Core Web Vitals, or Google Core Web Vitals, are three website metrics that help website owners determine how user and search engine friendly their website is.
As more than 32% of websites are hosted on WordPress, it is crucial to understand how these metrics can be measured and improved on WordPress sites.
These metrics are an easy way for WordPress website owners to gauge the health of their website and keep it in great condition.
Maintaining your WordPress site’s core web vitals is important because:
- It tells Google (and other search engines) how friendly your site is.
- It will deliver a world-class onsite experience to your visitors.
- It will improve your domain ranking.
- It directly affects the results of your SEO efforts, as of the August 2021 update.
In this article, we will see what the core web vitals are, what is their recommenced values, and what site owners can do to improve their WordPress websites.
What are the core web vitals?
The core web vitals are three measurable parameters defined by Google that help the search engine rank websites. Let’s take a look at what they are and what should be the ideal score for the web vitals for the success of your WordPress website development.
1 . Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
It tells Google how quickly the largest content will be shown to the user. The largest content could be simple text, an image, a dynamic block, or even a video. The faster it is shown to the user, the better the experience will be and the WordPress website will rank higher.
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However, don’t get it confused with how quickly the page loads.
Merely checking your WordPress website’s performance won’t tell you the LCP. Your website may load up quickly, but if the largest content there takes a lot of time, it will decrease your LCP score.
Ideal score for LCP: less than or equal to 2.5 seconds.
2. First Input Delay (FID)
Imagine you fill out a form on a website and click “Submit”. The first input delay refers to the time taken by the website to process that information. The lower it is the better because it will enhance the user experience.
The First Input Delay refers to the time taken by a website to process the information triggered by user interaction. It is a measure of how interactive your WordPress website is.
Ideal score for FID: Less than or equal to 100 ms.
3. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
It is the time taken by a website to become visually stable.
For example, you have loaded a website and you are reading some text. Suddenly, an image loads up and the text you are reading gets pushed down. Now, you have to scroll down to get there again.
This frustrating experience can be attributed to a higher CLS. Keeping it low makes the on-site experience for your visitor amazing.
Ideal score for CLS: Less than or equal to 0.1
How to measure the Core Web Vitals?
Whatever gets measured, gets managed. There are a lot of free and paid tools you can use to measure your core web vitals. You can the core web vitals by using any of the following tools:
- Google Search Console
- PageSpeed Insights
- Chrome DevTools
- Chrome UX Report
- Web Vitals Extension
More tools are continuously being added but the best one is Google Search Console because it shows what Google thinks.
How to improve the Core Web Vitals of your WordPress website?
Even though there are only three core web vitals, they are affected by multiple factors. More importantly, maintaining the values of the core web vitals at healthy levels requires consistent effort.
This can be a challenge for budding companies with WordPress sites that have a small team. The best solution for them would be to hire a full-service WordPress agency. The agencies will continue to maintain the core web vitals without making any mistakes.
This is crucial in the initial days of your business where the price of a mistake that hampers your online visibility is huge. The more audience you attract, the more you can sell. It all depends on how many see you on the first page of the search which is affected by the core web vitals.
Fortunately, you can still improve your WordPress site’s core web vitals by implementing the following quick tips.
Improve the LCP of your WordPress website
The application of the following steps will make the largest content chunks(blocks) on your WordPress site load faster. This will decrease the overall website loading time making the user experience better.
- Upload images in lighter formats. For instance, using WEBP instead of PNG will keep your image size lower and they can be loaded up faster.
- Compress your image to reduce its size. In some cases, you can reduce the size by 75%!
- Use a content delivery network (CDN). This act as a virtual server that is closer to your user. This reduces your site’s LCP even further.
- Compress text files. This reduces the amount of data downloaded when your site loads.
Improve the FID of your WordPress website
This requires some degree of coding knowledge. Implementing the following steps will make your WordPress website respond faster to user inputs.
- Break larger processes into smaller tasks. Smaller tasks are not processed on the main thread. Try to keep all of them under 50 ms.
- Process as much data as you can on the server-side. This will reduce the load on the client-side.
- Use web workers. These are a means to run threads in the background.
Improve the CLS of your WordPress website
Following the following steps will make your website visually stable. That means, no sudden scrolls, shifting of buttons, and appearance of random content.
- Always add size attributes while inserting images, videos, or embedded elements. This will leave space for elements that haven’t loaded.
- Try not to insert content above existing content. If you do so, it will shift the content blocks immediately and will affect the user experience.
- Do not place dynamic content above already loaded content. The only exception is dynamic content triggered by user behavior.
Improving the core web vitals has a lot of benefits. It improves your visitor’s experience, your WordPress site looks good in the eyes of search engines, and your SEO efforts give a higher ROI.
There are three core web vitals: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). Keeping all three of them in the desirable range requires consistent effort from the WordPress website owners.
We have summarized the quick tips below you can follow right now to improve them:
- LCP: Compress text and image files and upload them in lighter formats.
- FID: Break larger processes into small tasks and process most of the data on the server-side.
- CLS: Add size attributes and don’t place dynamic content before already loaded content.
We hope this article has helped you understand all about the core web vitals, why they are important, and what you can start doing to improve them.