Rev up your websites for free with Google Page Speed Service

Google Page Speed Service 200 pixWould you like to take advantage of Google's worldwide network of fast proxy servers, not to mention their coding expertise? Now you can, and for free, just by signing up for a service of theirs.

Two years ago Google released the Page Speed Browser Extensions for Chrome and Firefox. These gave web developers performance analysis on their pages to help them optimize their sites based on a set of best practices developed by Google.

Google followed up with mod_pagespeed, an open-source Apache module that used special filters to dynamically optimize HTML, JavaScript, CSS and images based on those same best practices, resulting in a page load performance boost for websites.

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Now Google has released the Page Speed Service which does all that and more for you for free. Just point your site's DNS to Google's. The Page Speed Service will automatically fetch your pages, optimize them based on the best practices, and serve them to the world from Google's network of caching proxies.

Want to test your own site to see the performance improvement? Go to the Measure Speed up page and enter the URL. Google will optimize the code and run comparison tests. Google uses IE8 as a the browser target for comparison, but they seem to be using WebPagetest for comparisons and it includes many other browsers. Here's how it worked on one of my sites:

 OriginalOptimizedDifference
Page Load Time9.770s6.905s-2.865s (29.3%)
Start Render Time1.271s0.828s-0.443s (34.9%)
Repeat View Page Load Time7.744s6.031s-1.713s (22.1%)
Repeat View Start Render Time0.601s0.477s-0.124s (20.6%)

Want to see some examples of the performance improvement? The Page Speed Service Gallery has several examples with side-by-side videos.

Try it out on your own sites and let us know in a comment how it worked for you.

Larry Seltzer is a freelance writer and consultant, dealing mostly with security matters. He has written recently for Infoworld, eWEEK, Dr. Dobb's Journal, and is a Contributing Editor at PC Magazine and author of their Security Watch blog. He has also written for Symantec Authentication (formerly VeriSign) and Lumension's Intelligent Whitelisting site.

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