WordPress 6.3 is set to be released in August 2023, and it is bringing a lot of exciting features for website owners and developers. One of the most significant improvements is that it will help websites achieve stronger Core Web Vitals SEO scores, especially with respect to Largest Contentful Paint (LCP). In this article, we will explore how WordPress 6.3 will optimize LCP to enhance SEO performance and boost website speed.
An important metric called Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) tracks the time it takes a webpage to generate the biggest image or text block. It indicates how long it appears to take for a user to load a webpage. For website owners and developers, LCP is a crucial measure since it has an impact on user experience, which in turn affects SEO performance.
Page speed is an essential ranking factor in Google, and a faster website can lead to higher sales, improved ad views, and clicks. By optimizing LCP, WordPress 6.3 can help website owners improve website speed and enhance the user experience.
With WordPress 6.3, the Fetch Priority attribute will be automatically added to the photo that is expected to be shown in the user’s viewport. This optimization will improve LCP by 5-10% by prioritizing the most critical resources.
WordPress 6.3 will only apply the Fetch Priority attribute to images that meet a threshold of minimum size. This means that small resources like navigation buttons will not have the attribute applied. Additionally, the Fetch Priority attribute will not override an existing attribute that has already been set.
Lazy loading is the practice of delaying the loading of non-essential resources until they are needed. WordPress initially made all photos on a page, regardless of their significance, capable of lazy loading. With WordPress 6.3, lazy loading will be more effective and efficient.
WordPress 6.3 will determine which images are necessary for rendering above-the-fold content and will not apply lazy loading to them. This optimization will ensure that the necessary webpage elements download first, improving website speed and the user experience.
The changes to fetch priority and lazy loading in WordPress 6.3 may have an impact on third-party plugins that rely on the core logic. For their plugins to function with WordPress 6.3, developers that rely on the previous logic may need to upgrade them. After updating to WordPress 6.3, website owners should be aware of this and update their plugins accordingly.
Fetch priority and lazy load will not be overridden by WordPress 6.3’s automatic application, which will remain in place. By not imposing the automated default behavior, website owners can fine-tune the optimization of their websites.
If website owners set a fetch priority or loading attribute on a visual before WordPress 6.3 is installed, that attribute will be kept as is. This allows for more customization and control over website optimization.
By optimizing LCP with Fetch Priority and improving lazy loading, WordPress 6.3 will help website owners achieve stronger Core Web Vitals SEO scores. This optimization will lead to faster website speeds, improved user experiences, and ultimately higher search engine rankings.
In addition to the LCP optimizations discussed above, WordPress 6.3 will introduce other features that will benefit website owners and developers. These features include:
- Improved support for WebP images, which are smaller and load faster than traditional image formats.
- Enhanced support for responsive images, which will adapt to different screen sizes, improving the user experience.
- A new WordPress update mechanism that will download updates in the background, reducing downtime and improving security.
Website owners and developers can prepare for WordPress 6.3 by:
- Keeping their plugins up to date and ensuring that they are compatible with WordPress 6.3.
- Testing their website’s performance before and after upgrading to WordPress 6.3.
- Familiarizing themselves with the new features and optimizations in WordPress 6.3.
WordPress 6.3’s optimization of LCP with Fetch Priority and improved lazy loading will help website owners achieve better Core Web Vitals SEO scores and improve website speed and user experience. By staying up to date with the latest WordPress updates and optimizations, website owners can ensure that their website is performing at its best and ranking higher on search engine results pages.
First reported by Search Engine Journal.
Olivia is the Editor in Chief of Blog Herald.