xCache Versus Google Page Speed

software development


So given all the options, is Google Page Speed sufficiently developed now to provide a better alternative to, say, xCache or APC? The latter two tend to have glitches along the way. I realize Page Speed is still a work in progress (are you performing regular updates?).

I’d welcome some input from the experts here.

Also, why isn’t the latest xCache being offered with PHP 5.3.x? It is compatible. Yes, I know we can install it ourselves – but I like single clicks :slight_smile:


Google Page Speed and XCache are two totally different things. Google Page Speed modifies HTML page content after it’s generated to make it load faster; XCache (as well as APC) makes PHP scripts run faster.

With regard to XCache and PHP 5.3: that’s something we intend to fix, but haven’t gotten around to. We may be making some changes to the way we run PHP first, though, as the current FastCGI setup is often suboptimal for opcode caches.


Andrew, I understand they are different in terms of what they do. I’m interested in the net result, which is faster site loading, regardless of the means. Are they additive, or are there areas where one might have a negative impact on the other?

So when do you fix PHP 5.3 and xCache? Would it make sense to also offer APC, since APC is being integrated in future versions of PHP?

And are you regularly updating Page Speed, since they seem to have so many releases?


They’re generally additive. Not all sites will need both, but the speedup from each one is independent — there aren’t any antagonistic effects between the two.

Adding support for XCache on PHP 5.3 is on our roadmap, but we’ve got some other stuff in the pipeline first (most notably, the PHP/FastCGI changes I alluded to earlier). XCache loses a lot of its benefits when run under our current FastCGI configuration, as the cache ends up not being shared between processes. It worked better when PHP was configured as an Apache module (mod_php), but we won’t be continuing to support that beyond PHP 5.2.

(Why? Because there’s a number of limitations to mod_php — it runs with the wrong user’s permissions, only one version can be loaded at a time, it doesn’t load user-specific or domain-specific PHP.ini files, and it generally just works differently from everything else. Plus, it can’t be used at all on a shared server.)

To the best of my knowledge, APC isn’t being integrated into PHP at any point in the near future — it’s still a separate extension in PHP 5.4.0, which is likely to be released in the next few months. We do recognize that APC is becoming the “standard” caching extension nowadays, though, and we may start using it instead of XCache in the future.

With regard to updating Page Speed — I believe we’ve fallen a bit behind at the moment, but updates should be on the way.


Well, maybe then I should be installing APC on my server. Got a good installation link to share?


It’s been many years and there’s still no easy way to install XCache on 5.3 or 5.4, much less APC on anything.

Paying for 2x VPS and a gig of ram seems like a waste of money if there’s no easy way to put XCache or APC on them without having lots of technical experience. I’ve never run scripts and don’t have time to learn - this is why I use Wordpress + W3tc… the php.ini redirection is confusing to me.

When can we finally see an Xcache 5.3 option in our panel?
At this point, I’m really looking for suggestions.

It seems that a VPS without opcode is a real waste ~


I would like to know when we get either APC or XCache for PHP 5.3 or 5.4. I want to optimise my WordPress sites on my VPS using W3 Total Cache which uses disk caching as well as Opcode XCache or APC and I am stuck with PHP 5.2 for which Dreamhost offers an easy way to add XCache by picking it by checking the checkbox in the Dreamhost Panel under the hosted domain in question.

PHP 5.3. and 5.4 are now available with FastCGI, but XCache will no longer be supported. If Dreamhost thinks the future lies with APC I agree, but why is it not possible to choose it from the panel as it is possible with XCache until PHP 5.3. To compile PHP 5.3 or PHP 5.4 from scratch to be able to add APC or my own rolled XCache is a step I would like to avoid at all costs.

I have setup my own LAMP from scratch locally which was a lot of work and I do hope I do not need to compile a custom PHP setup just to run APC or XCache on my Dreamhost VPS.


Dreamhost, it’s been like over a year since you guys mentioned adding it. What gives?

A lot of sites might need this upgrade, especially those using mediawiki.


APC is being dropped from PHP (part of the hang up was PHP kept saying they were going to bundle APC and then not).

The new Toy is Zend Optimizer+, which WILL be bundled with PHP 5.5 (yikes!) so … yeah.