Cloudflare's Crawler Hints: EYNK

In this article, we'll take a look at what crawler hints are, how they work, and how you can use them to improve the performance of Cloudflare's CDN on your site.

Cloudflare's Crawler Hints: EYNK
Photo by Timothy Dykes / Unsplash

If you're a webmaster, you've probably heard of Cloudflare. They're a company that provides a content delivery network (CDN) and DNS service. They also offer a web application firewall (WAF), and a range of other security-related services.

One of the features that Cloudflare offers is the ability to add so-called "crawler hints" to your website. These are essentially directives that tell Cloudflare's crawlers (which are used to populate their CDN) how to crawl your site.

The Crawler Hints feature is designed to improve the performance of Cloudflare's CDN, and to make it easier for you to manage how your site is crawled. It's a relatively new feature, and it's not yet widely used.

In this article, we'll take a look at what crawler hints are, how they work, and how you can use them to improve the performance of Cloudflare's CDN on your site.

What are Crawler Hints?

Crawler hints are essentially directives that tell Cloudflare's crawlers how to crawl your site. They're designed to improve the performance of Cloudflare's CDN, and to make it easier for you to manage how your site is crawled.

There are three types of crawler hints:

Prefetch hints: These tell Cloudflare's crawlers to fetch certain resources (such as images orCSS files) before they're needed. This can improve the performance of your site, as the resources will be cached and ready to use when they're needed.

DNS prefetch hints: These tell Cloudflare's crawlers to resolve DNS entries for certain domains before they're needed. This can improve the performance of your site, as the DNS entries will be cached and ready to use when they're needed.

Preconnect hints: These tell Cloudflare's crawlers to establish a connection to certain servers before they're needed. This can improve the performance of your site, as the connections will be established and ready to use when they're needed.

How do Crawler Hints work?

Cloudflare's crawlers use a number of techniques to crawl websites. One of these is the use of so-called "crawler hints".

Crawler hints are essentially directives that tell Cloudflare's crawlers how to crawl your site. They're designed to improve the performance of Cloudflare's CDN, and to make it easier for you to manage how your site is crawled.

How to use Crawler Hints?

You can use crawler hints in one of two ways:

  1. You can add them to your website's HTML.
  2. You can add them to your Cloudflare account settings.

If you add them to your website's HTML, they'll be added to every page on your site. If you add them to your Cloudflare account settings, they'll be added to all the sites that are using Cloudflare.

Adding Crawler Hints to your Website's HTML

To add crawler hints to your website's HTML, you'll need to edit your site's code. You can do this using a text editor, or you can use a tool like CloudCannon.

Once you've edited your site's code, you'll need to add the following tags to the <head> section of your site's HTML:

<link rel="dns-prefetch" href="https://example.com/">
<link rel="preconnect" href="https://example.com/">
<link rel="prefetch" href="https://example.com/image.jpg">

Replace "example.com" with the domain that you want to prefetch or preconnect to.

Adding Crawler Hints to your Cloudflare Account Settings

To add crawler hints to your Cloudflare account settings, you'll need to log in to your Cloudflare account. Once you've logged in, you'll need to click on the "Crawler Hints" tab.

Once you're on the "Crawler Hints" tab, you'll see a list of the domains that you've already added crawler hints for. To add a new domain, you'll need to click on the "Add Domain" button.

Once you've clicked on the "Add Domain" button, you'll need to enter the domain that you want to add crawler hints for. You can also specify which type of crawler hints you want to add.

Conclusion

Crawler hints are a relatively new feature from Cloudflare, and they're not yet widely used. They're designed to improve the performance of Cloudflare's CDN, and to make it easier for you to manage how your site is crawled.

There are three types of crawler hints: prefetch hints, DNS prefetch hints, and preconnect hints. You can use crawler hints in one of two ways: you can add them to your website's HTML, or you can add them to your Cloudflare account settings.