September 27th, 2019
The typical journey for a person browsing a website: view a page, click a link, browser loads a new page. That’s assuming no funny business like a Single Page App, which still follows that journey, but the browser doesn’t load a new page — the client fakes it for the sake of a snappier transition.
What if you could load that new page before the person clicks the link so that, when they do, the loading of that next page is much faster? There are two notable projects that try to help with that:
- quicklink: detects visible links, waits for the browser to be idle and if it isn’t on slow connection, it prefetches those links.
- instant.page: if you hover over a link for 65ms, it preloads that link. The new Version 2 allows you to configure of the time delay or whether to wait for a click or press before preloading.
Combine those things with technological improvements like paint holding, and building a SPA architecture just for the speed benefits may become unnecessary (though it may still be desirable for other reasons, like code-splitting, putting the onus of routing onto front-end developers, etc.).