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Introducing INP – The Latest Update to Google’s Core Web Vitals

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Google is set to update its Core Web Vitals with a new performance metric called INP (Interaction to Next Paint), which will replace FID (First Input Delay) from March 2024.

When it comes to measuring site performance, this is a bit of a game changer. Google uses its Core Web Vitals to measure user experience and website performance as a way of determining your overall search ranking.

But what is Interaction to Next Paint, and why is it so important? At Fix My Site Speed, we always stay up to date with Google’s changes. In this guide, we’ll dive into INP and what Google’s update to Core Web Vitals means for your website.


So What is INP (Interaction to Next Paint)?

Interaction to Next Paint (INP) measures how responsive your website is to user input by examining the latency of these interactions. This is similar to First Input Delay (FID)’s measurement of website responsiveness, but with a few key differences.

The ‘next paint’ refers to your browser ‘painting’ or displaying the next frame, so ‘Interaction to Next Paint’ measures the time it takes for your website to respond to a user interaction, handle that event, then show the next frame.

Up until now, there have been three Core Web Vitals Google has measured for:

  1. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): LCP measures how long it takes for the largest content element on a page (ie. an image or block of text) to load or appear.

  2. First Input Delay (FID): FID measures your website’s responsiveness, ie. how long it takes for a website to respond to user input, such as clicks or taps.

  3. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): CLS measures visual stability and the amount of unexpected layout shift on a page. You want your page layout to remain stable so users aren’t confused or frustrated.

With INP set to replace FID, new emphasis will be placed on looking at your site’s overall responsiveness as a whole.

Why is INP Replacing FID?

FID has several limitations, which INP aims to address. Two of FID’s main limitations are inherent in its own name:

  • First Input: FID only measures the responsiveness of the first time you interact with a website, rather than examining all interactions.
  • Delay: FID only measures the delay in responding to this first input (or blocking time), rather than any other delays that slow the site down. 

FID also doesn’t examine the full duration of an interaction. By only focusing on the first input, it misses examining what a website does to ‘handle’ this interaction, and what the browser does afterwards to update the screen (or reach the ‘next paint’).

Therefore, it doesn’t really give you a complete picture of what’s hindering your performance.

How is INP Different to FID?

Interaction to Next Paint (INP) will measure all instances of user input, rather than just the first. It will also measure the full duration of the interaction – from input to how the website handles the event, until the browser can paint the next frame (hence the name ‘Interaction to First Paint’). 

This will provide you with a much fuller, more comprehensive picture of what’s going on.

What is a Good INP Score?

Ideally, you want an INP score of 200 milliseconds or below for your page to be considered responsive. 

Anywhere from 200-500 milliseconds means your site needs improvement, and an INP score above 500 milliseconds is considered poor, which will affect your conversion rates.

How to Optimize Your Site for INP

The first step to optimize your site for INP is to identify anything slow to load or causing slow interactions on your website, as this will cause poor INP.

Here at Fix My Site Speed, we specialize in optimizing your Core Web Vitals to improve your overall performance. Site speed is crucial – no-one wants to wait for a slow-loading website.

We have a team of experienced experts waiting to help you boost your performance for maximum results online. We’re here to help you hit the ground running and leave competitors in your dust. Test your Core Web Vitals with us today.

Interaction to Next Paint – bring it on!

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