Prevent WordPress from Loading “Next” Pages

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I've been working to make this blog more performant by lazy loading everything I can think of, placing CSS and JavaScript into the HTML, and using data URIs;  the common theme in these is reducing the number of requests on each page.  One request I noticed (and hadn't anticipated) coming from WordPress looked like this:

<link rel="next" href="https://davidwalsh.name/page/2/" />

Wordpress was essentially preloading the second listing page of my blog, assuming that people would click a link to page 2.  When looking at my blog stats, that was very rarely the case (probably because I list 15 items on the homepage, which is a lot), so why bother sending the request at all?  This bit of WordPress magic will prevent that LINK element from being used:

// ... in functions.php...

// Prevent unwanted next and prev link downloads
if(function_exists('remove_action')) { 
	remove_action('wp_head', 'start_post_rel_link', 10, 0);
	remove_action('wp_head', 'adjacent_posts_rel_link', 10, 0); 
}

There are two function calls removed -- one to prevent the tag from being used on the homepage/listing pages, and the other used on single blog posts.  Of course removing this call isn't for everyone but since I'm trying to micro-optimize the site, I thought I'd cut it out.

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Discussion

  1. Google indicates a couple of reasons why the links are relevant to their search indices at http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.ch/2011/09/pagination-with-relnext-and-relprev.html.

  2. I didn’t know that WordPress function neither. Good to know!

  3. These actions are now deprecated. Use:

    remove_action('wp_head', 'adjacent_posts_rel_link', 10, 0);

    instead!

Wrap your code in <pre class="{language}"></pre> tags, link to a GitHub gist, JSFiddle fiddle, or CodePen pen to embed!