By Darrin J. Ward
Hi, my name is Darrin Ward and I'm addicted to speed. Speedy Websites, that is.
I've always been addicted to making the Internet go as fast as possible. I distinctly remember playing around with the physical positioning of my first 28.8k modem to see if moving it away from the electrical / magnetic interference of the computer and monitor would speed up the Internet, or if tinkering with all kinds of other software and hardware settings sped it up any.
In fact, I love speed so much that sometimes it could actually be considered for a flaw. If you've ever seen a Website that I personally have designed, then you'll know exactly what I mean. Although the Darrin Ward design team does fantastic designs, all of my personal designs tend to be stripped down to almost text-only sites, because I want things to load as fast as possible, and graphics and rich-media only slow it down.
It turns out that we've found a great balance in the team; My team comes up with visually stunning designs, and then I go to work on making the site load stunningly fast, with minimal sacrifice to the original design. It's a win-win.
Anyway. I also happen to practically live inside of Apache httpd.conf and .htaccess files (the configuration files for the Apache Web Server). So when I recently heard that Google released an apache module called mod_pagespeed, I was ecstatic.
The apache httpd module is for version 2.2 and higher, and it takes care of some of the items that Google's Page Speed Firefox plug-in addresses.
I haven't had time to experiment with mod_pagespeed yet, but it will be interesting to see how it holds up under high load. Because of our success with SEO and Internet Marketing, some of the sites we manage get a LOT of traffic (top site peaks at about 2,000 hits per second!). The other issue is that it's not yet listed as compatible with FreeBSD, which is my server OS of choice (I love the HTTP accept filter), but I'm sure it can be made to work.
The long and the short of it is this... Here at this SEO company, we are 100% committed to making Websites fast because we know it's important for visitors, and because it helps Google rankings now that page loading speed is part of the Google algorithm. We're happy to see that Google is providing Webmasters with tools to help make the Web faster (and save bandwidth).