Single Page Call – Beneficial for maximum site speed

by | Sep 20, 2013

Important note: Revive Adserver v3.2, which was released in April 2015, contains a major new feature called Async Javascript tags. This new feature has all of the benefits of single page call and none of the disadvantages. As such, I no longer recommend using Single Page Call.

This is the first article in a series of 3. You may also enjoy reading:

Revive Adserver has had a powerful feature called “Single Page Call” for several years. Unfortunately, there has not been a lot of attention for it, which is a shame because there are many advantages for site owners, ad server administrators and most importantly site visitors.

In this article, I will explain the benefits of using the Single Page Call tags in your site, leading up to more articles that will have detailed instructions on how to switch from traditional invocation code to the advanced single page call technique.

Traditional Javascript invocation code from Revive Adserver

Let’s assume you have a templated website that has 5 ad zones on every page: a 728×90 leaderboard zone at the top next to the logo, three 300×250 medium rectangle zones in the right side bar and a 468×60 full banner zone at the bottom of the page. For each of these zones, there is a snippet of javascript code that Revive Adserver generates for you automatically.

When a visitor loads the web page, the browser receives the HTML code for that page, and the browser subsequently executes the 5 javascript snippets, one for each of the zones. As a consequence, loading one page triggers 5 calls to your ad server, and possibly another 5 calls to retrieve the banner images and 5 calls to the impression logging pixel, resulting in a significant amount of time waiting for those ads to appear and the page to complete rendering.

What is Revive Adserver Single Page Call?

When you implement the Single Page Call technique offered by Revive Adserver, you replace the 5 javascript snippets mentioned above with just one call to the ad server to retrieve all 5 ad zone. The output of the ad server is stored in browser memory and then displayed in the web page at the right positions.

Obviously, if you serve image or Flash ads, there will still be 5 requests for banner image files, and there will also be the 5 impression logging pixel calls. But the most time consuming part, the actual ad requests, has been reduced from 5 calls to just 1 call.

Advantages of Revive Adserver Single Page Call

Tests have shown that there are multiple technical advantages to Single Page Call:

  • The time needed to load the web page will be reduced significantly, because there is only one ad request that needs to be processed by Revive Adserver. This takes slightly longer than a traditional javascript code snippet, but after that all ads are already available in browser memory. In the 5 zone example described above, the total time that the browser spends waiting for the ad server will be reduced by about 75%.
  • Since Revive Adserver is no longer being hit by multiple requests for each page loading, but just one very efficient combined ad request per page, the stress on the ad server will also be reduced significantly, which means you’ll be able to process more ad requests and impressions with your existing hardware or hosting plan.

Benefits of Revive Adserver Single Page Call

Site visitors will enjoy the improved loading speed of the web pages, which is a bonus in the ongoing battle for visitors and page views. A faster site means happy users that often turn into frequent, loyal visitors.

Site owners will also like the speed improvements of their sites, because of the focus that search engines like Google put on speed nowadays. Having a faster site means getting a higher ranking in the search engine results pages.

System administrators love the side effects of the single page call, because their hardware or virtual servers will be used more efficiently, resulting in cost savings

Additional benefits

In addition to these technical benefits, there are also several functional benefits, which include the ability to incorporate advanced targeting parameters into the single page call code, and the ability to request mutliple instances of the same zone on a given page.

Next article: how to implement Revive Adserver Single Page Call

In the next article, I will describe the basics of implementing the Single Page Call code on a web site.

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