How to Enable GZIP Compression in WordPress (3 Ways)

Need to enable GZIP compression in WordPress? GZIP compression makes your website faster by compressing the data and delivering it to the user’s browsers much quicker.

A faster website enhances user experience and brings in more sales and conversions for your business.

In this guide, we’ll show you exactly how to easily enable GZIP compression in WordPress.

Enabling GZIP compression in WordPress

What is GZIP Compression?

GZIP compression is a technology that compresses data files before it is sent to users’ browsers. This reduces the file download time which makes your website faster.

After the compressed data arrives, all modern browsers automatically unzip the compressed files and display them. GZIP compression doesn’t change how your website looks or functions.

It just makes your website load faster.

GZIP is supported by all popular web browsers, server software, and all best WordPress hosting companies.

How does GZIP compression work?

Gzip compression uses compression algorithms that work on website files like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc. When a user requests a page from your website, the algorithm sends the output back in a compressed format.

Depending on data size, the compression can reduce file sizes by up to 70%.

This is why most website speed test tools like Google Pagespeed Insights highly recommend enabling gzip compression. These tools will also show a warning if gzip compression is not enabled onn your website.

Pagespeed Insights

Note: By default, Gzip compression does not compress images or videos. For that you’ll need to optimize images for web on your WordPress site.

Why Need to Enable GZIP Compression in WordPress?

Plain raw data takes longer to download which impacts your page load speed. If lots of users arrive at the same time, then it will further slow down your WordPress website.

Using GZIP compression enables you to efficiently transfer data, boost page load times, and reduce the load on your website hosting. It is an crucial step in improving your website speed and performance.

Now, you might think that GZIP sounds very technical and complicated. However, there are lots of WordPress plugins that make it super easy to add GZIP compression on your WordPress website.

In some cases, you may even have GZIP already enabled by your WordPress hosting company.

Bluehost an officially recommended WordPress hosting provider automatically enables GZIP compression on all new WordPress sites.

To test if GZIP is enabled on your site, simply visit this GZIP tester and enter the URL of your site. If GZIP is working on your site, you will see a ‘GZIP Is Enabled’ message.

Using a GZIP test tool to see that GZIP is enabled on the specifed website

If you need to add GZIP compression by yourself, then you can use any of the following methods to do so:

Enabling GZIP Compression with WPRocket

WP Rocket is the best caching plugin for WordPress in the market. It is super easy to use and turns on all the essential speed optimization features out of the box, including GZIP compression.

First thing, you need to install and activate the WP Rocket plugin.

Upon activation, your license key should be automatically activated for you. You can check this by navigating to the Settings » WP Rocket page in your WordPress admin.

You should see a message letting you know that WP Rocket is active and working.

The message showing that WP Rocket is active and working on your site

WP Rocket automatically enables GZIP compression for you if you’re using an Apache server. Most WordPress web hosting providers use Apache for their servers. You don’t need to take any extra steps.

Enabling GZIP Compression with WP Super Cache

WP Super Cache is a free WordPress caching plugin available. It is also a great way to enable GZIP compression on your WordPress site.

Firstly, you need to install and activate the WP Super Cache plugin.

Upon activation, visit the Settings » WP Super Cache page » Advanced in your WordPress dashboard. Then, simply check the box ‘Compress pages so they’re served more quickly to visitors’ box.

Check the box to compress pages

You then need to scroll down the page and click the ‘Update Status’ button to save your changes. WP Super Cache will now enable gZip compression on your WordPress website.

Enabling GZIP Compression with W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache is another amazing WordPress caching plugin. It’s not quite so user-friendly as WP Rocket, but there’s a free version. This makes it a good option if the costs of creating a WordPress site are adding up.

First thing, you need to install and activate the W3 Total Cache plugin.

Upon activation, GZIP compression will be automatically enabled on your website. You can check or change this by navigating to the Performance » General Settings page in your WordPress dashboard.

Scroll down this page to Browser Cache and make sure there is a check in the Enable box:

Make sure the browser cache box is checked

Remember to click the ‘Save all changes’ button if you make any changes.

Checking that GZIP is Enabled on Your Website

After enabling GZIP, you may notice that your website pages load a bit faster. However, if you want to check that GZIP is running, you can just use a GZIP checker tool.

Using a GZIP test tool to see that GZIP is enabled on the specifed website

We hope this article has helped you learn how to enable GZIP compression in WordPress.

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