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Configuring Caching

PageSpeed requires publicly cacheable resources to provide maximum benefit. As discussed in the "Cache Extender" filter, the origin TTL specified in the server configuration file dictates how quickly changes made to the source can propagate to users' browser caches. However, using PageSpeed, resources referenced statically from HTML files will be served with a one-year cache lifetime, but with a URL that is versioned using a content hash.

Configuring Server-Side Cache for PageSpeed

In order to rewrite resources, PageSpeed must cache them server-side. A file-system based cache is always employed on each server. memcached may be used as a scalable network-accessible cache in addiiton to the file cache. The file cache is always required since files larger than 1Mb cannot be stored on memcached, and it is important to optimize large images. Finally, a per-process in-memory LRU cache and/or an interprocess shared-memory cache can be configured for rapid access to small objects.

Configuring the File Cache

PageSpeed must be configured with a path where it can write cache files, tuned to limit the amount of disk space consumed. On Linux, the file cache can be placed on a tmpfs partition or on a physical disk. The file cache has a built-in LRU mechanism to remove old files, targeting a certain total disk space usage, and a certain interval for the cleanup process. An example configuration is:

# Note that the configured path must be read/writeable for the IIS application-pool identity!
pagespeed FileCachePath c:\PagespeedCache
pagespeed FileCacheSizeKb 102400
pagespeed FileCacheCleanIntervalMs 3600000
pagespeed FileCacheInodeLimit 500000

It is important to note that FileCacheSizeKb and FileCacheInodeLimit do not define absolute limits on the cache size and inode count. The cache cleaning process will run at the time interval defined by FileCacheCleanIntervalMs, and will only initiate cleaning if the cache size exceeds FileCacheSizeKb or the cache inode count exceeds FileCacheInodeLimit. When cache cleaning is initiated, the oldest files in the cache will be removed until the cache size is under 0.75 * FileCacheSizeKb and the inode count is under 0.75 * FileCacheInodeLimit.

PageSpeed previously reserved another file-path for future use as a shared database in a multi-server environment. This is no longer in the plan, and GeneratedFilePrefix now generates a deprecation warning.

Configuring the in-memory LRU Cache

To optimize performance, a small in-memory write-through LRU cache can be instantiated in each server process. Note that in Apache's pre-fork mode this means dozens of processes, so the total memory consumed (LRUCacheKbPerProcess * num_processes) must fit into the capabilities of the host machine. Nginx typically runs with many fewer processes, so a larger LRUCacheKbPerProcess is appropriate there. The LRUCacheByteLimit is the limit on how large a cache entry the LRU cache will accept. A sample configuration is:

pagespeed LRUCacheKbPerProcess 1024
pagespeed LRUCacheByteLimit 16384
pagespeed LRUCacheKbPerProcess 8192
LRUCacheByteLimit 16384

Configuring the Shared Memory Metadata Cache

Note: Deprecated as of IISpeed 2.0

As part of its operation, PageSpeed stores summaries of how to apply optimizations to web pages as part of a metadata cache. Metadata entries are small and frequently accessed. They should ideally be stored in local memory and shared across server processes, as opposed to on disk or a memcached server (see below). That is exactly what the shared memory metadata cache does, and it is the best place to cache your metadata entries.

If this cache is enabled, metadata will no longer be written to the filesystem cache, significantly improving metadata cache performance, but metadata information will be lost upon server restart. This will require resources to be reoptimized for each restart. If a memcached cache is available, cache entries will be written through to the memcached cache so that multiple PageSpeed servers can share metadata and the metadata cache will survive a server restart.

This feature is enabled using the CreateSharedMemoryMetadataCache directive. This directive takes two arguments. The first is the exact string given as the argument to FileCachePath in any virtual host where you want this cache active. The second is the size of the cache in kilobytes. Unlike the LRU cache, this cache is shared among all server processes, so far larger values are possible. For example:

pagespeed FileCachePath /var/cache/pagespeed/
pagespeed CreateSharedMemoryMetadataCache /var/cache/pagespeed/ 51200
will create a 50-megabyte metadata cache used for both and, and shared among all server processes.

You can see how effective this layer of cache is at the PageSpeed statistics page, where at the bottom of the page every shared memory cache will be listed, including in particular information on its hit rate and how full it is (blocks used).

Configuring memcached

To enable memcached, specify the list of memcached servers with a comma-separated list of hosts and ports. If the port is omitted, the default memcached port of 11211 is assumed. PageSpeed's memcached integration by uses a background thread for communicating with the memcached servers. This allows PageSpeed to batch multiple Get requests into a single MultiGet request to memcached, which improves performance and reduces network round trips.

pagespeed MemCachedServers "host1:port1,host2:port2,host3:port3"

When you use memcached with PageSpeed, many vital memcached statistics can be found at the statistics pages.

These statistics are taken both from the PageSpeed perspective, aggregating all memcacheds as viewed from a single server...

memcached_deletes:                            0
:                           81651
:                       161605
:                        118782

...and also from the perspective of each memcached server, aggregating activity from each memcached client including all PageSpeed instances.

memcached server host1:6765 version 1.4.2 pid 1132 up 343306 seconds
:                 923977753
:            37710601552
:         141519206300
:               50273185
:               11471631
: 233
:      16
:            255329
:             5258751
:              50273185
:            14556369
:        1048576000
:          64
:         1065290000
:           64
:               4
:     12235148
:           11471631

memcached server host2
:6765 version 1.4.2 pid 6568 up 343278 seconds
:                 921246303
:            12962377990
:         57778312362
:               21702123
:               4166384
: 49
:      15
:            254144
:             1329595
:              21702123
:            4923668
:        1048576000
:          64
:         594360000
:           64
:               4
:     4840010
:           4166384

By default, PageSpeed uses a 50 millisecond (50,000 microsecond) timeout for cache operations. If the timeout is exceeded more than 4 times in a 30 second span, PageSpeed assumes that memcached is not healthy and will stop optimizing resources for 30 seconds before trying again.

This 50 millisecond timeout default is tuned for memcached running on the same local network as PageSpeed. For wide area networks, or for alternative implementations and proxies of the memcache protocol such as couchbase or moxi-server, it may be necessary to increase the I/O timeout. Please monitor the statistic 'memcache_timeouts' to help tune the timeouts. Select a new timeout with the MemcachedTimeoutUs directive:

pagespeed MemcachedTimeoutUs timeout_in_microseconds

Flushing PageSpeed Server-Side Cache

When developing web pages with PageSpeed enabled, it is sometimes convenient to flush the cache of a running server, in order to get the system to reload CSS or JavaScript files that have been updated before the origin cache lifetime expires.

Legacy Flushing Of Entire Cache

By default, the system is configured to support only whole-cache flushes — we'll call this legacy mode. As of IISpeed 2.0 / PageSpeed version, it can be configured to also allow purging of individual URLs. The two modes operate differently and you may choose between them for each virtual host. Legacy mode is on by default, to provide compatibility with existing scripts and other infrastructure that might have been built around it. In a future release, individual URL purging will become the default. Subsequent to that, the legacy whole-cache flushing mode will be eliminated. You can choose between the two modes with the EnableCachePurge argument. If set to "on" you will get the new behavior, with individual URL purging, while "off" will give you the legacy behavior. The default is "off", as if your configuration read:

pagespeed EnableCachePurge off

In this mode, simply touch the file "cache.flush" in the directory specified as FileCachePath above.


sudo touch /cache/pagespeed/cache.flush
echo "" > c:\pagespeedcache\cache.flush

The system may take up to 5 seconds to take effect (changeable via option CacheFlushPollIntervalSec described below).

Purging individual cache entries or entire cache

Note: New feature as of / IISpeed 2.0

In this mode, the cache may be purged by sending HTTP requests to the server, using a configurable path. The cache can be purged via an HTTP GET, PURGE, or DELETE, once a handler has been configured. The admin site makes this easier by providing a graphical interface to initiate purge requests and see what entries have been purged.

To enable individual URL cache purging, you must configure the admin site, specify a PurgeMethod, or both. Plus you must turn on EnableCachePurge:

pagespeed EnableCachePurge on
pagespeed PurgeMethod PURGE (optional)

This establishes three methods to purge the cache of a URL, or to purge the entire cache, assuming PageSpeed is running on

Method Purge single URL Purge entire cache
HTTP GET curl '' curl '*'
HTTP PURGE curl --request PURGE '' curl --request PURGE '*'
Admin GUI   Admin interface

The Purge requests for individual URLs made via the GUI are executed via an HTTP GET. In either case, the URL being purged is specified relative to the ORIGIN of the admin site. In these examples, path/file.ext is combined with to purge the path from the cache.

When the new mode of cache purging is enabled, the purges take place immediately, there is no five second delay. Note that it is possible to purge the entire cache, or to purge one URL at a time. It is not possible to purge by regular expression or wildcard. The URL purging system works by remembering which URLs are purged and validating each URL coming out of cache against them. There is a limitation to the number of distinct URLs that can be purged. When that limit is exceeded, everything in the cache older than the oldest remaining purge request will be dropped. The limitation is high enough that it's not expected to be exceeded often, but is not currently changeable.


The following limitations apply to both method the legacy and new methods of cache purging.

Caution: In a multi-server system, you must run these commands on every server. All the cache data from VirtualHosts using that cache directory will be flushed. This is true even when using memcached: the cache flush information is kept locally on each machine running PageSpeed, not in the cache itself. This is because of the L1 caches that run locally on each machine, and because memcached does not guarantee persistance.

Caution: Flushing or purging the cache does not delete the old files from the directory, the memcached server, or PageSpeed's in-memory cache, but it tells PageSpeed to ignore those files.

Note: After flushing or purging the cache, the stale files will eventually be replaced with fresh copies or removed by the normal file cache cleaning process (see FileCacheCleanIntervalMs above).

You can change the polling interval and name of the cache-flush file in the configuration file. If you set the polling interval to 0, the cache flushing feature will be disabled. If you specify the cache flush filename as a relative path, PageSpeed will look for that file in the FileCachePath directory. If you use an absolute path, then the caches associated with multiple virtual hosts can be flushed all at once.

Cache Flushing and Purging Options

pagespeed CacheFlushFilename alternate_filename
pagespeed CacheFlushPollIntervalSec number_of_seconds

Configuring a Cache Fragment

Note: New feature as of IISpeed 2.0 / PageSpeed

By default every site has its own cache. If you have multiple sites served from the same machine that reference common resources you can improve your cache performance and reduce CPU consumption by setting a shared cache fragment:

pagespeed CacheFragment some_token

You must set this to the same value on every site that shares a cache. The fragment may consist of letters, numbers, underscores, and hyphens only. The physical caching layer also has to be the same for the two sites: either you need a shared FileCachePath or you need to be using the same memcached server.

Note: you don't have to do this for simple cases like and The default cache fragment is the minimal private suffix, in this case, and is determined from the public suffix list. If you have and, however, then they will not share a common minimal private suffix and you should set the CacheFragment for better performance.

PageSpeed HTTP fetching timeout

When PageSpeed attempts to rewrite a resource for the first time, it must fetch it via HTTP. The default timeout for fetches is 5 seconds. A directive can be applied to change the timeout

pagespeed FetcherTimeoutMs timeout_value_in_milliseconds

Optimization deadline

When PageSpeed attempts to rewrite an uncached (or expired) resource, by default it will wait for up to 10ms per flush window to finish and return the optimized resource if it's available. If optimization has not completed within that time the original (unoptimized) resource is returned and the optimizer is moved to the background for future requests. The following directive can be applied to change the deadline. Increasing this value will increase page latency, but might reduce load time (for instance on a bandwidth-constrained link where it's worth waiting for image compression to complete). Note that a value less than zero will cause PageSpeed to wait indefinitely.

pagespeed RewriteDeadlinePerFlushMs deadline_value_in_milliseconds

Implicit cache-lifetime for resources

When PageSpeed fetches a resource via HTTP or HTTPS, it examines the Expires and Cache-Control headers to determine how frequently it should update its cache. When these headers don't specify a timeout, a default timeout of 5 minutes is used. To override this, specify:

pagespeed ImplicitCacheTtlMs implicit_cache_ttl_in_milliseconds

Fetching Resources using Gzip

This option causes PageSpeed to add Accept-Encoding:gzip to requests for resources.

By default, PageSpeed attempts to fetch resources without specifying anAccept-Encoding header. This means the resources will be sent uncompressed. These requests are often within the LAN, so network bandwidth to transfer the resources may not be a consideration.

If network bandwidth is a consideration, then PageSpeed can be configured to fetch resources using gzip. This will lower the network transfer bandwidth considerably, but may increase the CPU usage depending on server configuration. The primary concern is the time spent by the origin server compressing the resource, rather than the time spent by PageSpeed inflating it.

pagespeed FetchWithGzip on

Another option to minimize network bandwidth is to use LoadFromFile.

These directives can only be applied at the root or server level, and not in location specific configuration.

Tuning Threading

PageSpeed uses threads so that resource optimization work does not delay request serving. There are two kinds of threads in use: rewrite threads deal with very short-lived bookkeeping tasks that are generally latency-sensitive, while expensive rewrite threads deal with more computationally expensive tasks that are not in latency-sensitive paths. You can tune the thread count per process if necessary via the NumRewriteThreads and NumExpensiveRewriteThreads options.

Note: IISpeed will autotune the threading settings, for ats_pagespeed manual tuning is required.

Limiting the number of concurrent image optimizations

When optimizing images, PageSpeed can use significant CPU resources. As the results of the image optimization are cached, this is not ordinarily a concern once the cache is warm. But when PageSpeed is first installed, or when a corpus of new images is added to the server, PageSpeed needs to avoid having each process consume maximum CPU. To accomplish this, PageSpeed keeps a server-wide counter of active image optimizations. It avoids running more than ImageMaxRewritesAtOnce image optimizations in parallel across all processes. The default value is 8. Override this in the configuration file to change this maximum.

Note: Limiting image optimization concurrency only applies to root and server level configuration.

Limiting the size of HTML parsed

When parsing and rewriting large HTML pages, PageSpeed can use significant memory. This option limits the size of an HTML page that is parsed. Once the size of the HTML exceeds MaxHtmlParseBytes, further parsing is disabled, and a script is inserted that redirects the user to the ?PageSpeed=off version of the page. The default value is 0, indicating that there is no limit. Override this in the configuration file to change this maximum.

In-Place Resource Optimization

Note: Enabled by default as of IISpeed 2.0 / PageSpeed

Normally PageSpeed rewrites a resource such as an image by finding its URL on your page, fetching and optimizing the data in the background, and then replacing that URL by an optimized pagespeed URL. But what about resources that are loaded by JavaScript code? And what about links to your images from pages outside your domain? In-Place Resource Optimization (IPRO) will optimize the content of a resource that’s requested using the original (non-pagespeed) URL, ensuring you are serving optimized content even when that content isn’t explicitly linked in your html. This should be especially helpful for sites with slide shows that use JavaScript to load images in the background; those images can now be optimized by PageSpeed by adding this command to your configuration file:

pagespeed InPlaceResourceOptimization on

Some sites employ JavaScript that is sensitive to the original resource URL syntax and won't work with PageSpeed's altered resource URLs. You can choose to preserve the URLs of your resources; these will still be rewritten by IPRO, but they won't be replaced by a pagespeed URL. This is especially useful as an "optimization is on by default" setting for hosting providers and optimizing forward proxies – cases where site-specific settings to blacklist URLs are impractical.

Doing browser-specific in-place optimization

PageSpeed has a number of optimizations that are browser-specific. For example, WebP conversion is performed only for browsers that can display WebP images. Ordinarily PageSpeed accomplishes this by serving different rewritten URLs to different browsers depending upon their capabilities. For resources that are rewritten in place, this isn't possible; instead, appropriate headers (such as Vary: Accept and Vary: User-Agent) are added to rewritten resources as necessary. Enable these browser-specific optimizations as follows:

pagespeed EnableFilters in_place_optimize_for_browser

By default, when in_place_optimize_for_browser is enabled, appropriate Vary: headers are added to resources that are subject to browser-specific optimization. CSS files are served with a Vary: User-Agent header. Photographic images that are candidates for WebP conversion are served with Vary: Accept to browsers that include Accept: image/webp in their headers. Note that while the most recent versions of browsers that display WebP images include this header in image requests, older WebP-capable browsers do not — as a result, a slightly smaller subset of browsers will receive WebP images than would be the case if the URLs were rewritten.

Internet Explorer has difficulty caching resources with Vary: headers (they are either not cached or require revalidation on every resource access). As a result, browser-specific in-place resources are instead marked Cache-Control: private when served to all versions of Internet Explorer.

Setting the inplace resource rewrite deadline

When InPlaceResourceOptimization is enabled, PageSpeed uses a default deadline of 10ms the when optimizing the resource. If the optimization cannot be completed in 10ms, then the original resource is served to the client, while the optimization continues in the background. Once cached, the optimized resource will be served for further requests. Note that a value less than zero will cause PageSpeed to wait indefinitely.

Also note that in-place-optimized resources generally take at least two refreshes to optimize regardless of the deadline, due to the current architecture of the server modules.

pagespeed InPlaceRewriteDeadlineMs deadline_value_in_milliseconds

This directive can be used at all configuration levels.


Resources optimized by in-place resource optimization are optimized differently from resources found in HTML, JS, and CSS. First, rewritten pagespeed URLs contain a content hash that enables the optimized data to be cached for a year by browser and proxy caches; in-place resources are not cache extended. Second, in-place resources can't be optimized specially for the context in which they occur on the page: images can't be resized to the size they appear on the page, and multiple resources on a page can’t be combined together. Finally, in-place resources that are eligible for browser-specific optimizations (such as conversion to the WebP image format) will be served with the Vary: User-Agent caching header, reducing caching at intermediate proxies.


In-place resource optimization will add a new cache entry for every unique URL requested. It will also copy each request into memory once. If you have a large site with many uncacheable resources, this could quickly fill up your cache or cause a lot of expensive string copies.

In-place optimization will also add a small delay to every server response, this should not be large and we have not been able to measure any noticeable slow-down, but if most of your resources are uncacheable, you may wish to avoid this cost.

Rate Limit Background Fetches

Note: Enabled by default, depends on statistics being enabled

To avoid overloading the origin server, PageSpeed will limit the number of background fetches it makes on a per-domain basis. As PageSpeed makes fetches it keeps a count of how many ongoing fetches there are for each domain, and if there are too many then additional fetches will only be allowed through if they're for user-facing requests. Other fetches (background fetches) will be queued up for completion later. If the queue gets too large, PageSpeed will give up on those background optimizations, leaving them to be reinitiated in response to a later request. This feature can be disabled by setting RateLimitBackgroundFetches to off:

pagespeed RateLimitBackgroundFetches off

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Some content on this website represents a modified version of the official Google PageSpeed documentation