Tim Cliffe "Learning is best constantly exercised."


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Blog by Tim Cliffe P.G. Dip. (SEN)

Make the Web Faster for Everyone

Yes, you can help to make the Internet faster, for everyone, simply by knowing a basic fact about how the Internet works. It's all in the oblique, i.e., / (aka forward-slash).

 

If everyone, who uses the Internet, made one simple and quick change to the way they use URLs (web site addresses), the Internet would work faster, for everyone.

URLs and the Oblique

A globe with network connections and a speed controller. Have you noticed, if you copy a URL, such as http://www.timcliffe.uk and then paste it into your browser, when the web site is displayed, the URL becomes http://www.timcliffe.uk/ (note the / at the end of .uk)?

 

The same works if you copy the URL http://www.timcliffe.uk/blog and then paste that into your browser, you get http://www.timcliffe.uk/blog/

Why, and What Difference Does It Make?

The simple answer is... web directories.

 

http://www.timcliffe.uk/ and http://www.timcliffe.uk/blog/ are web directories, and web servers work faster if a web directory's URL ends with /.

How is that Possible?

When you enter, www.timcliffe.uk/blog into your browser the first thing the server does is look for a file with the same URL, in this example, that would be blog.html. When it doesn't find one, it then looks for a directory. When it finds a directory with the same URL, the server effectively executes, what is called, a redirect and adds / to the end of the URL and then goes to the directory and returns the index document.

So, How Will That Make The Internet Faster?

In the above example, the server needs to look for the URL twice, if you omit the trailing /.

 

If you include the trailing / for domains and directory URLs, you are reducing the number of look-ups by 50%. If everyone, who uses the web, includes the trailing / every time they should, hundreds of millions of look-ups will not be necessary, every single day.

 

That's how you can make the web faster, for everyone.
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You really can help to make the Internet run faster, and It is very simpleInternet speed represented by a control on a global network.

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