When referring to the critical rendering path in site performance, a critical resource is:

  • a resource that could block initial display of the page
  • any resource that must be loaded
  • a resource that takes more than 500ms to load
  • any resource that returns 404

Explanation: A critical resource is a resource that could block initial rendering of the page. The fewer of these resources, the less work for the browser, the CPU, and other resources.

Read more here: https://support.google.com/partners/answer/7336426

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