As websites and applications become more complex, the need for fast and efficient delivery of content to users becomes increasingly important. To meet this need, the HTTP/2 protocol introduced a number of optimizations, including server push and preload instructions, to help improve the speed and performance of web pages. However, these optimizations have their limitations, and a new solution has emerged in the form of HTTP 103 Early Hints.
HTTP 103 Early Hints is a new HTTP status code that allows servers to start pushing resources to clients before a full response has been sent. This allows for early delivery of important resources, such as stylesheets and scripts, which can significantly improve the performance and user experience of a website. In this article, we will explore how to configure Cloudflare to provide HTTP 103 Early Hints with ease, and compare it with other popular optimization techniques such as preload instructions and server push.
Cloudflare is a popular content delivery network (CDN) that provides a range of performance optimization features. To configure Cloudflare for HTTP 103 Early Hints, first, you need to install the express-early-hints module in your Express server. This module allows you to send HTTP 103 responses to clients and start pushing resources before a full response has been sent.
Next, log in to your Cloudflare account and navigate to the "Page Rules" section. From there, you can create a new rule for your website and add a "Response Header" action with the following configuration: "HTTP/2 Push" set to "On". This will enable server push for your website and allow Cloudflare to start pushing resources to clients as soon as it receives the HTTP 103 response from your Express server.
It's important to note that server push should be used sparingly and only for critical resources that are required for initial render. Overuse of server push can lead to increased latency and decreased performance, as clients may not be able to handle the large number of resources being pushed.
In conclusion, HTTP 103 Early Hints is a powerful optimization technique that can significantly improve the performance and user experience of a website. By configuring Cloudflare to provide HTTP 103 Early Hints, you can take advantage of this new status code and deliver content to clients faster and more efficiently. Compared to other optimizations such as preload instructions and server push, HTTP 103 Early Hints provides a more flexible and nuanced approach to delivering content, allowing for fine-tuned control over the delivery of resources to clients.