This document provides brief summaries of the major features of Instart Web Performance, with links for more detail.
Instart's innovative performance optimization features provide a completely new way to accelerate web application delivery.
- Brotli compression provides
- Dynamic Caching predictively preloads dynamically-generated web pages and serve them from cache to first-time visitors.
- Image Transcoding with SmartVision optimizes image file size, format and compression to provide fast performance without sacrificing image quality.
- Image Adaptation provides a query string-based API for resizing image dimensions, cropping, and other transformations.
With traditional web delivery approaches, personalized dynamic HTML must be generated for each request before any content can be sent back to the requesting browser. The browser makes a request, and then there is a delay while the back end web and application servers generate the user-specific HTML and deliver it over the global Internet to the requesting browser. Traditional content delivery services therefore provide only basic network acceleration for dynamic HTML.
The browser can then make use of previously wasted time, as it can begin processing the non-unique parts of the HTML while the backend server is generating the unique HTML. The browser can begin rendering the page, and soon after, using the client-side Nanovisor, seamlessly patch in the remaining HTML when it arrives. Without HTML Streaming, these logically separate activities could only occur sequentially. The result is a dramatic decrease in the time it takes to respond to dynamic requests – meaning that the browser can start rendering the page sooner.
For more information on how HTML Streaming works, see What is HTML Streaming?
|Note||Brotli compression only works if assets are sent via HTTPS, and if the property is in the PCI environment.|
For more information on how Brotli compression works, see What is Brotli Compression?
Instart's Dynamic Caching creates the optimal user experience for customers' new site visitors, eliminating the delay these visitors usually experience when loading a new website for the first time. This new feature enables Instart's service to predictively preload dynamically-generated web pages and serve them from cache to first-time visitors. By avoiding the round trip back to the customer's origin, Dynamic Caching improves performance by 30 to 50% for first-time visits to a customer's website.
Commonly, for a first-time visitor to a website, the HTML response is essentially the same across all users, except that each user requires a unique identifier, generally in the form of a cookie. Therefore, a first-time visitor has to make a round trip back to the origin is order to fetch this unique identifier, increasing page load times for first-time visitors to the site. With our Dynamic Caching technology, we can predictively request a series of responses containing unique identifiers and store them in a short-term queue on our service. As first-time visitors come to a site, one of these responses in the queue is issued without the need to go to the origin server. Meanwhile, a new identifier is requested from the origin to replace the one depleted and is added to the queue in advance of future first-time users.
Instart is the only company to provide this unique solution to its customers. By enabling a better first-time visit for shoppers, companies will have a significant advantage and reduce the high drop-off rate typically experienced with first-time visitors.
For more information on how Dynamic Caching works, see What is Dynamic Caching?
Transcoding JPG and PNG images in place allows a reduction in image data size by removing unneeded metadata, applying improved compression methods when possible, and preparing images. The overall data transfer per image is smaller. JPG and PNG images can also be transcoded to WebP and JPEG XR files, which offers even better data size reduction in Google Chrome (WebP) or Microsoft Internet Explorer 10 and above (JPEG XR).
The Instart platform has a set of optimizations that allow for many different transcoding approaches that take advantage of modern compression approaches, device-specific image formats, and the use of modern image analysis technology – SmartVision – to ensure that images are processed to provide the smallest data transfer and best quality possible. The system takes many factors into consideration when transcoding images, such as the source format, the actual visual content of the images, the quality levels, and even the requesting device's capabilities.
SmartVision is a sophisticated image processing technology that automatically analyzes each image as it passes through the service. SmartVision uses cutting-edge computer vision technology to gain an understanding of each image and its unique attributes, such as the volume and distance of objects in the scene, the quality of the original image, and an understanding of the quality-of-experience curve as the image is progressively rendered for an end user. It analyzes the actual content of an image and intelligently determines how much of it can be initially streamed to the browser so that the user can recognize the image on their device without perceiving a degradation in image quality. This allows web applications to send less image data to the browser, reducing time-to-interaction to provide a full-fidelity experience moments later. SmartVision is used by the Instart platform by default to make the best possible choices for each image. You can use a fixed quality threshold for all images if you prefer.
For more information on how Image Transcoding works, see What is Image Transcoding?
Image Adaptation uses our image processing capabilities to apply a variety of image processing operations to images in JPG, PNG, GIF and animated GIF formats. We can
- resize to a specific pixel size, a relative percentage of the original image, or a maximum or minimum dimension
- crop images to a specific size from a specified location relative to the image's borders
- filter images to grayscale or black and white
- sharpen images to reduce apparent blurriness
- add a border of a specified color and size
- chain any of these operations (processed in the order specified)
This allows you to store a single high-resolution image on a backend origin web server and then process images as needed when they are delivered through our service. This allows, for example, sending smaller images to mobile and tablet devices with smaller screens and providing thumbnails for larger images.
|Note||Images for Image Adaptation must be JPG, PNG, GIF, or animated GIF only.|
Images can be processed using simple resize or cropping commands that are added to the query string of an image's request.
For more information on how Image Adaptation works, see What is Image Adaptation?