How SiteSpect Works

Optimization For All Your Needs

SiteSpect optimizes the entire user experience from client-side look and feel to server-side functionality while centrally managing across channels, business units, and product lines. SiteSpect’s elegant architecture sits in the flow of your digital traffic for full visibility of requests and responses, allowing for real time business impact. SiteSpect offers unprecedented site performance, scalability, data integrity, security, and the ability to optimize every part of the user experience.

SiteSpect is in the Flow of Traffic

SiteSpect is a user experience A/B testing, personalization, and optimization platform that tests strategic changes to your website, mobile site, and other digital applications. We leverage the power of personalization, omnichannel experiences, A/B testing, and multivariate testing to measure the impact of changes to your bottom line. We do this by routing some (or all) of your traffic through SiteSpect.

When a user visits your website, they start by typing your domain name, which initiates an HTTP request to your web server. The web server returns content, which is loaded into a browser, where the user navigates your website.

When you use SiteSpect, it sits between your users and your server. When the user makes the same request, traffic routes through SiteSpect, which manages the request and response between the web server and the browser. This powerful architecture allows SiteSpect to support multiple user experience optimization techniques including client-side, server-side, redirects, and single page application optimization.


How SiteSpect Works With SEO

SiteSpect’s patented reverse proxy solution executes content changes between the server and the browser, unlike most tools that execute changes via JavaScript in the browser. This architecture offers several unique SEO-specific benefits:

  1. SiteSpect’s reverse proxy solution is the only way to apply content changes that do not impact render time. Google penalizes slow-performing sites, and SiteSpect will never slow your site down.
  2. SiteSpect segments based on user, meaning it will detect search engine bots and serve them the original content. In other words, even when you change the content on your web page you won’t lose the SEO you’ve already accomplished, and you don’t run the risk associated with duplicate content.

Client-Side - Find and Replace

SiteSpect’s Find and Replace technology works just like it’s named. You tell us what content, image, page, style, or regular expression to look for and when we find it on any page, we make the desired change. SiteSpect optimizes the entire user experience by performing content modifications and collects user metrics inline, based on campaigns that you design and run. For example, let's say you tell us to find and replace the words “Buy Now” with “Add to Cart” on product pages across your site. SiteSpect identifies a product page, looks for every instance of “Buy Now” and replaces it with “Add to Cart”. This same methodology applies to more powerful changes, like optimizing your checkout or registration flow, using regular expressions and works for any client-side test or personalized experience. Learn more about how SiteSpect’s Find and Replace technology is the best client-side optimization solution for the entire customer experience.

Server-Side - Origin Experiments

SiteSpect’s Origin Experiments allow for server-side A/B testing and personalization for the entire user experience. When a user makes a request to your server, SiteSpect sees it first. At that point, SiteSpect identifies which experience that user should see and passes that information on to your server inside the request in the form of a cookie, header, or URL parameter. Your server provides the correct experience without any third-party code. This elegant server-side solution has the added benefits of automated session management, metric management, and robust targeting capabilities. Learn more about why SiteSpect’s Origin Experiments is the best server-side solution to optimize the entire user experience on the market today.


Redirect user requests to a different page or pass additional information to your CMS to serve different content. When a user makes a redirect request, SiteSpect sees it first and identifies the user and the requested page. SiteSpect then changes the destination by modifying the URL or parameter, avoiding the latency required by JavaScript tag-based redirects. Our redirects are dramatically faster and avoid the hit to SEO that accompanies 301/302 redirect responses. SiteSpect maintains site performance so you can truly begin optimizing the entire user experience.

Single Page Applications (SPA) with JavaScript Frameworks

SiteSpect allows you to use any JavaScript Framework including React and Angular to A/B test and personalize your single page application (SPA). These options include both client-side and server-side techniques. SiteSpect can either tell your server which SPA library to deploy or it can deploy its own libraries using SiteSpect’s SPA SDK. The SPA SDK library evaluates and applies client-side variations using mutation observers and is fully supported by our Visual Editor. This JavaScript library is very lightweight (less than 5kb zipped) and delivered as one file. To see the code and an example of a client-side variation, take a look at our SPA GitHub report.

SPA Integration Graphic

Content Management Systems (CMS)

Platform Independence

Regardless of the CMS solution you choose, or whether you employ a Traditional or Headless CMS, SiteSpect’s placement in the flow of traffic enables user experience personalization and optimization. Here’s how:

Traditional CMS

Illustration: traditional CMS

With Traditional CMS, content is accessible via normal HTTP requests. Any device or application can pull content and display it in responsive pages. In this scenario, SiteSpect sits in front of the servers and services in your stack. It appears as a browser or client would to your origin making HTTP requests for the final content it consumes.

SiteSpect simply performs a “GET” on the content, which it can then manipulate as an experiment by modifying the code (HTML, CSS, JSON, or XML). It then serves it to the client browser, mobile device, or SPA, and within an optimization or personalization campaign, alters the experience, and tracks and collects the desired metrics for that campaign.

Headless CMS

Illustration: Headless CMS

With Headless CMS, SiteSpect’s role is no different. Content is accessible via API as raw data and any device or application pulls this data for display, but SiteSpect still sits in front of the servers and services in your stack. It still appears as a browser or client to your origin, making HTTP requests for the final content it consumes.

SiteSpect is back-end agnostic. It “GETs” the content which it can then manipulate as an experiment by modifying code (HTML, CSS, JSON, or XML). It then serves it to the client browser, mobile device, or SPA, and within an optimization or personalization campaign, alters the experience, and tracks and collects the desired metrics for that campaign.

Deployment Options

SiteSpect’s architecture allows several deployment options for optimizing the user experience. SiteSpect’s only requirement is that it is in the flow of traffic, which means that you can deploy it via cloud, on-premise, or using a hybrid implementation.

SiteSpect Cloud

SiteSpect Cloud supports some of the largest ecommerce and financial sites in world, with 10 points of presence (POPs) across the United States and Europe. SiteSpect uses load balancing on the front end to ensure we are directing the user to the nearest SiteSpect Cloud. Once in the local cloud another load balancer ensures the best user experience.

On Premise

With Virtual Machine (VM) deployment in your data centers behind your firewall, SiteSpect’s single-tenant on-premise deployment option offers you full control. Quickly scale to your needs and keep your data in your data center.

AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform Services

SiteSpect works in a variety of popular IaaS cloud services including AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. SiteSpect supplies a compatible image for each service (example: a SiteSpect AMI for AWS).

Hybrid Deployment

SiteSpect can combine on-premise and third-party options. This is ideal for international sites that may host their own website domestically but use third-party cloud services like AWS internationally. Optimize the entire user experience no matter your architecture and ecosystem.

SiteSpect Cloud Configuration

Some SiteSpect deployments combine SiteSpect Cloud with a CDN, which routes your website requests through the CDN. The CDN in turn routes some of that traffic to SiteSpect. SiteSpect then proxies a request back to the CDN for content. The CDN responds back to SiteSpect with content. At this point SiteSpect takes measurements and for client-side campaigns, makes dynamic modifications to the HTML based on rules designed by your SiteSpect users. This modified HTML is returned to the end user through the CDN. The end user’s browser then renders the appropriate content.

After SiteSpect displays the content to the end user, SiteSpect measures how the user reacts to those changes and collects data on how well your changes worked.

SiteSpect uses load-balancing on the front end to ensure we are directing the user to the nearest SiteSpect cloud. We have several instances in our current targeted geographies. Once in the local cloud(s) we have another load balancer to ensure the customer experience is optimal.

SiteSpect Performance Dashboard

SiteSpects’s dashboard provides insights for marketers, product managers, developers, and IT engineers. For IT, the Site Performance tab:

  • Correlates business KPIs with network traffic.
  • Diagnoses server and traffic issues, isolates slow requests, and troubleshoots root cause.

This provides complete transparency for your IT team.


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