speedy_gonzalesThere’s a new slice of Google code written for Apache called mod_pagespeed which apparently trims the excess fat off your website and makes it a mean lean speedy beast. But better than that it’s also a quick, easy process to make it happen.

A Google exec has said “…any webmasters can use mod_pagespeed to quickly and automatically optimize their sites. It can reduce page load times by up to 50% – in other words, essentially speeding up websites by roughly 2x.”

Considering how much emphasis Google have recently placed on webpage speed this new module will do your website no harm in terms of SEO. I’m not quite sure how much I believe the Google optimiser when I run sites through the webmaster tools and it unveils my pages are faster than 60% of all other sites, meaning 40% are faster than my web page that loads in 1.5 seconds! But there is no doubt that site speed is heavily weighted by Google in terms of website rankings. Even more important for me though, is how there is no doubting users certainly lose patience quickly when it comes to loading web pages. If this mod means just a few % use my site instead of leaving, then it’s a good thing.

So how does mod_pagespeed work? It works by rewriting resources using filters. these filters optimise JavaScript, HTML and CSS, JPEG’s and PNG images to conform with best practices. If you’ve already optimised these files the results will be less dramatic, but may still make a difference.

mod_pagespeed currently only supports Apache 2.2 and is available as a down-loadable binary for i386 and x86-64bit systems and as open-source code.
After instilation it will still take some fine-tuning of the configuration to get the maximum benefit in terms of page performance, but once set up for your website your away.

For full instructions on how to use mod_pagespeed visit http://code.google.com/speed/page-speed/docs/using_mod.html

and to download the necessary binary’s or open-source code visit http://code.google.com/speed/page-speed/docs/module.html

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