Popular CMSs’ Performance Declines in 2024, Core Web Vitals Reports

A Comparative Study on Known CMS’ Performance: Core Web Vitals Report Insights

Just as the pace of a symphony determines the ebb and flow of our emotions, so too does the performance of any site. According to the most recent Core Web Vitals technology report, it’s been a challenging year for five of the six paramount content management systems (CMS) throughout the web world. In April 2024, they have reported a decline in performance when compared to the start of the year. But why are performance scores curving downward? Is there more to this drop in performance than meets the eye?

Diving a Little Deeper

The agenda of the Core Web Vitals (CWV) technology report is simple yet significant: to evaluate the web’s health. Comprehending this evaluative tool requires deciphering its intricate composing data. The CWV report is an amalgam of lab-generated datasets (from the HTTP Archive public database) and real-world data sourced from the Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX). Together, they paint an image of the web’s vitals.

This wealth of data then undergoes smart slicing and dicing, resulting in insights into mobile and desktop performances across an assortment of CMS, supplemented by JavaScript, CSS, HTML, and image weight data.

How is Performance Measured and Interpreted?

Performance scores, presented as percentages, illustrate the number of website visits that furnished a robust CWV score. The measurement technique implemented by HTTP Archive for assessing a website’s CWV performance was designed to closely mirror CWV’s assessment in PageSpeed Insights. However, it’s noteworthy that due to capacity restrictions, HTTP Archive measures individual web pages, and more specifically, the root page of an origin, not the whole website.

Revealing the Top Performers

Undeniably, as per the CWV research, Duda – a proprietary website builder platform – is leading the pack of the six CMS in terms of performance, with 71% of the website visits resulting in high CWV scores. Trailing Duda by 13 percentage points is Squarespace – another closed-source website builder platform. The other CMS brought under the lens are Drupal, Wix, Joomla, and WordPress, ranking in that order.

Unveiling the Surprising WordPress Phenomenon

Finding itself at the sixth spot, WordPress experienced a smaller dip in its performance as compared to other CMS. Could we attribute this unexpected revelation to the performance improvements constantly being implemented in WordPress’s updated versions?

Indeed, it would seem so! Considering the most recent data, WordPress 6.5 (released in early April 2024), included more than 100 performance enhancements, influencing both the frontend and the backend. This led to WordPress reporting only a marginal decline (less than 1%) in its performance scores from the beginning of 2024 to April.

Compare this to Duda; even though it ranks first, it saw a substantial decline of 5.41 percentage points in the performance score. Interesting, right?

Why WordPress’ Performance Didn’t Skyrocket?

The conundrum lies in multiple elements. One being the average page weight; the number of bytes sent over the network. Starting from 568.48 in January, the average Page Weight for WordPress Sites escalated to 579.92 in April, an upsurge of 11.44. Also, the average image download size swelled by 49.5 Kilobytes between January to April 2024. These augmentations are mainly due to the way publishers employ WordPress rather than any inherent setbacks.

The Overall CWV Performance – What’s The Take?

While Duda walks away with the title of the performance titan, Squarespace, Wix, and Drupal are closely following. Out of all six platforms, only Squarespace managed to achieve an improved score this year, highlighting an increment of 3.92 points! The rest all had a noteworthy decline in performance – possibly due to page weight gains, particularly with images.

But let’s not cast a gloomy picture just yet. Despite the noteworthy dips, it’s still safe to say that all the platforms are winners in their strides. The performance team behind WordPress deserves a round of applause for their ongoing effort in constant improvement, even if the effects aren’t overwhelming yet. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day!

You can acquire more understanding of focused insights and detailed delineation in the HTTP Archive Core Web Vitals report. The world of website performance is vast but understanding it starts with one step, and we hope this read was a fascinating step for you. So, which CMS outshining the others, surprised you the most? What does this mean for your understanding of these tools implemented across the web?

Discover the HTTP Archive Core Web Vitals report further here.

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