Google PageSpeed Service: Making Your Site Faster 

google pagespeed

I design and develop Joomla sites professionally. I work with many hosting companies and created a site about Joomla Hosting to discuss many of them.

During my work I’ve used almost every CDN, from Akamai, NetDNA and CloudFlare to MaxCDN, CacheFly and others. I’m always looking to make sites faster.

Needless to say I was very interested when I was approved for a new website performance service from Google called PageSpeed Service.

What is Google Page Speed Service?

what_is_google_page_speed_service.png

When the browser requests a page, the request is made to the PageSpeed Service (PSS). The PSS then requests the page from your server, reorganizes and compresses the files and images and serves it to the browser. By using the PSS, the page is delivered to the browser in a way where it loads faster than if the page was delivered directly from your server.

This is a pretty high level explanation, here is a 3 minute video explaining how it works in more detail:

{snippet googlepagespeedvideo}

Pros

  • Pages are dynamically optimized so they load faster
  • Faster perceived load times
  • Reduces load on your server
  • Excellent suite of tools for improving your site
  • Service provided by Google

Cons

  • Limited beta, you have to apply to be accepted.
  • Does not work with bare domains.
  • No word on how long the free trial will last
  • No word on how expensive the service will be
  • Service provided by Google

You will notice that it is both a Pro & Con that the service is from Google. Since Google created it it will be first rated and work very well on Google’s secure and very fast network architecture. The downside is that it could be discontinued at any time or the terms of the program changed.

PageSpeed Service In Action

Using the WebPageTest compare feature you can see the improvements that can be made to OSTraining by clicking here.

Without PSS www.OSTraining.com loads in 4.4 seconds, with PSS the site loads in 1.3 seconds. More importantly the top of the page is displayed faster so the visitor has less to wait before starting to read the page

Further Reading and Helpful Resources

As of now we are seeing good results on the sites we that have PSS enabled. We will continue to test and monitor to see if this is the fastest easiest service to implement.

Have you worked with Google PageSpeed Service?

Do you have any experience with other site optimizers or CDNs?

If you have put your experiences in the comments, I love hearing about what works and what doesn’t.

You can follow Steven on Twitter or Google+.

Instructor

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Geoffrey Schaller

I’ve got an invite, and I am looking at implementing this on my sites. However, I’m running into trouble understanding the ” X-Forwarded-For” instructions from [url=https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/service/faq#clientip]https://developers.google.c…[/url] – specifically, how do I tell Joomla to adjust for the Forwarding? There’s mention of the line “$_SERVER[‘HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR’].” – do I just drop this in my header on my template?

steve

Hi Geoffrey. I’m not 100% sure yet. I just got my invite.
I’ll set it up on a site and write up a tutorial.

Geoffrey Schaller

Thank you! My host won’t help with the Apache headers (since it’s not within the realm of cPanel), but if it can be done to PHP, that works too.

Geoffrey Schaller

My site is passing through PSS now, and there’s a massive speed boost, but when I check the logs, all requests are coming from the same IP – that of PageSpeed. This means that any anti-spam or other IP based functions on my site will block everyone, if one spammer triggers them, or if I need to ban someone from my forums.
The function noted should enable the proper IP address to pass through, but the instructions on how to enable it are lacking.

steve

Good point, Geoffrey. That will trip up some people, I’m sure.

Guest

I’ve been using the PageSpeed Apache module, which is similar to the PageSpeed service. The module caches your sites files almost the same way PageSpeed service does, but, it lacks the CDN benefits. Load-time wise, the Page Speed score of my home page in Chrome went from 74 to 92 (out of 100) after enabling the module, so not bad! Pretty easy to install too if you have SiteGround, using their SuperCacher service.
Here’s a good FAQ comparing the Page Speed module to the Page Speed service [url=https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/service/faq#modpagespeed_vs_pss]https://developers.google.c…[/url]

Scott Greenwald

I’ve been using the PageSpeed Apache module, which is similar to the PageSpeed service. The module caches your sites files almost the same way PageSpeed service does, but, it lacks the CDN benefits.
Load-time wise, the Page Speed score of my home page in Chrome went from 74 to 92 (out of 100) after enabling the module, so not bad! Pretty easy to install too if you have SiteGround, using their SuperCacher service.
Here’s a good FAQ comparing the Page Speed module to the Page Speed service [url=https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/service/faq#modpagespeed_vs_pss]https://developers.google.c…[/url]

steve

Thanks Scott. That’s a useful link. I can imagine a lot of people might feel uncomfortable running their whole site through someone else’s servers, even (or maybe particularly) as its Google.

christine wee

My pc speed is slow.

David Attard

I haven’t got around to actually using the Pagespeed service, however by using a number of optimizations it is not too difficult to get your website to load very fast. Infact, I’ve written a whole article about this, which has been featured on the July 2013 edition of the Joomla! community magazine.
[url=http://www.dart-creations.com/joomla/joomla-tutorials/how-i-got-my-website-to-load-in-129seconds.html]http://www.dart-creations.c…[/url]

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