If you’re a frequent visitor, you may have noticed that my blog now loads much faster than before. Inspired by a post on Coding Horror that Performance is a Feature, I happened to come across Google’s Page Speed Online while reading up about site optimisation techniques.

I loaded my blog address onto Page Speed and was hopeful that the scores that were to come are much improved, considering that I had enabled CloudFlare CDN for my blog. To much of my surprise, the speed check tool detected a few areas where further performance enhancements can be made to my site. Upon reading the suggestions in greater detail, I’ve picked up a few easily implementable techniques that anyone can use for their sites.

There are a few key focus areas, namely optimising caching, minimising round trip times, minimising requests, and minimising payload size.

While digging deeper into the documentation, I found out that Google has released an Apache 2.2 module, mod_pagespeed, to specifically automate some of these techniques. With this module, one can expect speed increases out-of-the-box, with minimal configuration.

After getting the module installed and running, I’m extremely surprised! My blog used to take approximately more than 6 seconds to load completely and it now takes only 3 seconds. A 50% speed increase!

Looking through the documentation further, there’s another technique to speed up site loading called domain sharding. Enabled it by adding a few CNAME records and tweaking a configuration setting, my site loaded even faster.

Now, on average in most locations, my site loads just under 3 seconds.

So, if you’re an Apache administrator, why not check mod_pagespeed out?