Running a website means you’re likely going to run into trouble at some point, and it can pertain to any part of the webmaster process. Sometimes you’ll have issues with your server, and others when the main issue is related to your HTTP settings. Troubleshooting on the fly and identifying problems quickly is important, which is why so many individuals are wondering how to fix Specify a Vary “Accept-Encoding Header” Warning!

Naturally, we’re going to cover a few components of page speed beforehand. We’ll get to the “juicy details” eventually, but it never hurts to brush up on your common knowledge of webmaster skills. There are a few SEO practices that are best reserved for page speed optimization, most of which we’ll also cover later on in the article.

The Importance of Page Speed Optimization

Page speed can be a direct contributor to your search engine rankings, although a lot of people tend to overlook that. They feel like a website that loads slowly isn’t going to impact the amount of traffic it sees, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! Google has even gone as far as releasing an official statement, telling people that their page speeds will correlate with their search engine rankings. The Google algorithm uses page speed as one of its “ranking signals”, which is merely one of many attributes that can get your website ranked.

It doesn’t just have to do with your rankings though, as user experience needs to be considered as well. People aren’t going to stick around on your website if it takes too long to load, it’s that simple – time is money and modern society has made us accustomed to quick loading times. Why would anybody bother wasting their time with your website, when they can load up competitors in a matter of seconds? The days of potential customers and visitors willing to sit through a lengthy loading screen online are long gone.

What is “Page Speed”?

Page speed is often confused with site speed, which is a different process entirely. Site speed is merely the page speed for a sample of views, while page speed (for lack of a better phrase) is “how long it takes for your page to load”. As you can guess, most website visitors won’t be willing to sit around while your website slowly churns its gears to load a page. The page load speed depends upon how long it takes for all of the content to be loaded in completely, or in some cases, how long it takes your website browser to receive the first byte of website information.

There are many tools out there that will help you identify any issues with your page speed (like knowing how to fix specify a vary “Accept-Encoding Header” warning), with the most popular one being Google’s PageSpeed Insights.

Your PageSpeed Insights Speed Score will be determined using data from your Chrome User Experience Reports (CrUX), your First Contentful Paint (FCP), and your DOMContentLoaded (DCL) metrics.

Common SEO Practices (to Improve Page Speed)

Page Compression

Using a tool like Gzip can improve your page speed immensely, as it will compress all of the files being used by your website. It will help reduce any file that is larger than 150 bytes (found within your CSS, HTML, and JavaScript code), but remember that you shouldn’t use this tool on image files. You’ll want to compress those using an application like Photoshop!

Minimize Your Code

Optimize your code and ensure that there aren’t any extra spaces, commas, or any other unnecessary symbols that could cause longer loading times. You’ll be surprised how effective this is when it comes to increasing page speed, but you’ll also want to remove the likes of unused code, formatting, and code comments (Google recommends CSSNano or UglifyJS).

Reduce Your Redirects

Whenever a visitor is faced with redirects, they have to load the page again; an additional layer of HTTP request-response cycles is created and has to follow through before the page can load. Even one unnecessary redirect can lead to increased load times and negatively impact your page speed.

Consider Using a CDN (Content Distribution Network)

This is a network of servers that can deliver a large load of content using various connections, as opposed to overloading one server with all of your website’s requests. Copies of your website will be stored at these data centers to ensure that your users will have ample access to your content, regardless of their location.

Optimizing Your Images

While Gzip will work for the compression of your code, you have to do something else when it comes to compressing your images. Optimizing your images will ensure that the website isn’t overloading the server with data requests, since the images will be sized accordingly. Ensuring that you use the right file format (JPEG for photos and PNG for graphics with less than 16 colors) will ensure that they are compressed and ready to be used for your website.

Another thing you can do is use CSS sprites and create a template for images that are used frequently on your website (such as buttons or icons). CSS sprites will combine all of these individual images into one large file, allowing them to load at once (and generating fewer HTTP requests in the process). Users no longer have to wait for hundreds of individual images to load!

The Fastest Websites Make the Most Money

The more willing visitors are to spend time on your website, the better. This is why your page speed is such a large thing to consider, and offering a “slow website” is only going to be detrimental. Put your website (and brand) in a position to excel by ensuring that your page speed optimization efforts are never lacking!

What is an “Accept-Encoding Header” Warning?

If you’re using Apache or NGINX, fixing this issue is quite simple. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to do it, although we all know that coding isn’t a particularly “easy” thing to accomplish. All you’ve got to do is add the code we’ve included underneath to your .htaccess file and it should fix your Specify a Vary: Accept-Encoding header warnings.

Apache

Add this code to your .htaccess file:

If you’re using Apache or NGINX, fixing this issue is quite simple. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to do it, although we all know that coding isn’t a particularly “easy” thing to accomplish. All you’ve got to do is add the code we’ve included underneath to your .htaccess file and it should fix your Specify a Vary: Accept-Encoding header warnings.
Apache

Add this code to your .htaccess file:

<FilesMatch “.(js|css|xml|gz|html)$”>

Header append Vary: Accept-Encoding

Where Does It Appear?

If you’re using Apache or NGINX, fixing this issue is quite simple. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to do it, although we all know that coding isn’t a particularly “easy” thing to accomplish. All you’ve got to do is add the code we’ve included underneath to your .htaccess file and it should fix your Specify a Vary: Accept-Encoding header warnings.

Apache

Add this code to your .htaccess file:

<FilesMatch “.(js|css|xml|gz|html)$”>

Header append Vary: Accept-Encoding

<IfModule mod_headers.c>

<FilesMatch “.(js|css|xml|gz|html)$”>

Header append Vary: Accept-Encoding

</FilesMatch>

</IfModule>

Conclusions

Despite the rise of visual media there is still a massive amount of value in properly utilizing written content to grow your customer base. The best strategy now incorporates video with strong, high quality, authoritative content. The winning combination can then be broken down into direct response and brand awareness copywriting, which both have wide reaching uses in the world of online marketing. We exemplify the use of multiple different types of content writing in our own homepage that is geared toward attracting web design customers. The ability to write for your purpose remains one of the most essential skills to driving traffic to a website. Amazing writers will still be valuable for the foreseeable future and we expect the finer points of both copywriting types to be further refined by the use of analytics and artificial intelligence technologies.

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