Two quick tips to speed up Rails 3 on Heroku
There are lots of ways to speed up your Rails site, but here are two I see a lot of sites neglecting: gzipping and serving jQuery by CDN.
Enabling gzip on Heroku
Heroku’s Cedar Stack by default doesn’t gzip assets, which means everything is sent to the browser uncompressed. This goes against best practices, and can slow down your load times considerably. Luckily it’s a super easy fix. In your
use Rack::Deflater before you run your application:
require ::File.expand_path('../config/environment', __FILE__) use Rack::Deflater run MyApp::Application
Technically, we’re using
DEFLATE rather than
GZIP - there’s a good write-up of the subtle differences here.
Loading jQuery from a CDN
By default Rails 3 uses jQuery, and by default it serves jQuery through your app’s asset pipeline. This probably isn’t ideal - loading jQuery from a content delivery network (CDN) can speed things up significantly, Dave Ward has a great write-up of why that is. Again, it’s really simple to set up, thanks to the jquery-rails-cdn gem.
Full instructions are on Github, but basically you need to remove:
//= require jquery
application.js, and in your layout add:
= jquery_include_tag :google
I’d recommend sticking with Google’s CDN, but there are other options to choose from. Pingdom has a very thorough rundown of the pros/cons of the various CDNs out there.