Using cPanel to enable Gzip and speed up the website

Ash Nallawalla

20 May 2012

SEO

Continuing from the previous post about Migrating a Thesis blog, I looked at the Yslow add-on for Firefox and noted a few issues that were giving the home page a total score of C.

Yslow

Running Yslow

Poor score

While using the site’s hosting control panel (known as cPanel), I noticed an option called Optimize Website.

Optimise website

When you click it, you can turn on Gzip compression. Gzip is exactly the same concept as the tools you might use on your computer to shrink the file size or combine several files into a single compressed archive.

compress content

By default, the setting is probably Disabled. Change it to Compress all content. Run Yslow again.

Gzip test passes

All right, so I didn’t manage to tip the overall score from C to B (or A), as happened on another site that uses another theme. But we fixed one more issue that helps users to load the page faster.

WordPress Plugins

I have not had luck using a plugin such as WordPress Gzip Compression by James Socol because it didn’t achieve its stated purpose. The cPanel option did.

Some of the other issues may not be easy to address if Thesis does not allow it, such as moving JavaScript to the bottom of a page. Let’s see.

Ash Nallawalla

Search strategy consultant with experience in large, complex websites. Ash's Google+ profile

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1 Comment

  • Des Walsh on 20 March 2013

    Thanks for this tip, Ash. I have been frustrated more than once in trying to speed up some sites. Some of the recommendations require more depth of technical knowledge than I have. I will now try the gzip in cpanel option.

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