ExactDN and Query Strings

Once you activate ExactDN on your site, things will start to be faster, the clouds will disappear, and birds will start singing... Okay, maybe you don't get singing birds, but your site will be faster.

And you'll probably want to test just how fast your site is now, right? If you use (my favorite) GTmetrix.com, you might see a recommendation like this: "Remove query strings from static resources".

So what's that all about, and how does it affect ExactDN?

The recommendation to remove query strings is a bit of a holdover from when there were many proxy (cache) servers that would not cache any resources with query strings. It wasn't just that resources would get mixed up from ignoring query strings, these (older) servers just wouldn't cache the files, ever.

First of all, ExactDN needs those query strings. It uses the query strings to enforce https on secure sites, to compress images, and to resize them. It's also what helps our cache systems know the difference between various sizes of an image, so they don't get mixed up.

Second, because ExactDN needs those query strings, our cache systems have been specifically configured to handle those files properly.

All of this means that you can safely ignore the recommendation to remove query strings. At least, so long as all the files are going through ExactDN.

Will it Affect My Score

Not that you should ever be chasing a particular score, since you should be focused on the actual speed of your site, but we have more good news:

GTmetrix has confirmed that violating the query strings guideline does NOT impact your overall score. It is actually possible to get a perfect score of 100 even when you have an F for "Remove query strings from static resources." So, rest easy, knowing EWWW IO is making your site faster, and more user-friendly!

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