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NGINX 1.4 News: SPDY and PageSpeed

by Abel Avram on Apr 26, 2013 |

NGINX 1.4 comes with experimental support for SPDY, WebSocket proxying, and gunzip support, while Google enters beta with PageSpeed for NGINX.

Since the release of NGINX 1.3 in May of 2012, the community behind this growing web server has worked on a number of new features, the most notable including:

  • SPDY experimental support. The module needs to be enabled with the --with-http_spdy_module configuration parameter. Server push is still not supported.
  • HTTP/1.1 connections can be turned into WebSocket ones using HTTP/1.1’s protocol switch feature.
  • gunzip support for decompressing gzipped data useful when the client cannot do it.

The complete list of enhancements, changes and bug fixes can be found in the Changes 1.4 log.

On the heels of NGINX 1.4 release, Google has announced PageSpeed Beta for NGINX, making available over 40 optimization filters for its users, such as image compression, JavaScript and CSS minifying, HTML rewriting, etc. 

According to Google, the ngx_pagespeed module has been used in production by some customers including MaxCDN, a CDN provider, which reported a reduction of “1.57 seconds from our average page load, dropped our bounce rate by 1%, and our exit percentage by 2.5%”. ZippyKid, a WordPress hosting provider, saw “75% reduction in page sizes and a 50% improvement in page rendering speeds” after using PageSpeed for NGINX.

NGINX is currently #3 web server overall with 16.2% market share, and #2 with 31.9% of top 10,000 websites, according to W3Techs.

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