WordPress Core Web Vitals: 5 Ways To Improve The Core Web Vitals Of Your WordPress Site

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Did you know a one-second website delay can decrease conversions by 7%? (source)

Ouch. 

In today’s digital landscape, speed is king (or queen), and Google’s Core Web Vitals are the royal decree. These metrics measure your site’s loading, interactivity, and visual stability, basically deciding whether your visitors get a champagne experience or a lukewarm cup of instant noodles.

But fear not. We’ll show you 5 easy-to-implement strategies to boost your WordPress Core Web Vitals score and transform your business site from a sluggish snail to a supersonic star. 

Prepare to witness improved SEO, higher engagement, and happier customers singing your praises.

Read More: Core Web Vitals: What are they and why do you need to optimize them?

Why You Should Give A Damn About Core Web Vitals?

Core Web Vitals (CWVs) are crucial for any site – not just WordPress sites – for several key reasons:

1. User Experience:

  • Faster loading times: CWVs prioritize page load speed, ensuring users don’t get frustrated waiting for your site to appear. A few seconds delay can lead to increased bounce rates and abandoned carts.
  • Smoother responsiveness: CWVs also measure visual stability and interactivity, preventing annoying page shifts and ensuring users can readily interact with your site’s features. This promotes engagement and a positive user experience.

2. SEO Boost:

  • Ranking factor: Google officially considers CWVs as a ranking factor, meaning a good CWV score can give your site a significant SEO advantage. Higher rankings translate to more organic traffic and potential customers.
  • Mobile-friendliness: One of the CWVs, the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), focuses on mobile performance. Optimizing for CWVs inherently improves your site’s mobile-friendliness, another crucial ranking factor for Google.

Also Read: SEO for WooCommerce: 4 best WooCommerce SEO strategies

3. Business Success:

  • Increased conversions: Faster loading times and smooth interactions lead to happier users, increasing the likelihood of conversions, whether it’s purchases, sign-ups, or downloads.
  • Reduced bounce rates: Frustrated users who encounter slow loading or glitches are more likely to bounce off your site. Improved CWVs minimize bounce rates, maximizing the impact of your traffic.
  • Brand reputation: A fast and responsive site reflects positively on your brand, showcasing professionalism and user-centricity. This builds trust and encourages repeated visits.

Also Read: 5 ways to boost WooCommerce conversions: WooCommerce Conversion Rate Optimization Guide

In short, CWVs are not just technical metrics; they directly impact user experience, SEO, and ultimately, your site’s success. Optimizing for CWVs is an investment in your brand’s online presence and future growth.

5 Ways To Improve The Core Web Vitals Of Your WordPress Site

1. Optimize Your Images

Images are often the biggest weightlifter in the Core Web Vitals (CWV) gym, and optimizing them is like giving them a performance-enhancing smoothie – they get lighter and faster, and ultimately contribute to a smoother user experience. Here’s how optimizing images helps you ace your CWV workout:

Reducing Page Load Time:

  • Smaller file sizes: Optimized images weigh less, meaning they download faster, leading to quicker page loads. Remember, every millisecond counts, and shaving off even a few seconds from your LCP (Largest Contentful Paint) can significantly improve your CWV score and user experience.

Minimizing Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS):

  • Proper dimensions: Specifying image dimensions in HTML or CSS prevents the browser from reserving an unknown space, leading to unexpected layout shifts as images load. Translating in a steadier, less janky experience for users, boosting your CLS score.

Optimizing for Mobile Users:

Responsive images: Responsive image formats ensure you deliver the right image size based on the user’s device. This prevents mobile users from downloading unnecessarily large images, saving data, and boosting their page load experience.

Here are some specific image optimization techniques:

  • Resizing and cropping: Don’t serve images larger than needed for display.
  • Choosing the right format: Use JPEG for photographs, PNG for graphics with transparency, and WebP for a modern, smaller format.
  • Compression tools: Tools like Smush and Imagify can compress images without noticeable quality loss.
  • Lazy loading: Load images only when they are scrolled into view, further reducing initial page load times.

By optimizing your images effectively, you shed unnecessary weight from your website, allowing it to run faster, and smoother, and deliver a top-notch experience for all users. This, in turn, translates to higher CWV scores, better SEO, and ultimately, happier visitors and a more successful website.

2. Optimizing Website Code

Optimizing code is like fine-tuning a racing engine – you’re squeezing out peak performance and agility, ultimately influencing your audience’s experience and Google’s favor. Here’s how optimizing code translates to CWV glory:

Shaving Milliseconds off Page Load Times:

  • Minification: Eliminate unnecessary whitespace, comments, and formatting from your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files. This seemingly small act can shave off precious milliseconds during loading, improving your Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) score.
  • Combining files: Reduce HTTP requests by merging multiple CSS and JavaScript files into fewer, larger ones. This minimizes the browser’s workload, leading to faster initial page renders.
  • Lazy loading: Don’t force everything to load at once! Implement lazy loading for scripts and non-critical content that appear below the fold. This prioritizes above-the-fold content, boosting your First Contentful Paint (FCP) and First Input Delay (FID) scores.

Minimizing Render-Blocking Resources:

  • Identify render-blocking culprits: Certain resources like uncritical JavaScript or poorly coded CSS can block the rendering of your page’s main content. Tools like Pingdom or GTmetrix can help pinpoint these offenders.
  • Defer or async loading: For non-essential JS, use the defer or async attributes to tell the browser it can load them later, without holding up the initial rendering. This ensures a smooth and responsive experience for users.
  • Preconnect for external resources: If your site utilizes external resources like fonts or scripts, consider using the preconnect directive to initiate connection early. This can shave off additional milliseconds from your FCP score.

Consider Server-Side Rendering (SSR):

  • SSR pre-renders content on the server, reducing the workload on the client side and improving LCP and FID scores. This can be complex, but consider it for performance-critical pages.

Use a CDN (Content Delivery Network):

  • A CDN serves static content from servers closer to users, reducing latency and improving page load times.

3. Move to a better Hosting Plan

Choosing a better hosting plan can significantly improve the Core Web Vitals (CWV) of your WordPress site in several ways:

Increased Resources:

  • More CPU, RAM, and storage: Higher-tier plans provide more resources, allowing your server to handle more traffic and process requests faster. This translates to quicker page loading times, a key factor in LCP and FID.
  • Solid-state drives (SSDs): Premium plans often utilize SSDs instead of traditional hard drives. SSDs access data much faster, reducing server response time (TTFB) and improving overall responsiveness.

Server Caching:

  • Server-side caching: Many premium plans offer built-in caching mechanisms that store frequently accessed data in memory for faster delivery. This reduces server load and improves page load times for returning visitors.
  • Object caching: Some plans offer specialized object caching for WordPress, which saves database queries and further boosts performance.

Optimized Infrastructure:

  • Content Delivery Networks (CDNs): Some higher-tier plans include access to a CDN, which distributes your website’s content across geographically dispersed servers. This reduces latency for visitors located far from your main server, improving LCP and overall page load times.
  • Nginx web server: Many premium hosts use Nginx instead of Apache, known for its faster performance and efficient handling of static content. This can benefit image-heavy websites or those using caching plugins.

Managed WordPress Hosting:

  • Optimized configuration: Managed WordPress hosting plans are specifically configured for WordPress performance, with optimized settings for database, PHP, and server resources. This eliminates the need for manual configuration and ensures optimal performance for your WordPress site.
  • Automatic updates: Managed plans often handle automatic updates for WordPress core, plugins, and themes, minimizing downtime and potential performance issues from outdated software.

Improved Security:

  • Better security measures: Higher-tier plans often have stronger security features like firewalls, malware scanning, and DDoS protection. This enhances website stability and prevents performance issues caused by security breaches.

4. Prioritize Content above-the-fold

Prioritizing above-the-fold content is another widely used strategy for improving Core Web Vitals because it focuses on delivering a faster and more engaging user experience, especially during the initial page load. Core Web Vitals consist of several metrics, including Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), which measures the time it takes for the main content of a page to become visible.

Here’s how prioritizing above-the-fold content helps in improving Core Web Vitals:

Faster Perceived Loading Time: By prioritizing the loading of above-the-fold content, you ensure that users see meaningful content quickly, even if the entire page has not finished loading. This creates a perception of faster loading times, enhancing the overall user experience.

Reduced Initial Page Load Time: Core Web Vitals, particularly metrics like LCP, focus on the loading time of the main content. Prioritizing above-the-fold content helps minimize the time it takes for users to access and interact with the most critical parts of your webpage, contributing to a lower LCP.

Improved Interactivity: Users are more likely to engage with a webpage if they can start interacting with it sooner. Prioritizing above-the-fold content allows interactive elements, such as buttons and forms, to become available quickly, leading to a more responsive and engaging user experience.

Optimized Rendering: By using techniques like asynchronous and deferred loading for non-critical resources (scripts, stylesheets), you can prevent them from blocking the rendering of above-the-fold content. This ensures that users can view and interact with the primary content of the page without unnecessary delays.

Enhanced User Satisfaction: Users tend to have a better experience when they can quickly access the information they are looking for. Prioritizing above-the-fold content aligns with user expectations, reduces frustration associated with slow-loading pages, and increases user satisfaction.

To implement prioritization of above-the-fold content, web developers often use techniques like asynchronous loading of non-essential scripts, optimizing critical rendering paths, and employing lazy loading for images below the fold. Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) can also be used to distribute resources strategically and reduce latency.

By focusing on delivering a faster and more engaging experience for the visible portion of the page, you can positively impact Core Web Vitals and, in turn, improve your website’s overall performance and user satisfaction.

5. Enhance the loading of third-party scripts for better performance.

Enhancing the loading of third-party scripts can significantly improve your website’s Core Web Vitals (CWVs) in several ways:

Reduced Page Load Times: 

  • Smaller impact on initial paint: By optimizing how third-party scripts load, you minimize their impact on the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) score. This translates to faster initial page renders and a better user experience.
  • Reduced resource requests: Efficient loading techniques like asynchronous loading or deferring non-critical scripts decrease HTTP requests, leading to quicker overall page loads.

Improved Interactivity and Responsiveness:

  • Minimize blocking behavior: Third-party scripts can block the rendering of your main content, causing layout shifts and jankiness. Optimizing their loading avoids this, resulting in smoother scrolling and interactions, boosting your First Input Delay (FID) score.

Enhanced Mobile Performance:

  • Reduce data consumption: Optimized loading techniques like lazy loading for external resources prevent unnecessary mobile data usage, improving the user experience for mobile visitors.

Remember, optimizing third-party scripts is an ongoing process. Monitor your website’s performance regularly, identify problematic scripts, and experiment with different loading techniques to find the optimal balance between functionality and CWV scores.

By proactively managing third-party script loading, you can unlock significant performance improvements, boost user engagement, and conquer those elusive CWV goals!

Ready To Optimize The Core Web Vitals on Your WordPress Site?

Now that you know what Core Web Vitals mean and how they impact your website’s performance, it’s time to optimize your scores! 

On a time crunch? Let the team at BizBlaze do the job for you!

With our best practices, you’ll see an instant improvement in your Core Web Vitals scores right away!

What’s more, you won’t have to manage multiple web performance plugins anymore. With BizBlaze, achieving an excellent Google page speed score and loading time is easy.

The best practices discussed in this article are all low-hanging fruits.

Using them, you will see a significant improvement in your website’s performance. But if you’ve already tried everything we discussed above and your website is still lagging, you can try other things!

Test your website to check if other issues are showing up throughout the website.  You can use our 20-point Growth Checklist to discover and fix gaps on your current website.

You will be able to evaluate the health of your website based on your score.

If you score less and need help improving your site, you can speak to a growth expert for free!

I hope this article was helpful! If you have any questions, feel free to comment below. 🙂

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