20 Comments

  1. oumz
    · Reply

    I think after AMP trust dilution, my take would be that CWV scores do not matter. The only thing that matters is that the websites should load fast, right ?

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    • David arnold
      · Reply

      I think the issue is that if you expect great performance from any cdn out the box you will be dissapointed. WordPress has the he highest rate of use so pretty much all these points are valid but remember the web hasn’t gone through a linear change in packet size security threats or memory use, the fact there is an uptrend in the engine running 45℅ of the net has got to be good. A large amount of these sites expect out the box performance and that just doesn’t exist.

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  2. pacmanito
    · Reply

    According to original report 37.41% websites running on Shopify have good CWV, while WooCommerce has a paltry 11.72%. But guys at Automattic still prefer to spend their time developing Admin and Blocks…
    Partially this difference can be explained by the fact that Shopify provides decent hosting with CDN out of the box while many small WooCommerce shops are hosted on some shared hosting. But there are clearly huge problems on WordPress and WooCommerce sides.

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  3. Stephen Vaughan
    · Reply

    Me thinks Google keeps moving the goalposts with CWV. One day it says one thing, the next something else and across all testing platforms ( GTMetrix etc.) results vary. Think they are taking the Mick to be honest. A bit like the AMP shenanigans.

    The latest UI update of Page speed Insights even has a UX faut-pas as the results are now pushed below the fold in the browser window meaning a little bit of scrolling to view.

    To boot, with all this chopping and changing, it keeps us constantly in thrall to testing and this all adds up to burning servers unnecessarily… Have they not heard of climate change?

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  4. Nick
    · Reply

    I also didn’t find it to be informative at all. They seem to be ascribing a cause (on very dubious data) to the wrong things – they focus on lazy loading and other recent features, but the real story is the continual downwards slope across 20 versions… What’s that about? The only conclusion you could reasonably draw from this extremely limited data is that WordPress is getting inherently less performant over time. I can’t imagine that’s the case. So, there’s something else going on.

    Is there a way to measure the total “load” for these sites? Are newer sites simply using more media, plugins, features, interactivity etc…?

    What hosting are they all on? A defunct text-based blog on 3.5 will run well on even the worst shared hosting. But a “modern” site with ecommerce, social networking etc… will struggling even on many of the most popular VPS providers.

    Is there caching? CDN? etc…

    There’s surely a dozen other questions that could be asked with minimal scrutiny. If it isn’t possible to get the data to at least attempt to answer them, then perhaps publishing a “study” like this should never have happened…

    As such, its not particularly encouraging that this all seems to have evaded the people who are tasked with improving the performance of WP…

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    • pacmanito
      · Reply

      Why do you think that “this all seems to have evaded the people who are tasked with improving the performance of WP”?
      AFAIK Performance team never backed their decisions by these statistics.
      Also the team was created only a few weeks ago and they just started the work in the groups where there are already enough people.

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      • Nick
        · Reply

        Fair enough. I’m sure they’ve thought of a lot things with regards to the performance project. But I believe my point still stands – this “study” is so thoroughly uninformative that it begs the question why it was even published.

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  5. Sally G.
    · Reply

    Am I alone in my worry about “too close” a connection with Google & Google-sponsored entities (whatever “too close” means, I am not sure myself—knowing their ubiquity and influence on Web advertising, I worry, possibly excessively. [I am also an amateur.])

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  6. Jack Andrews
    · Reply

    I believe that CWV scores are irrelevant. Isn’t the only thing that counts that the webpages load quickly?

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  7. Jon Brown
    · Reply

    Interesting, but so many problems and limitation in a data set like this.

    The first most obvious one is that sites not getting core updates are likely simpler in design than more modern sites. That a site running TwentyTen rocks CWV has nothing to do with whether it’s running WP 3.6 or 5.8.

    This analysis really only makes sense if you control for themes and assume someone hasn’t done something stupid (like they so often do) and added 32 differently sized images to a slider.

    The other big problem, which they rightfully identified themselves, is everything is about the root/home page. No one seriously evaluates site performance based on a single page, let alone the single page most likely to be nothing like the other pages of the site.

    I get HTTP Archive doesn’t want to be a “full-blown web crawler” but even crawling the first 10 nav menu links would give WAY more meaningful results.

    The biggest thing WP needs to do is figure out how to make all the dynamic content on a page AJAX. So dynamic pages can be page cached and a single GraphQL query can pull in the dynamic bits. This is the advantage to things like JAMStack. WP wasn’t architected to be performant in dynamic page scenarios. Heck, it still doesn’t natively lazy load blog post comments!

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  8. CW
    · Reply

    If all of this data comes from HTTP Archive sites in the wild, not in a sandbox, the differences in speed across versions could be correlation, not causation. A website running a version of WordPress that was released 11 years ago is also likely to have a very old theme with a design from a different era. It could just be that websites are loading larger media files than before. Or maybe sites that haven’t been updated for that long are smaller and simpler.

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    • George Santos
      · Reply

      You could try this:

      Install various WordPress branches from 3.x to current with e.g. Twenty Fourteen theme, it existed back then and still seems to be updated today
      Import themeunittestdata.wordpress.xml from codex.wordpress.org/Theme_Unit_Test
      Run automated speed tests on all installs

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  9. Jorcus
    · Reply

    I think it’s extremely challenging to achieve 100/100 for dynamic site with WordPress/WooCommerce. This is because most WordPress site are built for general purpose which means one plugin are playing a lot of roles with a lot of features and functionalities. That can get WordPress site bloated with lots of unnecessary features.

    Don’t get me wrong, with WordPress it’s still possible to achieve 100/100 for both mobile and desktop. But it requires lots of customization and it needs to work with the codebase. I’ve spent years to optimize my WordPress site that have WooCommerce and LearnDash Running on it. It’s possible to achieved 100/100 with WooCommerce and LearnDash installed. But it took me tons of time to do lots of research, checking, modification and custom stuffs.

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  10. Valerie C
    · Reply

    Overburdened databases, cheap servers being used, etc., could all contribute to this. Not a scientific comparison unless you’re comparing apples to apples.

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  11. Sergio
    · Reply

    It’s worth noting that this data is only gathered from tests on “Chrome for desktop and emulated Android (on Chrome) for mobile”. So if you care to know about actual usage across WordPress supported browsers, this dataset is very skewed. I maintain several very large traffic sites and they are about evenly split with Chrome and Safari visitors. https://httparchive.org/faq

    Also, it was stated here in other comments, but correlation is not causation.

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  12. Manufacturing ERP
    · Reply

    There are more tools that could give accurate reports other than CWV. I will say that word press is been greatly used by digital marketing persons where they don’t need to depend on developers, but it is as well challenging to sort out certain issues.

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