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What is the Document Object Model (DOM)?

by Iwan Price-Evans on Web technology • May 17, 2022

The document object model (DOM) is a way for web browsers to understand how to render HTML pages. This helps users see the page in a way that makes sense to them.

How Does the Document Object Model Work?

The DOM is an XML structure or a tree view of the HTML code that describes the elements within a web page. Each element has its own properties and attributes, such as color, size, and position. These properties make up the data that the browser uses to draw each element on the screen.

Why Do We Need a Document Object Model?

The DOM is used by web browsers to render web pages. Browsers need to understand what elements are on a page so they can properly format them. They do this using the DOM.

What Are Some Common Uses of the Document Object Model?

The DOM is used to describe the layout of a web page. Web pages use the DOM to define how the page should appear when viewed in a browser. This includes defining the text, images, links, and other items that make up the page.

How Does the Document Object Model Affect Performance?

The more elements and nesting of elements in the DOM, the longer it takes a client's web browser to parse the DOM and render the page. A big and complicated DOM can slow down page load speed significantly, lowering your Google PageSpeed score.

Some content management systems (CMS) and front-end frameworks use templating systems that introduce complicated nesting in the DOM, which affects performance. For the best performance, use a fast front-end framework optimized for a small DOM.

Does Snapt Improve Page Load Speed?

Yes. Snapt's web accelerator functionality automatically caches, compresses, combines, and minified files including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and images. This is shown to increase performance by 5X, reduce requests by 70%, and reduce bandwidth by 70%.

We have proven success in optimizing pagespeed for CMSs with complicated DOMs such as HubSpot. Learn more about how Snapt optimized our website performance on HubSpot.