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How to Optimize Core Web Vitals for WordPress

by Nathan Zachary

If you wish to optimize your WordPress site with core web vitals then you need this.

What is Core Web Vitals?

Users show they prefer sites with a great page experience. In recent years, Search has added a variety of user experience criteria, such as how quickly pages load and mobile-friendliness, as factors for ranking results. Earlier this month, the Chrome team announced Core Web Vitals, a set of metrics related to speed, responsiveness and visual stability, to help site owners measure user experience on the web.

Let make you understand better, The Core Web Vitals report shows how your pages perform, based on real-world usage data (sometimes called field data). or it helps website owners improve the user experience and quality of their websites. These signals are crucial for the success of any website.

So we will show you how to optimize your WordPress site with core web vital.

What are Google Core Web Vitals?

Google Core Web Vitals are a set of website performance metrics that Google considers important in a website’s overall user experience. These web vital scores will be a part of Google’s overall page experience score that will impact your SEO rankings.

Even if your website loads fast, it may not be fully functional for users to do what they want to do or access the information they need.

Quality test that qualifies your website for core web vital
Google uses three quality tests (Web Vitals).

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
  • First Input Delay (FID)
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

Let explain better

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is one of the three Core Web Vital metrics that measure the time it takes for a web page to load its largest resource. Google defines that this metric considers only the content above the page’s fold, meaning everything that appears without scrollin

There is another relevant point, which is related to the type of content considered. The metric only counts the loading time of what is relevant to the user experience, that is:

image tags;
video thumbnails;
background images with CSS;
text elements, such as paragraphs, headings, and lists.

Other speed test tools will give you a high score, but from user’s point of view, the page is still slow.

First Input Delay (FID)

First Input Delay (FID) is a real-user performance metric that tracks the time from when a user first interacts with a web page after entering it to the time when the browser can start processing that interaction – when the browser’s main thread is idle.

To put it in simpler terms, FID is the delay between when you click or tap on something like a link or a button, and the time that the browser responds to your action and starts processing it.
First Input Delay is measured in milliseconds (ms).

What does First Input Delay Does
It measures the first interaction
FID measures input delay, not processing
it is all about first impressions

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) is a Core Web Vitals metric calculated by summing all layout shifts that aren’t caused by user interaction. CLS looks at the proportion of the viewpoint that was impacted by layout shifts, and the movement distance of the elements that were moved.
CLS measures the layout stability of a webpage, to ensure that user experience runs smoothly and interactions flow as naturally as possible, without any interruptions or unexpected jumps.

This is being introduced as a key metric because unstable layouts can lead to negative user experiences on both mobile and desktop, resulting in high bounce rates. Unstable layouts can be caused by new design elements loading later on a page, forcing an unexpected shift in the visual layout and users inadvertently clicking where they didn’t intend to.

CLS score is calculated by multiplying the share of the screen that shifted unexpectedly by the distance it travelled. (CLS = Impact Fraction x Distance Fraction) – in terms of the distance fraction, it can be either width or height, whichever is greater.

For website designers and developers, CLS can be measured either with simulated data (‘in the Lab’) or with real user data (‘In the Field’) – which you use depends on whether your site is still in the staging phase or is already live.

How to Test Your Google Core Web Vitals Score

There are different web tools you can use to check core web vital;
Lab tools include:

Chrome DevTools
In-the-field tools include:

Chrome User Experience Report
PageSpeed Insights
Google Search Console
Here is how much you need to score to pass the core Web Vitals tests for each item.
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – 2.5 seconds
First Input Delay (FID) – Less than 100 milliseconds
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – Less than 0.1
How to View Google Core Web Vitals for Full Website?

However, to really drill down deep, you can access the Core Web Vitals report in your Google Search Console dashboard as well.

How to View Google Core Web Vitals for Website?

Page Speed Insights tool allows you to check an individual page. If the page you are checking is the root of your domain name, then you can also click on the ‘Show Origin Summary’ checkbox.

Also, you can access the Core Web Vitals report in your Google Search Console dashboard as well. This allows you to see how many URLs on your website passed the tests, which URLs need improvement, and which pages have a poor score.

To get even more detailed reports for Web Vitals, you can use the lighthouse speed test by going to Web.dev Measure tool, or by using the built-in test inside Google Chrome browser. Just open a website in Chrome, right click anywhere on the screen, and then select the Inspect option. In the tabs, you will see an option called Lighthouse.

Why are Core Web Vitals Important?

Core Web Vitals becoming ranking signals is an important shift in how search engine rankings work. Now, user experience will play a tangible role in if your website reaches that coveted number one spot. A poorly designed website with no focus on user experience just won’t cut it. Also, You want to improve Core Web Vitals so that your users have a better experience​. It remains to be seen what impact they’ll have for SEO. A faster website with poor user experience is still costing you conversions, fewer page views, and poor customer satisfaction. Improving core Web Vitals helps you remedy that.

How to Improve Your Core Web Vitals in WordPress

To improve your Core Web Vitals on your website, there are optimization tools you need to follow so that you can easily score more.

Optimize Your WordPress Hosting

Your WordPress hosting company plays the most significant role in your website’s performance. They are able to optimize their servers for WordPress which gives your website rock-solid platform to build upon. And that is why advice beginners and webmasters to move to NAMECHEAP. We recommend using NAMECHEAP for a high-performance website.

To give your website the performance boost it needs, NAMECHEAP uses Google Cloud Platform for their servers along with ultrafast PHP.
If you’re using another WordPress hosting provider, then we recommend using WP Rocket along with few other tools to achieve better core web vitals score.

WP Rocket is the best WordPress caching plugin on the market. It allows you to easily set up caching on your WordPress website without going into any technical details of server management.

Eliminate Render Blocking Elements

When a website loads in the browser, it sends out calls to each and every script in a queue. Usually, that queue needs to be empty before the website is visible in the browser. The queue of scripts that can stop your website from loading fully are the render-blocking JavaScript and CSS files.

When the script queue is very long, it can take a while before visitors are able to access your site. Often, many of these scripts aren’t necessary for viewing the website right away, and could just as easily wait to run until after the site itself is fully loaded.

In other words, these kinds of scripts slow down your web pages without actually contributing to the immediate needs of your viewers. Any script that doesn’t involve what the viewer will see right away should be deferred until the rest of the page is loaded.

These are usually JavaScript or CSS files added by your WordPress plugins, third-party tools like Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, Google Ads, and more.

Improve Largest Content Paintful (LCP) Score

To improve LCP you need to;
Serve your content faster, Render your content faster. The quicker this content loads the higher your LCP score would be. The Chrome User Experience Report provides real-world LCP values ​​aggregated at the origin-level and Pagespeed Insights provides a full Core Web Vitals assessment. See our guide on how to optimize images for web performance.

Improving First Input Delay (FID) Score.

First Input Delay score measures the time between a user clicking on something on your website and their browsers starting processing elements.

The most important tip to improve that is by using a better web hosting or even managed WordPress hosting platform.

Another easy way to improve FID score is by using a caching plugin like WP Rocket. It comes with a built-in feature that allows you to optimize file delivery.

First you would need to install and activate the WP Rocket plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

After that, go to Settings » WP Rocket page and switch to the File Optimization tab. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and check the box next to the ‘Load JavaScript deferred’ option. And save.

Improving Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) Score

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) score is affected when different elements on a web page are loading slowly and making other elements on the screen move.

You can view which elements are affecting the CLS score by expanding the ‘Avoid large layout shifts’ tab in the Page Speed Insights results.
WordPress automatically adds height and width attributes to images you add. However, you can still check all other media particularly embeds to make sure that all of them have height and width attributes.

One way to do that is by using the Inspect Tool. Simply right-click in your browser and select Inspect to open the developer console. You can use a cloud firewall app like Sucuri which comes with a built-in CDN service. Sucuri also helps you block malicious and spam requests which further frees up your website resources.

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