Services & Software

Google releases Web site speedup software

A two-year project in the search company's effort to make Web sites load faster is done with the release of the mod_pagespeed extension for the Apache Web site software.

As part of its "make the Web fast" effort, Google has released version 1.0 of a module designed to improve the very widely used Apache software that's very widely used to host Web sites.

The Apache Software Foundation's flagship project is Web server software that delivers Web pages to people's browsers when they request it. It can be extended, and Google believes its mod_pagespeed extension for Apache is ready for use, Google said in a blog post.

"Users prefer faster sites and we have seen that faster pages lead to higher user engagement, conversions, and retention," said mod_pagespeed technical lead Joshua Marantz and Ilya Grigorik, developer advocate for Google's Make the Web Fast project. And Google offers a big incentive of its own: sites that load faster get preferential treatment on its search results and in its search-ad auctions.

Though Google only took the beta label off the software today after two years of public development, it's already in use at more than 120,000 sites and offered as an option for site hosting firms at DreamHost and Go Daddy.

The open-source mod_pagespeed software that takes actions on the fly including compressing JavaScript programs into a more compact form and resizing images to smaller size when appropriate.