Comprehending Core Web Vitals ensures a website’s optimal user experience. These consist of many metrics that represent how users interact with the website. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is one of them.
An article titled, ‘Top Website Statistics For 2023,’
This article explores LCP and explains the measuring techniques and valuable means of enhancement.
What is the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)?
SEMrush defines LCP as:
LCP is a measure of page speed; it tells you how long it takes for the main content of a webpage to load (basically, when the page becomes readable for the user.)
LCP is pretty integral to the user experience. Users don’t generally want to hang around and wait for a site to load when they could immediately get a better experience elsewhere.
How to Measure the LCP?
Specific tools and software are essential to assess Core Web Vitals metrics, from First Input Delay (FID) to LCP. Field data is fetched from real user experiences, while lab data is derived from simulated environments.
Some tools combine both data types for complete website optimization.
An important tool for LCP measurement is Google’s PageSpeed Insights. It is a free resource for web performance analysis and issue diagnosis.
According to Kissmetrics How Loading Time Affects Your Bottom Line report –
What is a Good Score for the LCP?
The LCP score is measured in seconds, and a general guideline specifies that a web page should load its major elements in under 2.5 seconds.
An LCP score below 1.2 seconds indicates good performance and does not require any further actions. Scores between 1.2 and 2.5 seconds are acceptable but may benefit from adjustments.
LCP scores exceeding 2.5 seconds indicate poor performance. This can majorly impact user experience and hinder a site’s growth.
According to the article, ‘Website Load Time Statistics And Facts 2022,’
Elements Measured by the LCP
The LCP metric evaluates distinct website components. For instance, the First Contentful Paint (FCP) gauges the time it takes for a web page to display its initial content. This includes images, charts, and text elements.
The LCP only measures the speed of loading the largest element within the viewport, the visible content area. This element’s loading time is a key indicator of the page’s overall speed.
Elements triggering LCP readings include:
- Background images loaded using the URL () function
- Image elements (including those within svg elements)
- Text nodes within block-level elements
- Video elements
The largest elements depend on their type, such as visible or intrinsic size for images and text node size for text elements. Any element parts extending outside the viewport, like margins, padding, or borders, are excluded from the size calculation.
How to Improve the Largest Contentful Paint?
Given the LCP’s vital role in page load speed, a low LCP score can affect the user experience. Several common issues contribute to poor website performance, including:
- Client-side rendering
- Render-blocking resources
- Slow server response and resource load times
Fortunately, effective methods can address these issues, ultimately improving a site’s LCP score:
- Optimize Images: Beyond proper sizing, they must optimize images using tools like TinyPNG and Imagify. Also, they can use WordPress plugins like Optimole and EWWW Image Optimizer. This can improve LCP scores and save storage space.
- Ensure Correct Image Sizing: Responsive image sizing based on the user’s device is essential for maintaining a good LCP score. It is important to understand default image sizes for the website platform, such as WordPress.
- Use a CDN: A Content Delivery Network (CDN) can balance network load. This can result in faster LCP scores and improved user experience. Some CDNs offer real-time image optimization.
- Improve Server Response Time: Improving server response times involves server-side caching, hardware upgrades, and code optimization. WordPress users can benefit from plugins like WP-DBManager for database optimization.
- Address Lazy Loading Issues: While lazy loading speeds up page loading, it can affect LCP scores negatively. To resolve this, selectively turn off lazy loading for above-the-fold images or elements to boost rendering.
Also Read: Why Website Maintenance is Crucial
The LCP is a pivotal Core Web Vitals metric. It reflects a web page’s ability to load its most important content swiftly, impacting load speed and user experience.
Developers must understand and optimize the LCP. It helps deliver a superior user experience and ensure a website’s success. Core Web Vitals, including LCP, provide valuable insights into how users interact with web content. This makes it a critical aspect of web performance assessment.
We have explored the means to measure LCP, set benchmarks for a good score, and delved into the specific elements it evaluates. More importantly, we have discussed practical strategies to improve the LCP score, addressing common performance issues such as:
- Image optimization
- Responsive design
- Content delivery networks
- Server response times
- Managing lazy loading
By implementing these strategies, web developers can achieve better LCP scores. This will enhance the overall user experience. The key factors include faster loading times, quick rendering of essential content, and smoother navigation.
These contribute to visitor satisfaction and ultimately support the growth and success of a website.
As the digital landscape evolves, ensuring that a website’s LCP remains optimized will be pivotal in meeting user expectations and staying competitive online. So, remember, a faster, more responsive, and user-friendly website is just a few LCP optimizations away.