Making better use of mod_deflate

Output compression using Gzip and Deflate is a common feature of modern webservers. Webpages can be compressed by the server and then decompressed by the client seamlessly.

By default (at least on debian/ubuntu) Apache has a module installed and enabled called mod_deflate. While great, here is the default configuration:

<IfModule mod_deflate.c>
      AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html text/plain text/xml
</IfModule>

Now at a glance this is fine, But modern webpages consist of more than just html, we have CSS, Javascript, RSS and even JSON, all of which can benefit from compression but aren’t enabled by default.

Here’s a modified config file that will compress these files:

<IfModule mod_deflate.c>
      AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html text/plain text/xml application/javascript text/css application/rss+xml application/json
</IfModule>

This config is usually located at /etc/apache2/mods-enabled/deflate.conf.

With this done jQuery (minified) goes down from 54KB to just 16KB of data send to the client :D

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