Delta encoding (also called delta compression) is a way to update web pages by sending the “diffs” or deltas between versions of a web page. The server (proxy or origin) sends only what has changed in the page since the last access. This technique greatly reduces the amount of data that is sent from server to browser. In some cases with pages that change slightly, the deltas are on the order of a few TCP/IP packets. As about 32% of page accesses are first-time visits, about 68% of page visits are eligible for delta compression.
Caching is the temporary storage of frequently accessed data in higher speed media (typically SRAM or RAM) for more efficient retrieval. Web caching stores frequently used objects closer to the client through browser, proxy, or server caches. By storing “fresh” objects closer to your users, you avoid round trips to the origin server, reducing bandwidth consumption, server load, and most importantly, latency. This article shows how to configure your Apache server for more efficient caching to save bandwidth and improve performance.
A dedicated server is the next step up from a shared hosting environment. By moving to your own server you don’t have to worry about other sites slowing you down or crashing your server. Dedicated servers also give you total control over what software is installed your site, opening the door for additional performance gains.
Called the “Swiss Army knife” of Apache modules, mod_rewrite can be used for everything from URL rewriting to load balancing. Where mod_rewrite and its ilk shine is in abbreviating and rewriting URLs.
You can make your URLs shorter and more abstract by using content negotiation to strip file extensions from your markup and source code. You’ll save a few bytes off of each object reference, and migration headaches in the future when you change technologies.