Give us a call: (800) 252-6164

Improving Your Largest Contentful Paint on WordPress In 2024

April 6, 2023 | By David Selden-Treiman | Filed in: Core Web Vitals.

Introduction: Understanding Largest Contentful Paint and Its Importance

As a website owner or developer, you’ve probably heard about the importance of website performance and how it can impact user experience and search engine optimization (SEO). One of the key performance metrics that you should be aware of is the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP). In this guide, we’ll discuss what LCP is, why it’s important, and how you can optimize it for your WordPress website.

What Is The Largest Contentful Paint?

LCP refers to the point in time when the largest content element (usually an image or text block) becomes visible on the screen. In simpler terms, it measures how long it takes for the main content of your web page to load. For instance, if you have a blog post with a large header image, the time it takes for that image to fully load would be your LCP.

Why Is Improving The Largest Contentful Paint Important?

Improving your LCP is crucial because it directly impacts how users perceive your website’s loading speed. A faster LCP means users can interact with your content more quickly, leading to a better overall user experience. Additionally, Google considers LCP as one of its Core Web Vitals, which are a set of performance metrics that influence your website’s search rankings.

A lower LCP score can negatively affect your SEO and make it harder for users to find your site through search engines.

Now that you understand what LCP is and why it’s important, let’s dive into the steps you can take to optimize it for your WordPress website. By following the tips and techniques outlined in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to improving your website’s performance, user experience, and search engine rankings.

Assessing Your Largest Contentful Paint Score: Tools and Techniques

Before you can start optimizing your LCP, it’s essential to know your current LCP score and identify the elements that contribute to it. Luckily, there are several tools available to help you measure and analyze your LCP. In this section, we’ll introduce three popular tools and explain how to use them to assess your LCP score.

Google PageSpeed Insights

This user-friendly tool from Google provides a wealth of information about your website’s performance, including your LCP score. To use it, simply enter your website URL, and within seconds, you’ll receive a detailed report with your LCP score and suggestions for improvement. For example, if your LCP is 3.2 seconds, the tool might recommend optimizing your images or deferring offscreen content to reduce the loading time.


Lighthouse is an open-source tool from Google that provides in-depth performance audits for web pages. You can run Lighthouse directly from the Chrome browser or as a standalone application. To use it in Chrome, open the DevTools panel (Ctrl + Shift + J or Cmd + Option + J), switch to the “Lighthouse” tab, and click “Generate report.” The report will include your LCP score, along with detailed information about the specific elements that contribute to it, such as images, text blocks, or videos.

Chrome DevTools

For a more hands-on approach, you can use Chrome DevTools to manually identify and analyze your LCP element. To do this, open the DevTools panel (Ctrl + Shift + J or Cmd + Option + J) and navigate to the “Performance” tab. Click the record button, reload your web page, and then stop the recording. In the resulting timeline, you’ll see a “LCP” marker that indicates when the Largest Contentful Paint occurred. By clicking on the marker, you can see which element caused the LCP and gather insights on potential optimization opportunities.

Once you’ve assessed your LCP score using these tools, you can start identifying areas for improvement. Keep in mind that an ideal LCP score is 2.5 seconds or less, so strive to make optimizations that help you achieve or surpass that benchmark. In the following sections, we’ll explore various strategies to improve your LCP on your WordPress website, including image optimization, CSS and JavaScript optimization, and server-side adjustments.

Image Optimization: Tips and Techniques for Faster Loading Images

One of the most common factors contributing to a high LCP score is unoptimized images. Large, high-resolution images can take a long time to load, which can slow down your LCP considerably. In this section, we’ll explore different ways to optimize your images for faster loading times on your WordPress site.

Choose the Right Image Format

The format of your image can have a significant impact on its file size and, subsequently, your LCP. Common image formats include JPEG, PNG, and WebP. As a rule of thumb, use JPEG for photographs and complex images, PNG for images with transparency, and WebP for a balance between quality and file size. For example, if you have a high-quality header image, converting it to WebP format can reduce its file size without compromising quality, resulting in a faster LCP.

Use WordPress Plugins for Image Optimization

There are several plugins available for WordPress that can help you optimize your images automatically. These plugins can compress, resize, and even convert images to more efficient formats. Some popular options include:


This plugin offers lossless and lossy compression for your images, as well as automatic conversion to WebP format. With ShortPixel, you can optimize your existing images and any new images you upload to your site.


Imagify is another plugin that compresses and optimizes your images, with options for lossless and lossy compression. It also includes features like automatic resizing and WebP conversion.

WP Smush

WP Smush is a popular image optimization plugin that compresses and resizes your images. It also offers features like lazy loading and bulk optimization for your existing media library.

Implement Lazy Loading

Lazy loading is a technique that defers the loading of offscreen images until they are needed, which can help improve your LCP. WordPress has native lazy loading support for images, but you can also use plugins for more control and customization. Some popular lazy loading plugins are A3 Lazy Load, Autoptimize, and WP Smush.

By optimizing your images with these techniques, you can significantly reduce their file sizes and loading times, ultimately improving your LCP score. Remember that each website is unique, so experiment with different image formats and optimization settings to find the best combination for your site. Keep monitoring your LCP score using the tools discussed in the previous section to gauge the effectiveness of your optimization efforts.

CSS and JavaScript Optimization: Streamlining Your Code for Faster Loading

The size and complexity of your CSS and JavaScript files can have a noticeable impact on your LCP score. In this section, we’ll cover various techniques to optimize your CSS and JavaScript files to improve your LCP on your WordPress site.


Minification is the process of removing unnecessary characters (such as whitespace and comments) from your code without affecting its functionality. This can significantly reduce the size of your CSS and JavaScript files, leading to faster loading times. Several WordPress plugins can help you minify your code automatically, such as:


This plugin combines and minifies your CSS, JavaScript, and HTML files, helping you reduce the total number of requests and file sizes. It also provides additional features like deferring scripts and optimizing Google Fonts.

W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache is a comprehensive caching and optimization plugin that includes CSS and JavaScript minification. It also offers advanced features like database caching and integration with content delivery networks (CDNs).

Deferring Offscreen Content

Deferring the loading of offscreen content can help improve your LCP by prioritizing the content that users see first. This can be achieved by loading your CSS and JavaScript files asynchronously or by implementing lazy loading techniques.

Removing Unused CSS and JavaScript

Over time, your WordPress site may accumulate unused or unnecessary CSS and JavaScript code, which can slow down your LCP. Identifying and removing this unused code can help improve your website’s performance. Tools like PurgeCSS and UnCSS can help you find and remove unused CSS rules, but be cautious when using them, as they might inadvertently remove essential styles. Always double-check your site’s appearance and functionality after making any changes to your code.

By implementing these CSS and JavaScript optimization techniques, you can reduce the size and complexity of your code, leading to faster loading times and an improved LCP score. Remember to continuously monitor your LCP and overall website performance using the tools discussed in section two to ensure your optimization efforts are effective. Stay open to experimenting with different optimization techniques and settings to find the best combination for your unique WordPress site.

Webfont Optimization: Enhancing Font Performance for a Better Largest Contentful Paint

Webfonts can add style and personality to your website, but they can also contribute to a slower LCP if not optimized properly. In this section, we’ll discuss some techniques to optimize your webfonts for better performance and a faster LCP on your WordPress site.

Reducing Webfont Size

The size of your webfont files can have a significant impact on your LCP. To optimize your webfonts, consider the following:

Select Optimal Font Formats

Choose webfont formats that offer better compression and faster loading times. WOFF2 and WOFF are two popular formats that provide good compression without sacrificing quality. For example, you might replace a TTF or OTF font with its WOFF2 or WOFF equivalent for faster loading times.

Limit Font Variations

Each font variation (e.g., bold, italic, light) adds extra weight to your website. Try to limit the number of font variations you use and only include the ones you truly need. This reduces the overall size of your font files and helps speed up your LCP.

Preloading Webfonts

Preloading is a technique that tells the browser to prioritize loading specific resources, such as webfonts. By preloading your webfonts, you can ensure they load faster and improve your LCP. To implement preloading in WordPress, add the following code to your theme’s functions.php file:

function my_preload_fonts() {
    echo '<link rel="preload" href="/path/to/your/font.woff2" as="font" type="font/woff2" crossorigin>';
add_action('wp_head', 'my_preload_fonts');

Replace /path/to/your/font.woff2 with the actual path to your webfont file. Make sure to update the type attribute if you’re using a different font format, like “font/woff” for WOFF files.

By optimizing your webfonts using these techniques, you can reduce their file sizes and loading times, leading to a faster LCP. Keep in mind that every website is different, so you may need to experiment with various optimization methods to achieve the best results. Monitor your LCP and overall website performance using the tools discussed in section two to ensure your font optimization efforts are effective and to identify any additional areas for improvement.

Server Optimization and Caching: Boosting Your Site’s Performance from the Backend

Your server’s performance plays a crucial role in determining your LCP score. In this section, we’ll discuss how to optimize your server and implement caching techniques to improve your LCP on your WordPress site.

Choose a High-Performance Hosting Provider

Your hosting provider can have a significant impact on your website’s performance. It’s essential to choose a provider that offers fast, reliable servers and quality customer support. Research different hosting options and consider factors like server location, resources, and scalability to find the best fit for your website.

Implement Server Caching

Server caching can dramatically improve your website’s performance by storing and serving static versions of your web pages. There are several types of server caching you can implement, including:

Server-Level Caching

Some hosting providers offer server-level caching solutions like Varnish or Nginx. These tools cache static content at the server level, reducing the need for repeated requests to your WordPress site.

WordPress Caching Plugins

If your hosting provider doesn’t offer server-level caching, you can use a WordPress caching plugin to create and serve static versions of your web pages. Popular caching plugins include W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache.

Enable Compression

Compression reduces the size of your website’s files before they’re sent to the user’s browser, leading to faster loading times. There are two common compression methods you can use: Gzip and Brotli. To enable compression, you can either configure your server settings or use a plugin like W3 Total Cache.

Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

A CDN distributes your website’s content across a network of servers around the world, allowing users to access your site from a server that’s geographically closer to them. This can significantly improve your LCP and overall website performance. Some popular CDN options include Cloudflare and Amazon CloudFront.

Cloudlfare is free and we highly recommend it as a CDN.

By optimizing your server and implementing caching techniques, you can enhance your website’s performance and reduce your LCP. Continuously monitor your LCP and overall website performance using the tools discussed in section two to ensure your server optimization efforts are effective. Additionally, stay informed about new server technologies and best practices to maintain an optimized server environment and consistently fast LCP.

Monitoring and Ongoing Optimization: Keeping Your Largest Contentful Paint in Check

Optimizing your LCP is not a one-time task, but rather an ongoing process that requires monitoring, analysis, and fine-tuning. In this section, we’ll discuss how to keep track of your LCP and continually improve your website’s performance.

Regularly Monitor Your Largest Contentful Paint Score

As we discussed in section two, tools like Google PageSpeed Insights, Lighthouse, and Chrome DevTools can help you assess your LCP score. Make it a habit to regularly check your LCP using these tools, and track your progress over time. By staying on top of your LCP, you can identify and address any performance issues before they impact your user experience and search rankings.

Analyze and Optimize

Each time you make changes to your website, whether it’s adding new content, updating plugins, or tweaking your theme, there’s a chance that your LCP may be affected. After making any changes, analyze your LCP score and look for any new areas that require optimization. This might involve revisiting the strategies discussed in previous sections, such as image optimization, CSS and JavaScript optimization, or server adjustments.

Stay Informed and Adapt

The world of web performance is constantly evolving, with new technologies, best practices, and optimization techniques emerging all the time. Stay informed about the latest developments in website performance and be prepared to adapt your optimization strategies accordingly. Subscribe to industry blogs, follow experts on social media, and participate in web performance communities to keep your knowledge up-to-date.

Test and Iterate

One of the keys to ongoing optimization is experimentation. Test different optimization techniques, settings, and plugins to see which ones work best for your unique website. Keep in mind that what works for one site may not work for another, so don’t be afraid to try new things and learn from your results.

By regularly monitoring your LCP, analyzing your website’s performance, and staying informed about the latest optimization techniques, you can ensure that your WordPress site continues to load quickly and provide a great user experience. Remember that optimizing your LCP is an ongoing process, and by staying proactive, you can maintain a fast, high-performing website that both users and search engines will love.

Improving your Largest Contentful Paint on your WordPress site is a crucial step in providing an excellent user experience and boosting your search engine rankings. By following the strategies and techniques discussed in this guide, you can significantly reduce your LCP and maintain a fast, high-performing website.

Conclusion: Achieving and Maintaining an Optimized Largest Contentful Paint on Your WordPress Site

In summary, here are the key areas to focus on when optimizing your LCP:

  • Assess your LCP score using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights, Lighthouse, and Chrome DevTools.
  • Optimize your images through format selection, compression, and lazy loading.
  • Streamline your CSS and JavaScript code by minifying, deferring, and removing unused code.
  • Enhance your webfont performance by reducing font sizes, selecting optimal formats, and preloading.
  • Optimize your server and implement caching techniques for better backend performance.
  • Regularly monitor your LCP, analyze your website’s performance, and stay informed about the latest optimization techniques.

Remember that optimizing your LCP is an ongoing process that requires continuous monitoring, analysis, and fine-tuning. Experiment with different optimization techniques, plugins, and settings to find the best combination for your unique website. Stay proactive and informed about the latest web performance best practices, and don’t hesitate to make adjustments as needed to maintain an optimized LCP.

By committing to these optimization efforts, you’ll ensure that your WordPress site consistently provides a fast and enjoyable experience for your users, leading to higher engagement, conversions, and search engine rankings. Happy optimizing!

David Selden-Treiman, Director of Operations at Potent Pages.

David Selden-Treiman is Director of Operations and a project manager at Potent Pages. He specializes in custom web crawler development, website optimization, server management, web application development, and custom programming. Working at Potent Pages since 2012 and programming since 2003, David has extensive expertise solving problems using programming for dozens of clients. He also has extensive experience managing and optimizing servers, managing dozens of servers for both Potent Pages and other clients.


Comments are closed here.

What Is The Best Web Hosting Provider?

Finding the best web hosting provider for your needs is an important step in optimizing your website. There's a lot to consider. Here are our basic recommendations:

Simple Websites

For simple websites, you have a lot of options. Most web hosts will do acceptably for a simple small-business website or blog.

That said, we recommend avoiding website builders so that you maintain control of your website.

VPS Hosting

If you just need a simple VPS, most providers will work well. Different providers have different downtimes, but the big differentiators are cost.

Providers like AWS and Google Cloud tend to be much more expensive than more specialized providers.

We recommend Digital Ocean and Hetzner if you're looking for a good VPS provider at a good price (it's what we use.)

High Performance Hosting

If you're looking for high performance web hosting, you're going to need something more specialized.

You can't just expect a simple cPanel host to give you what you'll need. You need a custom configuration.

Generally, you'll need either a managed host, or you'll need to get your servers configured with custom configurations.

If you're looking for a high performance hosting provider, we offer hosting designed for high-availability and high-traffic.

WordPress Hosting

What WordPress Hosting Should You Get?

There are many considerations when getting a WordPress hosting provider. Focus on the performance needs of your website.

WordPress Hosting Setup

When setting up your WordPress hosting, or switching hosts, there are a number of steps to complete. These include:

WordPress & Security

There are a number of WordPress security threats to contend with. We recommend using a plugin like WordFence to help secure your site.

WordPress Backups

Make sure to also back-up your site. It's absolutely essential, and ideally use an off-site backup provider that's different from your hosting provider.

WordPress Speed Improvements

There are a number of ways to improve the speed of your WordPress site on its hosting.

There are a number of plugins that can help improve your site's speed.


DNS Records

There are many different types of records, each with their own purpose. These include: SOA, A, TXT, CNAME, PTR (reverse DNS), and more. On some servers, you can also set up wildcard records.

The records you need will depend on what you're doing; WordPress sites require different records than mail servers, for example.


The process of your records transmitting to DNS servers around the world is called propagation. It normally takes 48 hours, but you can speed it up a bit with some planning.


To test your DNS records, there are 2 main tools: dig and nslookup. Each is very helpful in its own specialty.

Reliability & Security

There are a number of ways to improve your DNS reliability and security.

  • Split Horizon allows you to separate networks, either for intranets or for separating by geographic region.
  • GeoDNS allows you to give different records to different locations based on the requesting IP address. This allows you to create your own CDN, speeding up your site.
  • DNS over QUIC speeds up your DNS requests and gives you better DNS security by encrypting your DNS connection.
  • DNSSEC allows you to sign and encrypt your DNS connection, ensuring that nobody is changing your records.
  • DNS over HTTPS allows your visitors to request your DNS records over an encrypted connection.

Internationalized Domains

Internationalized domain names allow character encodings other than Latin characters. They have their own methods for backward compatibility.

Scroll To Top