Largest Contentful Paint
According to Google, the Largest Contentful Paint or LCP is the user-centric metric for measuring perceived load speed because it marks the point in the page load timeline when the page content has likely loaded.
The LCP metric identifies the largest content element visible within the viewport and anything that lies beyond the screen does not count. The largest content element can vary from site to site and can be anything from images, video poster images, background images, or block-level text elements like paragraph tags.
Why is LCP Measured?
LCP is a key metric of the Core Web Vitals report of Google, others being FID (first input delay), and CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift). LCP was chosen as a key metric as it correctly measures how fast a web page can be considered useful. Also, it is easy to figure out the LCP and to optimize for it. Another major development regarding LCP is that it is set to become a ranking factor in 2021 which makes it even more critical.
As per Google’s insights the elements currently used to measure LCP are
- img elements
- image elements inside an svg element
- video elements (the poster image is used)
- An element with a background image loaded via the URL () function (as opposed to a CSS gradient)
- Block-level elements containing text nodes or other inline-level text elements children
As of now, the SVG and VIDEO elements are not used for calculating the Largest Contentful Paint.
How to Figure Out Your LCP?
LCP can be measured using in the field tools like Chrome User Experience Report, PageSpeed Insights, Search Console (Core Web Vitals report), or in the lab tools like Chrome DevTools, Lighthouse, WebPageTest.
A good LCP score should be around the first 2.5 sec of the page starting to load. LCP scores for both mobile and desktop are different. Because Google is leaning towards mobile-first indexing, it would be ideal to optimize for mobile-first and then desktop.
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