WordPress is a top-rated web publishing platform that has been in use for years. The software has built about 40% of the web so far. However, users face a significant challenge while utilizing the platform—slow speed as attractive as the stats are. Of course, a slow-loading site can be a very annoying experience for anybody.
Thankfully, this guide has proffered some solutions to the problem with speedup methods and tips on optimizing your site for Google web vitals.
What are Google Core Web Vitals?
Google Core Web Vitals are performance metrics used to ascertain the UX (user experience) quality that visitors get from a site. You can see that the word “Core” is in the term. This shows that there are other less critical Web Vitals that experts look out for. The ‘Core’ Web Vitals are the major ones that you should prioritize in speeding up your site or trying to boost performance. Their primary focus is on three areas of user experience, which are listed below.
- Visual Stability
Each of the above-listed areas is measured by a particular metric (Core Web Vital). They have been discussed below.
- Loading: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
- Interactivity: First Input Delay (FID)
- Visual Stability: Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
Loading: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
This metric is used to ascertain the time it will take for the main content of a website to appear. In other words, an LCP test is used to measure load time. Usually, the LCP test should take place in not more than 2.5 seconds from when the page starts to load.
Interactivity: First Input Delay (FID)
Using First Input Delay to measure interactivity involves arriving at an FID score. A page with top-quality UX should have an FID score not past the 100-millisecond mark (ms).
Visual Stability: Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
Cumulative Layout Shift measures how smooth users’ experience will be in terms of sudden changes in layout (while using the website). The CLS issue is as important as the other two Core Vitals. The best scores you can have for the CLS issue should not be anything past the 0.1 marks.
Google has made the above Core Vitals the essential pointers of a website’s overall user experience quality. This means you have to place enough importance on your site’s FID, CLS, and LCP test scores. Ensure that you are getting expected outcomes.
Why are Core Web Vitals Important?
Gaining valuable traffic is essential, especially for business websites. You could lose visitors if they don’t find the interface or layout pleasant for browsing. For example, eCommerce sites may experience an increase in abandoned shopping carts and bounce rates. These are obvious reasons why Core Web Vitals are essential. Let’s look at other reasons in bullet points.
- Google uses Core Web Vitals to measure your site’s performance and UX when considering it for higher rankings on search results pages.
- As they are essential to Google, they are also essential to you as the site owner. The tests will let you know the areas that need improvements. For example: Knowing whether to super optimize a WordPress site or engage in speeding up practices.
How to Improve Your Core Web Vitals on WordPress?
Start trying to speed up WordPress site aspects so that you can retain visitors. You don’t want to waste the resources you put into getting traffic. Below are ten ways to optimize a WordPress site—including speedup practices:
- Use the least number of plugins
- Use the best themes
- Use cloud-based hosting
- Optimize Images
- Optimize SEO data with Yoast
- Optimize the whole website
- Optimize servers
- Monitor your performance
- Optimize your advertisements
- Use CDN
1. Use the Least Number of Plugins
To speed up the WordPress site, owners should ensure that they set up the fewest number of plugins that are OK for the best performance. However, ensure that you have the most relevant ones like WordFence.
2. Use the Best Themes
Your site’s themes will determine how well its visitors will enjoy navigation. With the fastest loading WordPress themes in mind, you should go for the best ones that will ensure compatibility to optimize the WordPress site. You can get the fastest loading WordPress theme for your website from Generate Press. You can also try the Divi theme. It is also one of the fastest-loading WordPress themes.
3. Use Cloud-Based Hosting
4. Optimize Images
In speeding image load times up to optimize WordPress sites, owners should employ the right software for setting the best image dimensions and quality. ShortPixel is an ideal tool to ensure that speeding image load times up is not an issue.
5. Optimize SEO Data with Yoast
Now, let’s understand what Yoast is all about in brief… Yoast is a service that helps site owners with their SEO optimization setup. This plugin is one of the significant ones, just like WordFence. If you want the best result, do your SEM analysis using SEMrush and then use Yoast to execute your plan.
6. Optimize the whole website
In learning how to reduce server response time for WordPress, you should know how to optimize the WordPress site. To do this, look no further than NitroPack for a massive website speed boost.
NitroPack is packed with lots of features like caching, image optimization, etc. Before installing the plugin, you can check the estimated optimization level expected from using NitroPack.
7. Optimize Servers
Server optimization… This is how to reduce server response time for WordPress significantly. You can do so with the aid of the Redis Object Cache plugin. Using the Redis Object Cache plugin is easy. First, install the plugin on your site. It will be running discreetly in the background.
Perform thorough tests regularly, and ensure that all critical processes on the site are reviewed after each test. Do so with multiple profiles to ensure that cached objects are not being wrongly reutilized. If you discover that cached entities are being utilized incorrectly, you can try to leave out certain groups of things from being cached. You should also remember to clear the cache regularly.
It will be good to hire a WordPress expert to help with object cache performance manipulation. On a final note, if you want your users to have the best experience when browsing your website, you must learn how to reduce server response time for WordPress.
8. Monitor Your Performance
A plugin that you can use for this is Site Kit by Google. Monitoring your site’s performance entails conducting an in-depth analysis of visitor behavior and experience (how they discover and browse your site). It lets you understand how well your site is doing based on the Core Web Vitals.
9. Optimize Your Advertisements
It would help if you utilized auto ads for the best performance. Each advertisement on your site should have its own reserved space so that there will be no adverse effects on UX quality. Also, use the minimum number of ads per page. NitroPack is an excellent tool to adopt to super optimize them.
10. Use a CDN
“CDN” is an acronym for Content Delivery Network. It is referred to as a network of servers that your site is dependent on for the loading of its content. The web is usually situated at a data center near the location of your visitors. This is how to reduce server response time with a good CDN (WordPress): Using CloudWays CDN.
This section will answer some very important FAQs (frequently asked questions) about Google web vitals, WordPress performance tuning, FID score, and CLS issue tackling. Hopefully, you will find a solution to a problem affecting your site in one of the answers given. See the questions directly below.
– Removing or reducing significant elements on your webpages
– Employing a content delivery network (CDN)
– Enabling lazy loading so that the images on a webpage will only load when a user scrolls down to them
If the aforementioned tips don’t yield good results, you would have to upgrade your web hosting for improved site performance.
Your target location will be Google Search Console (Enhancements section), as long as you have an account with the service. If you haven’t signed up, then do so and get your site ownership status verified. You can conduct measurements and get a Web Vitals report through WebPageTest, Web Vitals Chrome Extension, PageSpeed Insights, etc.
Google has stated that it will do so in May 2021, so get your site optimized and ready for the new changes.
They are both obtained from testing your site and analyzing Core Web Vitals. The difference is that field data is dependent on real browsers and users. On the other hand, lab data is gotten from simulated situations (fake users and browser conditions).
The answer to the question, “Do inactive plugins slow down WordPress sites?” is No. To optimize the WordPress site, endeavor that you deactivate or uninstall the plugins that are not presently in use.
You should know the best plugins to adopt in learning how to make images load faster (speeding images load times up). For example, it has been advised earlier that ShortPixel is an excellent tool to speed up image loading times.
As stated in this guide, there are many ways to improve your WordPress site, apart from optimizing it for web vitals. You can choose one out of the ten ways to optimize the WordPress site that has been provided earlier. There are more ways to boost performance if you want to leave no stone unturned.
You can specify the image dimensions (length and width) on the web pages. Your site’s CLS score will increase if you don’t do this. This principle also applies to videos, infographics, GIFs, etc. You should also make use of dynamic ads that are not intrusive to the view of the site’s visitors. For example, don’t place large-sized ads at the top of the page, or else UX quality will be affected.
Thirdly, ensure reserved spaces with preset dimensions for iframes and embeds on your web pages. If not, they will move without restrictions and disturb the layout boundaries.
Watch this YouTube video to learn other methods to boost performance:
These are essential things you should know to reduce server response time for WordPress. The relevance of Google web vitals cannot be overemphasized, and you must try to super optimize your site for them.
Now, your visitors can have an improved user experience with the WordPress performance tuning and speedup methods given in this guide.