First Input Delay (also known as “FID”) means the delay you experience when you first try to load a webpage.

If you’re familiar with the idea behind page loading speed, FID isn’t entirely different.

Not only could both factors affect your SEO, they are also vital metrics of your user experience.

So, does that mean FID and page loading speed is the same?

More importantly, how can you reduce FID for your WordPress website?

In this article, we’ll explain First Input Delay in more detail!

Understanding FID: What Is It? How Does It Relate To Page Loading Speed?

To put it in simple terms, the page loading speed of a website depends on several metrics. One of such metrics is FID. So, that settles the relationship between the two terms.

Now, let’s discuss FID itself – what is it? What does it entail? Why is it important?

Definition of First Input Delay

First Input Delay is a performance metric that entails a user’s first interaction with a browser and the time taken for the browser to process that interaction. In other words, it is the time lapse between when you first click on a button, link, or pop up on a website and when the browser starts responding to your actions.

That definition is confusing, eh? Here’s an example!

Imagine you opened your browser, typed in a URL, and a page loads. Now, the page might appear ready to navigate. But, if you press a button, you might not get a response instantly. When that happens, you’ve just experienced an FID.

Now, ordinarily, all web pages will show some FID – it’s pretty standard. The problem only sets in when your website has an FID score of over 100ms. And yes, FID is measured in milliseconds.

Also read: What Are The Top Responsive Web Design Principles?

FID Score

An FID score reflects how quickly a browser can react to a user’s first input on your website. And the general rule is that the lower the score, the better. But how low should your score be?

  • 100ms and below – is the perfect FID score for your web pages.
  • 100ms to 300ms – indicates that your website needs urgent attention to help you avoid high bounce rates and ineffective SEO.
  • 300ms and above – is a poor FID score that you should avoid by all means. In this kind of condition, your users will hardly navigate your website without being frustrated.

By now, you might be wondering, what does it matter even if your website FID score is more than 300ms?

FID is one of the famed Core Web Vitals. And like the other factors within the component, it analyzes users’ experiences on websites. For that reason, it helps you build excellent customer engagement.

In addition to user experience and engagement, FID also (as a Core Web Vital) is instrumental to your SEO efforts. While FID might not be as crucial as backlinks and content, it is one of the ultimate factors that smoothens buying processes for your customers.

So, yes, First Input Delay is a big deal. And if you have over 100ms as the score of your website, you should fix it. But before we delve into that detail, let’s show you how to measure the FID of your website.

How To Measure Your Website’s FID

The best approach to ascertaining the FID score of your website is by engaging a professional like Digital Treasury. When you take this approach, you can rest assured of a hands-off process and follow-up advisory services.

But if you prefer to get handsy with a few DIY hacks, you should use PageSpeed Insights. It is easy to get around. However, know that there are a few limitations to this approach. For starters, your site must generate enough traffic that is worthy of a Chrome User Experience report. Lastly, you might be exposing your data to security threats.

That said, here is how to measure your website’s FID using PageSpeed Insights:

After the last step, PageSpeed Insights will analyze your URL for some time and bring out a result.

If your website generated enough real-time traffic, you’d find its FID score as one of the metrics in Core Web Vitals.

Now that you can ascertain your website’s FID score, what next?

Learn how to reduce it if it is more than 100ms!

How To Reduce Your Website’s FID In 3 Steps

Trim Down Non-essential Scripts And Codes

Note: we are not saying you shouldn’t add fancy features to your website. In contrast, we will advise you to strike a balance between aesthetics and performance. Else, you would add to your lag time and your FID score.

About that balance, the best way to ensure it works for your pages is to remove non-essential scripts and codes from your website. For example, you don’t need heavy themes and tons of plugins – your website would work just fine without them!

Even if you’d use themes and plugins (which is likely the case), ensure that they are directly functional to your aims. Else, their scripts and codes might disrupt your FID score.

Pro tip: check your PageSpeed Insights report to check for unused heavy scripts and codes. Defer those, and you’d have taken the first step to reducing your website’s FID score.

Minify Your JS And CSS

After trimming down the unnecessary scripts and codes on your website, the chances are that your FID score might still be higher than 100ms. In that case, the next step is to minify the vital CSS and JS on your pages.

And don’t fret; minifying your JavaScript and CSS won’t reduce the functionality of your website. In contrast, the act will make your pages faster and hence increase your FID score. That said, how can you minify your scripts and codes?

Get a minification plugin such as Autoptimize!

Spread Out Your Cache Using Content Delivery Network

If, after deleting and minifying your website, you still can’t achieve a 100ms FID, use CDN. CDN, Content Delivery Network, means sending your cache to specialized networks with an extensive reach of data centres.

By doing that, you’d significantly reduce your website’s FID score. However, there is one issue: choosing which CDN service to use.

Pro tip: out of the lot, we can vouch for Cloudflare.

By now, your FID score should have improved. However, if you can’t get it to the desired mark, it might be time to consult an expert!

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