I was upset when iGoogle went away recently, so I decided to make my own start page. I wanted it to be able to display rss feeds from several sites. I decided on the great SimplePie php library to aggregate the feeds. Then I hit a speed bump...literally. The page looked great, but it took FOREVER to load. We're talking several seconds...every time. After some research, I made sure I had the proper header tags to enable caching, which helped some. But what I really needed was gzip.
Here's the rub...I know how to enable on-the-fly gzip compression in the .htaccess file:
# ENABLE GZIP COMPRESSION
But my web host isn't configured correctly, so it has no effect. Then I came across this little gem:
<? ob_start("ob_gzhandler"); ?>
Just place that at the top of each page, and you're all set! My page load time went from an average of over 4 seconds to milliseconds.