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InfoQ Homepage News Google Releases mod_pagespeed

Google Releases mod_pagespeed

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Google has released mod_pagespeed, a module for Apache HTTPD to speed up serving web pages. It claims to double speed by adding HTTP cache friendly messages without having to make changes to the web applications that are hosted in it.

In the blog post announcement, they describe some of the optimisations, including minimising round-trip times, optimising caching and minimising payload size. The module is being rolled out across GoDaddy as well as the content delivery network Contendo.

The speed optimisations come from a number of filters, which are individually enabled:

  • Minifying HTML CSS and JavaScript on the fly, and serving back those files for subsequent requests (including removing comments, whitepsace and unnecessary quoting)
  • Combining multiple CSS files into a single CSS delivery component
  • Merging CSS into HEAD of an HTML file
  • Adding caching headers, such as Cache-Control, to content that is served without caching
  • Inlining small images into base64 using the data: URL scheme
  • Scaling down large images to provide a 1-1 mapping to an image's specified size in the HTML document

Google have a YouTube video showing the speed difference:

What do you think of the mod_pagespeed extension? Will you be using it?

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Community comments

  • i will give it a try

    by Toomas Römer,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    The activation of the module isn't as simple as a2enmod pagespeed. I guess it will take some time until it hits for example the Debian repository. I definitely will give the module a try. I've done some custom WordPress optimizations and if they can be done on a lower level it will make optimized app maintenance a lot easier.

  • Some concerns

    by Och Ronus,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    I've written about some of my concerns here
    Just my two cents on the topic... mod_pagespeed might be a precious gift but also an enemy if it distracts developer attention from producing quality code.

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