WP Core Web Vitals :: Scripts

Take back control of your website's speed with WP Core Web Vitals

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WP Core Web Vitals Scripts overview:

JavaScript can enhance user experience, it can be used to add interactive and dynamic features to a WordPress website, such as drop-down menus, pop-ups, and animations. These features can help to enhance the user experience and make the website more engaging and user-friendly. We can also use Java-script to track visitors and get data on how to optimize conversion.

Unfortunately plugins and themes often inject too much JavaScript (and at the wrong time during pageload). This can slow down the page considerably and hurt Core Web Vitals performance.

How do JavaScripts affect the Core Web Vitals?

1. Block the browser

JavaScripts in the head of the page will basically block your entire page (this is called parser blocking to be exact, and even that is inaccurate with modern DOM parsers). This means when a browser detects a script in the head of the page it will stop to download and execute that scripts. Once that is done it will continue. One way to avoid that is to add the async or defer attribute to the script.

2. Compete for network resources

JavaScript tend to be queued for download pretty early on during the rendering process. This makes perfect sense since the browser does not know how important they are for the page. Just> to be sure the browser will treat them as if they were really important>. This will make Scripts Compete for Network resources with other elements such as images and web-fonts. This can

3. Compete for CPU resources 

When JavaScript files are downloaded they will be executed (at some point in time). When these scripts are executed they 'run to completion' and they will block the main thread until the scripts have been executed.


Did you know ...

"WP Core Web Vitals outperforms other pagespeed plugins by 160% on average!"

WP Core Web Vitals - JavaScript optimization settings

Website Core Web Vitals Audit

JavaScript optimization has  3 options to help you defer and prioritize JavaScripts on your Wordpress website.

  • Defer JavaScript
  • Move Scripts to footer
  • Finetune JavaScript

Defer JavaScript

Defer JavaScript will add the defer attribute to all scripts. That means script will be downloaded in parallel while the DOM parser can continue to parse the Document. Then when all the HTML has been parsed the browser will start to execute deferred Scripts. This is often a much better point in time because it will improve the Paint metrics.

Recommended setting: yes

Move JavaScripts to the footer

Move JavaScripts to the footer changes when the browser will detect the scripts! It will enqueue other resources like images and fonts before your scripts because it detects them earlier. This can help improve rendering but will likely further delay when you scripts are executed.

Recommended setting: it depends

Finetune JavaScript

Finetune JavaScript priority will let you change the timing of each specific scripts. This is where you can really 'fix' the Core Web Vitals because not all JavaScript are equally important and each script has it's own time and place!

  • Scroll into view loads a script when the selector is scrolled into view
  • Hover / Click loads a script when a button with the selector is clicked or hovered over
  • Load when browser is idle loads a script when the browsers main thread is Idle. This is great for nice-to-have scripts because user interaction has priority over script loading with this setting.
  • Load on Browser Interaction loads the script when the browser is idle but waits until the browser is being interacted with. There really is no need to use this setting if you care about RUM data!
  • Load Async overrides the default 'defer' strategy and asyncs this scripts. This makes it download in parallel but execute immeditely after downloading. Use this setting for really important scripts that should run as soon as possible.
  • Load Deferred this loads the script deferred but prevents it from being moved to the footer of the page
  • Load render blocking removes the async and defer attribute and makes the page wait for download and execution of this script. Use this setting only if the script makes huge changes to the lay-out.
  • Remove this script removed a script from the page. Fun fact: I use this setting quite a lot myself because some scripts are just not needed

  • Recommended setting:it depends

    Core Web Vitals

    Frequently asked questions

    Do I need to defer JavaScript?

    Yes, most WordPress sites have lots of unneeded render blocking Scripts in the <head> of the page. Deferring Scripts will allmost certainly speed up your site and improve the UX

    Do I need to disable other script optimization plugins?

    Yes, you do. WP Core Web Vitals will give you full control over your JavaScripts and that is all that you need!

    Can deferring scripts cause issues with my WordPress website?

    Yes it can. Deferring Scripts is usually a pretty safe option but it can break site functionality is the site has certain issues with timing and dependencies.

    Can fine-tuning scripts cause issues with my WordPress site?

    Yes, be careful with this feature! If script A depends on script B you cannot prioritize script A or de-prioritize Script B!

    Can you give me an example of the beste JavaScript settings for a website?

    Sure, fist defer all the scripts and move them all for the footer. That is pretty fast but not optimal! From here we will need some fine-tuning.|

    This is a pretty standard setup that I encounter every day.

    • The cookie banner needs to pop up as soon as possible. for this we can use async. Async script are downloaded in parallel but executed as soon as they have finished downloading. Add cookie.js and select 'async'
    • Your theme script handles some of the more important stuff like menu hover. Let's defer this without moving it to the footer. Unfortunately this script depends in jquery.js so will will need to defer this as well. Add theme.js and jquery.js select defer
    • Your social buttons are nice-to-have. They do not matter for the first pageload. Add social.js and select 'Load when browser is idle'
    • Next there is a sign up form at the bottom of the page. This requires a signup.js. The form has an id <form id="signupform"> that we can use. Add signup.js and select 'Scroll into view' and as a selector add '#signupform'
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