Make it go faster – Enabling GZip Compression

Things were getting slow around here, as you can see with the results from ismyblogworking.com.
ismyblogworking-results-1

Now WordPress, in versions before WordPress 2.5, had a GZip compression option.  It was removed in v2.5 because WordPress thought it was better to implement compression at the OS level.  All fine and good, but by default, my hosting provider does not do compression.

The quick performance fix was to enable compression.  But how???

After a bit of poking about, I found the blog post “Using GZip on WordPress 2.5” by Lord TCT.  Lord TCT presents four options, and it was 4 – PHP.INI which worked for me.
My PHP.INI:
zlib.output_compression = On
zlib.output_handler = On
zlib.output_compression_level = 1

But how to tell if GZip will make a difference?
Use the GIDNetwork, GIDZipTest.

GIDZipTest will tell you*:
trampanto gzip test

and/or if you have GZip compression enabled:
results-wisefaq

So how much difference in time did turning on compression make?

Times in milliseconds:
compression-results

What this means is, I was able to get about a 55% speed improvement in blog-page display.  And 74% decrease in bandwidth needed.

* yes, the sharp eyed will have noticed trampanto.com.  I wrote this post after I enabled compression, and it was easier to show the “not enabled” screen from another blog.

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