Updated: Oct 26, 2021
Last week, Dan Shappir (Performance Tech Lead at Wix Engineering) gave a live Youtube discussion session to Wix's Partner community (of which we are part of) about Wix's high performance and CWV scores. So we thought we would share with you some of the insights, tips and suggestions he gave us. These not only show you how Wix is actively working on improving all Wix sites performance, but also gives you tips on how to improve your sites personal performance.
Dan Shappir told us that you are "twice as likely to have a good CWV score with Wix than you are with WordPress." This can be seen clearly in the graphs from https archive above and below.
Desktop statistics: Via http archive: https://datastudio.google.com/reporting/55bc8fad-44c2-4280-aa0b-5f3f0cd3d2be?s=vqalNLhTmuo
Mobile device statistics: Via http archive: https://datastudio.google.com/reporting/55bc8fad-44c2-4280-aa0b-5f3f0cd3d2be?s=vqalNLhTmuo
In 2020, Wix was at the bottom of the pack for its Core Web Vitals (CWV) performance, in relation to its competitors. However, in comparison to its main competitors it is now leading if not overtaking its competitors in some markets and this is only set to continue improving according to Wix.
Two, three, or even four years ago, Wix was known for being slow; slow to load on desktop and mobile devices and slow to load images and videos and open apps and widgets. However, this has all changed. Wix has spent a lot of time in investing in new technologies, as well as building data centres around the world to improve loading speeds for all its web users and is something it is still working on improving.
CWV scores do not currently show in the site dashboard area (however this was hinted to be something that may be coming soon). So to check your own site's CWV scores, you will currently need to log into your Google Search Console instead. You will then be able to see which particular pages need improvement.
Wix notes that PSI (Page Speed Insight) scores fluctuate wildly and this is a known problem by Google. Instead, Wix recommends taking 5 scores at different times and then doing an average to get a more accurate idea of how your site is performing.
Mobile PSI score is generally lower in Wix than desktop scores. Google simulate their tests on a low end phone of at least 5 years old (like a Moto G5) on a 3G network. Actual users of your website will tend to have much better devices and connectivity than Google is actually testing. Google do this because they want you to think about users with older devices and slower connectivity and still try and make sure your site can be easily accessed by them as well. However, Wix is aiming to make sure it will have high performance even on older devices and slower speed networks.
Also, some geographies will have better FID (first input delay) performance than others because of technology and mobile networks in that area. For example in developing countries geographies, you would expect to see lower performance due to lack of technology using perhaps older phone models and also poorer mobile phone networks. However, Wix is working to ensure that even in these areas, Wix websites will have great performance and loading speeds.
Stats for Brazil (developing country) above vs stats for the UK (developed country) below:
Dan Shappir suggested the following ways to improve your CWV score:
Instead of building sites with 100 pages (that's Wix's page limit currently), make sure you take advantage of Wix's dynamic page option. Large 100 page sizes are slow to load and will affect your CWV score, instead, consider using dynamic pages, which will load faster.
Use description/CTA (call to action) text above the fold (above the fold means that it is in that first "screen" you see before scrolling down the page. This text should provide meaningful content to the site and will also increase your SEO as search engines will be able to quickly read it when scanning your site.
Do you need a gallery of images or will just a single image suffice? Consider using single images as these will load faster than a gallery of images.
Try to use JPEG over PNG (unless you need a transparent background). JPEG files result in smaller file sizes, which means better productivity and performance.
Try and avoid gifs. Animated gifs have huge file sizes. If you want an animation type sequence on your website, use an animation video instead.
Don't overload a site visitor with too many things on a single page - not only does it confuse your visitor, it also affects page loading time. Think about how long it takes a visitor to understand the primary message.
Focus on your CTA (call to action) - anything that contributes to your call to action should be on the page and anything that isn't promoting it, should be removed. Not only does this improve the performance by reducing loading time (due to less content being on your page), it also improves and increases visitor understanding of what your site is and what it can do for them as they can quickly see and find what they need to.
In Dan's discussion about Wix performance, he noted some reasons to choose Wix over WordPress or other competitors for your business website, which we have highlighted here as a summary:
Wix sites have great CWV performance scores and this is only going to improve in the future as Wix is investing in various ways to increase and better Wix sites performance.
One of the great things about Wix is that you don't need to worry about plugin updates, security updates or performance updates. Wix takes care of all of it for you and automatically updates these for all websites built on its platform - even those that haven't been touched for years or built years ago.
Wix automatically optimises images for you (even really huge images) so they appear on your website with minimal loading time. If you crop an image, the site only downloads the cropped area and not the area outside of the cropped area.
Wix is already looking into new technologies such as AVIF for images and media. AVIF is 20%-30% smaller than WebP and would mean even faster loading times for images. Wix is exploring ways to continually improve performance.
Wix is already starting to implement http3 support on its systems, which will deliver content much faster and will have a dramatic impact on CWV graph stats.
Wix websites will in the future be recognised in Page Speed Insights (PSI) in Google Search Console so soon you will have specific insights and details on how to improve your individual page performance.
Wix is continually building data centres around the world to continually increase its performance in Core Web Vitals, which in turn will directly affect your website increasing its loading speed in your own country but also countries around the world.
Should you wish to hear this talk with Dan Shappir for the Wix Partner community, you can rewatch it here: