We're not there yet. Web page bloat is still a problem. Unpredictable network conditions continue to be a fact of life online, particularly on mobile networks, so it's still advisable to optimize Web pages for rapid loading.
Two years ago, Google released a browser extension called Page Speed to help Web developers and publisher evaluate Web page performance. It performs tests on Web pages to identify potential slowdowns. With leaner Web pages, site owners can expect happier users and better engagement, or so the theory goes.
Google's speed obsession remains ongoing. Last year, the company released an Apache module called
mod_pagespeed that rewrites the Web pages it serves to load faster. This year, Page Speed was offered as an API, so that developers could integrate performance analysis testing into their workflows.
The most recent manifestation of Google's fixation on speed is the Page Speed Service, an online service that accelerates web page load times.
"To use the service, you need to sign up and point your site's DNS entry to Google," said Google engineering manager Ram Ramani in a blog post. "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. Your users will continue to access your site just as they did before, only with faster load times."
According to Ramani, Google has seen speed improvements ranging from 25% to 60%.
Initially, Page Speed Service is being offered to a limited set of website owners at no charge. However, it will be a fee-based service when it's made widely available later this year. Those interested in access can request admission through a Google Web form.
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