Google PageSpeed: Website Optimization Out Of The Box
Rumor has it that there are literally countless aspects influencing the ranking of websites in Google. Besides the ever so valuable content and the still important backlinks to your site, our greatest search engine tends to throw long hard looks at the performance, the loading time of your digital subsidiary. Long loading times get on everybody's nerves. Google knows that and ranks optimized pages better, a big advantage in terms of SEO. Optimization does not only cost time, but needs a lot og knowledge, too. Google has two solutions in store with which optimizing your websites can become a whole lot easier, easy even. Ever heard of PageSpeed? PageSpeed may sound familiar in a lot of webmasters' ears. PageSpeed Insights has been around for quite some time, letting you find out whether any given website is a real performance disaster or quicksilver. All you had to paste in was an URL, and Google started to calculate a score. The closer to 100 that got, the better the future ranking could be expected. Additionally Google provides a whole arsenal of small optimization possibilities. Up until not so lately webmasters had to undergo the tedious task of executing all the optimizations painstakingly. It's been quite a while ago that Google started to offer a cloud service as well as a webserver plugin to automate the tasks of optimization. Still, a whole lot of webmasters don't know about that.
mod_pagespeed for ApacheMuch more elegant and without most of the flaws of the cloud service is the plugin
mod_pagespeedfor Apache. This piece of Google software hooks into the server and does the optimization locally on your own machine, without redirecting your data multiple ways back and fourth across the world. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uCAdQSHhmA Installation is a snap. CentOS/Fedora and Debian/Ubuntu have ready-made packages available. If you have rrot rights, installation is done in a few minutes. In the following example I assume that you are using a 64bit server. If you need 32bit packages, check the website of mod_pagespeed. First we
wgetthe most recent packages: Debian/Ubuntu
wget https://dl-ssl.google.com/dl/linux/direct/mod-pagespeed-stable_current_x86_64.rpmOnce done, installation can be invoked: Debian/Ubuntu
dpkg -i mod-pagespeed-*.deb apt-get -f installCentOS/Fedora
yum install at #if "at" isn't yet installed rpm -U mod-pagespeed-*.rpmThat's it. After a reboot of your Apache the plugin is active and working. Take to the configuration file to fine-tune details, such as a specific CDN or adding individual parameters. If you don't want to, you don't need to. The default configuration is totally sufficient. During the installation of the package Google's repository gets installed, too. This way keeping PageSpeed updated is done in the same way all other software on your machine is maintained. While calling the URL of your website things work in the same way they do with the cloud service. We only leave out the cloud. The whole magic happens locally, all control is in your hands. And - unsurprisingly - response times are much better without having to send the data to America and call it back. This will probably decide on whether you or one of your contestants reaches a higher rank... But be aware: PageSpeed Cloud as well as
mod_pagespeeddo an aggressive job in terms of caching all JS, CSS and image files. If your content changes while file names don't change, these changes are bound to be visible not immediately but with a more or less perceivable delay. Which system you choose is a matter of taste and effort. I would always recommend
mod_pagespeed, if you've got installation access to the server. If you haven't or if you don't want to put the effort into it, PageSpeed's cloud service is a solid alternative with its own little weaknesses. Either way, the automatic optimization techniques are worth using. The optimization effect is perceptible and not only an academic value. In the end I don't want to wait for my own website to load, either...
Article originally written by Adrian Bechtold for our German daughter Dr. Web Magazin(ab/dpe)