HTTP compression (,) comes into play when a client requests content from a web server, such as an image or a document. In a typical scenario where HTTP compression is not utilised, the file will be downloaded in it’s uncompressed state, resulting in an inefficient way to deliver this content. When HTTP compression is enabled and the content is requested, the content is first compressed, then sent to the client, then decrompressed by the client at the client’s browser’s processing expense. This results in benefits for both the server and the client, typically the major benefit is in page load times with web browser content and lower bandwidth usage for both. I have paraphrased a better explanation from Mozilla here:
[HTTP compression] aims to improve real and perceived web browsing performance by having the server send compressed HTML files to the browser, and having the browser uncompress before displaying. Assuming fast enough processors on most machines these days, the user should end up seeing the document sooner this way than sending uncompressed HTML. Also, since a majority of network traffic these days is HTTP traffic, compressing all HTML sent via HTTP should recover a significant amount of wasted network bandwidth.
A few other page optimisation or particularly interesting tips I found in my travels:
PS: If you are wondering whether or not your scripts/files are being sent compressed, I suggest you check out the HTTP Debugger, Fiddler for that.
- G, over and out