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Jakub Andrzejewski
Jakub Andrzejewski

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Improving Performance of Nuxt with Delayed Hydration

The first time I actually heard about lazy/delayed hydration was tree years ago when I joined my previous company. At first, I wasn't sure what it does (as at this time I was not experienced with SSR/SSG applications) so I was just aware of the term but haven't really tried it in a real scenarion.

When I started using the vue package by @maoberlehner and dived a bit deeper into how to use it properly, I instantly noticed the difference in performance of my applications.

Delaying hydration is a technique to hint to Google that our scripts are not required for our app to function.

By delaying hydration we improve the Google Lighthouse score by reducing your "Blocking Time" metric.

As you can read in an article by @filrakowski about the usage of Markus's package vue-lazy-hydration the results were as following.

Without lazy-hydration:

Page without lazy-hydration

With lazy-hydration:

Page with lazy-hydration

I highly recommend you to read the article by Filip as it gives a lot of insights into how you can optimize SSR applications.

With the release of Nuxt 3, new packages started to appear and in today's article I will take a look at the module nuxt-delay-hydration by @harlanzw.

nuxt-delay-hydration module

Harlan is a really hard-working guy and you can see it from his GitHub profile. Make sure to check it out if you haven't yet as he has several amazing projects like unlighthouse for example ->

I decided to give a go for his module about delayed hydration and I really liked the experience!


Let's take a look at what it does by definition:

Delayed hydration for progressively enhanced apps. Reduced blocking time and improved Google Lighthouse scores. 
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The definition is relatively simple but what is a progressively enhanced app?

A progressively enhanced app is one that is designed to work without JavaScript, and then progressively enhanced with JavaScript.

The module comes with several useful features like:

  • πŸ”₯ Reduce your "Blocking Time" by as much as 100%, instantly increasing your Google Lighthouse score
  • 🚦 Filter it to run only on specific pages
  • πŸƒ Minimal config
  • πŸ” (optional) Replay pre-hydration clicks

Using the module is relatively simple and can be achieved by following these steps:

Install the module:

yarn add -D nuxt-delay-hydration
# npm i -D nuxt-delay-hydration
# pnpm add -D nuxt-delay-hydration
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Use it in nuxt.config.ts:

// nuxt.config.ts
export default {
  modules: [
  delayHydration: { 
    mode: 'init',
    // enables nuxt-delay-hydration in dev mode for testing  
    debug: process.env.NODE_ENV === 'development'
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And that's it! You can now enable the delayed hydration in your app. The configuration of the mode property is important for adjusting the module to match your needs best. I copied the table from Harlan's module that explains what certain options do:

Choosing a mode

By default, no mode is selected, you will need to select how you would the module to work.

Type: init | mount| manual | false

Default: false

Type Description Use Case
false default Disable the module Testing
init Delays all scripts from loading. Zero or minimal plugins/modules.
mount recommended Delays Nuxt while it's mounting. Plugins and some third-party scripts will work. Minimal non-critical plugins and third-party plugins.
manual Delay is provided by the DelayHydration component. All other apps

Based on selected delayed hydration mode, you should see an improvement to the performance score. You can also take a look at benchmarks conducted by Harlan here


The module by Harlan, allows you to have more control over the hydration process in Nuxt and because of that you are able to achieve better performance on your website. I highly recommend you to check out the full documentation here for more options. Just keep in mind that this module is marked as experimental so some functionalities may not work in certain edge cases.

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Top comments (5)

farmatique profile image

Thanks! Does that approach work for SSG-mode? It seems like it doesn't, since hydration status () always shows me "unhydrated" on generated pages on prod. But in local dev-mode (when I run "npm run dev" ) firstly it shows "unhydrated", but then in several seconds it switches to "hydrated"

jacobandrewsky profile image
Jakub Andrzejewski

Hey, it does not work for SSG (AFAIK). It is purely meant to work for SSR applications where hydration process mainly occurs on each application render. While for Static apps, your app is already rendered as static HTML so there is no hydration process pending. It works on your local app because npm run dev uses SSR by default and later when you run npm run generate it creates a static app for you (from your SSR app) for better production performance.

farmatique profile image

Thanks for explanation! That's exactly what I expect.

jovyllebermudez profile image
Jovylle B

I was thinking about this. thank you for asking this one.

optimisedu profile image

It is important to remember Google say that lighthouse scores don't effect seo. Lazy loading is great if it is good for the end user. Enquing is importanr always keep the end use in mind - spiders don't buy services.

That out the way this is a great peace.