Help with my test results

First, thanks to the developer of this site and the generous help provided to so many webmasters.
I’m a bit discouraged by the poor results on my site (specifically m forum front page)
I’m on a shared server at the moment. Not sure how much of my issues is due to this factor. I’d appreciate some guidance on how to fix things.
One thing I notice is that my wall paper background (large file) is not compressed under GZIP, I haven’t so far found how to rectify this issue.

GZIP will be a system level setting in IIS or Apache. I’d start by asking your service provider if it can be enabled unless you have access to those settings yourself?

I talked to my hosting provider just now.
The responses I received were strange.
I have a large background wall paper file that is taking long to load. It’s a JPG file. The report on my site says

Compress Images: 48/100

806.2 KB total in images, target size = 391.3 KB - potential savings = 414.9 KB
FAILED - (701.8 KB, compressed = 287.0 KB - savings of 414.9 KB) - /backgrounds/white-paper-background-cardboard-texture-hd.jpg

The response I got from my host was simply “JPEG files are already compressed”. My host apparently wont tell me or doesn’t have
any server compression for large JPEG files

When I asked about GZIP, I received this response

“We do compress CSS, js files and some others. We tried also compressing PHP output but could never get a grasp on people insisting on also choosing drupals page compression so we disabled it as it seems everyone out there enables it in Drupal regardless of what we ask them to do … And there was no reason to have gzip output on when 75% plus always left compress page output enabled in Drupal”

Indeed I chose this host because my front page is in Drupal. My forum pages are not.

You should only use server-side gzip compression for text files. It’s pointless for binary files such as images, which you should compress offline (plenty of tools available for that). You get a warning for your JPG background image because you apparently saved it with a near-maximum quality setting, resulting in a large file to download. You could cut nearly 700 KB off its size by setting the quality to 6-7, without too much of a loss in terms of visible quality. Furthermore, it appears to be a background pattern that is repeated even within this one background image (it’s hard to tell exactly); if you can manage to make a smaller pattern, of say 100x100 pixels, and save it as a PNG, you could probably get the size down to about 10 KB, maybe even less. This will take some experimentation. There’s no excuse for having this large a background image, though, and it’s an easy win.

As for gzip compression of text files, you can enable this for your forum within the phpBB control panel. See this thread at

Rob, thanks. All of this is helpful. Didn’t know about the G-zip setting in PHPBB. Wasn’t aware that Gzip is best only for text files. I’ve been aware that my background image is too large. I purchased the background and it never came to mind, to use photoshop or another tool to downgrade the quality for a smaller file size. Good advice. I tried the tile idea with a smaller file size, but it looked awful and extremely disconnected between tiles.

What you bought was basically a desktop wallpaper, or at least that’s what the dimensions (1920x1080) suggest. It’s not really suitable for use on a website. You can probably find similar, but much smaller, tileable alternatives, though, like this one or this one.