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Google’s Free Page Speed Service

Posted by Michael Bloch in web development (Saturday July 30, 2011 )

Google has been encouraging site owners to increase the load time speed of pages for some time. Now the company is offering a free service to speed up our sites without having to rewrite a single line of code.

Called Page Speed Service, Google says it fetches pages and associated files from your servers, applies its speed enhancing voodoo and then serves to those pages to your visitors.

If you want to run a test before signing up:

– Go to http://www.webpagetest.org/compare

– Enter your domain. If the prefix “www.” is the primary way people access your site, then include the www.

– Select a couple of options if you wish – such as a region to test from.

– Click “start test”

Note that it may take a few minutes to run the test, depending on how busy G’s servers are… and they looked to be pretty busy when I tried. If you’re in a hurry and just want to get an idea of the amount of benefit you’ll see, you can flip through the geographic regions to find a server that isn’t in so much demand. A test I ran on one of my sites showed I could improve load times by 26% if I used the Page Speed Service.

The service is free for now – i.e. to a limited number of webmasters. After an unspecified period, it seems Google will charge new signups.

To use Google’s Page Speed Service, all you need to do after signing up is provide a few details to Google and then point your domain name’s DNS to ghs.google.com

Google’s push to get us making our sites a little zippier isn’t just about improving the browsing experience of visitors – leaner sites also mean less for Googlebot to wade through.

If you don’t feel like signing your web site’s soul over to Google (an exaggeration of course), you can pick up some basic page speed optimization tips here. You’ll be amazed at what can be achieved in regard to improving page load times with just some simple changes.



 

 
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