Google Mod_pagespeed

Yesterday Google released a beta version of their upcoming Apache module mod_pagespeed.

And this seems like a very promising project indeed. It mainly is a suite that provides web optimisation features to make your sites run faster. Right now 15 of such features are available.

including optimising caching, minimising client-server round trips and minimising payload size.

So no more manual image compressing and javascript, html and css minifying.

It uses the Apache SetOutputFilter to register the output filter. And from thereon you can use ModPagespeedEnableFilters to enable certain filters.

Filters like:

add_head Add the head section if missing

move_css_to_head Moves CSS into the head of the page (needs add_head)

combine_css Combine multiple CSS tags into one.

rewrite_css,rewrite_javascript Remove comments and white spaces

rewrite_images Compress / re encode images

More info about the filters can be found here

So i went ahead and downloaded the Debian version to give it a try. And as always it’s straight forward from here.

dpkg -i mod-pagespeed-beta_current_i386.deb

It hooks nicely into Apache and creates the .load and .conf files in /etc/apache2/mods-available. After a Apache restart everything looked fine. And the pages did seem to load faster. Google also offers a test suite to see the result of this module in action.

Running the tests showed a small speed increase. But at the moment my daytime hours are spend behind a horrible firewall that really screws with web output. So i have to redo those for more accurate results. Never the less. This is a module to keep an eye on.

It’s still a very young project. And i did have some server issues today. So related or not. Be careful :)

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