With broadband internet connections so prevalent around the world, it's easy for web designers and developers to get a little bit lazy when it comes to optimizing the pages they create or that their applications generate.

After all, a broadband connection is usually pretty forgiving and can even render certain best practices and good habits entirely unnecessary.

But that doesn't mean that pages shouldn't be optimized. Not everybody has broadband, and some bad habits can cause poor performance on the client end, even on the most modern of machines.

Yesterday, Google released Page Speed, a Firefox add-on that works in tandem with the already-popular Firebug Firefox add-on. Page Speed, quite simply, is the ultimate tool for measuring how well optimized your pages are and where there's room for improvement.

To use Page Speed, you'll need to be using Firefox with the Firebug add-on installed. After that, downloading and installing Page Speed is quick and easy.

Once installed, Page Speed adds a couple of tabs to the Firebug console.

The first tab, Page Speed, allows you to run a performance analysis. The subsequent summary tells you the good, the bad and the ugly and provides you with some suggestions on what you could improve on in an easy-to-analyze fashion. Even better: it provides specific advice, as you can see below.

The second tab, Page Speed Activity, lets you monitor in real time page activities. A visual timeline of events, such as DNS requests and cache hits, is then displayed. Although this is a little bit hard to read at first, it can provide some valuable data that lets you profile your pages.

For those who are interested in the details, Google offers a Web Performance Best Practices guide that explains how and why Page Speed makes certain recommendations and there's Page Speed documentation handy as well.

All in all, Page Speed looks like a very useful little tool that should have a place in the toolkit of every designer and developer.

Patricio Robles

Published 5 June, 2009 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

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Comments (2)



Google Page Speed is really impressive. It's almost similar to YSlow, but provides much more detailed analysis on web pages.

about 9 years ago


Deri Jones, CEO at SciVisum Ltd

Another good reason to use Firefox! (versus IE, the bane of my life...!) The extensions just keep on getting better and this is a cool web monitoring tool for a quick dip in.

But one thing to watch out for - with this or YSlow or etc, is that it's only showing a snapshot in time.  Better to be using tools that sample regularly over time, so you can see the min/max/average. < subtle sales pitch off>

Otherise if you get too excited about some page object that is slow - it may in fact not be the main problem most of the time.

Also, it won't help you of course if there are gotchas on your pages in IE but not Firefox (did I say IE is a pain already!)

Either way, for a quick bit of web performance monitoring DIY - 9/10 for Google. (scary how much good stuff they put out...)


about 9 years ago

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