A few months ago, we wrote a post focused on a product we were building that could vastly improve page load performance. That product, known as Early Hints, has seen wide adoption since that original post. In early benchmarking experiments with Early Hints, we saw performance improvements that were as high as 30%.
Now, with over 100,000 customers using Early Hints on Cloudflare, we are excited to talk about how much Early Hints have improved page loads for our customers in production, how customers can get the most out of Early Hints, and provide an update on the next iteration of Early Hints we’re building.
What Are Early Hints again?
As a reminder, the browser you’re using right now to read this page needed instructions for what to render and what resources (like images, fonts, and scripts) need to be fetched from somewhere else in order to complete the loading of this (or any given) web page. When you decide you want to see a page, your browser sends a request to a server and the instructions for what to load come from the server’s response. These responses are generally composed of a multitude of resources that tell the browser what content to load and how to display it to the user. The servers sending these instructions to your browser often need time to gather up all of the resources in order to compile the whole webpage. This period is known as “server think time.” Traditionally, during the “server think time” the browser