Google Chrome will now reload pages you’ve just been to even faster than it did before. Of course if you’re like some of us, you might not have noticed because the browser was already very fast. But for those who get excited about anything techie, Google has released a full explanation of what it did.
Here’s what happens when you refresh a page on Chrome
In a blog post, the Google Chrome team explained what happens when users refresh a page on the browser. Whenever a user clicks to refresh a page, the browser communicates with the web server to see if there are cached resources that can still be used, which is called validation. The result is “hundreds of network requests per page issued to dozens of domains,” Google said. When refreshing a page on a mobile device, users may experience “serious performance issues” due to the “transient nature of mobile connections.”
In most cases, a refresh is performed because a link appears to be broken or the reader wants to check to see if the content itself has been refreshed. In the case of broken pages, a reload usually fixes it, but Google said that standard reloads are inefficient at addressing the issue of refreshing content that has become stale, especially on mobile devices.
Google Chrome refreshes now 28% faster
To deal with the performance problems related to page refreshes, especially on mobile devices, Google Chrome will now be able to reload pages 28% faster and with a 60% reduction in validation requests. The new process also means that refreshes use less bandwidth and power, and the team made only a small change to achieve all of this.
The Chrome team explained that the process of refreshing pages was developed back in the days when it was common to find broken pages in need of refreshing, so it made sense to address the issue for both broken pages and stale content using the same refresh process. Now that broken pages aren’t as big of a problem, Google Chrome has simplified the “reload behavior” so that it validates only the pages main resource and then continues a “regular page load.”
“This new behavior maximizes the reuse of cached resources and results in lower latency, power consumption, and date usage,” the Chrome team’s blog post explains.
One example they gave to quantify this was Facebook, which they said contacted them with data which showed that Google Chrome was sending three times the validation requests as other browsers were sending. Now that they have made the above changes, the social network is reporting 28% faster refreshes and a 60% reduction in validation requests from the browser.