Skip to main content
web browser

How to Optimize Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) for Better Web Design

web browser

As a web designer, your primary goal is to create an outstanding user experience for your clients' websites. One of the key metrics that you should keep in mind when designing a website is the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP). LCP is an important web performance metric that determines how quickly users can see the most significant content of a website. LCP can influence the perception of the website's speed and the user's experience. In this blog post, we will break down the LCP optimization process and give you tips on how to optimize LCP for better web design.

Analyzing Critical Sub-Parts of LCP

The LCP metric comprises loading, rendering, and layout elements. To optimize LCP, you need to identify areas for improvement within each of the sub-parts. For instance, in the loading stage, it is crucial to load the LCP resource as soon as possible, which typically means loading the LCP candidate alongside the initial HTML document. Avoid lazy-loading or using large image files as LCP candidates to ensure faster loading speed. Similarly, you can consider reducing the overall size of resources for better LCP performance.

Preference for Text-Based LCP

Enhancing LCP through a Text-Centric Approach

Using text-based LCP can help improve the user experience significantly. Text-based LCPs are usually faster to load and render than images and videos. It's essential to make the First Contentful Paint (FCP) and LCP synonymous to optimize LCP. Avoid using fading for LCP candidates because it can slow down their perceived load time by a few milliseconds.

The Symbiosis Between FCP and LCP

Before we delve into the optimization techniques, let’s first comprehend the relationship between FCP and LCP. FCP is the time taken from when the page starts loading to when any part of the page's content is displayed on the screen. Ideally, your FCP and LCP should coincide, which can be effectively achieved if the largest content element on your page is text-based.

The Advantage of a Text-Based LCP

The primary advantage of a text-based LCP is simple: text is usually the fastest content to load on a webpage. By ensuring your main content is text-centric, you can substantially decrease your website's loading time, leading to an improved user experience. This doesn't imply your entire website should comprise only text. It just means that the most significant, largest piece of content users see upon loading should be text.

Implementing a Text-Based LCP: An Expert Guide

Now, how can you ensure your LCP is text-based? Here are some expert pieces of advice:

  1. Content Prioritization: Identify the most critical message on your page and make sure it's conveyed through text. This can be a headline, a call to action, or an essential piece of information.
  2. Font Optimization: The choice of web fonts can have a profound impact on your LCP. Consider using system fonts or preloading your web fonts to ensure they load quickly.
  3. Adopt Vector-Based Interface Design: Using Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) rendered by the browser for your interface design can help improve loading times. SVGs are resolution-independent and don't require HTTP requests, making them a faster option than raster images.
  4. Use CSS-Only Graphics: Leverage the power of CSS to create graphics. These load considerably faster than traditional image files, helping to speed up your site's loading time and improve your LCP.

By following these strategies, you can optimize your LCP, leading to better web design and a superior user experience. Remember, in web design, every second saved on loading time can significantly enhance user engagement!

Effective Resource Management for LCP Optimization

Here are some effective ways to reduce resource size, lighten the load, and improve LCP performance:

  • Host LCP candidates on your website for faster loading speed.
  • Optimize images, videos, and other large files to minimize their size. Start by using modern image formats like WebP or JPEG XL and compressing them without losing essential quality.
  • Use a content delivery network (CDN) to distribute your resources across multiple servers, enabling users to access them faster and improve their LCP experience.

Overcoming JavaScript and CSS Rendering Blocks

JavaScript and CSS rendering blocks can substantially affect the LCP performance. These rendering blocks restrict the loading and rendering of the resources, slowing down website performance. To optimize the LCP performance, you can intervene in these rendering blocks to enable faster loading times. Also, remove unused CSS for improved LCP.

In the next days I'll post what improvements I applied to a website to optimize LCP and Pagespeed Insights score. 


About the author

Andrea Riezzo

I'm Andrea Riezzo, and I want to share my passion for creativity, inspiration, and design with you. As a creative, I've always been fascinated by the power of graphic and web design, social media, and photography to tell engaging stories and capture the imagination.

With 15+ years of experience in the industry, I've developed a deep understanding of what it takes to create designs that grab attention and leave a lasting impression. My expertise as a freelance graphic - web designer has enabled me to work on some truly incredible projects, and I've had the pleasure of collaborating with some amazing clients over the years.

So let's dive in and create something truly amazing - because when it comes to creativity, the possibilities are endless.

You can find me on LinkedIn, Instagram, Behance or Threads