If you currently are using Google’s free PageSpeed Service to speed up your web pages, you should probably start looking for another service now.
That’s because Google recently announced that it is cancelling its PageSpeed service, effective in August.
Google’s PageSpeed Service, which was first launched in 2010, uses tools to analyze and optimize websites in order to implement the best web performance practices. Fast and optimized pages lead to better visitor engagement, retention and conversions.
But Google is pulling plug on the service, although the free tools it offers will still be available on other open source platforms.
Google’s official announcement came May 5, although rumors of PageSpeed’s demise have been flying around tech message boards and have been hinted at in numerous tech blogs for the past several weeks.
August 3 Deadline
Web page owners using Google’s PageSpeed Service have until August 3 to make the necessary DNS changes to remove sites safely.
Google recommended that webmasters using the service login to the PageSpeed console and look at the list of their domains. Any domains that are labeled “Enabled” will be affected once the service shuts down for good.
If a web page’s DNS is not changed prior to the shutdown of PageSpeed, it will be completely unavailable. The console will offer advice if a webmaster tries to delete a live domain. If this change is not made by August 3, the site will break, Google warned.
On May 5, big pink banners began appearing on PageSpeed pages stating, “PageSpeed Service has been deprecated and will be turned down on 3rd August.” A link is provided that directs visitors to Google’s official announcement.
Options to PageSpeed
Google offered PageSpeed several options – some free and some paid — that they can switch to prior to the service’s being shut down.
Web masters are advised to check with their service provider to see if they offer provider hosted PageSpeed. In some instances, switching to this version could be as simple as checking a box in the provider’s control panel.
There also are PageSpeed modules available for many of the most common web servers. So web page owners who run their sites of their own server are advised to install one of these.
Google also has developed the open-source Apache module mod_pagespeed. There are currently two pre-built binary modules available: Apache 2.2 and Apache 2.4.
There’s also a plugin for Nginx that Google has developed. But this must be compiled from the source.
Other options include:
– IIS – WeAmp has a commercial port of PageSpeed to Microsoft IIS.
– Apache Traffic Server – WeAmp also has ported PageSpeed to the Apache Traffic server.
– OpenLite Speed – This platform supports a PageSpeed module that can be compiled and loaded into a webserver.
– Cloud-Based Alternatives – If webmasters prefer to use a cloud-based product, EdgeCast EdgeOptimizer integrates Google PageSpeed with its CDN offering. Or, many CNDS offer similar functionality that don’t use PageSpeed technology.
Why PageSpeed Mattered
PageSpeed was designed to allow web pages to load faster for users. It features a quick and easy setup and allowed users to keep up with the latest optimization technologies without having to constantly search for them online.
One of the biggest benefits was that it used Google’s existing fast and secure infrastructure, which won’t be available for web masters who switch to open source server modules. It was widely praised for creating happier users and better conversions.
While Google doesn’t explicitly explain why it has pulled the plug on this popular, helpful service, some tech bloggers speculate that CloudFare captured this market and Google may have decided to stop focusing on this type of service, at least for a year or two.