I'm Matthew J. Morrison.

A Passionate, professional software developer & hobbyist; Language nerd & regular user of Unix, Python, Ruby & JavaScript.

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I’ve recently read High Performing Websites by Steve Souders and since I finished the book I’ve been using some of the suggested techniques. One of the items that I’ve had trouble with is gzipping css style sheets. I began trying to use the technique outlined here but for whatever reason I could not get it to work. So I modified that method into one that would work (for me). Personally, I feel that it is quite a bit simpler. Here is what I did. I used the same php code with one modification.

    header("Content-type: text/css; charset: UTF-8");
    header("Cache-Control: must-revalidate");
    $offset = 60 * 60;
    $ExpStr = "Expires: " . gmdate("D, d M Y H:i:s", time() + $offset) . " GMT";
    include($_REQUEST['stylesheet'] . ".css");

The modification that I made was the include line at the end. Instead of using the auto_prepend_file in my .htaccess file I used mod_rewrite. Here is what I put in .htaccess.

RewriteRule ^([^/\.]+)/([^/\.]+)\.css$ /css/gzip-css.php?stylesheet=$2

So what happens is when the browser requests a .css file it will rewrite the url to the php script (above…saved as gzip-css.php) and pass the name of the stylesheet as a query string parameter.

In short, I ended up adding a single line of code to the php script and removing 3 lines of unfamiliar commands from .htaccess and using a RewriteRule (which I was already using). It is still unintrusive to your html that is including css files and also unintrusive to your css code. Easy to implement and simple to maintain.