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Cloudflare to Speed Up Websites with Early Hints Support

September 20, 2021

Cloudflare is the first to implement server support at scale for Early Hints, a new Internet standard that can help speed up websites on its network by 30% or more for free. By working with prominent browsers, Cloudflare will save Internet users time and create faster, more seamless experiences for businesses and their users.

"Everyone should have access to the fastest, most reliable Internet possible and we have built our global network to deliver exactly that," said Matthew Prince, co-founder and CEO of Cloudflare. "Now we're taking it a step further and working together with leading browsers like Google Chrome to speed up millions of your favorite websites and applications, completely for free.”

Today when you visit a website, browsers cannot load it for you until they receive instructions from a server about all of the different elements, like images and text, that need to be displayed. Now Cloudflare is working directly with browsers to save an extra step, and time, for websites to load. Cloudflare will provide early hints to browsers to let them know to start loading critical webpage elements before the server even completes the processing time to load the page. This reduces the time between someone typing in a website URL and that website completing loading. What’s more, Cloudflare is able to do this, without requiring any additional action from the server, due to a combination of the scale and speed of its global network and its use of machine learning.

"Entrepreneurs know that first impressions matter. Shopify's own data shows that on average, when a store improves the speed of the first page in the buyer journey by 10%, there is a 7% increase in conversion," said Colin Bendell, Director Performance Engineering at Shopify. "We see great promise with Early Hints as another tool to help improve the performance and experience for all merchants and customers."

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