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Speed

Group Led By Google Wants More Speed On The Web, Releases Nginx PageSpeed Module In Beta

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Google really cares about the web being faster. In 2010 it led a group of contributors in releasing a module for Apache web servers called PageSpeed. Today, the same group has released a version for Nginx, an alternative to Apache, which is also open source and used by massively trafficked sites like Netflix, Hulu, Pinterest, Airbnb, WordPress.com, Zynga, Zappos and GitHub.

In alpha testing, content-delivery network provider, MaxCDN, reported a 1.57 second decrease in average page load times, with bounce rates dropping by 1 percent. While those seconds might not seem like a big deal, they are, especially when you have multiple visitors on your site performing multiple tasks. Think about how it feels when you use Hulu at a Starbucks; that almost 2 seconds could ease some of your frustrations in waiting for a page and video to load.

The module is available for webmasters on GitHub, with open source participation coming from Google, Taobao, We-Amp and individual developers.

In a post by Jeff Kaufman, who is an engineer on Google’s Make the Web Faster Team, (have to love Google’s team names), he explains how PageSpeed works:

Running as a module inside Nginx, ngx_pagespeed rewrites your webpages to make them faster for your users. This includes compressing images, minifying CSS and JavaScript, extending cache lifetimes, and many other web performance best practices. All of mod_pagespeed’s optimization filters are now available to Nginx users.

With Google pushing to bring faster Internet to everyone in the world, starting with a few cities in the United States, it makes sense that the company would participate in projects like this to help the rest of the web keep up. Naturally, Google is able to leverage the work of projects like this for its own sites, since speed is a huge concern of CEO Larry Page for its existing and future products.