Improve the performance of Nginx
Google has released a tool for the Nginx web server called ngx_pagespeed that allows webmasters (is that term still in use?) to optimize the speed of their sites. Below is a quick run-through of why you may want to play around with it.
The configurable filters
If you use background images in your stylesheets you can sprite them into a single image with sprite_images. You should compare the performance before and after before making your final decision here - consider individual file sizes, number of HTTP requests, latency (especially if you don’t use a CDN) etc. In line with that configuration, it’s highly recommended that you use rewrite_images to optimize image size and encoding if you don’t already use a tool like ImageOptim prior to deployment.
<script> tags on your page. Still on JavsScript loading, make_google_analytics_async will ensure that requests to Google Analytics will be asynchronous so that’s one less blocking script to worry about.
I won’t go through all of them, check out the link about to get a better insight into all of the configurations.
The installation process is covered on the Github page for ngx_pagespeed.
Why you should care
Optimizing your pages and reducing your page load times will almost certainly reduce bounce rates and could increase conversions. Zona research said in 1999 that you could lose up to 33% of your visitors if you page took more than 8 seconds to load. Akamai said in 2006 that you could lose up to 33% of your visitors if your page took more than 4 seconds to load on a broadband connection. Tests done at Google in 2006 revealed that going from 10 to 30 results per page increased load time by a mere 0.5 seconds, but resulted in a 20% drop in traffic. More tests done at Amazon in 2007 revealed that for every 100ms increase in load time, sales would decrease 1%.
You can use PageSpeed insights to analyze the current performance of your website to see what you should be optimizing. Good luck and get performant!