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WordPress 6.3 Update Brings LCP SEO Improvements

Web pages need to load quickly to make users happy and improve how well they show up in search results. This is even more important on mobile devices because people get impatient and lose interest quickly. Google says that they consider how fast a site loads when they decide how to rank it.

WordPress, the most popular way to manage website content, will soon release version 6.3 in August 2023. It will have improvements specifically designed to make pages load faster, based on a measure called “Largest Contentful Paint” or LCP. LCP measures how long it takes for the biggest thing on a page to show up.

Having a fast LCP is important for users and search rankings because Google pays attention to how fast pages load. WordPress 6.3 will have new features and improvements that will make your site’s LCP faster and help your site perform better in search results.

WordPress 6.3 Update Brings LCP SEO Improvements

Reasons Why SEO Performance is Crucial for Websites

SEO performance is crucial for websites because it affects their ranking in search results and helps them get more visitors. There are a few important reasons why it is significant. Firstly, the number of other websites linking to a site influences its ranking. So, if many websites link to a site, it will appear higher in search results.

Secondly, SEO performance determines how well a website matches a search query. If a site is optimized for a specific keyword or phrase, it’s more likely to show up when someone searches for that term.

Moreover, SEO performance affects the click-through rate (CTR) of a website. When a site ranks higher in search results, more people are inclined to click on it. This increases the chances of turning those visitors into customers or clients.

WordPress: A Well-Known CMS

WordPress is a really popular tool that helps people manage the content on their websites. It’s used by a lot of people because it’s free and easy to use. You can use WordPress to create all sorts of websites, like blogs or online stores.

Both small businesses and big companies use WordPress because it’s simple to set up and handle. Individuals like it too because it’s easy to use and there are lots of free designs and extras you can add to your website.

Some of the things that people really like about WordPress are:

  • You don’t have to be a coding expert to make a website.
  • You don’t need to give money for it because it doesn’t cost anything.
  • There are thousands of free designs and extras you can use.
  • You can add all sorts of cool things to your website without knowing how to code.
  • WordPress is a popular platform used by millions of people worldwide.

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is a way to measure how long it takes for the biggest image or block of text to appear on a webpage. It helps understand how fast a webpage loads from a user’s perspective. It focuses on what users see in their browser, which is called the viewport.

WordPress 6.3 has made improvements to optimize the performance of Core Web Vitals. These improvements involve using specific HTML attributes on certain elements to make the webpage load faster and improve the overall user experience.

WordPress 6.3 Update Brings LCP SEO Improvements

Fetch Priority HTML Attribute

Fetch Priority HTML Attribute is a special code used in webpages to control how quickly different parts of the webpage load. It is mainly used for things like images, CSS styles, and JavaScript code.

The purpose of fetchpriority is to tell the web browser which parts of the webpage should be downloaded first in order to show the content to the visitor as quickly as possible. The parts that are visible on the screen when the webpage loads have the highest priority, while the parts that are further down the page and require scrolling have a lower priority.

With fetchpriority, website creators can decide which parts of their webpage should load faster and which parts can take a bit longer. For example, WordPress version 6.3 has a feature that automatically adds the fetchpriority attribute to the image that is most likely to be seen by the visitor.

It’s important to note that fetchpriority is only applied to larger resources, like images, and not to small things like navigation buttons. Additionally, if a fetchpriority attribute already exists for a resource, the automatic fetchpriority feature in WordPress will not change it.

Improved Lazy Load Implementation

When you visit a website, the first thing you see in your browser is called the “viewport.”

It’s important to prioritize the webpage elements that are needed to show the first viewport.

Elements that are below the first viewport don’t need to be downloaded right away.

Lazy loading is a technique that tells the browser which images and videos are not essential for loading the first screen.

By using the lazy load attribute, the necessary webpage elements can be downloaded first.

In the past, WordPress applied lazy loading to all images on a webpage, whether they were important or not.

Although it wasn’t ideal for images crucial for displaying the main content, tests showed that it still improved performance compared to not using lazy loading.

With WordPress 6.3, this problem is solved by being able to identify which images are critical.

The lazy load feature won’t be used for important pictures, so they can download faster.

Lastly, the new method for identifying the initial viewport and applying fetch priority and loading attributes can be used for further optimizations in future WordPress versions.

Changes Might Impact Third-Party Plugins

WordPress has given notice to let plugin creators know that they have changed the way lazy-loading works in the main system.

A new function has been introduced to control both the fetch priority and loading attributes.

Developers who used the old way of doing things might have to make changes to their plugins. Publishers should be aware of this and make it a priority to update their plugins after upgrading to WordPress 6.3.

WordPress 6.3 Update Brings LCP SEO Improvements

WP 6.3 Won’t Override Relevant Custom Optimization

WP 6.3 won’t replace any custom settings you have made for optimizing images. It’s a considerate update that allows you to have control over the attributes fetch priority and lazy load, even when the update is applied.

According to the announcement:

“When this new function is used to display images in WordPress core, it also enhances the ability to customize them.

The function will not override any attributes that you have already set. So, if you have specified a priority or loading attribute for an image before using this function, it will remain unchanged.

This flexibility allows you to fine-tune your settings and not be limited to the default automated behavior. However, please remember not to set both fetchpriority=”high” and loading=”lazy” for the same element.

If the function encounters both of these attribute-value combinations together, it will display a warning message.”

Enhanced Core Web Vitals SEO on WordPress

WordPress has made improvements to its Core Web Vitals SEO, which is important for optimizing website performance. They have fixed bugs that were causing issues with implementing certain attributes that affect Largest Contentful Paint.

Additionally, with the release of WordPress 6.3, they have improved image optimization for SEO, which will result in better scores for Largest Contentful Paint and help websites perform well.

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