After recognizing that they are losing ground to Wix when it comes to speed performance and Google’s Core Web Vitals performance, WordPress is proposing the creation of a performance team.
This comes after they revealed that the responsibility for their slow speeds is not down to their network of plugins but WordPress itself.
The proposal, which was created by a WordPress Core Developer, but it quite bluntly: “Compared to other platforms (e.g., Wix, Shopify, Squarespace), WordPress is falling behind. Other platforms are on average faster – and becoming increasingly faster – than WordPress websites.”
That is some bright and hot transparency – and in public, too.
The scores of Core Web Vitals reveal from the Chrome User Experience report display the fact that WordPress has been slowly falling behind Wix.
In an attempt to combat this trend, the proposal mentions a few ways to improve the situation. However, WordPress is more of a decentralized platform compared to others such as Wix and Squarespace, and this makes it less able to influence best practices when it comes to a number of things such as speed performance.
The performance team
The proposals suggest establishing an official team to coordinate the core development when it comes to the performance side.
“We believe that WordPress needs an official Performance Team responsible for coordinating efforts to increase the [speed] performance of WordPress,” according to the proposal.
More specifically, it outlines the areas to target, which are the user experience, the user expectation, SEO, and economic benefits.
“Users expect and prefer fast experiences (consciously or otherwise),” the report added. “Research shows that fast websites can provide a better user experience, increase engagement, benefit SEO, increase conversion, and be more economically and ecologically friendly.”
Not a plugin problem
WordPress clarified that the responsibility for site speed should be the company’s and not third-party plugins.
“Achieving reasonable performance levels shouldn’t be plugin territory, but part of core.”
Other aspects of the proposal concluded that the plugin ecosystem isn’t conductive to helping users who don’t know that they need help; built-in capabilities are vital to achieve high levels of performance; and those researching content management systems are increasingly influenced by performance, and in particular speed.
In addition, WordPress proposes the reworking of the role of plugins when it comes to optimization.
It suggests the rethinking of dependence on third-party plugins for optimization problems. Examples include integrations with specific CDNs, template transformation processes such as AMP, and browser APIs.
And all of this, if accepted moving forwards, will be managed through regular Slack meetings, benchmarking the performance and future measurement, identify priority projects for Core Web Vitals improvements.