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Our continued prioritization of performance pays off

Updated April 1, 2022

In the spring of 2020, Google let the world know that its Core Web Vitals would become the new benchmark for measuring a site's performance in its search results, known as the page experience update. Fast forward to more than a year later in August 2021 when, after much anticipation, Google's page experience update became official.

Since then, developers have felt the impact of how their publishing platforms stack up against the new standard. Important decisions around the architecture of your site can now make or break your site's performance in the eyes of Google.

HTTP Archive, a tracking platform that crawls the web to identify trends and record historical patterns, has revealed how top content management systems (CMS) have weathered the page experience update through the creation of its Core Web Vitals Technology Report. According to HTTP Archive's summary of the new dashboard, the Core Web Vitals Technology Report was created to match the assessment of Core Web Vitals in Google's PageSpeed Insights platform. This means that the results of HTTP Archive's report closely match how Google is actually measuring each site's Core Web Vitals. If you've been following RebelMouse at all in recent years, the results shouldn't surprise you:

RebelMouse outperformed its competitors.

The following is a chart that shows just how much RebelMouse sites outperformed major CMS competitors, including Adobe Experience Manager and WordPress, on Core Web Vitals. The following data is from March 2021 to January 2022, which tracks before, during, and after Google began rolling out its page experience update.

As you can see, RebelMouse stayed consistently ahead of the competition:

rebelmouse outperforms top CMS platforms on Google's Core Web Vitals metrics

How We Crush the Competition on Performance

Google's page experience update was a massive change that rippled through every site across the web throughout the summer of 2021 and beyond. Our team was well-prepared for the update, and spent significant time further optimizing our platform in anticipation of its arrival. Everything we do is engineered with speed in mind, and every upgrade we make is pushed out to all of our clients at once, allowing us to iterate rapidly.

For example, we have a new approach that we call the post Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) method. LCP is a Core Web Vitals metric that measures the time it takes to load the main content on a page. Our post-LCP method loads JavaScript immediately after the LCP event has completed. Thanks to this new method, scores in our site network have largely stayed intact or improved, and many of them significantly outperform the rest of the open web.

In addition, we spent significant time further optimizing our main application codebase in anticipation of Google's update. Here's some of what we did:

  • Reduced the bundle size from 14 KB (which was good to start with) to 9 KB (which is phenomenal)
  • Upgraded from webpack to webpack 5
  • Added Preact to our main app
  • Optimized the follow and like buttons
  • Optimized slideshows
  • Reduced boilerplate from transport modules
  • Implemented the optimized codebase for logged-in users, making their experience roughly 10x faster

These updates and more helped us weather Google's page experience update better than any other CMS on the market. Click here to learn more about our modern approach to page speed.

Your Site Can Crush Google's Core Web Vitals, Too

RebelMouse is a cloud-based, secure CMS that confidently hosts over half a billion pageviews across our site network each month. We help new media powerhouses and legacy brands alike make the most of the open web by growing traffic and building revenue without sacrificing user experience.

If you would like to learn more about how we can help your site exceed the industry standard on Core Web Vitals, request a proposal today to get started.

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