Filed under: IIS & HTTP, Web Speed and Performance
Tags: deflate, gzip, http compression, httpzip, zipenable
What is HTTP compression and how does it work?
HTTP compression is a long-established Web standard in which a GZip or Deflate encoding method is applied to the payload of an HTTP response, significantly compressing the resource before it is transported across the Web.
When data is encoded using a compressed format like GZip or Deflate, it introduces complexity into the HTTP request/response interaction by necessitating a type of content negotiation. Whenever compression is applied, it creates two versions of a resource:
- One compressed (for browsers that can handle compressed data)
- One uncompressed (for browsers that cannot)
A browser needs only to accurately request which version it would like to receive.
Compression results in significant file size savings on text-type files. The exact percentage saved will depend on the degree of redundancy or repetition in the character sequences in the file, but in many cases, individual files may be reduced by 70 or even 80 percent.
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