Skip to Content


Prefetch a URL with a resource hint.

JavaScript February 7, 2021


nebula.prefetch(url, callback)


(Required) (String) The URL to prefetch
Default: None

(Optional) (Function) A function to run when the URL has been prefetched successfully
Default: None

(Optional) (Object) A jQuery object of the element
Default: This is used for contextual references

Parameter Notes

The callback function will only run if the prefetch was successful.

The element expects a jQuery object and uses it to check for context (things like the “download” attribute) to further determine if this should be prefetched.

Request or provide clarification »

Additional Notes

This function will not prefetch resources for users on 2G connections or if the “Save Data” option is enabled.

Was this page helpful? Yes No

    A feedback message is required to submit this form.

    Please check that you have entered a valid email address.

    Enter your email address if you would like a response.

    Thank you for your feedback!

    Source File

    Located in /assets/js/modules/optimization.js on line 391.

    1 Hook

    Find these filters and actions in the source code below to hook into them. Use wp.hooks.doAction() and wp.hooks.addFilter() in your JavaScript file.

    Need a new filter hook? Request one here.

    This function has no action hooks available. Request one?

    nebula.prefetch = async function(url = '', callback, element){
        if ( url && url.length > 1 && url.indexOf('#') !== 0 && typeof window.requestIdleCallback === 'function' ){ //If the URL exists, is longer than 1 character and does not begin with # (waiting for Safari to support requestIdleCallback)
            //If network connection is 2G don't prefetch
            if ( navigator.connection?.effectiveType.toString().includes('2g') ){ //'slow-2g', '2g', '3g', or '4g'
                return false;
            //If Save Data is supported and Save Data is requested don't prefetch
            if ( navigator.connection?.saveData ){
                return false;
            //Ignore request to prefetch the current page
            if ( url === window.location.href || url === ){
                return false;
            //Ignore links with certain attributes and classes (if the element itself was passed by reference)
            if ( element && (jQuery(element).is('[download]') || jQuery(element).hasClass('no-prefetch') || jQuery(element).parents('.no-prefetch').length) ){
                return false;
            //Only https protocol (ignore "mailto", "tel", etc.)
            if ( !url.startsWith('https') ){
                return false;
            //Ignore certain files
            if ( (/\.(?:pdf|docx?|xlsx?|pptx?|zipx?|rar|tar|txt|rtf|ics|vcard)/).test(url) ){
                return false;
            //Strip out unnecessary parts of the URL
            url = url.split('#')[0]; //Remove hashes
            //Ignore blocklisted terms (logout, 1-click purchase buttons, etc.)
            let prefetchBlocklist = wp.hooks.applyFilters('nebulaPrefetchBlocklist', ['logout', 'wp-admin']);
            jQuery.each(prefetchBlocklist, function(index, value){
                if ( url.includes(value) ){
                    url = ''; //Empty the URL so it will fail the next condition
                    return false; //This just breaks out of the loop (does not stop the function)
            window.requestIdleCallback(function(){ //Wait until the browser is idle before prefetching
                if ( url.length && !jQuery('link[rel="prefetch"][href="' + url + '"]').length ){ //If prefetch link for this URL has not yet been added to the DOM
                    jQuery('<link rel="prefetch" href="' + url + '">').on('load', callback).appendTo('head'); //Append a prefetch link element for this URL to the DOM


    To override or disable this JavaScript function, simply redeclare it with the exact same function name.

    nebula.prefetch = function(url, callback, element){
        //Write your own code here, leave it blank, or return false.