Is Google’s new Page Speed Service worth it?

Is Google’s new Page Speed Service worth it?

With the announcement of Google’s new Page Speed Service, I’ve been trying to determine whether it is worth the effort of switching my DNS over.

You use Page Speed Service by using Google’s DNS servers. When someone requests your site, the request will go to Google. Google gets your page, optimizes CSS, JS, images, etc, and returns the optimized version to the user. This is similar to the CloudFlare service I tried out in the past but with a greatest emphasis on page optimization.

Google has provided a service to demonstrate how much Page Speed Service will help before you actually switch your DNS over. I gave it a shot on my company’s flagship site, Fake Name Generator. The results were disappointing.

Google provides 4 metrics:

Original Optimized Difference
Page Load Time 4.066s 4.345s +0.279s (6.9%)
Start Render Time 0.840s 0.895s +0.055s (6.5%)
Repeat View Page Load Time 5.418s 5.211s -0.207s (3.8%)
Repeat View Start Render Time 0.645s 1.406s +0.761s (118.0%)

So basically Page Speed Service, in general, makes my site slower than running it off of my own server. I’ll admit there are probably some minor differences between the original and optimized due to different ads being served, but I don’t think this explains the massive 0.761 additional seconds for the repeat view render time.

So to answer the question “is it worth it?”, my answer is no. If you already do the basic optimization stuff that you should already be doing (minified CSS/JS, optimized images), then it isn’t likely that Page Speed Service is going to help you, and it might actually hurt you.

Read More

Image optimizing WordPress plugin

I recently stumbled on the WP Smush.it plugin. It is a neat plugin that takes your images and automatically uploads them to the Smush.it web service so that your images are always nice and optimized. The problems with it are: A) it uploads all your images to a third party, which is slow and clumsy, B) it makes your images subject to the privacy policy and terms of service of Smush.it, which is often undesirable, and C) it can be slow if you have a pile of images to optimize.

So I created a derivative of WP Smush.it that runs entirely on your local server using littleutils (which I blogged about previously).

CW Image Optimizer (available from the WordPress plugin site) works just like WP Smush.it except it never uploads your images to a third party. Images are automatically and losslessly optimized using the opt-png, opt-jpg, and opt-gif programs provided by littleutils.

The downside is it requires Linux and littleutils, which most people won’t have unless they put forth the effort to install them. I plan on creating some step-by-step installation instructions for common Linux distributions in the near future, but in the meantime I have a great plugin to use on all my blogs, and because it is in the WordPress repo, I can easily push updates to all my blogs.

Anyways, if you use it, let me know what you think. I’m excited about actively developing this app to make it a great tool for everyone.

Read More

$10 off $10 at Pier 1 = $60 in free stuff!

$10 off $10 at Pier 1 = $60 in free stuff!

Pier 1 Imports is having a promotion on Facebook that gives you a $10 off $10 coupon, good 1 per person per store.

We have been trying to stretch our allowances as much as possible, so this was a great opportunity to get some shopping in without having to spend any money. We have three Pier 1 locations nearby, so we printed 6 coupons and headed out. We ended up getting $60 in stuff without even paying sales tax. $0 out of pocket.

The goodies:

  • A basket
  • An udderly cool cow mug
  • A kitchen timer
  • 4 large ramekins
  • 8 small ramekins
  • 5 flower bowls
  • 4 tea light holders

Yay for free stuff!

Read More

Install Windows 7 using an upgrade edition

I recently had to install Windows 7 using an upgrade edition. At one point I had a legal copy of Windows Vista on the computer, but I had long since switched to Linux and lost the original Windows Vista disk.

So what do I do? I qualify for the upgrade edition, but Windows won’t activate because I did a clean install without having Windows Vista installed.

Here is the solution:

  1. Run regedit.exe
  2. Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Setup/OOBE/
  3. Set MediaBootInstall to 0
  4. Close the registry editor
  5. Open a command prompt
  6. Run slmgr /rearm
  7. Wait until you get a message box that says “Command completed successfully.”
  8. Reboot

That’s it! Takes about 30 seconds and it makes it so Windows thinks you did an upgrade inside of Windows instead of a clean install. The activation process should work without any problems now.

Read More

How to get your MSL number on Android

The MSL number is used on some carriers to keep you from getting to your phone’s configuration settings.

If you are using an Android and need your MSL number to access your phone’s configuration menu, you can load up a terminal emulator (piles available in the Market) and run:

getprop ril.MSL

BAM! It should spit back your 6 digit MSL number.

Alternatively you can call up your carrier and beg for it. :)

Read More