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
Secondary topics:  Hands-on, Technical, Web Pillars Track: Performance, Security, Accessibility
Average rating: ****.
(4.40, 5 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Performance-minded web developers, both front and backend

Prerequisite knowledge

  • A basic understanding of HTTP and how web pages are loaded

What you'll learn

  • Explore server push concepts and best practices


The emergence and embrace of HTTP/2 in recent years has given us a new set of tools to optimize the delivery of 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 promises to put an end to the performance optimization hacks we’ve 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, Patrick Hamann leads a deep dive into server push, exploring 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.

Topics include:

  • HTTP/2 server push and how it works
  • Implementation
  • Browser caches
  • Critical path optimization and resource prioritization
  • Push versus preload
  • Measuring push effectiveness
  • Browser bugs and inefficiencies
  • Future specifications: Cache digests and 103 status code
Photo of Patrick Hamann

Patrick Hamann


Patrick Hamann is a web performance engineer at Fastly, where, among other things, he is helping to build a faster web for all. Previously, 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 time discovering new food and craft beer.