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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, and JS files compress in size to kb. This will improve page speed because the smaller the file size, the faster the page load.

This article will show how WP Rocket compresses components with GZIP.

WP Rocket uses a variety of ways to boost your site performance, optimize page speed, and improve the overall user experience. One method is compressing your website files and content using GZIP, a popular way of compressing CSS, HTML, and JS files.

So, let’s start by defining GZIP compression and how GZIP works to optimize content delivery.

And how to compress components with GZIP in WP Rocket; check if your site is enabled, and how to activate Gzip compression if it is not enabled.

What is GZIP Compression?

GZIP is a software application created by Jean-loup Gailly and Mark Adler and used for file compression and decompression.

It was first released to the public on October 31st, I992. In 1993, version 1.0 was released to update the earlier version 0.1.

GZIP is a server-side application, which means it has to be enabled on your web host server for your website to benefit. Mainly, GZIP is used to compress code and text files such as HTML, CSS, and Javascript files.

If you’re unsure whether GZIP is enabled on your hosting server, you can use a tool such as GiftofSpeed to see if GZIP is enabled on your web server.

Also, GZIP is not the only file compression tool out there.

Other compression algorithms like Brotli compress text-based files better than GZIP.

But the thing is, GZIP is more efficient and faster in compressing and decompressing files to the client application.

Compression applications like Brotli take 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.

GZIP can achieve 60% – 90% compression rates for most Javascript and CSS files.

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 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 a workaround to use WP Rocket with GZIP.

Let’s see how the WP Rocket GZIP compression feature works on both servers.

Apache Server

Most WordPress caching plugins come with built-in support for GZIP compression. WP Rocket enabled GZIP compression rules automatically to the .htaccess file if your website is on the Apache server.

You don’t have to activate or do anything else; WP Rocket uses the mod_deflate module on the Apache server to apply the rules automatically.

So, the mode_deflate module must be enabled on your server – that’s the only requirement for the Apache server.

Ask your web host if you’re unsure if the mode_deflate module is enabled on your server.

After enabling GZIP on the server, WP Rocket creates two versions of each cached page of your website – an HTML file and a GZIP-ed file.

The GZIP-ed version is the default version served to users, while the HTML version is there as a fallback – just in case – you never know.

To read more on how WP Rocket compresses components with GZIP, read this documentation on their website.

NGNIX Server

For websites on the NGNIX server, since NGNIX does not support the .htaccess file, you will need to add the following codes to the:


gzip on;
    gzip_disable "msie6";

    gzip_vary on;
    gzip_proxied any;
    gzip_comp_level 6;
    gzip_buffers 16 8k;
    gzip_http_version 1.1;
    gzip_types text/plain text/css application/json application/x-javascript text/xml application/xml application/xml+rss text/javascript;

This will enable GZIP on your NGNIX server. But as a precaution, you should check with your web host whether GZIP is already enabled.

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 whether GZIP is enabled on your web server. Let’s go through a few of the methods or tools.

How to Check if GZIP Compression is Enabled on Your Website

For many web hosts and browsers, support 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 browser 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.

Some web hosts don’t enable the GZIP compression feature on a shared hosting server by default. 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.

I used the Gift of Speed compression tool for this article 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%.

Visiospark gzip report for cybernaira

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 compressed file size.

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, 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 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.

Chrome Dev Tools GZIP

Reload the page and select any 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 GTMetrics

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.

Scanning your website pages through GTMetrics will return a list of recommendations to improve performance and speed.

Look through the list of recommendations to see if GZIP is there.

Gtmetrics page speed reports for cybernaira

If GZIP is absent on your server, GTMetrics will report it among the top issues affecting your website performance.

Conclusion…Compressing Component with GZIP

With the right 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.

Additionally, WP Rocket will minify and combine CSS and Javascript files to make your website pages lighter and improve page loading time.

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  1. Hi Shamsudeen,

    It was a very informational article! When I set up my blog, I face the most issues with compression. I used several plugins to compress my images and other files, but it took me a long time to get the hang of things. I am at a better place now, but I am really interested in trying this. I really gained a lot of information from this article, and I am looking forward to implementing it into my process. Thanks a lot for such a great share!

    1. Hi, Ravi,

      Thanks for every single time spent here and the insightful contributions. Thank you.

  2. It became a completely informational article! When I installation my blog, I face the maximum troubles with compression. I used numerous plugins to compress my snapshots and different files, however it took me a long term to get a hold of things. I am at a higher area now, however I am clearly inquisitive about attempting this. I clearly received quite a few statistics from this article, and I am searching ahead to enforcing it into my process. Thanks loads for this type of extraordinary share!

  3. Thanks for the tip, was very interesting reading it.

    WP Rocket also looks like a really cache good plugin.

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