The ZEIT Smart CDN is active for all deployments and domains on your account and caches your content at the edge to serve data to your users as fast as possible.

The Smart CDN is available for both the Free and Unlimited plans and can be activated for Serverless Functions by providing Cache-Control headers.

If Cache-Control headers are provided all dynamic responses from Serverless Functions will be cached in all regions.

What is Cached?

Responses with a HTTP status of 200 to a GET or HEAD request are cached by our Smart CDN. Other status codes are never cached.

Additionally, the following are not cached:

  • Responses that exceed 10MB in content length.
  • Requests that contain the Range header.
  • Requests that contain the Authorization or Pragma headers.
  • Responses that contain the no-cache directive in their Cache-Control headers.

Cache Control

When providing a Cache-Control is sent from your Serverless Function, it can include any of the following directives, separated by a comma:

  • s-maxage=N
  • maxage=N, public
  • maxage=N, immutable
Note: Above; where N is the number of seconds the response should be cached for.

As an example, you can set the Cache-Control header in your Node.js Serverless Functions by using the response.setHeader method:

module.exports = (request, response) => {
  response.setHeader('Cache-Control', 's-maxage=86400')
  response.send('Hello world!')

A Node.js Serverless Function that sends a string response and caches that response for a day.

Recommended Cache-Control

We recommend that you set your cache to have maxage=0, s-maxage=86400, with changing 86400 to the amount of seconds you want your response to be cached for.

This recommendation will tell browsers not to cache and let our edge cache the responses and invalidate when your deployments update, so you never have to worry about stale content.


The Smart CDN supports a powerful recent extension to the Cache-Control header called stale-while-revalidate.

The benefit of using stale-while-revalidate is that we can serve a resource from our CDN cache while simultaneously updating the cache in the background with the response from your Serverless Function.

Some situations where stale-while-revalidate is of great value:

  • Your content changes frequently but it takes a significant amount of time to regenerate. For example, an expensive database query or upstream API request.
  • Your content changes infrequently but you want to have the flexibility to update it (to fix a typo, for example) and don't wait for cache to expire.

In both cases, we recommend using:

Cache-Control: s-maxage=1, stale-while-revalidate

Which tells our CDN: serve from cache, but update it, if requested after 1 second.

When the CDN receives a request with Pragma: no-cache (such as when the browser devtools are open), it will revalidate any stale resource synchronously, instead of in the background.

Cache Invalidation and Purging

Every time you deploy with a target (production or staging custom domain), the cache for that target is purged. This means that users will never see content from a previous deployment on your custom domain and there is no need to invalidate it manually when deploying.