A 20% speed boost for Townend customers… Free!

As of today, current and future clients who opt to host their website with Townend now benefit from an average of 20% speed increase on their website… A faster loading website means happier visitors. They’re less likely to click away and will leave with an impression of your brand as dynamic and responsive. A sluggish website means a sluggish company!

Townend websites are already built from the ground up with a very strong focus on performance optimisation. This covers a great number of areas, including file optimisation, compression, the way the website is built, all the way to us providing over specified UK based servers for our clients. Here’s a secret – We’re actually currently losing money on website hosting due to this over specification policy. It’s something we’re willing to accept in order to offer a better service to our clients, and their visitors. However, Google has recently released a plugin for servers that claims to improve site loading performance by up to 50%. We love staying on the cutting edge of new technologies, so we’ll try it out and measure the performance increase (if any).  This is an unscientific test, but should give a feel for any performance gain. We’ve tested page loading speed before and after installing the plugin:


To get a fair impression of how the update will affect page loading performance across the different kinds of site hosted with Townend, we chose three very different websites to test. For consistency we’ll use the full page load tool provided by pingdom.com. Before we start, we should explain how to read the time bars. Each file associated with the loading of the home page of our chosen sites in shown in a separate row. The yellow section of each bar is the time spent by the requesting server, the green section is the time waiting for the Townend server to reply and blue is the time spent downloading the file.


townend.co loading graph

townend.co loading time before installing mod-pagespeed

Built for absolute speed on the WordPress platform with very few requests and only one image. We don’t expect to see much improvement on this as it is already very fast. Note that two of the files, for Google Analytics and font embedding are loaded from external sources and hence will not be affected by the upgrade. Hence we’ll ignore them when calculating the speed increase.

From the graph we can see that loading is finished in 0.92 sec.


teamtownend.com page load graph

teamtownend.com loading time before installing mod-pagespeed

Again, built on the  Wordpress platform with a large number of images and other requested files. Some files are requested from external sources and hence will be unaffected by the upgrade. Ignoring the off site ostelle.com request, page loading finishes in 2.47 sec.


textatip.co.uk loading graph

textatip.co.uk loading time before installing mod-pagespeed

Built on the Concrete5 CMS platform with strong optimisation already, though it uses a comparatively large full screen background image. Loading is finished in 1.72 seconds.



townend.co page load after

townend.co loading time after installing mod-pagespeed

After installing mod-pagespeed and allowing its optimisation processes to run, the homepage loads in 0.84s. This is a 8.7% improvement.


teamtownend.com page load after

teamtownend.com loading time after installing mod-pagespeed

The page loads in 1.64 seconds. This is a massive 33.6% improvement, proving our theory that the module will work best on heavy pages.


textatip.co.uk page load after

textatip.co.uk loading time after installing mod-pagespeed

The page loads in 1.42 seconds, making for a 17.44% improvement.


Overall, mod-pagespeed brought an average of 19.9% improvement in page load times. However, this is not end of the road for performance. Townend will continue to strive to reduce load times for its clients. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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One Comment

  1. Richard Rabbat
    Posted June 15, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for deploying mod_pagespeed. Have you had a chance to try out the updated version? It has a lot of stability and performance improvements.

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Edward Townend, Townend Creative Ltd. Townend Creative Ltd said: See how Townend has brought a 20% speed increase to its clients' websites… free of charge! http://tinyurl.com/39ofokm […]

  2. By mod_pagespeed review | Edward Townend | Ed Townend on November 9, 2010 at 2:20 am

    […] Townend we tested mod_pagespeed, the new module from Google, and found an average 20% speed improvement across the sites we tested. […]

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