Page Speed, Load & CWVs Factors

Page Load & Speed Enhancements with CWV Factors

page load and page speed timings

Page Speed & Load Time

Page load time and page speed are related but distinct concepts that both affect the performance of a website.

  • Page load time: Page load time refers to the total time it takes for a web page to load and become fully visible and interactive to the user. It includes various factors such as network latency, server response time, rendering of HTML and CSS, loading of JavaScript files, and fetching additional resources like images, stylesheets, and fonts. In simple terms, it measures the duration from when a user initiates a request to load a web page to when all the content on the page has finished loading.
  • Page speed: Page speed, on the other hand, generally refers to how quickly a web page's content is displayed to the user. It focuses on the perceived speed of the page, emphasizing the time it takes for the above-the-fold content (the content initially visible without scrolling) to render and become usable. Page speed considers factors like the browser's rendering capabilities, the efficiency of CSS and JavaScript, and the optimization of critical resources needed for initial display. It often involves techniques like lazy loading, minification, caching, and asynchronous loading of scripts.

In summary, page load time encompasses the entire process of loading a web page from start to finish, including all resources, while page speed emphasizes the perceived speed of a page's initial content display and usability.

Why optimise for speed and load times?

Page speed optimizations aim to make a page feel faster to users, often by prioritizing the loading of critical elements and minimizing the delay before they are visible or interactive. Improving both page load time and page speed contributes to a better user experience, reduces bounce rates, and can positively impact search engine rankings.

Tips for improving the page load time and page speed of your website:

  • Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN). A CDN is a network of servers that are located around the world. When a user visits your website, the browser will download the resources from the server that is closest to the user. This can help to improve the loading speed of your website by reducing the distance that the data must travel.
  • Optimize your images. Large images can slow down your website, so it's important to optimize them for size and quality. You can use a tool like ImageOptim or TinyPNG to optimize your websites images.
  • Minify your CSS and JavaScript files. Minifying your CSS and JavaScript files can help to reduce their size. This can help to improve the loading speed of your website by reducing the amount of data that the browser must download.
  • Using WordPress? Then use a caching plugin. A caching plugin can help to improve the loading speed of your website by storing static content, such as images and CSS files, in the browser's cache. This can prevent the browser from having to download these files every time a user visits your website. There are several caching plugins available for WordPress, such as W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache. Alternatively, add caching code to your .htaccess file, here’s a snippet of the htaccess file I use for my websites caching –


ExpiresActive On

ExpiresByType image/jpg "access 1 year"

ExpiresByType image/jpeg "access 1 year"

ExpiresByType image/gif "access 1 year"

ExpiresByType image/png "access 1 year"

ExpiresByType text/css "access 1 month"

ExpiresByType text/html "access 1 month"

ExpiresByType text/x-javascript "access 1 month"

ExpiresByType application/x-shockwave-flash "access 1 month"

ExpiresByType image/x-icon "access 1 year"

ExpiresDefault "access 1 month"


Here’s a rundown of what’s happening in the above snippet –

  1. The first line, ## EXPIRES CACHING ##, is a comment that tells you what the code is for.
  2. The second line, , tells the server to only execute the code if the mod_expires module is enabled.
  3. The third line, ExpiresActive On, tells the server to enable caching for static files.
  4. The next seven lines, ExpiresByType image/jpg "access 1 year", tell the server to cache images for the specified amount of time.
  5. The last line, ExpiresDefault "access 1 month", tells the server to cache all other files for the specified amount of time.

You can adjust the amount of time that files are cached according to your needs. For example, you may want to cache images for a longer period of time than CSS files.

You can also use the ExpiresByType directive to cache other types of files, such as PDF files, audio files, and video files.

By adding this code to your htaccess file, you can improve the loading speed of your website and provide a better user experience.

  • Use lazy loading. Lazy loading is a technique that delays the loading of images and other resources until they are needed. This can help to improve the loading speed of your website by reducing the amount of data that the browser has to download.
  • Use a performance testing tool. There are several performance testing tools available that can help you to identify areas where you can improve the performance of your website. Some popular performance testing tools include Google PageSpeed Insights, YSlow, and WebPageTest.

By following these tips, you can improve the page load time and page speed of your website, which can lead to a better user experience, reduced bounce rates, and improved search engine rankings.

Core Web Vital factors together form ranking signals

Core Web Vitals collectively form ranking signals that Google considers when evaluating the user experience of a web page.

Core Web Vitals measure the loading, interactivity, and visual stability of a web page. If you are looking for CWV services then follow the link here to our Core Web Vitals Service page.

The three Core Web Vitals

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) measures the time it takes for the largest content element on a page to become visible.

A good LCP score is 2.5 seconds or less. A faster LCP indicates that the main content is quickly rendered, leading to a better user experience.

First Input Delay (FID) measures the time it takes for a user to be able to interact with a page after it has loaded.

A good FID score is 100 milliseconds or less. A lower FID ensures that users can interact with the page without delays, resulting in a more responsive and engaging experience.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) measures the amount of visual changes that occur after a page has loaded.

A good CLS score is 0.1 or less. Minimizing layout shifts ensures that elements on the page do not move unexpectedly, preventing frustration and accidental interactions.

Good Scores Table:

LCP: 2.5 seconds or less

FID: 100 milliseconds or less

CLS: 0.1 or less

The above metrics measure the loading, interactivity, and visual stability aspects of a website, providing insights into its performance and user satisfaction.

By striving good scores for each of these Core Web Vitals metrics, websites can enhance user experience, potentially improve search engine rankings, and increase user engagement and satisfaction.

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