Google’s New Idiotproof Page Speed Service

by Matthew Diehl on July 28, 2011

Very early this morning on Google’s Code blog they made an announcement of a new service they will begin to offer called Page Speed Service.

Google says, “Page Speed Service is an online service that automatically speeds up loading of your web pages… Page Speed Service fetches content from your servers, rewrites your pages by applying web performance best practices, and serves them to end users via Google’s servers across the globe.”

What Google is really saying here is, “Most Webmasters and Developers don’t know how to do their jobs, we get bombarded by these idiots on a daily basis with mundane questions about improving their website’s load time (even though we have spelled everything out for you). So, we’ve had enough and just let us f***ing do it for you.”

Idiotproofing in 2 Steps

The thing that website owners are going to love about the service is that it is a two step process.

  1. You sign up and provide Google with your serving and reference domains.
  2. You send traffic to Page Speed Service by pointing your DNS CNAME entry to ghs.google.com.

Voilà you are now all set to use the Page Speed Service.

But, I am already optimized for SPEED?

So, as a good developer and webmaster you have already been working your ass off to configure your server correctly, minimize code, compress images, etc, etc, etc. Good for you but how good of a job have you done? Google wants to put you to the test at WebPageTest.org. Here you can compare your current site time against a Google Page Speed Service time [I hear egos popping already]. Mine isn’t big enough to not run it so I did (DSL/Virginia Config.) and here are the results:

Homepage – http://www.webpagetest.org/result/110728_36_0c9330c85fda217977da67862ab358df/
Average Post w/ 1 Image – http://www.webpagetest.org/result/110728_DZ_997b6287963cbedf03aaf3dfdd13aab5/
Post w/ 2 Very Large Images – http://www.webpagetest.org/result/110728_RV_e513ba3b728dbc82698040f5fe8297ef/

So, not a TON of savings on the Homepage. Google was able to trim me down from 3.7 to 3.2 seconds for a first time load but they improved the start to render & repeat visit to less than 2 seconds (which is nice!). Unlike the Homepage both of the other runs had improvements on the start to render for repeat visit and saw improvements across the other metrics as well.

I am currently running the Google Analytics Site Speed tracking and I can tell you on average the site loads at about 7 seconds. So, if Google Page Speed Service can get that average to drop to 4 – 5 seconds that is a nice chunk of time saved.

In Conclusion

It simple and idiotproof – update your DNS and your site loads faster. Done.

Anyone test a site that saw drops from like 10+ seconds down to like 4, 5 or 6? Share the link below (I’ll approve your comment).

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