Google have been on a mission to increase user experience by connecting people to websites faster. They have the opposite approach to Facebook in almost every single way. While Facebook wants all of your time, Google wants to give it back. Not only have they made search faster, they’re beavering away to do more than anyone else to make the web faster.
Today they’ve launched Mod_Pagespeed – an update module for Apache servers (the competitor to Microsoft’s IIS server that powers much of the worlds web servers). Mod_Pagespeed is for users who run their own servers but those who run on shared servers will have to wait and see if their host updates. It’ll be interesting to see if more Irish and International hosting providers build this into their offering.
Speed is important for UX
Speed is really important as far as Google are concerned. So they’ve been concentrating on a smorgasbord of ideas to improve the way the internet works, from little things to big things. We’ve put together a list of different things that Google is doing to improve your web experience and that of your users:
Google DNS is a high-speed DNS service that is frequently updated. It has a tiny DNS IP which is easy to remember and adopt but also provides very fast DNS lookups. Why do you care? DNS is like a global telephone directory Every website you visit (e.g. primaryposition.com) requires a lookup whereby the web name is translated into an IP Address. The IP Address represents the hosting server and that’s how the browser loads the website you’re looking for – by sending a request to that IP Address
Page Speed is a powerful tools for webmasters which can be run on or built into a website to help optimise and speed up your site. You can also analyse your site without putting in code and get optimisation pointers. You can read more about their campaign over at Google’s Blog.
Google Fibre is a new service being trialled in the US. Google are clearly fed up with Telco’s slow and confusing, almost deliberately slow roll out of high-speed internet access at a global level. It really is slowing down the advancement of the web and technology industry, and are offering free (yes, free) wired internet access or a 1GB (yup, 1 Gigabit) service for just $70 pm. Take that eircom, UPC etc….
Google Chrome browser is now the biggest browser in the world, the first to break Internet Explorer’s grip on the market (which effectively killed Netscape and slowed advancement in browsing until the emergence of Firefox). Chrome mirrors its creators ethos: Its small, light, very fast and non-intrusive. Its brilliant. If you’re not using it, what are you waiting for? Microsoft have suddenly released more versions of IE in the past 2 years than in the previous 8 – just to keep up. It’s even advertising IE9 on TV while IE10 waits in the wings but its just missing the whole point.
Google’s PC device, the Chromebox, doesn’t have any heavy OS or applications. It’s a complete cloud device. It loads a mini-OS which has just enough capability to get you a browser and connect to the web. There you connect to your online Apps and Services. Its fast and cheap and has done more to develop a viable, commercial low-cost PC than the $100-laptop consortium ever had a chance of!
Back to Mod_Pagespeed – Video is a great way to explain new ideas, here’s one they made earlier 🙂