Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Setting Cache headers for Gifs, Css and JS files

By default, browser and servers use the "if-modified-since" header to check if the file should be downloaded from the server or given from the cache.
Though this default behaviour is good for performance, we can increase the performance by giving a cache expiry period. This would make the browser cache the content for that period - i.e. the browser won't even make "if-modified-since" conditional fetch requests.

The best place to set these headers in a J2EE application is thru a filter.
Suppose you want to cache GIFs, CSS and JPEG for 2 hours, just add this header in the response:
Cache-Control: max-age=120