Anthony Oyathelemhi
Dev Notes by Tony

Dev Notes by Tony

How to preload pages with Nextjs

Anthony Oyathelemhi's photo
Anthony Oyathelemhi

Published on Aug 15, 2021

2 min read

There are two next-specific ways you can navigate between pages in a Nextjs application (on the client side)

  • Using the component from next/link (declarative)
  • Using the router object from the useRouter hook (imperative)

We're going to look at prefetching in both cases

The Link component has a very simple api, just pass a href prop with the relative url you want to navigate to and it just works, like the default <a> tag. One thing to note however is that you need to still wrap an <a> for it to work correctly.

import Link from 'next/link'

<Link href="/path/to/a/page">
  <a>
    Link text
  </a>
</Link>

But how do you prefetch a page using the Link component? It happens automatically

Nextjs does this for every Link tag that is currently in the browser viewport. You can turn this off by setting the prefetch prop to false

<Link href="/path/to/a/page" prefetch={false}>
  <a>
    Link text
  </a>
</Link>

However, the page will still be prefetched on hover regardless of what value is passed to prefetch

Preloading with router.prefetch()

import { useRouter } from 'next/router'
import { useEffect } from 'react'

function Page() {
  useEffect(() => {
    router.prefetch('/path/to/page')
  }, [])

  return // jsx here
}

It's as simple as that! Now you might ask, in what scenario does it make sense to do this?

A prime example will be on a multi-part blog post. You can prefetch the next page while the user reads the current page, making transition appear instantaneous.

See the docs for more usage examples

 
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