Enabling Gzip Compression On IIS 6

Author: Steven Neiland

Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

GZip compression is a simple, effective way to save bandwidth and speed up your site. For anybody still using IIS6 here is a simple walkthrough of the steps required to enable it.

Step 1: Check if compression is currently Running.

Before we go further it is worthwhile to check if compression is currently turned on. A simple way of doing this is to our website through the compression check utility from the "port80.com" website. This will not only tell us if our website is using compression, but also how much your content is being compressed when you turn it on.

The utility can be found at http://www.port80software.com/tools/compresscheck.asp

Step 2: Stop IIS Running

Login to your server and complete the following actions

  1. Select IIS Manager from Administrative Tools
  2. Right click on your computer name (not on a website)
  3. Select "All Tasks" -> "Restart IIS"
  4. From the drop down, select "Stop IIS" and click ok.

Step 3: Locate and Backup the Metabase.xml

The next steps involves editing the metabase.cml file. This is an important file so we first make a backup in case we break something.

  1. Go to "c:\windows\system32\inetsrv"
  2. Copy the "Metabase.xml" file and name the copy "Metabase_backup.xml"
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