Disable HTTP compression

You should disable HTTP compression for the specified file type.

What does this mean?

Files on a website can optionally be automatically compressed by your web server. Doing so will usually reduce the size of certain files significantly, reducing the time webpages take to download.

Due to the different nature of files used by a website, not all files should be compressed in this way. For example, text files (like HTML and CSS) compress very well. Files which already make extensive use of compression (like JPEG or MPEG) will make little or no gains. Using compression imposes a slight burden on both the web server and the user’s browser, so using compression inappropriately can actually slow a website down.

How do we do this?

You will need technical control over your web server; generally this is only possible for dedicated hosting environments. The specific steps required depend on your server platform:

You should only enable compression for these file types:

  • text/html
  • text/css
  • application/javascript
  • application/x-javascript
  • application/x-shockwave-flash
  • application/msword
  • application/excel
  • application/pdf
  • text/plain

These settings are of course dependent upon your webserver using correct MIME types to begin with; for the majority of servers this is not a problem.

Was this article helpful? Contact our support team if you have a question.