Are you a beginner or even an experienced WordPress user who is wondering what the term Largest Contentful Paint time actually means? In this article we will explain how to fix Largest Contentful Paint time in detail and what Largest Contentful Paint time is. We will also explain why it is very important and how to fix things if your site is not scoring too well with its LCP.
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is a parameter used by Google to measure the loading speed of your pages. This is a very important parameter because Google has recently used it for SEO rankings. Simply, if your site doesn’t have optimized content, content that doesn’t have a good rating through LCP, then your SEO ranking will not do too well.
LCP is based on a set of advanced algorithms that measure the loading time of your website. There are some tools like GTMetrix that will measure the load time of a complete website. That being said, LCP is more designed to measure the load time of useful content that caused a visitor to come to your website. We can say that LCP is the time to load the largest image on a page, a large text block, or any other content that is relevant to visitors. This effectively measures the usefulness of your site in delivering content to end users.
If your site is adapted to different devices such as laptop, PC, tablet, then LCP values on these devices may differ. The reason is ability to adapt the pages to smaller screens where certain large elements can be completely hidden or eliminated to make the pages load faster.
You are probably now wondering how to measure LCP on your site and which load time is good. According to data provided by Google, excellent LCP time is under 2.5 seconds. If the LCP time is up to 4 seconds then your site needs some basic optimization and tweaking. If the LCP time exceeds 4 seconds then the LCP time is bad and you need to start optimizing your pages and do some troubleshooting.
You can test your pages on PageSpeed Insights within Google. Just enter the URL and click “Analyze” to get a detailed report in just a few seconds.
It can sometimes be difficult for anyone to find LCP in a large number of statistics. We will explain what you need to pay attention to. If you are wondering which element Google will use to measure LCP then go to “Diagnostics” and read the value in the LCP field.
If you are a developer and are not unfamiliar with API services, then you can use the API to measure LCP time. Using PerformanceObserver you can see what LCP values are shown for WordPress pages that are currently opened in your internet browser. The moment you make any changes, at the same time the LCP values change as well. The console contains a notification window where you will be notified when an LCP change occurs. Within the notification an HTML element has been identified on which you are making changes and on which the LCP time value is changing.
Now we come to the most important part – how to speed up LCP time and have a good SEO page rank.
We must say that there is no universal rule that applies to all sites. How you speed up LCP time depends on the niche of your site and the content you place on it. However, there are some basic rules that can be applied to all websites regardless of content.
To improve the LCP time on your site, keep the following in mind:
Fast web hosting
Fast and quality web hosting is the main prerequisite for a good LCP time. There are many quality hosting providers that offer hosting packages specializing in WordPress sites – this can be shared hosting, VPS or dedicated server. Your site may be well designed and optimized, but if your hosting server has a slow response time then the site will not serve your site fast enough to get a good LCP time. According to user experience, one of the best hosting providers currently is Bluehost.
Using caching plugins
If your hosting provider does not have page caching then you need to use one of the caching plugins for WordPress. The purpose of a caching plugin is not to load the complete page every time anyone visits it. Just visit the page once, it will be cached, and only changes that have occurred in the meantime will be reloaded. This way the pages load much faster and the LCP time is guaranteed to be better. You will be able to fund several caching plugins on the WordPress plugins repository.
Content Delivery Network
Using CDN greatly speeds up LCP time by distributing the content of your pages to the visitor from the nearest server. This way pages load up to 3 times faster which greatly improves LCP time. The most famous CDN service today is Cloudflare.
Use an image optimization plugin
If your site has a lot of images, whether it’s galleries or images within an article, then you need to optimize them. There are many plugins (many of them are free) that will reduce the size of your images without visible loss of quality. Some quality plugins can reduce the image size by up to 3 times without noticing the difference in quality and appearance. Having small size images on your website is one of the ways of how to fix Largest Contentful Paint time and should not be overlooked.
Use compression on hosting servers
if you use some of the quality hosting providers like Bluehost then you have file compression included. Server compression can reduce the file several times, making it much faster to load. If your hosting provider does not have compression such as Gzip, then you can tune it using one of the many WordPress plugins. Most caching plugins have this option.
Google has introduced LCP as one of the main parameters in SEO ranking of websites. In addition to the overall user experience and the quality of the materials you place through your site, you need to be sure that your materials are delivered quickly to the end visitors. In this article we have described what LCP is, how to measure it, and what steps to take to speed up your pages and appear at the top of the list on search engines. We hope this article on how to fix Largest Contentful Paint time has helped you get a better LCP score.