omit attribute values from boolean attributes false
removeAttributeQuotes Remove quotes around attributes when possible. false
removeRedundantAttributes Remove attributes when value matches default. false
preventAttributesEscaping Prevents the escaping of the values of attributes. false
useShortDoctype Replaces the doctype with the short (HTML5) doctype false
removeEmptyAttributes Remove all attributes with whitespace-only values false
removeScriptTypeAttributes Remove type="text/javascript" from script tags. Other type attribute values are left intact. false
removeStyleLinkTypeAttributes Remove type="text/css" from style and link tags. Other type attribute values are left intact. false
removeOptionalTags Remove unrequired tags false
removeIgnored Remove all tags starting and ending with < %, %>, < ?, ?> false
removeEmptyElements Remove all elements with empty contents false
lint Toggle linting false
keepClosingSlash Keep the trailing slash on singleton elements false
caseSensitive Treat attributes in case sensitive manner (useful for custom HTML tags.) false
minifyJS Minify Javascript in script elements and on* attributes (uses UglifyJS) false (could be true, false, Object (options))
minifyCSS Minify CSS in style elements and style attributes (uses clean-css) false (could be true, false, Object (options))
minifyURLs Minify URLs in various attributes (uses relateurl) false (could be Object (options))
ignoreCustomComments Array of regex’es that allow to ignore certain comments, when matched [ ]
processScripts Array of strings corresponding to types of script elements to process through minifier (e.g. text/ng-template, text/x-handlebars-template, etc.) [ ]
maxLineLength Specify a maximum line length. Compressed output will be split by newlines at valid HTML split-points.
customAttrAssign Arrays of regex’es that allow to support custom attribute assign expressions (e.g. '<div flex?="{{mode != cover}}"></div>') [ ]
customAttrSurround Arrays of regex’es that allow to support custom attribute surround expressions (e.g. <input {{#if value}}checked="checked"{{/if}}/>) [ ]
customAttrCollapse Regex that specifies custom attribute to strip newlines from (e.g. /ng\-class/)
quoteCharacter Type of quote to use for attribute values (‘ or “)

Installation Instructions

From NPM for use as a command line app:

npm install html-minifier -g

From NPM for programmatic use:

npm install html-minifier

From Git:

git clone git://github.com/kangax/html-minifier.git
cd html-minifier
npm link .


For command line usage please see html-minifier --help


var minify = require('html-minifier').minify;
var result = minify('<p title="blah" id="moo">foo</p>', {
  removeAttributeQuotes: true
result; // '<p title=blah id=moo>foo</p>'

Grunt Task

  htmlmin: {                                     // Task
    dist: {                                      // Target
      options: {                                 // Target options
        removeComments: true,
        collapseWhitespace: true
      files: {                                   // Dictionary of files
        'dist/index.html': 'src/index.html',     // 'destination': 'source'
        'dist/contact.html': 'src/contact.html'
    dev: {                                       // Another target
      files: {
        'dist/index.html': 'src/index.html',
        'dist/contact.html': 'src/contact.html'

Gulp Plugin

var gulp = require('gulp');
var htmlmin = require('gulp-htmlmin');

gulp.task('minify', function() {
  return gulp.src('src/*.html')
    .pipe(htmlmin({collapseWhitespace: true}))

HTML versus web components

Over the past few weeks I’ve been looking at Polymer and web components again and it led me to wonder if web components are a better solution to transport and performance issues we are discussing in this series. I’m not sure what the answer is yet but it’d be an interesting research project.

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