Building a Better Web
June 11–12, 2018: Training
June 12–14, 2018: Tutorials & Conference
San Jose, CA

To push, or not to push?! - The future of HTTP/2 server push

Patrick Hamann (Fastly)
3:35pm–4:15pm Thursday, June 14, 2018
Performance and UX
Location: 210 A/E Level: Intermediate
Secondary topics:  Hands-on, Technical, Web Pillars Track: Performance, Security, Accessibility

Who is this presentation for?

Performance-minded web developers (front and backend) of all experiences.

Prerequisite knowledge

Basic knowledge of HTTP and how web pages are loaded

What you'll learn

What is HTTP/2 server push and how it works Implementation Browser caches Critical path optimisation and resource prioritisation Push vs preload Measuring push effectiveness Browser bugs and inefficiencies Future specifications: cache-digests and 103 status code


The emergence and embrace of HTTP/2 over recent years has given us a new set of tools to optimise the delivery for our web pages. One notable addition was server push — the ability to proactively send assets to a browser without waiting for them to be requested.

Server push gave us the promise of undoing the performance optimisation hacks we developed to overcome HTTP/1’s inefficiencies, such as inlining and resource bundling.

However, is this new mechanism really the silver bullet we all thought it was? Is it time to abandon our build systems and stop bundling our assets entirely? Or are lack of server support and browser inconsistencies holding us back? Lastly, what are new specifications such as cache digests, origin frame and the 103 status code doing to improve the situation?

Using new research and real-world examples, this talk will take a deep dive into HTTP/2 server push, exploring the current and future best practices for loading assets in the browser. This will ultimately allow us to make better decisions when loading our web pages, and lead to faster, more resilient experiences for our users.

Photo of Patrick Hamann

Patrick Hamann


Patrick is a Web Performance Engineer at Fastly where — among other things — he is helping to build a faster web for all. Prior to Fastly, he helped architect some of the world’s largest media websites including The Guardian and the Financial Times. When not speaking or ranting about performance, he enjoys spending his spare time discovering new food and craft beer.

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