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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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There are many ways to improve performance but not all performance enhancements will be compatible with your website or hosting environment.

The best approach is usually to try out different combinations of performance enhancements, find the best improvements and test everything is still working on your website.

Minimising the number of third party extensions also minimises the likelihood that performance enhancements will cause an issue.

The performance features provided with your template are often the best ones to use as they have presumably been tested and work well with your template.

Enabling GZip is usually a good idea but does increase the load on CPU. If you are close to a CPU limit on your web hosting plan, this may not always be the best idea. There are usually resource utilisation monitoring tools included in your web hosting control panel (e.g. in cPanel) so you should be able to see the effect that enabling GZip has on CPU.

Other things to watch out for when enabling performance tools are:

  • check that styling is unaffected (some utilities combine CSS files but not in the original order which may affect styling)
  • check form submissions and CAPTCHAs still work
  • check extensions that rely on JavaScript (e.g. slideshows) still work
  • 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? – Gregory Aug 7 '16 at 12:30
  • Good question. I usually err on the side of caution and only enable GZip once. There's no point GZipping twice and this might actually affect performance adversely. – Neil Robertson Aug 7 '16 at 12:40
  • 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... – Gregory Aug 7 '16 at 12:49
  • I do the same thing but usually use GTMetrix. Apparently tests are not cached but subsequent tests may run a little faster due to the DNS lookup being cached. – Neil Robertson Aug 7 '16 at 13:06
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    DNS lookup times are negligible, so it's OK. – Gregory Aug 7 '16 at 13:11
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Neil's answer and the comments are good explanations. For testing, I recommend GTMetric.com as well.

Specific to the site you mentioned, I have several YOOtheme template sites that I maintain. After a lot of testing, I have found it is faster to disable all the tools in WARP, and go with a 3rd party plugin like JCH Optimize.

https://www.jch-optimize.net/

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