Speed Up Wordpress 2.5 – Install gzip Compression Plugin

It is always nerve wracking when Wordpress needs to be updated. In fact, I just updated from Wordpress 2.3 to 2.5.1. This time, I used the Wordpress Automatic Upgrade plugin to perform the upgrade and it was indeed a treat. While it used to take me 30 minutes or more to manually update Wordpress, this time only took 15 minutes or so. There was a slight learning curve but now that is done, future updates should take no more than 10 minutes. The update process was fairly painless and the step-by-step instructions were easy to follow. Nicely done Keith Dsouza. After the dust settled and all plugins were reactivated, I noticed the query load time of this blog’s home page more than doubled from when it was running 2.3. Something in 2.5.1 was causing this page load increase and I was not about to let it go.

After some research, it turns out that gzip (the option to compress page content for browsers that support compression) was removed in version 2.5 and that was the cause for the increased load times. I used a simple tag to measure query load times on this blog. The following line of code was placed just before the tag and a quick view of the source code shows how long it took until this line was loaded (essentially, the bottom of this Wordpress blog).

<!- <?php echo get_num_queries(); ?> queries. <?php timer_stop(1); ?> seconds. ->

With gzip enabled on Wordpress 2.3, load times were frequently under 0.2 seconds. Having updated to 2.5 without gzip compression, load times jumped more than 100% to 0.5 seconds. Looks like others also want to turn gzip back on again in the latest version of Wordpress. I installed filosofo’s gzip plugin and voila, load times dropped back down to < 0.2 seconds on this blog's home page. With this great plugin, even users running Wordpress 2.5 & higher can take advantage of gzip compression to decrease page load times and help save some bandwidth. Give it a try.

Ian Lee
Work from home dad, marketer and photographer. Fallen in love with basketball all over again as I coach my daughter's team.

12 thoughts on “Speed Up Wordpress 2.5 – Install gzip Compression Plugin”

  1. Hi Austin,

    Thanks for dropping by. It’s great that you took the time to create and publish the gzip plugin for Wordpress. Would you mind commenting about it so others who want more info can get it straight from the creator? Thanks again for putting out this cool plugin.

  2. Most modern browsers accept gzipped–i.e. compressed–webpages, and this plugin takes advantage of that. WordPress used to offer this as a core feature, but because gzipping apparently caused problems with some people’s server configurations, the lead developers of WordPress decided that it was not worth maintaining.

  3. Thanks for extra info Austin. That’s great. It will help others who are also looking to implement the gzip function in Wordpress again.

  4. I agree that WP 2.5 is great. The features has becoming more convenient for users. But sadly i need to downgrade it to 2.3 because my database couldn’t work with it. Wish someone could help me on this.

  5. This blog Is very informative , I am really pleased to post my comment on this blog . It helped me with ocean of knowledge so I really belive you will do much better in the future . Good job web master .


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