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10 Back-End Mods for an Optimized Front-End Experience

Posted on 1.01.2013

Plenty is written regularly about how to optimize the front-end of your website for the search engines and usability. That is, of course, the part of your site that users can see, read and interact with, and it plays an undeniably important role in your success online.

But that’s only part of the picture.

There is also the whole backend of your website that plays an equally important role in optimizing the user experience, and just because you don’t see it as often as the front-end of your website doesn’t mean it is OK to forget about it. Taking these behind-the-scenes processes, turning them into streamlined functions and then hiding them from end-users makes for a quicker, more efficient and more easy-to-navigate front-end experience, which will ultimately help drive conversions and increase visitor engagement.

Certain practices have become commonplace for tweaking the back-end to improve the front-end experience, but there are others you may not be familiar with. Check out these 10 back-end modifications that will help you optimize the end-user experience:

gzip Compression
gzip is a software application that compresses (and decompresses) files to ultimately reduce the size of HTTP responses and response times by approximately 70 percent, as well as reducing page weight. You can gzip your files by adding specific code to your .htaccess files, adding PHP code to the top of your HTML/PHP files or adding a gzip plugin to your content management system (CMS).

To use gzip with your .htaccess files, insert this code:

# compress text, html, javascript, css, xml:
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-javascript
# Or, compress certain file types by extension:

SetOutputFilter DEFLATE

And to incorporate it into your HTML/PHP files, use this:

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