You know, it wasn’t that long ago that I can remember going to ThemeForest and looking for the ‘latest and greatest’ theme to build a new WordPress website, often going into the wee hours of the night putting it all together.
Often powered by a few Friday night pints, I would scour over hundreds of themes and pick the perfect design that fit my new idea of the moment.
I would typically wake up the next morning and realize that maybe my ‘idea of the moment’ was just that, but the process of securing a clever domain and then building a new website was fun and exciting. Unfortunately, I’m not so sure I feel that way so much anymore.
You would install your newly purchased theme, started customizing things like your logo and fonts, then like a drunken sailor at the local buffet, head over to the WordPress plugin repository to ruthlessly start adding all the best plugins.
There was never a moment that crossed my mind when I even began to consider my design decisions on overall website performance. It was shiny, cool, and fun!
Those days are over for many, I now wonder whether or not did Google kill the internet with the launch of core web vitals?
WordPress certainly isn’t dead, actually, the latest data suggests it’s growing faster than ever with over 40% of the total websites on the internet using it, but things are changing.
The whole idea behind WordPress that made it so popular was that anyone without any programming skills could build their own blog or website.
The classic WYSIWYG interface was exactly like using Microsoft Word, everyone could jump right in and build their websites with relative ease.
Powerful themes and page builders gave us the ability to launch a professional-looking website that was easy to maintain, and it even easy to change anything on a whim without breaking anything.
There were thousands of free WordPress plugins to choose from, you could spruce up your site with whatever you wanted, and it took only a few clicks of your mouse to put it all together.
.. and that was all part of the problem, we all got fat and slow
Now nobody really told us (all that much) about keeping our websites fast, sure the experts were annoyingly yelling in our ears about slow websites, but we ignored the noise and tested our sites on our fast internet connections, everything was good!
This has all changed now.
Gutenberg over WYSIWYG is now being pushed on everyone by WordPress, page builders are being replaced by faster block solutions that are evolving very quickly. Maintaining your website continues to get more complicated..
Slow themes (and even worse page builders) are now being forced to be more performant or forever lose their customer base.
Brutally slow and poorly-coded plugins are being abandoned for more lightweight alternatives. Performance is the new normal.
I’ve talked about how in the earlier days when people started to pay attention to website performance, everyone was actively testing and proudly sharing their website speed score results. Good days, simple days. That too has quickly come and gone now with the introduction of core web vitals.
Related Post: How GTmetrix Website Speed Testing Tool DIED In 24 Hours!
The era of core web vitals has officially arrived… and it’s kinda sucks so far
There was genuine excitement abound with the announcement of core web vitals, I think just about everyone was pretty jacked about improving their website speed and maybe even get a little SEO boost.
As a moderator for Facebook website optimization group WP Speed Matters, I’ve talked to hundreds of different people as they’ve worked hard to speed up their sites and get that passing core web vitals score. Most of them don’t accomplish that goal.
That early enthusiasm has more recently changed to resentment, frustrated that they aren’t even close to passing their core web vitals.
And for that reason, I think for many people, most have given up on even trying to get 90/90 on desktop and mobile.
I spend a good portion of my day giving away free advice, always trying to help steer people in the right direction. They are often totally confused, they’ve bought all the best plugins and still don’t make any real progress. That continued confusion leads to resignation….
It gets frustrating for me when I work with clients and warn them if they add new plugins after we’ve finished optimization that there may be an impact to their core web vital scores as a result. That they have to clear their caches all the time, clear their CDN cache.
For many clients, they feel like they are in core web vitals jail — afraid to touch anything that can and will likely break their sites. It’s not a ton of fun running a core web vitals agency sometimes. You want to see people have success, but you can sense the quit in them after failing to figure it all out.
Even now in writing this post, I’m running through everything and making sure I’ve written enough words, included my focus keyword often enough, make sure my images have descriptions. H1 tags…
When did making websites become so #@%#@%% lame?
Unlike SEO and the mysterious secrets that Google never discloses to anyone over the years, they’ve laid absolutely everything out in granular detail with core web vitals.
Despite the page calculators and all the testing tools out there, it’s still a problem because 99% of the people out there still can’t achieve 90/90% on desktop and mobile pagespeed scores.. It’s literally taken all the fun out of building websites and producing content.
I look back now and yearn for those days again when I could go to ThemeForest and pick up that chunky theme design, load it up with dozens of tacky plugins and enjoy a couple of beers on Friday night. Those were indeed good days.
So. Did Google Kill The Internet With Core Web Vitals? You tell me..