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If you blog on WordPress, one of the easiest ways to speed up page speed, optimize performance, and increase user experience is by using a plugin to compress components with GZIP.
When you enable text compression on your server, text-based resources like CSS, HTML, JS files are compressed in size to kb. This will directly improve page speed because the smaller the file size, the faster the page load.
Among hundreds of WordPress optimization plugins, WP Rocket is by far the most advanced, trusted, and installed WordPress cache plugin.
In this article, we’ll see how WP Rocket is used to compress components with GZIP.
The performance and speed optimization plugin is used on more than 2 million blogs today.
WP Rocket used a variety of ways to boost your site performance, optimize page speed and improve the overall user experience. One of the methods is by compressing your website files and content using GZIP.
GZIP is a popular way of compressing CSS, HTML, and JS files to speed up the delivery process to the user web browser.
File compression also helps reduce bandwidth and data usage on mobile devices as well.
In the era of Google’s Core Web Vital reports, enabling GZIP can automatically improve the Largest Content Paint and First Input Delay performance score.
But don’t let us get too far ahead of ourselves because the term GZIP may sound too technical for beginner online marketers.
So, let’s start by defining what is GZIP compression. How GZIP works to optimize content delivery.
How to compress components with GZIP in WP Rocket, and how to check if enabled for your site, and how to enable gzip compression if not enabled.
What is GZIP Compression?
GZIP is a software application created by Jean-loup Gailly and Mark Adler used for file compression and decompression.
It was first released to the public on October 31st I992. In 1993, version 1.0 was released as an update to the earlier version 0.1.
If you’re not sure whether GZIP is enabled on your hosting server, you can use a tool as Visiospark to see if GZIP is enabled on your web server.
Also, GZIP is not the only file compression tool out there.
There are other compression algorithms like Brotli which compresses text-based files better than GZIP.
But thing is, GZIP is more efficient and faster in compressing and decompressing files to the client application.
Compression application like Brotli takes more time to compress files. Though the final output is better than GZIP, the time taken to complete the process is something to worry about.
While GZIP is a popular and most used application for compressing codes and text files, it doesn’t compress image files.
If you want to optimize your website images, there are many ways to do that. You can check out this in-depth guide on WordPress image optimization.
How WP Rocket Compress Components With GZIP
Admittedly, there are a handful of GZIP compression WordPress plugins today, WP Rocket is a one-click solution that works straight out of the box.
Unlike many of its competitors, it doesn’t require any coding knowledge to set up WP Rocket.
Though the plugins work automatically on the Apache server, users on the NGNIX server need a bit of workaround to use WP Rocket with GZIP.
Let’s see how the WP Rocket GZIP compression feature works on both servers.
Most WordPress caching plugin comes with built-in support for GZIP compression. If your website is on the Apache server, WP Rocket enabled GZIP compression rules automatically to the .htaccess file.
You don’t have to activate or do anything else, WP Rocket uses the mod_deflate module on the Apache server to automatically applies the rules.
So, the mode_deflate module has to be enabled on your server – that’s the only requirement for the Apache server.
If you’re not sure if the mode_deflate module is enabled on your server, simply ask your web host.
After enabling GZIP on the server, WP Rocket creates 2 versions of each cached page of your website – an HTML file and a GZIP-ed file.
The GZIP-ed version is the default version serve to users, while the HTML version is there as a fallback – just in case – you never know.
To read more on how WP Rocket compress components with GZIP, read this documentation on their website.
For websites on the NGNIX server, since NGNIX does not support the .htaccess file, you will need to add the following codes to the:
This will enable GZIP on your NGNIX server. But as a precaution, you should check with your web host whether GZIP is already enabled or not.
Alternatively, you can read more about NGNIX configuration with GZIP from one of the WP Rocket customers on Github.
There are several ways to test if GZIP is enabled on your web server or not. Let’s go through a few of the methods or tools.
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How to Check if GZIP Compression is Enabled on Your Website
For many web hosts and browsers, supports for GZIP compression and decompression of files comes as a default feature. Most modern browsers now support content-encoding HTTP response headers.
So, as far as browsers support is concerned, there is less to worry about.
What you should worry about is your web host, especially if you’re on a Shared Hosting server.
By default, some web hosts don’t enable GZIP compression feature on a shared hosting server. You will need to check with your hosting service to enable it.
Here are a few ways or methods to check if GZIP is enabled on your server.
#1. GZIP Compression Check Tool
One of the easiest ways to check if GZIP is enabled on your site is to use a compression checking tool.
For this article, I use the visiospark compression tool to check this website for GZIP enabled.
You can also use it to test if GZIP is enabled on your website.
As you can see in the image below, the webpage was compressed by 79.46%.
The good thing about this tool is that it shows how much of the total compressed file you saved. Also, it shows the original file size and the size of the compressed file.
#2. Use Google Chrome Dev Tools
You can also use the Google Chrome Dev tool to check if GZIP is enabled for your site. To check GZIP compression in Chrome, you need to look up the HTTP headers on the Chrome Dev tool source panel.
Right-click on your blog page (anywhere on the page), and click on the inspect from the menu list.
This action will open a separate dialog panel where you can see the page elements. Click on the Network tab and select “Headers” from the below navigational menu.
Reload the page, then select any of the HTTP requests from the left panel. On the right panel, look through it for content-encoding: gzip.
If it’s there, GZIP is enabled on your website.
#3. Use GTMettrics
GTMetrics is a helpful tool for testing the performance and speed of your website. You can also use it to know if your website is GZIP enabled.
When you scan your website pages through GTMetrics, it will return a list of recommendations to improve the performance and speed.
Look through the list of recommendations to see if GZIP is there.
If GZIP is not present on your server, GTMetrics will report it among the top issues affecting your website performance.
Conclusion…Compressing Component with GZIP
With the right sets of tools, website performance doesn’t have to be too technical. Anyone with an average knowledge of web development should be able to improve the performance and speed of a website.
WP Rocket is an automatic one-click solution to enable GZIP on the Apache server, optimize performance and improve page speed.