Top 16 Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Core Web Vitals

by | Last Updated Sep 9, 2022 | Hosting | 0 comments

Core Web Vitals is still a mysterious topic that is not yet decoded. I see so much misinformation being shared across various social media channels daily. As a result, I thought this was an ideal time to share a few pieces of knowledge from my experience in the past few years.

Moreover, we often receive chat requests from our existing clients and potential customers about achieving higher scores on scoring tools like Google PSI and passing those Vitals.

Demand for higher Core Web Vitals is dramatically increasing because Google announced that CWV would be the next big SEO ranking factor. So WordPress website owners are bombarding every theme and plugin developer, page builder, and often hosting company with hundreds of questions.

They all want to know Core Web Vitals, how they can effectively pass vitals, and general ways to increase their website performance.

So in this blog post, I will share some of the generic tips that will help you achieve your desired score on Google PageSpeed Insights and let your website pass Core Web Vitals.

1 – Host Your WordPress With a Fast Hosting Service

Responsive and fast-loading WordPress hosting servers is essential for achieving a perfect Core Web Vitals score. Having a super-fast loading hosting server is necessary for the success of your online presence. I have been saying this repeatedly.

However, if your hosting provider is slow, nothing you can do about it. If you use your own VPS, you may upgrade it and fine-tune it. But that still depends on so many factors and your skill sets. Because adding more CPU and RAM to your existing server won’t necessarily help you have a faster web hosting server.

I encourage you to find a powerful, robust hosting infrastructure for your WordPress website to improve Core Web Vitals for your site. You might wonder which host you should go with to get the best hosting solution for your WordPress hosting experience.

You do not just look at the service’s price tag. Often, the most expensive managed VPS or managed WordPress hosting company won’t necessarily be able to offer you the fastest hosting experience out there. And so many big, very known hosting companies, including BigDaddy, are notoriously slow by default.

At Rovity, we are offering a cloud-based robust hosting infrastructure to boost the overall performance of your WordPress website. You can always start using our lowest monthly pricing plan without migrating your domain to our hosting server. We can help you clone your existing domain website to our test server for you, and then you can compare the live version and staging version side by side.

Then you can experience the performance improvement yourself. Once you are happy, you can migrate your website to Rovity permanently.

We use the most advanced server-level cache with robust and scalable cloud-based infrastructure. This will help us beat those expensive hosting services in price and performance. In fact, so many customers from those expensive managed VPS and managed WordPress hosting companies moved permanently to our infrastructure. They now enjoy a better fast-loading WordPress experience and save a massive amount of hosting fees each month.

2 – Your Google PSI Scores of 100/100 Aren’t Worth Much

Google introduced Core Web Vitals to improve the user experience of our website. Because Google values user experience more than many other SEO factors that most website owners focus on. So having a better Core Web Vitals score is very important for the success of your website if you are giving value to your organic growth.

Since this Core Web Vitals became a strong signal, website owners started panicking. They hurried to get a better score by installing various caching and performance optimization plugins.

Unfortunately, the caching plugins and the website owners did not resolve the underlying issues. Nobody, unfortunately, started looking at why their websites are loading slow and the Core Web Vitals are lower. Instead, these WordPress website owners started using those caching plugins designed to cheat the scoring tools. By doing this, the actual problem remains unresolved.

Suppose you, too, have installed such performance optimization plugins that offer a better score on Core Web Vitals. In that case, you might see an incredible score on various tools like 100 out of 100. Let me tell you that these plugins are designed to cheat the algorithm. These plugins only satisfy the speed and Core Web Vitals analysis tools. They will not optimize for your human visitor.

I am saying that don’t dance when you see 100/100 on such test tools. Instead, you can use your Google Search Console to determine how your website performs for your real visitors.

Just log in to your Google Search Console account and click on the Page Experience link. There you will see the actual metrics that your real human visitors are experiencing. This is one of the most accurate real-world data you can rely on.

3 – Focus On the Big Opportunities to Improve LCP, FID, and CLS

I often see most website owners spend too much time fixing a little warning they see on the Google PageSpeed Insight screen and chase that 100/100 perfect score.

They tried to shoot each LCP, FID, CLS warning individually to pass Core Web Vitals with maximum score. I understand that most of us are obsessed with having a 100/100 score for the tests. But most of the time, this 100 out of 100 won’t work for our benefit. Mainly to get a one-point rise in the scoring algorithm, you may spend a couple of days or weeks or huge money to install something new as a plugin or theme.

I always encourage you to improve your Core Web Vitals score. But I do not recommend you chase 100/100 on every speed testing tool you see. It may not be worth your time, effort, and money. Instead, you can spend those resources growing your business or investing in something else.

You focus on fixing those prominent warnings and errors with high impact and then go back to concentrate on your business. You can improve those tiny details when you have enough resources and time.

4 – Most Popular Websites Score Low and Pass Core Web Vitals

I will take Google’s main domain as an example here. Google is the introducer of the Core Web Vitals scoring method. And in fact, they are forcing us to get a better score on Core Web Vitals metrics. So, they must get the perfect score on their own scoring tool.

But when you test their domain on the PageSpeed Insights tool, you will wonder that sometimes they get 60 or lower.

Do you have any guesses about what’s happening there? The problem is where and how you are looking at it. The score uses the lab data and not the field data on the Google PSI website.

Tip number 2 in this blog post said that getting 100/100 on this Google PSI testing will give you mostly nothing. Lab data means nothing; it is simulated testing with a predefined network and device. Their real visitors might experience and enjoy much better Core Web Vitals. That is called field data, which makes a website pass the Core Web Vitals for the actual visitors.

From your Google Search Console account, you can analyze your website’s performance scoring, and then you can tweak your website based on the data you see there.

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5 – Your Time to First Byte (TTFB) Is Very Important

TTFB is a solid signal that helps us to determine the responsiveness and performance of your WordPress website hosting server. Unfortunately, most people do not even know the importance of TTFB. Thus they don’t bother about improving it.

However, suppose your TTFB is lower than the accepted value. In that case, most of the other Core Web Vitals will be dramatically less. TTFB and its optimization are directly connected with the webserver and other related networks like CDN.

So if you optimize your network infrastructure, your TTFB will be lower. And that will dramatically boost your other metrics and the overall performance of your WordPress website.

I have written a detailed blog post that explains what TTFB is and how you can improve it. Please read the blog post and update your WordPress and server infrastructure because TTFB is a more crucial signal than most other Core Web Vitals.

6 – Test Every Page on Your Website, Not Just the Home Page

Most majority of website owners will only fine-tune their home page. They will not even consider testing their other pages on Google’s PageSpeed Insights website.

Unfortunately, this is a common mistake I see all of the time, including my customers commit. They ignore every page on their website and only focus on the homepage. In reality, every page on your WordPress website is part of the game. You must test each page individually and try to pass the vitals.

Consider focusing on your money pages like the cart pages. It would be best to fine-tune it as high as possible to maximize the user experience and super fast loading. And remember, you can track this in your Google Search Console account.

7 – Optimize the Most Popular Pages on Your Website First

You should optimize all of your web pages, not just your main page or homepage. So when you start optimizing all of your pages for better Core Web Vitals, you need to start with the pages you receive the most traffic.

Because those pages that you receive most of the traffic are currently crucial because those are the pages your real users are visiting most. You’re looking at the page on your site that accounts for the most considerable portion of your total traffic against your field data result.

So start with those pages that bring more traffic and value to you, then slowly expand your performance, fine-tuning with other web pages.

8 – Google Search Console Provides the Most Reliable Data

Many website tools help you measure your Core Web Vitals, from GTmetrix to Google PSI. But all of these tools are just to evaluate your site performance using a simulated network and devices. These tools will help you to find opportunities that you can improve further.

There is only one reliable tool out there that will help you continuously monitor your Core Web Vitals. And it is your Google Search Console account. Google Search Console will tell you which pages pass Core Web Vitals, which pages need improvement and more helpful tips. GSC uses field data and not lab data, which means the data you see is from your actual visitors.

So only rely on a tool that will give you valuable data to work on it and ultimately improve the performance of your website.

9 – Core Web Vitals Will Be Around for a Long Time

Many SEO professionals and marketing experts think Core Web Vitals are a vanity metric. And Google will eventually stop using and promoting it. I don’t believe it is a temporary or an experimental project for Google, and I think it is here to stay for long. And that is the reason Google dedicated a separate section in the Google Search Console to show performance and all other Core Web Vitals data.

Core Web Vitals may not be the most prominent SEO ranking factor. Still, it will be a strong signal and will become more critical in the future. So instead of ignoring the fact and the importance of Core Web Vitals, I encourage you to start working on it today and be ready for tomorrow.

10 – CWV Passing Now Does Not Ensure Passing Next Month

Now let’s assume that you have fine-tuned your entire website to get a better performance in your Core Web Vitals assessment. You will need to wait 28 days to see your optimized pages impact real users. After 28 days of your hard work, you can see the latest data in your Google Search Console account.

Let’s assume that you’ve got a great result in your GSC account. But don’t start celebrating too early; SEO and website performance optimization are neverending tasks.

There is a chance that after 28 more days, you might see some of your Core Web Vitals are starting to fail. Or Google may tell you to need more improvement on many pages. The reason is that there are so many external parameters that affect your field data directly, and most of the time, you won’t be able to control them.

The actual user engagement metrics vary constantly depending on the location of your audience, the device they use, their Internet connectivity fluctuations, etc.

So you will need to continue to monitor CWV for problems and areas. Then it would help if you kept improving those affected pages whenever possible to stay ahead of the race.

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11 – Core Web Vitals Are Important for Mobile and Desktop

Google mentioned that they look for Core Web vitals for mainly mobile devices. So most of us spent our resources fine-tuning Core Web vitals on all mobile devices and unfortunately ignored desktop versions. Later Google announced that they would consider desktop traffic also for the Core Web vitals assessment.

So as a website owner, you will need to make sure to optimize your website for all devices, no matter whether it is a desktop or a mobile phone. I suggest you log in to your Google Search Console or Analytics and find which device type most customers use when accessing your website. Then work on fine-tuning the Core Web vitals for that device type first. Then, you can start implementing your optimization for broader devices with less traffic to your site.

12 – Cache Plugins Can Cause More Problems Than They Solve

I assume that you got a perfect score by using a WordPress cache plugin. However, I am afraid that sometimes those WordPress caching plugins can cause more problems than they solve.

Most of the caching and performance plugins are operating at the application level. These caching plugins were never designed to optimize a complex website like an e-commerce site. Unfortunately, most WordPress caching and performance plugin developers programmed their applications when they fell under the massive amount of pressure we put on them.

We were on the lookout for a perfect 100/100 score on all of our PSI tests, and those caching plugin developers rushed to help us to get the better score that we desired.

Remember I told you 100/100 doesn’t mean anything to you in most cases. So to get a better score, you might put so many assets to preload. You may delay so many assets like JavaScript to lower the impact they create on your WordPress website. Sometimes such over-optimization will hurt your website more than help, especially when a real user tries to access your site.

So when you fine-tune your WordPress website using such plugins, always make sure to put your users first and don’t try to optimize for scoring tools alone. It is okay to have a lower score on such measurement sites and a higher user experience for your real visitors. You made your website for those human visitors and did not satisfy a faceless measurement tool.

13 – Delaying Ads Is a Sign of Laziness and Poor Optimization

One strategy for improving Core Web Vitals is to delay the execution of external JavaScript files. Usually, such performance plugins will defer loading JavaScript files for a fixed time or until the user starts engaging with the page, like scrolling or moving the mouse within the page.

Most WordPress website owners who run advertisements on their websites fall into the trap of delaying ad scripts to improve their Core Web Vitals score. They say that these ad scripts come from external sources and may negatively impact their scores.

I always encourage you to avoid using anything from external domains, but this is an exceptional case. The reason here is that the ads generate revenue for your website. Then probably all of us would ask why we should keep the website if we can’t earn money from it.

However, this is primarily a misconception, especially with ad networks that use the latest coding standards. When you place an ad on your page, you only need to ensure enough room for the advertisement widget to display as intended. So you can efficiently avoid CLS issues.

Otherwise, ads won’t be the culprit when affecting other metrics like LCP and FID. But you need to be aware that not all ad networks are created and maintained equally. Sometimes you need to take extra care to get the best experience for your users and at the same time maximize your ad revenue.

Major media outlets use advertisement networks, and there is no delay in their ads scripts. They are still passing their Core Web Vitals. If they can do so, you can; it is not something you cannot achieve.

When you insert an ad, you need to ensure that the dependencies and assets are loading asynchronously, and the layout won’t change. That’s it; this is your business, and you don’t need to lose any ad revenue.

14 – You Not Just Fix Images, Fix Fonts as Well

People obsessed with their website performance often focus on the images and shrink them down to satisfy the LCP metric. But unfortunately, they are ignoring or forgetting that font loads on their website are also critical to fixing their LCP issue.

I always recommend you to stop using Google fonts directly calling from Google’s network. Instead, you can use a system-safe font that the manufacturer would already install on your visitor’s computer. However, I don’t recommend you to rely on just a system font because a font can help you stand out from other websites.

So what I suggest is you download the font from Google, or any other fonts sharing websites and then host those fonts locally on your WordPress website. This will help reduce LCP issues and help you improve other metrics, including TTFB.

And sadly, I see many times people are preloading tons of fonts. Suppose you are using Rubik font. You don’t need to preload every font-variant like bold, italic, medium, etc. You will experience FCP slowdowns if you preload all of these fonts simultaneously. They will all load before anything else on the page when you preload them.

I recommend you simplify the fonts you use on your WordPress website. You will see a considerable improvement in your Core Web Vitals.

15 – User Experience Is More Important

Most website owners still think that gallery sliders, exit popups, and objects dancing and bouncing across the screen will impress their visitors. Unfortunately, those heavy elements and frustrating popups will indeed lead to a fast abandonment because people are so tired of it. It provides a terrible user experience to anyone, especially when people access your website using their mobile phones. It isn’t enjoyable.

I’m not saying you should not use any motion on your website. You can still use modern animations to tell the story and capture the attention of your visitors. But an exit intended popup that covers the whole screen will annoy anyone. I’m not using that on my website here on Rovity.

Instead, you can try to produce quality content that will engage your audience and give them a reason to stick around your website for a longer time.

Do you know an excellent user experience scores high and helps you grow your website? When you have a great user experience with an aesthetic design, your visitors will be happy to stick to your website. Think about your visitors are your guests, so don’t irritate them.

16 – Rovity Helps You Optimize Your Website to Load It Fast

It is challenging to optimize any website, especially a fully dynamic site like an online store. That’s why we are offering our help to identify opportunities to optimize your current website for a much better user experience and higher score on Core Web Vitals.

Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that we will optimize any website you host with us because it is technically impossible. Rovity is already offering an easy to deploy server-level cache that will dramatically improve the performance of your WordPress website. We also provide crucial features like free global CDN, the latest PHP, and database solutions.

You can always reach out to our support team if you are stuck with an opportunity to increase your total score, and we will surely help you achieve that. I know not every web hosting service provider, including those expensive managed WordPress hosting companies out there, won’t offer such hand-in-hand solutions. But we know our customers and the challenges they are facing.

We are very friendly here. You just need to reach our live chat support and get your issues sorted.

Our team of experts is standing by to assist you in making your dream website a reality and much more affordable. That’s the reason most WordPress website owners migrated from those expensive managed VPS services to our cloud-based shared hosting infrastructure. And that’s one of the reasons we are slowly becoming India’s fastest and top WordPress hosting companies.

Summary

The blog post shared 16 tips and tricks that you can utilize to improve the Core Web Vitals of your WordPress website. To achieve better performance and speed for your website, you need to fine-tune several settings. But I recommend you not waste so much money and time to get a tiny improvement in any scoring because that may not be worth your resources. So you always need to invest in resources that bring more value to you and your customers.

If you are looking for a WordPress hosting service that will dramatically improve the speed and performance of your website, then I would recommend you to try Rovity. Rovity is India’s top shared hosting company that focuses on performance and optimization for WordPress websites.

You may not need to subscribe to an expensive hosting service most of the time. If you choose a hosting company that perfectly fine-tunes its infrastructure, then that would be more than enough to make your WordPress website fly. This will also help you save money on your monthly hosting expenses.

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By Jafar Muhammed

Jafar Muhammed has 10+ years of experience in WordPress, web hosting, domain names, DNS, CDN, server administration, etc. He is an open web advocate. He is the CEO of Rovity, the fastest growing premium shared hosting startup in India.

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