Use GZIP Compression for an Easy Speed Boost

Sep 6, 2016 | How To

Did you know you could give your WordPress site a significant speed boost by enabling GZIP compression?

GZIP is a method for compressing files, making them smaller in file size, and therefore faster to deliver across a network connection. You know those storage bags that you can stuff full of clothing or bedding, then suck all the air out of them, and the storage bag is now a fraction of it’s former size? Think of GZIP as that, only for the files on your server.

Enable compression via .htaccess

The .htaccess file, a hidden file in your site’s directory structure, controls many important things for your site. To modify it, use the file manager on your webhost. You can also edit it using an FTP client such as FileZilla.

Adding the code below to your .htaccess file will tell your web server to deliver content that has been deflated by GZIP rather than sending it uncompressed by default.

Warning: making changes to the .htaccess file can create major problems for your website. You should know what you’re doing before you attempt these additions.

<IfModule deflate_module>
  <IfModule filter_module>
    AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain text/html
    AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml application/xml application/xhtml+xml application/xml-dtd
    AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rdf+xml application/rss+xml application/atom+xml image/svg+xml
    AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css text/javascript application/javascript application/x-javascript
    AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/otf font/opentype application/font-otf application/x-font-otf
    AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/ttf font/truetype application/font-ttf application/x-font-ttf

Enable compression with a plugin

Because editing your .htaccess file might make you a little nervous, installing a plugin might be a better option for you. There are several plugins for WordPress that enable GZIP compression, especially caching plugins. If you use a caching plugin on your site, you’ll first want to check for a GZIP compression setting in it.

Maybe you don’t use a caching plugin but are interested in enabling GZIP compression. The Check and Enable GZIP Compression plugin will first check if compression is enabled, and if not, allow you to enable it.

Don’t make your web server work harder than it has to or keep your site visitors waiting. Give your site an easy speed boost today.

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