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Enabling compression in WARP Framework template

Posted on 2016-08-06
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Last Modified: 2016-08-07
Hello!

I use Joomla 3.6 and WARP 6 Framework template and it has an option to enable compression in a template manager. It says:
Combination+Minify+Data URIs+GZip

I enabled it and tested my site's speed. I've seen some improvement. Not something major, but...

My question is... So is it a good idea to enable compression like that? Is there anything bad about it?
I don't know anything about it pretty much, so any input is welcomed.
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Question by:Member_2_7970041
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Expert Comment

by:Ray Paseur
ID: 41746153
Compression trades CPU cycles on the server and client for data-transmission time.  It's usually a good tradeoff in text-intensive sites and applications.  It's less valuable in image-intensive information because images do not compress as well as text.

In my experience, other good performance enhancements include using a task runner like Grunt to minify and combine external files, using optimized images, making sure the database is appropriately indexed, and using a server-side cache.
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Author Comment

by:Member_2_7970041
ID: 41746155
Thanks for your reply!

So basically, there's no really a downside to it if it's not overloading the server, correct?
The difference is the number of requests. Without it being enabled there was about 120, and with it being enabled around 90. As per page loading times... The improvement is at best around 10-15%.
And the last thing I wanna know is this...I know there's an Apache GZip compression (it's not enabled on my server). If I use what I mentioned in my first post, is it best to keep Apache's compression disabled?
In other words, what's the difference between Joomla's compression and Apache's compression and how they can or can't co-exist?
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Ray Paseur earned 500 total points
ID: 41746157
Yes, there is no real downside.  The speed of modern servers is great, and you can't really control the speed of the client machine or the speed of data transmission over the internet.  So you almost certainly get some advantage at very little cost.

I can't answer fully about Joomla vs Apache compression, but my sense is that you probably want one or the other but not both -- double compression is like double encryption; there might not be much advantage there!  However I would try three test cases, just to see what happens.  Do one with Joomla's compression, do another with Apache compression and do a third test with both.  If I had to guess, I would guess that Apache compression would be preferable.
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Author Comment

by:Member_2_7970041
ID: 41746165
Okay, so testing, testing and testing. As per testing, there's one thing that is not clear to me. I usually go to website speed testing sites like pingdom etc. Let's say, I wanna run two tests. The first with compression enabled and the second with it being disabled, OK? BUT... what about CACHE on pingdom's server? I can't clear it myself on THEIR server, right? So what MIGHT happen is that the second test would come from that server's cache, so the test overall won't be reliable. Or maybe their systems clear their cache after each test, who knows...
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LVL 110

Expert Comment

by:Ray Paseur
ID: 41746191
I don't know for sure about speed test sites, but I've used Chrome Dev Tools.  The Timeline tab works pretty well.  You can limit the effect of browser cache if you're taking those measurements in incognito mode.
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