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mod_pagespeed, streaking through a living room near you. Image: Kevin Dooley/Flickr.
After nearly two years of testing and improving, Google is removing the beta label and releasing mod_pagespeed 1.0. The mod_pagespeed tool is Google’s open source effort to speed up websites running on the popular Apache web server. Pagespeed automatically optimizes pages and their resources, making websites load faster.
No one likes waiting for a websites to load. It doesn’t seem like fractions of a second would matter, but survey after survey tells the same story: On the web it’s instant gratification or we’re gone. Not only do your visitors dislike waiting on pages, Google dislikes sending people to pages they’re going to have to wait on and it penalizes slow-loading sites accordingly.
If you’d like to get mod_pagespeed up and running on your own server, head over to the mod_pagespeed site, which has downloads and detailed installation instructions. Google’s Ilya Grigorik also has a nice overview of how to automate web performance with mod_pagespeed on his blog.
Despite the beta label that’s been attached to it for two years, Google says that over 120,000 websites are already using mod_pagespeed, including big-name web hosting companies like Dreamhost and content delivery networks like EdgeCast.
Google’s mod_pagespeed is part of the company’s PageSpeed Optimization Libraries, a set of tools for web developers to test and improve page load times. Other tools include the PageSpeed Service, which essentially does all the hard work of optimizing your pages for you, and PageSpeed Insights, an analytics tool that offers suggestions on how you can improve your site’s load times.