Ever since the commercialization of the internet that began in late-‘90s, web development tagged along for the ride into the digital realm.
The explosion of the industry has been driven by businesses that use their website to advertise and sell their products and services. That fact is so obvious that it didn’t need to be said – which reinforces the point.
Web development has reached a point where the user expectations of a website are rubbing against the technology that is holding up the internet. I.e. there is a trade off between the technology and user expectations.
This is where Google’s Core Web Vitals Vitals come into play.
Because to understand the reasoning behind Core Web Vitals and Google’s emphasis on them, you first need to understand where we are in terms of web development.
Our current digital environment is packed with users that not only want high-quality online experiences but have come to expect them, along with pages that load speedily.
The reality is that most of us understand the frustration of quickly searching for a news article only for it to take more than a couple of seconds to load. And then once it’s loaded, you begin scrolling… only for the page to shift around and ads and banners unsolicitedly dance around the page.
As a response to the growing demand for speed and structure, Core Web Vitals Vitals provide benchmarks for websites to close the gap between their performance and their customer expectations. Google’s message is clear: enhance the website experience or face the negative effects of sliding down the search engine rankings.
Many websites are not even delivering one strong performing metric, never mind all three. And this problem is even more acute when it comes to the mobile experience. So what is causing such sluggish results?
Plugs and plugs and plugs
WordPress may be the internet’s most popular content management system, but it is also very plug-focused. If you need to add some functionality on top of content then a plugin is a necessity. They may represent fast solutions especially for the non-dev workforce, but they end up weighing down the site with longer code.
Some of the most popular content management systems like WordPress and Wix are website building platforms, and to be honest, they haven’t yet caught up with the demands of internet users. Yes they provide simple, user-friendly interfaces yet they are quite difficult to actually optimize – the reason being that these template designs load all scripts and code blocks even if they’re not going used.
A third cause of sluggish site speed can be attributed to dynamic content, which causes a lot of layout shift if it’s not properly placed. The same goes for opt-in boxes such as for newsletters.
Along with Google’s attempt to remedy slow site speed by unleashing the Core Web Vitals, those common content management systems such as WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace will have to work together with the help of businesses to make the process of improving web metrics easier.