Google has introduced an open-source tool that can double the loading speed of websites that use the Apache HTTP Server.
On Wednesday Google announced that the mod_pagespeed module, which performs speed optimisations for websites on the Apache HTTP Server framework, is now available to everyone, for free.
"We've seen mod_pagespeed reduce page load times by up to 50 percent (an average across a rough sample of sites we tried) — in other words, essentially speeding up websites by about two times, and sometimes even faster", Richard Rabbat, a product manager for Google's 'Make the Web Faster' initiative wrote in a blog post.
The module automates several server-side speed optimisations, such as recompressing an image when the way it is displayed changes, and making changes to pages built by a Content Management System (CMS) without altering the CMS itself, according to Google.
Prior to being open sourced, the technology had been used internally by Google, according to the FAQ in the Google code repository for the module.
Google would not comment on whether the module came from its own proprietary Google web server. According to internet services company Netcraft, as of October 2010, 12.67 percent of all active servers on the internet use Google's own web server technology.