How to Overcome “Specify a Vary: Accept-Encoding Header”


When checking website performance, you may encounter the “specify a vary: accept-encoding header” warning. Actually, what does this warning mean? How to handle it?

In this article, you will learn what actually happens when this error occurs. We will also tell you how to solve it.

“Accept-Encoding Header” what mean?

Before discussing how to fix this, let’s first find out what this warning means and how to find out if your site was impacted by it. Typically, this error is found on websites running on web servers such as Nginx and Apache.

Actually, What Is “Specify a Vary: Accept-Encoding Header”?

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The accept-encoding header is an HTTP header that must be included in each origin server response. Its main function is to tell the browser whether the client can handle a compressed version of the website.

This warning can appear if you don’t use Vary: Accept-Encoding in the header on the server or CDN. As a result, the server or CDN will send an uncompressed version of the website to modern browsers.

Even if it happens by accident, this error can affect the performance of your site on the client side, although the impact is not significant.

Where Is This Warning Found?

If you want to check if your website is affected by this warning, do a performance analysis using a tool like Pingdom or GTmetrix.

After entering the website URL, the performance analyzer will highlight any errors it finds. But don’t worry, we’ll let you know how to solve this problem in a moment.

Overcoming “Specify a Vary: Accept-Encoding Header”

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This tutorial requires you to add a few lines of code, so it would be best if you are familiar with the technical stuff. If unsure, contact a professional to assist you.

Now, let’s learn how to solve the Specify a Vary: Accept-Encoding Header warning on two of the most popular web servers: Nginx and Apache.


To solve this problem on Nginx, you will need to open the main configuration on VPS via SSH. The location is in /etc/nginx/nginx.conf.

If you are unsure about accessing a VPS, you can read our PuTTY SSH tutorial.

After finding the file, you’ll need to add or modify the gzip_vary line:

gzip_vary on


To do this, you may use your favorite text editor.

Then, save and restart the apache service. Congratulations! The error has now been resolved.


If on an Nginx server you need to know how to access your VPS using the SSH command, overcoming the Specify a Vary: Accept-Encoding Header warning in Apache can be done more easily.

You only need an FTP client like FileZilla to open website files. Then, find and edit the .htaccess file.

However, it should be noted that you need to be very careful when editing files via FTP. We recommend that you back up the file first just in case something happens.

When you’re done editing your .htaccess file, you’ll need to add or modify this code snippet to look exactly like this:

<IfModule mod_headers.c>
<FilesMatch “. (Js | css | xml | gz | html) $”>
Vary append header: Accept-Encoding


You want your site to always perform well, right? Therefore, it is important to know how to solve any problems that may occur, including the specify a vary warning: accept-encoding header.

The process of solving this problem is actually quite easy if you follow the instructions we provide correctly, on both Apache and Nginx servers. However, you should be careful when doing this because if something goes wrong, your site or server could go down.

if you need various information about the problem and also rivew about hosting you can visit directly Hopefully this tutorial can help you solve problems that occur and improve your website.


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