Nginx is a really powerful server with lots of room for customisation.Just a couple of days ago I worked on a website which delivered a lot of assets to the browsers and performance was of utmost important for the client.

Nginx stores its configuration file in the /etc/nginx/nginx.conf file.

location ~* .html$ {
	expires 3d;
location ~* .(mp4|mp3|ttf|css|rss|atom|js|jpg|jpeg|gif|ogg|ogv|svg|svgz|eot|otf|woff|png|ico|zip|tgz|gz|rar)(?ver=[0-9.]+)?$ {
	access_log off; 
	log_not_found off; 
	expires max;

Since the assets dont change we set the Cache-Control to max time.

For html pages we let it expire every 3 days.Since its updated regularly.

        gzip on;
        gzip_disable "msie6";

        gzip_vary on;
        gzip_proxied any;
        gzip_comp_level 6;
        gzip_buffers 16 8k;
        gzip_http_version 1.1;
        gzip_types text/plain text/css application/json application/x-javascript text/xml application/xml application/xml+rss text/javascript;


gzip on – This is probably the simplest of all.It just turns on the GZIP module which is part of nginx.

gzip_disable “msie6” – Since IE 6 doesnt support gzip we disable sending gzip in the header of the response.

gzip_vary on – Many proxies/cdns require this option so it can serve both the compressed and non compressed version of the content.More info at maxcdn

gzip_proxied any – It enables gzip on all proxy requests.
gzip_comp_level 6 – This sets the compression level.Level 6 is a sweet spot as the value ranges from 1 to 9.Higher the compression more cpu cycles will be eaten.
gzip_buffers 16 8k – Not really sure.I think they are default values.
gzip_http_version 1.1 – Mininum http version to be supported by the browsers.
gzip_types – Enable gzip for the following files.