Speedup your Magento shop by tuning GZIP compression
Table of contents
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Optimizing GZIP Compression to your own needs
On Hypernodes, GZIP Compression is already configured to compress responses larger than 1000 bytes.
For experts however, it is possible to make your own adjustments to tune GZIP Compression.
Nginx already applies compression on requests proxied through PHP-FPM, so you should not set
zlib.output_compression = On in your PHP settings.
This is an advanced topic. For 90% of the Hypernode users the current GZIP settings will suffice.
Optimizing GZIP Compression to your own needs
On the Hypernode you can check
/etc/nginx/nginx.conf to see the current configuration for Hypernodes:
These settings are static as we carefully picked these settings. In most of the scenario’s these settings are all you need and no additional tuning is necessary.
There are however several options available that you can tune.
Setting the compression level
By default the GZIP compression level is set to 1. On bigger Hypernodes, you can adjust this setting by changing the compression level.
gzip_comp_level settings takes an integer from 0 to 9 as it’s input.
The higher the compression level is set, the more compression is applied.
Setting a higher compression level will cost more CPU cycles, so setting this level too high can cause your shop to slow down.
GZIP minimum response length
Nginx uses compression when the response length is larger then 1000 bytes. Unfortunately the ‘gzip_min_length’ directive is not overridable.
We’ve ran tests that showed that values < 850-950 actually caused a /decrease/ in speed, as the gain from compressing such small files is relatively small, and the time taken for compressing the files is actually greater than the time saved in transfer. As such, we would not recommend to change this setting.
Adding a Vary header when compression is used.
Nginx will only add this header when compression is being used, which will depend on the
Another way of adding this header is by manually adding a vary header:
add_header Vary Accept-Encoding;
Adding GZIP types
If you want to add more content types that should be compressed using GZIP, extend the
gzip_types setting with the mimetypes you want to be gzipped.
Adding GZIP for images or other binary files
Images, media files and other binary formats are not recommended to be gzipped as they often already use compression mechanisms.
There are however there are some vector based image image formats that can be compressed:
These mimetypes can easily be added to
gzip_types to enable compression for these types.
Using pre-compressed files
It is possible to manually compress certain files using gzip.
Nginx can use this when you set
gzip_static to ‘on’.
When this setting is enabled, when requesting a file, Nginx will look for
.gz and if this one is nonexistent, serve the non-compressed file otherwise.
Testing GZIP Compression
One lesson learned after hours of debugging is not to make use of the website
checkgzipcompression.com as this site often returns inconsistent results. Better alternatives to check whether your GZIP is working correctly are GtMetrix and Gift of Speed
Another way of testing whether GZIP is working correctly is by using
curl --compressed -v 2>&1 >/dev/null | grep -E 'Accept-Encoding|Content-Encoding' > Accept-Encoding: deflate, gzip
When GZIP is correctly configured, when using
curl --compressed, the response headers should show
gzip as accepted encoding format.
How to make GZIP adjustments
GZIP settings can be set by creating a
http.gzip file in
/data/web/nginx. Settings files starting with
http.* are only added in the http block.
This way you can use http.gzip to adjust the GZIP settings for your production shop and use the
staging.gzip file to test it first on your staging environment only.