Pre-fetching links to improve performance

I was stumbling around the web the other day when I came across Addy Osmani’s website (he’s an Engineering Manager at Google working on Chrome) and I was looking at the open source projects he’s worked on.  One in particular stood out for me; Quicklink.

The idea is pretty simple, but also very elegant.  This library waits until the browser is idle, checks that the user isn’t on a slow connection or currently using data saver, and then pre-fetches all of the links currently visible on the screen.  What this means is that pages that the users might click on are pre-fetched into the local cache, so when they click on the link, it will load lightening fast.

I thought this would be an excellent idea for a WordPress plugin, but then I discovered that it already existed; Quicklink for WordPress.

The downside of this approach is that your analytics might be a bit skewed, with loads of page views logged when pages aren’t actually viewed, just fetched.  And you are using up more of the user’s bandwidth than you really need to.  But I liked the idea and it led me to wonder if it would be better to just pre-fetch links that they show interest in, by hovering over…

And then I discovered that exists as well; instant.page, and there’s an official WordPress plugin for that too; instant.page plugin.  This “just in time loading” mechanism claims to give ~300ms on a desktop (or any device using a mouse) and ~90ms on a mobile (or other touch screen device), which provides a noticeable improvement if your page is already loading quickly, but not so much if it’s taking several seconds anyway.

So I ended up having no new ideas at all, unfortunately, but found two really useful looking WordPress plugins to try out in earnest.

HTTP Forever

The web is getting more and more secure, which is good news given all the data breaches, malware, ransomware, and other cyber security incidents that are littering the news these days (or at least, my news feed, but that could be of the blogs that I follow!). I suppose I should be more specific, and…

Setting up Cloudflare and WordPress

I’m happy to announce that have a new course live on Skillshare and Udemy… Setting up Cloudflare and WordPress This course follows on from my courses on setting up Cloudflare for website security and performance and setting up Cloudflare – page rules deep dive, which go through all the Cloudflare settings, explaining what’s available and…

Image optimisation with ShortPixel

One thing that I’ve been doing a lot lately is helping people with their WordPress website performance.  You may have noticed I’ve done some Cloudflare courses and they have come off the back of this (can’t recommend Cloudflare enough, by the way!). One of the Pro features of Cloudflare is called “Polish”, which promises to optimise…