Google feeds the Web and Apache's need for speed

This month, Google announced that it has officially moved its Apache page speed module, mod_pagespeed, out of beta. For those websites running on the open source Apache HTTP Server, this module speeds up your site and reduces page load time. On the Internet, where user demand quick page rendering, this Apache module automatically applies web performance best practices to pages, and associated assets (CSS, JavaScript, images) without requiring that you modify your existing content or workflow.

The mod_pagespeed module is reported to be in use by over 120,000 sites and allows these sites to improve the performance of their web pages using the latest techniques and trends in optimization.The product is used worldwide by individual sites, and is also offered by hosting providers, such as DreamHost and Go Daddy. With the move out of beta, Google hopes that even more sites will soon benefit from the web performance improvements offered through mod_pagespeed.

In a blog posting on Google's Developer Blog, Joshua Marantz and Ilya Grigorik of the Google PageSpeed Team, write about the benefits of mod_pagespeed for both users and search engine optimization: 

mod_pagespeed is a key part of our goal to help make the web faster for everyone. Users prefer faster sites and we have seen that faster pages lead to higher user engagement, conversions, and retention. In fact, page speed is one of the signals in search ranking and ad quality scores. Besides evangelizing for speed, we offer tools and technologies to help measure, quantify, and improve performance, such as Site Speed Reports in Google Analytics, PageSpeed Insights, and PageSpeed Optimization products. In fact, both mod_pagespeed and PageSpeed Service are based on our open-source PageSpeed Optimization Libraries project, and are important ways in which we help websites take advantage of the latest performance best practices.

mod_pagespeed improves web page latency and bandwidth usage by changing the resources on that web page to implement web performance best practices. Each optimization is implemented as a custom filter in mod_pagespeed, which are executed when the Apache HTTP server serves the website assets. Some filters simply alter the HTML content, and other filters change references to CSS, JavaScript, or images to point to more optimized versions. mod_pagespeed implements custom optimization strategies for each type of asset referenced by the website, to make them smaller, reduce the loading time, and extend the cache lifetime of each asset.

Attached below is a video of the PageSpeed Team developers describing in detail the advantages of the mod_pagespeed module for Apache and how pages and assets are rendered faster from the server. With Apache running currently on 55% to 60% of the world servers, the odds are in favor that if you administer a web server, you can utilize this Apache module to improve your site performance.