Providing a high-performing website experience to your visitors is essential for growing your business. As such, you probably spend a great deal of time optimizing your page load time to get it as low as possible. But, page load time isn’t the only metric you should pay attention to when measuring how fast your website is. Along with largest contentful paint (LCP) and cumulative layout shift (CLS), first input delay (FID) is an essential component of Google’s Core Web Vitals – and one that often goes overlooked.
Read on to learn more about FID, why it’s such an important metric, and how to improve your site’s FID and deliver a better user experience (UX) in the process.
What Is FID?
Google released FID, LCP, and CLS in 2020 as part of the Chrome User Experience Report. The goal was to help Google’s algorithm determine the quality of a website’s UX and how high it should rank for SEO and aid website designers and developers in deploying quality websites.
How FID Affects Your Website
Visitors expect a fast and fluid experience when interacting with web pages. According to Google, an FID of 100 milliseconds or less is almost unrecognizable. So, if it takes just 100 milliseconds or less for web browsers to begin processing actions, it will feel instantaneous to visitors.
Some web pages have a much higher FID. And the higher a web page’s FID; the longer visitors will have to wait after performing an action. An excessively long delay may prompt visitors to leave rather than wait for their web browsers to begin processing. Your website needs low FIDs to provide visitors with a fast and fluid experience.
As mentioned before, FID is a component of Google’s Core Web Vitals – meaning it can affect your website’s organic search rankings. FID, LCP, and CLS are now essential ranking signals, and it now sees high FID scores as a sign of a poor page experience, which may cause Google to rank your website below your competitors.
Google considers an FID score of 100 ms or less to be good. Meanwhile, a score between 100 and 300 ms is ok and needs improvement, and a score above 300 ms is poor.
Go ahead and check for yourself. To measure your FID, use Google PageSpeed Insights. It’s totally free to use, and the results may surprise you! Your FID score can be found under the Field Data section.
Optimizing Your FID Score
Now that you understand what an FID score is (and what your FID score is) let’s take a look at how to improve your score. Here are a few tips from our team here at Pressable.
Use Fewer WordPress Plugins
Remove Unnecessary CSS Code
Web browsers must download CSS code. If a web page contains lots of CSS code that isn’t being used, it will take web browsers longer to render the web page, which may lead to a higher FID. Therefore, you should remove unnecessary and unused CSS code from your website. You can either remove the CSS code manually or use a free tool like purifycss.online to remove it automatically.
Check With Your Hosting Provider
If you’ve gone through your website with a fine-toothed comb and still find your FID score suffering, it might be worth having a conversation with your hosting provider. Reputable managed WordPress hosting providers (like Pressable) have 24/7 support, and it may be worthwhile to reach out to them for ideas.
However, some WordPress web hosts devote minimal resources to your website or throttle performance based on the level of plan you purchase. If this is the case, those extra milliseconds you’re seeing on your FID score may be due to your choice of host. If that ends up being the case, now would be an excellent time to get in touch with us today to see what we can do to help get you set up with the right high-performance hosting plan.
Zach has 12+ years of experience with WordPress, from creating and maintaining client sites, to providing support and developing documentation. A knack for problem-solving and providing solutions led Zach to pursue a job with Automattic providing customer support in 2015 working with WooCommerce support, and now Zach has recently joined our team here at Pressable. Outside of work, Zach enjoys spending time with his family, playing and watching sports, and working on projects around the house.