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iyiz.com
August 28th, 2009

Top 5 Optimization Tips for Web-Servers

5 Optimization tips for your web-server to gain more speed,money you can save, and how it can potentially help increase your readership and traffic when they are properly done.

  1. Choose a decent Web Host

    Your web hosting account has no direct relationship with the optimizations you are about to perform but we figured choosing the right web hosting account so important we decided to bring it to your attention first. Hosting account is the foundation of your website/blog where it’s security, accessibility (cPanel, FTP, SSH), server stability, prices and customer supports all play important roles. You need to make sure you are in good hands.

    Recommended reading:
    How to Choose a Web Host
    by wikiHow is a great article that gives you steps and tips you should know before purchasing any web hosting account.

  2. Host Assets Separately

    When we mention assets, we meant web components like images and static scripts that don’t require server-side processing. These includes any web graphics, images, Javascripts, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), etc. Hosting assets separately is not a must, but we’ve seen tremendous result in terms of server stability with this implementation when the blog was having a traffic spike.

    Recommended reading:
    Maximizing Parallel Downloads in the Carpool Lane.

  3. Compression with GZip

    In short, contents travel from server side to client side (vicet versa) whenever a HTTP request is make. Compressing the content for sending greatly reduce the time needed to process each request.

    GZip is one of the best ways to do this and it various according to the type of servers you are using. For instance, Apache 1.3 uses mod_zip, Apache 2.x uses mod_deflate and here’s how you do it in Nginx. Here are some really good articles to get you familiar with server side compressions:

  4. Minimize Redirects

    Webmasters do URL redirect (whether it’s Javascript or META redirects) all the time. Sometimes it’s purpose is to point users from an old page to new, or merely guide users to the correct page. Each redirect create an additional HTTP request and RTT (round-trip-time). The more redirection you have, the slower user will get to the destination page.

    Recommended reading:
    Avoid Redirects
    by Google Code gives you a good overview on the matter. The article also recommends some practical ways to minimize redirection to increase serving speed.

  5. Reduce DNS Lookups

    According to Yahoo! Developer Network Blog, it takes about 20-120 milliseconds for DNS (Domain Name System) to resolve IP address for a given hostname or domain name and the browser cannot do anything until the process is properly completed.

    Author Steve Souders suggested that splitting these components across at least two but no more than four hostnames reduces DNS lookups and allow high degree parallel downloads. Read more on the article.

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