Optimizing Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) for Your WordPress Site

Did you know LCP makes up for 25% of the Google Lighthouse score of your WordPress site? That’s a huge chunk that when optimized correctly gives you a huge performance boost.

Let me explain what Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is, and what you can do to improve it.

If you’re reading a book and the most interesting part of the book, the hook, takes too long to get to, it can make reading the whole book less enjoyable. So much so you’ll not want to finish it. LCP is like waiting too long for that part.

Similarly, if the biggest and most important part of a website takes too long to load, it can make the whole website experience less enjoyable. If the wait is too long, people just stop waiting and move on. How to fix this?

Here are the most important ways to fix this

  • Minimize the size of the resources that are being loaded on the page, such as images and fonts. This can be achieved by compressing and optimizing these resources.
  • Defer the loading of non-critical resources, such as third-party JavaScript scripts, that are not needed for the initial render of the page. This can be done using the defer or async attributes on script tags.
  • Have the browser preload critical resources that are needed for the initial render of the page, such as fonts and key images, using the link tag with the rel attribute set to preload.
  • Minimize the number of requests that are made to load resources, such as by combining multiple CSS or JavaScript files into a single file. Tools like WP Rocket and Perfmatters can help you with those, for example.
  • This should be a no-brainer by now, but use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to serve resources, reducing the time it takes for the browser to download resources by reducing the physical distance between the browser and the server. We recommend using Cloudflare for this.
  • Make sure you utilize browser cache to store resources. This prevents a browser to have to download assets again (for repeat visits). Focus on lazy-loading of images, iframes and videos. This prevents the browser from having to download superfluous assets.
  • Use WebP image format instead of JPEG or PNG. And lastly, our favorite: reduce the time it takes to generate, and serve the initial HTML by optimizing the backend process and database queries. Make sure you time to first byte (TTFB) is as short as possible.

In Conclusion

In essence, optimizing the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) of your WordPress site is a crucial step towards enhancing your website’s overall user experience and Google Lighthouse score.

By implementing the strategies outlined above, you can significantly improve your site’s LCP.

Remember, a faster loading website not only retains visitors but also ranks higher in search engine results. Therefore, investing time and effort into these optimizations will undoubtedly pay off in the long run.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *