Initial Thoughts on Core Web Vitals & WP Rocket

Core Web Vitals is officially set to be incorporated into Google’s algo in May, so like many other SEOs out there I’ve been working to update all the sites I manage so that they excel in Google’s site performance metrics.

One tool that’s been a great help so far is WP Rocket, a WordPress plugin that helps implement technical performance updates on WordPress sites like caching, gzipping, and lazy loading.

So far I’ve tried it on 3-4 sites that I manage, and the results have been great. Just by configuring a few checkboxes in the plugin settings I’ve taken sites from the 60-70s in Google’s PageSpeed Insights to the 80s-90s (no perfect scores yet, though). This has been great since a lot of the sites and blogs that I work with are powered by WordPress.

Core Web Vitals Pagespeed Insights

The plugin isn’t always perfect though, and some of the features such as combining JavaScript files has caused issues on some of the sites I tried it on. It’s also still really difficult to troubleshoot some issues, especially Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). I’ve been forced to make screen recordings on some sites, and visually see what the heck shifting during page load.

Overall I’ve been very happy with the tool though, and would recommend it to anyone that runs WordPress (it is a paid plugin, starting at $49/year).

Big algorithm updates like this are always an opportunity for fast movers to jump ahead in the SERPs as laggards and established players take longer to implement the latest SEO best practices. Fortunately WP Rocket is making this an easy process so far.

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