Page experience update is coming, and if you’re reading this, you’re probably trying to solve problems you haven’t considered, or looking for ways to improve the work you do.

Most of the industry is aware that it starts out fairly lightly and becomes more influential over time.

Google’s John Mueller likened it to cooking. They just start with a touch of salt and adjust slowly to get things right.

I see this update a lot like HTTPS update. The day it was released didn’t seem to be overwhelming. But how many HTTP sites do you see ranking today?

Now you might rightly argue that this may be a parallel relationship and not a causal relationship. After all, HTTPS is easy to use, and almost all new sites do, and there can be no way that HTTP sites are penalized for the best places.

Nevertheless, if you have an uncertain site, you are now facing a sea of ​​sites that has an advantage against you. It may be a small advantage, but everyone has it.

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I don’t know about you, but if I’m running a race, I want great shoes.

They may only give me a 5-second increment over 5K, but those 5 seconds – in this context – can be the difference between a clicked location and a non-clicked location.

So consider the following few quick and easy hackers.

Core Web Vitals Hack 1: Cloud Flare

This is not WordPress exclusive.

My site doesn’t get the love it deserves with updates. “The cottage has no shoes,” they say. As such, it pays pretty badly Core Network Vitalers in front.

Many may not be aware of it, however Cloud Flare offers a free service which includes a lot of speed improvements.

To give you an idea, before I started the Band-Aid path to the Core Web Vital and Page Experience directories for my site, our speed was:

Once you’ve started the Cloud Flare free plan and enabled speed optimization components, we hit:

PageSpeed ​​Insights on the Beanstalk website with a free version of Cloud Flare.

Huge differences there, as you can see. And all about 20 minutes of work, including account setup.

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After upgrading to the Pro version ($ 20 / month) and adjusting all but one setting (see below) we got:

PageSpeed ​​Insights on the Beanstalk website with a pro version of Cloud Flare.

Hmm… 11 points for $ 20. Not bad.

I applied the following settings:

  • Polish image optimization.
  • Mirage.

And because my site is WordPress, we have a chance:

Enable automatic platform optimization in Cloud Flare.

So, I have installed the plugin and applied the recommended settings.

Result?

Automatic Cloud Flare optimization.

You will find something fun here. Both the FCP and the rate index improved, but the LCP was destroyed.

This has been done after several inspections, and some even came to 62 – but still.

So I tested a few settings, none of them improved things, and so I disconnected the WordPress plugin and we were back in the 70s.

Lesson?

Not everyone works.

Always test.

Interestingly, the actual speed of the expansion improved. This is not an issue here, but it was noteworthy.

Next…

Core Web Vitals Hack 2: Hummingbird

No, I’m not talking about them 2013 Google Algorithm, but rather WordPress plugin.

Of course, this section only applies to those who use WordPress.

I’ve tested a number of different speed and cache extensions, and each one seems to work better in different situations than the others. But the most consistent, if you have a good hosting provider, seems to be Hummingbird – in my experience.

I add a hosting provider perspective because other extensions may work better on worse hosts, but in that case my primary recommendation would be … to get a better host.

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Why Hummingbird?

I like Hummingbird in that it’s not just a simple cache extension (after all, we have a cache of our proper hosting (or Cloud Flare)?

Hummingbird has a cache; I just don’t use it.

I also like that I can connect Hummingbird to Cloud Flare, to adjust some settings remotely.

Their automated optimization was, in case I tried it, pretty bad.

It’s probably decent if you don’t know what you’re looking at, but if you’re willing to spend some time setting up – you can do better manually with an interface like:

Hummingbird WordPress plugin.

You may have to do some play to find out what things are being moved inward and which are violating the functionality of your site if they are mistreated (I look at you in jQuery).

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It is worth noting that for the purposes of this article, I have removed all of the Speed ​​Flare boost and cache features as I write this section. So the starting point is 34 after this writing.

I pushed everything into the CSS and JS footer and compressed it. This is not possible for everyone, and many sites fall apart when you press jQuery down because many sliders, etc. require it to be loaded before they do.

It is recommended that you test multiple pages, including the product, contact information, home page, and almost at least one page for each layout / model you use.

Note that I tested merging files, which has never been a success, and the results were worse.

In the end, we got a score of 34:

PageSpeed ​​Insights score with Hummingbird.

Steady improvement.

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My rule of thumb is to get it to a minimum of about 60. This allows errors or deterioration to occur without dropping it below the 50 threshold as “bad.”

And last but not least…

Core Web Vitals Hack 3: Property Cleaning

WordPress plugin Property cleaning is another provider of hotfixes.

The basic function of an extension is to allow site owners to prevent scripts from uploading to specific pages or sets of pages. The proposal will:

Reduce JavaScript.

Social sharing extensions are a great example. We use them on our blog, but they load throughout the site.

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You will find that they do not directly affect performance points. Let’s test it.

When the Hummingbird plug-in is disabled, we come to result 35.

After installation and setup, you will find yourself on a page that looks like this:

Hummingbird interface.

Now you can spend time and where their testing space is convenient.

Some scripts you simply know, Do you need them or not (for example, a contact form in a page group), but others you may not want to test (Do you really need a slider plug-in on each page?).

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If you are in developer or testing mode, you may want to disable them all and then enable them one at a time with the testing features. I followed this route.

After about 20 or 30 minutes (which you have to do in each section, although once you’ve done one, they’re faster) the speed was:

Property cleaning.

When the breaking areas are:

Offensive scripts.

Again, solid progress.

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But what happens if you start…

Combining these 3 hacking

Combining didn’t seem to work well in my experience.

Scores and real-life timings deteriorated when both were combined. This was unexpected because Cloud Flare and Asset Cleanup should have played well together.

But…

Combine optimizations.

However, the results can vary, and if you’re testing each – I suggest you test different combinations and even other extensions if you have the time and inclination.

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In our case, we live in Cloud Flare.

And for the curious, you may have noticed that the above readings are for mobile devices. Cloud Flare offers our desktop:

Desktop PageSpeed ​​and CWV.

And now to turn things off …

But of course this is not the end of the test.

So for now, I’ve disabled all optimizations and will keep them off until September after implementation.

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Basically, I want to see how big a kick we get kicked in (if there is one) and then see how quickly we recover.

I do not recommend you do the same.

Once the matter is clarified, I will revisit and update this book.

More resources:


Image credits

All screenshots taken by the author, June 2021

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