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Google PageSpeed Service Shuts Down. Here’s What You Can Do About It

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On August 3, Google is stopping its PageSpeed Service which was launched four years ago. The service applied optimization techniques to a website to serve it faster to a user/visitor. Devs have three months to change their DNS settings or their sites will cease to work.

PageSpeed Service was designed to increase website performance automatically by compressing images and optimizing cache settings along with CSS and JavaScript files.

Why did Google do this?

If I had to bet money on it, then I would say that this decision was carried out because they could no longer justify spending their human resources on maintaining and updating a product that –

  • did not have enough users
  • was being pushed out by the competition (CloudFlare has the biggest bite in the market)
  • wasn’t updated in an year or two

Here’s what you need to know

  • PageSpeed service will be discontinued from August 3rd.
  • New sign-ups have already been disabled.
  • There seems to be a confusion regarding the prefix PageSpeed which is an umbrella term that primarily comprises of three services. Here’s a clarification –
    * PageSpeed Insights: tells you how to make your website faster and gives you a score.
    * PageSpeed Modules (mod_pagespeed/ngx_pagespeed): open source web server plugins that rewrite your site to load faster.
    * PageSpeed Service: Google-hosted proxy version of the PageSpeed Modules. Only PageSpeed Service is being deprecated.
Source: Hacker News
google-pagespeed-family
  • Does this shutdown mean that PageSpeed Service will be discontinued for AppEngine apps also?
    Yes, App Engine support is also deprecated:
    “If you are using PageSpeed integration on Google AppEngine, it will continue to function until 1st December 2015, after which PageSpeed optimizations will no-longer be applied to your app. No action is required on the part of App Engine users; after this date apps will continue to operate, except without the benefit of the PageSpeed optimizations.”
    AppEngine users only need to take action if they have something on their site that depends on PageSpeed, which is very uncommon.
Source: Hacker News

Steps to migrate your site off PageSpeed Service (Courtesy Google)

This page provides guidance for PageSpeed Service users that no longer wish to use the service for one or more of their domains.

This is a concise guide for users who no longer want to use PageSpeed for their domains –

  1. Log into the Google APIs Console
    1. Go to the Google APIs Console.
    2. Log in with the Google id for PageSpeed Service.
    3. On the left navigation bar, click on PageSpeed Service. When you do, you will see something like this:

uncname_login

In case you see a notification which reads You have no domains configured, then you can stop the process here itself because you have no domains to delete.

  1. Change DNS

Like in the example above, if your domain status is Enabled, the PageSpeed Service is currently operating on your domain and cannot be deleted immediately. Therefore, First alter the DNS for your serving domain to point it to the host(s) that should serve the traffic instead of Google.

Click the X to the right of your domain and you will be offered suggestions for changing your DNS. Example below:

uncname_dns_advice

The above changes will route user request to access your site, away from Google’s servers and instead, directly to your website which is the origin server. You can expect a heavy load on your server due to the increased user requests and higher consumption of your page resources (images, CSS) because your site is no longer cached by Google.

Therefore Google has provided its own list of alternatives for the PageSpeed Service to enable your site to function as smoothly as before.

Note: After submitting the change, you must wait your TTL duration before proceeding with the next step. The TTL is visible in your provider’s DNS control panel.

If you need, there are more detailed instructions for some popular DNS providers here.

  1. Delete the domain

When your domain status reads Not Ready (and you’re waiting for the TTL after you’ve made the DNS changes) then you’re allowed to delete it from the PageSpeed Service.

  1. Press the X. A confirmation notification will show up like this:
    uncname_delete_confirmation
  2. Press Delete to confirm the action. Your domain will be removed from the list along with its configuration.

Alternatives to PageSpeed Service

Google itself has shared a list of possible alternatives to their PageSpeed Service technology. These alternative bundles won’t be affected by the deprecation and will continue to be backed.

(The text below is now directly quoting GoogleDevs)

Provider Hosted PageSpeed

Many web hosting providers already integrate PageSpeed. If you are using such a web hosting provider, check your provider’s documentation. It may be as simple as checking a box in your provider’s control panel.

Server side modules

There are PageSpeed modules for many common web servers. If you run your own web server, you may wish to install one of these.

Apache

Google has developed the open-source Apache module mod_pagespeed. Pre-built binary modules for Apache 2.2 and 2.4 are available. For more information, click here.

Nginx

Google has also developed a plugin for Nginx. Due to the nature of Nginx, it must be compiled from source. You can read the instructions here.

IIS

The folks over at WeAmp have a commercial port of PageSpeed to Microsoft IIS. You can learn more about it at www.iispeed.com.

Apache Traffic Server

WeAmp has ported PageSpeed to Apache Traffic server. More information, including build instructions, can be found at www.atsspeed.com.

OpenLiteSpeed

OpenLiteSpeed supports a PageSpeed module that you can compile and load into your webserver. Please see their instructions here.

Cloud based alternatives

If you wish to continue using cloud-based product, EdgeCast Edge Optimizer integrates Google PageSpeed with their CDN offering. Alternatively, many CDNs offer comparable functionality that does not use PageSpeed technology.

Remember to make these changes by 3rd August or your site will no longer function.

Image Courtesy: NYDesign, GoogleDevelopers