preconnect your external sources

Recently I have added in (and well overdue) the preconnect meta tag.

Preconnect is a resource hint tag you can add to your markup in the <head>. It will tell the browser, that your markup will be making a request to a resource on an external domain, later int the document.

The tag looks like this

<link rel="preconnect" href="//">

Once defined this will initiate the below, including SSL handshakes

  • DNS Lookup
  • TCP Handshake
  • TLS negotiation

This will save you time later on down the request chain when the browser sees these resources and starts to decide how to handle them.

The image above is an example of results using Google Chrome Dev Tools at Fast 3G and Online options.

  • Fast 3g with preconnect
  • Fast 3g without preconnect
  • Fast 3g without preconnect
  • Online with preconnect
  • Fast 3g with preconnect

Red is before and Blue is after.

On mobile connections and a 6x slowdown on processor speed, it has a reduction of 2-6 seconds on page load speed!

Unfortunately, I didn't get a before for the Online test, but you can imagine the gain. The mobile performance fight is what I am concentrating on day to day at the moment, anyway.

This gives us another great tool in our arsenal.

There are other options as well

Each one gives you certain advantages/disadvantages over the other. For more in-depth information you can check out