Which content management system (CMS) scored the best Google Core Web Vitals?
Despite the clear leader, the results were mixed. We will compare WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Squarespace, and Wix. These five were selected for research because they are the most popular content management systems in the world.
Core Web Vitals
Core Web Vitals includes three indicators that together try to display how convenient it is for a user to interact with a particular web page on the Internet at a given moment in time. They demonstrate how long a visitor has to wait before they can start interacting with the content.
Three Core Web Vitals Metrics
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): loading speed of main content. Measures how quickly the main content loads before it becomes visible and useful to the site visitor.
- First Input Delay (FID): delay after the first input. Estimates how long a user should wait for the site to react when interacting with a web page element, such as a link.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Calculates the time after which the content on the page will stop moving and become stable enough for successful interaction.
Mobile versus Desktop
Overall, the scores for desktop computers were higher compared to mobile devices. This can be a result of gadgets’ ability to render pages differently and differences in networks between PCs and mobile phones (which tend to be slower).
Mobile Core Web Vitals are more important because most web page visitors have long been accessing sites from their phones. For this very reason, starting in May 2021, Google is going to use Core Web Vitals mobile scores as one of the ranking factors.
Desktop Core Web Vitals are important and cannot be ignored. But it is the numbers for mobile that are critical.
Explanation of Results
Ratings are based on actual user visits to the site using the Google Chrome browser. That is, these are results from the real world. The numbers are split between mobile and desktop devices.
Results are expressed as the percentage of websites that score well for a particular metric. For example, a good result for the download speed of the main content (LCP) is less than 2.5 seconds.
So, if the CMS scores 40%, it means that 40% of the websites are performing well.
Largest Content Paint (LCP)
Here Drupal took first place. The last one is Wix. But, lovers of Drupal, do not rush to rub your hands. The mobile LCP score of first place was only 47%. That is, only 47% of sites on this CMS provide users with a good download speed of the main content. Drupal is a winner, but only because other CMSs are even worse in this regard.
Top CMS by LCP :
- Drupal – 47%.
- Joomla – 38%.
- WordPress – 25%.
- Squarespace – 12%.
- Wix – 9%
First Input Delay (FID)
The FID scores were very high. Squarespace became the champion with 91%. WordPress climbed into second place, while Wix continued to hold on to last.
Top CMS by FID:
- Squarespace – 91%
- WordPress – 88%.
- Drupal – 76%.
- Joomla – 71%.
- Wix – 46%
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
When forms, buttons, text, or images on a web page move while it is loading, users find it inconvenient to interact with the content. This is especially true for mobile devices.
And then Drupal was again the winner, this time with a solid 70% of sites delivering a quality user experience. Wix took third place (well, at least somewhere this engine is not the last), slightly outperforming WordPress.
Top CMS by CLS:
- Drupal – 70%.
- Joomla – 63%.
- Wix – 59%
- WordPress – 57%.
- Squarespace – 44%
Drupal and Wix have a lot to be proud of. But not from webmasters. Only 59% of sites using the top CMS show good aggregate layout bias numbers on mobile devices.
Here’s how we can explain it:
The top five CMS have room to grow. Only 50% of the web pages loaded by the top 5 CMS have a “good” experience with CLS, with the rate rising to 59% on mobile.
For all CMS, the average rating for desktop is 59%, and for mobile is 67%. This shows that all CMSs have a lot of work to do, but the top 5 CMSs are especially in need of improvement.
Drupal has taken first place twice and Wix has taken last place twice. WordPress and Joomla always hang out somewhere in between (that is, they are neither bad nor good).
The top five CMSs received fairly high First Input Delay (FID) scores. However, they did not get very good marks for rendering the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) and cumulative layout shift (CLS).
This is important for webmasters and SEOs because Google makes Core Web Vitals a ranking factor. Even if it is secondary, you and I need to take care of it. After all, this is one of the few factors that can be openly influenced.
What makes this search ranking factor challenging is that many of the improvements required to achieve high Core Web Vitals results involve changes to the CMS code.
That is, ideally, Core Web Vitals should not be adjusted by site owners, but by developers of control systems for these very sites. And that makes Drupal, WordPress, and Joomla users not all that great. Because the resources and skills needed to make changes are not available to everyone.
And here I have two (or even three) questions for you. What CMS do you prefer (and why)? Preparing for Google Core Web Vitals or don’t you think this is your problem? Share your opinions in the comments!