How to Prepare a WordPress Site For Google’s Core Web Vitals

After a year of warnings and false starts, Google finally confirmed that their Core Web Vitals update will be rolled out in May of 2021.

The exact date of the rollout has been vague for about a year now, but the details of what the update includes have remained crystal clear. The short version is that you need to make sure your site is as fast as possible, as secure as possible, and provides the best possible mobile experience.

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Does this mean you will have to hire a web design company to update your WordPress site? If your website is more than 5-years-old, possibly. However, you might be able to make these quick changes yourself.

Purge Unused Plugins

WordPress users can download any one of about 54,000 plugins. How many do you have installed right now?

You may notice that the overarching theme throughout this blog is that the more the backend of your site is carrying, the more it will slow down the user experience.

Take a look at the number of plugins you have installed, and remove anything that’s redundant or unused.

Prune Your Content

Audit your content and throw out anything that holds no value.

Each blog and landing page takes up room in the back-end. So, take the time to do a full content audit and remove anything that is out-dated or simply of no use to you.

But don’t just automatically throw out any under performing blogs. If you still feel like some simple tweaks can give it a second life, hold on to it. However, make sure you find the time for those simple tweaks, or those blogs will continue to take up space for no reason.

Run Leaner and Lighter

After you remove any old pages and blogs, it’s time to make sure the ones you keep are running as lean as possible.

You may not need a web designer to do this, if you:

·   Remove bulky elements: Run PageSpeed Insights to test your website. It should show you the images, videos, and other elements that take the most time to load. A page is only as fast as its biggest asset.

·   Minify blocking JavaScript and CSS: If you can minimize the parts of your site that contain blocking CSS and JavaScript, you can slash your load times.

·   Upgrade your host: If you’re using WP hosting, you should be Ok. But if you attempted to cut costs by going with a cheap host, it may be costing you a lot more than you think.

A recent study found that only about 12-13% of tested websites are ready for the Core Web Vitals update. So, if you still haven’t done your homework, you’re not the only one in the class.

If you get a head start now, you will probably be ahead of the game. Doing a little bit right now could help you outrank a competitor that has done nothing.

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