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Optimize Website Speed - Enable Compression

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Top Contributor
# 1
Top Contributor

Did you know that your website speed matters when creating the ideal user experience for your visitors? It sure does, and it also matters to search engines like Google.

 

Below you will find the hot list of things to investigate and correct, if needed, on your website for optimal performance.


Site Performance - Best Practices:

1) Enable compression
2) Eliminate render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content
3) Leverage browser caching
4) Minify CSS
5) Optimize images
6) Minify JavaScript
7) Minify HTML
8) Avoid landing page redirects
9) Reduce server response time
10) Prioritize visible content


Item #1 states to enable compression. To a website owner (that is not a developer) this could sound difficult or a bit intimidating, however it is quite easy (generally). With this one change, you will see a dramatic boost in performance. Before we make the change, let's get a baseline score first. To do this, Google provides two great resources for testing purposes. Let's use the newest testing tool (#2 below) by Think With Google.

 

Website Testing Tools:

1) Google Developers - Page Speed
2) Think With Google - Test My Site


Did you test your site with Think With Google? Great, let's write those scores down and then proceed to Enabling Compression on your website, if it is not already.

 

More About Website Compression:

Depending on the type of website (or forum) you have--such as whether it is built on Wordpress, Joomla or another CMS or written in pure HTML5 code--there are different ways to achieve this. Keep in mind that some coding platforms will refer to compression as GZIP and others will refer to Mod_Deflate. And some instructions will discuss using the .htaccess file, others will discuss Gzip, others Gzip via the ZLIB Library, and others will discuss server compression which varies depending on the server you use (Apache or Windows). CDN (content delivery networks) can also compress your site, on the fly, as it is rendered.

 

If you are not sure about any of this, contact your website developer or your hosting provider, either of which will be able to assist you. If you want to tackle it yourself, great. Keep reading and/or post up any thoughts, concerns or issues so that myself or someone else here can assist you, which we are happy to do.

 

If you are able to log in to the CPANEL of your website (which is widely used by hosting companies to provide the website owner or operator easy access to many features of the server your website is hosted on), you can enable compression in about two minutes of time and absolutely no need for technical understanding, research or hassles.


Enable Compression via CPANEL: 
1) Visit CPANEL on your website via your hosting provider and log in.
2) Look for the software section. (see image below)
3) Click on optimize website. (see image below)
4) Check box compress all content and click on update settings. (see image below)

 

That's it. You are now utilizing compression on your website and your performance will have been greatly improved.

 

Revisit the Think With Google testing tool and compare your scores. You will notice an approximate 20 point increase from that one change. Now that you have taken this step to help your visitors enjoy your website more (and stay on it longer), be sure to work through all of the suggestions provided to you by the scan. Some are easy to implement and others might be more challenging.

 

Thanks for taking the time to enable compression on your website and stop back by the Google Partners' Advertiser Community in the near future for more helpful tips on optimizing your website. 

 

-J.Clemens, Google Partners

 

cpanel1.pngCPANEL - Optimize Website (Enable Compression).cpanel2.pngCPANEL - Setting to Enable Compressioncpanel3.pngCPANEL - Compression Enabled

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3 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Optimize Website Speed - Enable Compression

Top Contributor
# 2
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Does this use middle-out compression? Smiley Happy

Tommy Sands, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’

Re: Optimize Website Speed - Enable Compression

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 3
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
I prefer to configure compression and caching in the .htaccess file. There are a number of websites I have worked on that do not use cPanel. The tricky part for me has always been prioritizing the loading sequence for the visual content and reducing server response time, but that usually comes down to system and client restrictions.

Minify CSS is a good practice, but I feel like developers never look at how much of the code goes unused. For example, BOOTSTRAP.

Re: Optimize Website Speed - Enable Compression

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

That is another great way to optimize website performance via website compression, @PPCBossman

 

If more website owners understood the importance of site speed, they would bite onto this stuff in a big way. We are still a nation of slow internet speeds for many users and compression can make a website load as if the end user has twice the bandwidth speed they actually do. That's profound, really.

 

 

@miguel m, very nice. Great to hear you are all over this already and enjoying an optimized website(s). Load sequence does vary greatly, not only by the code platform but also by the browser, so it is not something to dive into lightly, that's for sure. Sounds like you enjoy digging deep, which is awesome stuff. 

 

I agree that far too many web developers omit concern for their code footprint. I taken over massively-bloated sites where I just started over for the client versus altering the code. Some plugins for WordPress are bad culprits. 

 

 

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Re: Optimize Website Speed - Enable Compression

Top Contributor
# 5
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Too many people who design websites )and wordPress themes) design for visual effect with big v(10-15mb) videos in the header and all kinds of bloat that can never be really optimized properly for loading speed, especially on mobile devices. For those the best thing is to start over

Re: Optimize Website Speed - Enable Compression

Top Contributor
# 6
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I agree, @MikeJohnston. I think those developers are assuming everyone has 105+ mbps and unlimited bandwidth. 

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Re: Optimize Website Speed - Enable Compression

Top Contributor
# 7
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@James_Clemens - Sorry if my humor was lost in translation here.  Pied Piper is a fictional company from the HBO show Silicon Valley.  It's a satirical take on tech startups.  They really take it to the extreme with "real" websites, "real" blogs, "real" linkedin profiles etc... to represent the characters and companies, like hooli.com is their Google etc...

 

There are references in the real world all the time to this show.  Last year, even Google paid homage.  

Tommy Sands, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’

Re: Optimize Website Speed - Enable Compression

Top Contributor
# 8
Top Contributor

@PPCBossman, that is hilarious! 

 

I was multi-tasking yesterday and in the mist of replying I was on the phone and the company sounded familiar and I clicked your link and spent about five minutes reading the site while talking. Knowing you to be a man of quality and substance... my mind replied without catching your humorous reply.

 

I am laughing now... and appreciate your reply. Robot LOL  

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