Trusted WordPress tutorials, when you need them most.
Beginner’s Guide to WordPress
25 Million+
Websites using our plugins
Years of WordPress experience
WordPress tutorials
by experts

How to Preload Links in WordPress for Faster Loading Speeds

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on WPBeginner. Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or evaluations. Learn more about Editorial Process.

Do you want to preload links in WordPress and improve loading speeds?

Link preloading is a browser technology that will load links in the background before a site visitor clicks them, making your website seem faster.

In this article, we will show you how to preload WordPress links for faster page loading speeds.

How to preload links in WordPress for faster loading speeds (easy)

What Is Link Preloading in WordPress?

Link preloading is when your web browser loads the link in the background before the user clicks it, making pages load faster when they visit.

Having a faster WordPress site can help increase your blog traffic by improving your WordPress search engine optimization (SEO). Plus, it will improve your site’s user experience.

There are a lot of things you can do to make your WordPress speed and performance faster, including using cache plugins like WP Rocket or using a CDN. However, link preloading stands out for its simplicity.

The only thing is that it’s essential to configure preloading correctly to avoid server issues. Overly aggressive preloading of all internal links, for instance, could lead to server crashes.

That being said, let’s show you how to preload links in WordPress the right way, step by step. 

How to Preload WordPress Links and Make Your Site Faster

The easiest way to preload links is by using the Flying Pages plugin. It simply adds intelligent preloading to make sure preloading won’t crash your site or even slow it down.

If it detects any issues like that, then the plugin will stop all preloading. 

The first thing you need to do is install and activate the plugin. For more details, see our guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to navigate to Settings » Flying Pages in your WordPress admin panel to configure the plugin settings. 

Then, you need to set the ‘Delay to start preloading’ time in the dropdown. This is the delay to start preloading links if your user’s mouse isn’t moving in the browser window.

You can change this, but we’ll keep the default recommended setting of ‘0 second.’

Flying Links settings set the preloader delay

Next, you can change the ‘Max requests per second’. The lower you set this number, the less impact it will have on your server. 

We’ll keep the default setting of ‘3 requests’, which should work for most WordPress hosting environments.

Set max requests per second

After that, you can check the box to ‘Preload only on mouse hover.’ This will only preload links if a user hovers over it and will preload the page just before they click.

This technology makes the perceived load time nearly instant because there’s a 400ms delay between when the user brings their mouse over a link and clicking it.

You can also set the ‘Mouse hover delay.’ This is the time that will pass after a user hovers over a link before preloading starts. 

Set preload time and hover delay

Below that, there’s a list of keywords that the plugin will ignore for preloading.

These are standard login pages and image files. You can leave the list as it is or add more keywords if you like.

Set keywords to ignore for preloading

If you are running an online store, then you may want to add pages like /cart and other dynamic pages in this list so they are not preloaded.

Similarly, if you are using an affiliate marketing plugin like ThirstyAffiliates or PrettyLinks, then it’s important to add your affiliate prefix like /refer/ or /go/ to this ignore keywords list. Otherwise, it can break affiliate link tracking.

The final option is to disable preloading for admins.

Overall, this will help to reduce your website server load. If you want to only preload for website visitors who aren’t logged-in admins, then simply check the box.

Disable preloading for admins and save

Once you are finished, click the ‘Save Changes’ button at the bottom of the page.

That’s it! You’ve successfully enabled link preloading on your website.

Note: If you are running a website speed test with a tool like PageSpeed Insights and you don’t see your score get better, then that’s completely normal. Preloading links only improves the speed of link clicking, and it doesn’t speed up the first time your site loads. 

Get More Expert Tips to Speed Up WordPress

Want to make your WordPress website even faster? Check out these WordPress tutorials:

We hope this article helped you learn how to preload links in WordPress for faster loading speeds. You may also want to see our tutorials on how to create an email newsletter and how to choose the must-have WordPress plugins for your website.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. See how WPBeginner is funded, why it matters, and how you can support us. Here's our editorial process.

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

The Ultimate WordPress Toolkit

Get FREE access to our toolkit - a collection of WordPress related products and resources that every professional should have!

Reader Interactions

9 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

    Hey WPBeginner readers,
    Did you know you can win exciting prizes by commenting on WPBeginner?
    Every month, our top blog commenters will win HUGE rewards, including premium WordPress plugin licenses and cash prizes.
    You can get more details about the contest from here.
    Start sharing your thoughts below to stand a chance to win!

  2. Jiří Vaněk says

    I use the ‘preload links’ feature in the WP Rocket cache plugin, and I have to say it’s a great function that truly speeds up website loading. I can highly recommend it. So, specifically for speeding up a website, WP Rocket is probably the best option, as it natively includes this feature and significantly helps in accelerating the site. Among cache plugins, it’s the top choice.

  3. Cassie says

    Thank you for sharing. I never knew this was a thing. It seems pretty straight forward and easy to implement. I am going to hang on to this information so I can give it a try. I love learning new things!

    Thanks again!

    • WPBeginner Support says

      It would if you do not exclude those from the plugin which is why we recommend excluding them in this article :)


    • WPBeginner Support says

      Yes, at the moment it is a similar tool to that depending on your choice of cache plugin.


Leave A Reply

Thanks for choosing to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that all comments are moderated according to our comment policy, and your email address will NOT be published. Please Do NOT use keywords in the name field. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation.