Before acknowledging how to optimize a CLS score, know what a CLS score is and how it is important? CLS stands for cumulative layout shift and measures the major burst of layout shift scores for each unexpected layout shift that takes place during a page lifespan. In addition, a CLS score can be as lower as zero according to layout stability. According to Google measurement and score performance, a CLS score should be under 0.1. However, more specifically, Google performance tools are;
- Good – below 0.1
- Needs improvement – between 0.1 and 0.25
- Poor – more than 0.25
But how to fix this score? Fix the elements that are causing layout shift, and your CLS score will improve. However, according to Google, the most significant reasons for increased CLS score are;
- Dynamically injected content
- Before updating the DOM, actions are waiting for a network response.
- No dimensional images
- Web fonts causing FOIT
- Iframes, ads, and embeds with no dimension
But how will we ensure which factor is causing the layout shift? We can use the Chrome developer tool to get the answer.
How to fix CLS score
Now, go to the Chrome window and press F12; you will see Chrome dev tools.
- Search for a website of your choice
- Click on the performance on the right side of your window
- Mark the web vitals
- Click on the reload button
- After reloading, you will see various colourful data, but the layout shift will be present in red colour.
- Click on the red coloured layout shift.
- At the bottom, you will get information due to which layout shift occurs
- Now fix the position of elements that causes layout shifts
How do we fix these elements?
Various elements can create high layout shifts, such as text, images, iframes, and ads. How to fix these elements one by one is as follows
- Use fonts that are similar to the system font.
- Use system fonts, to begin with.
- Self-host your fonts.
- Optimize your images in JPEG or PNG format.
- Covert these optimized images in WEBP format.
- Fix image size or give photos a proper size.
Iframes or embedded elements –
- Give your embedded elements proper size to avoid layout shifts.
- Fix space for ads slot or ads space.
- Set fallback images in case ads space don’t get filled.
Optimize CLS score
As discussed above, font, images, iframes, and ads can help to optimize CLS score. So, if your website uses online fonts that are hosted online, it can cause FOUT and FOIT. How can this work? When a browser downloads the fonts from a particular server, it sometimes shows an empty spot until the custom font loads. Once the download is completed, the site displays the font, which causes layout shifts, and this condition is known as FOIT. In the second case, the browser shows system fonts until the customized font is loaded. This condition is known as flashes of the unstyled text as FOUT.
However, system fonts are far different from customized fonts that can take specific space. Furthermore, the layout of that website perhaps shifts when the customized fonts loads. Thus, to avoid this condition, you can use font: show values including fall back, auto, block, swap, or optional. For better outcomes, you should preload font files through “<link rel=preload>” for significant fonts. By doing this, fonts will be downloaded as a priority element.
Include height and width elements for visuals
Whether traditional or modern, web developers used to involve height and width components everywhere on their website. It looks as it
<img src=”example.jpg” width=”800″ height=”300″ alt=”Example Image”>
Since web design took over the market, this style has become less popular among marketers. Now, web developers use CSS to resize pictures and videos. However, this strategy is not suitable for all marketers as users affected by CLS cannot perform this activity. According to this approach, space will allocate when the browser starts downloading an image. Finally, when the picture will download and displayed, the layout will shift unnecessarily. In addition, you can use aspect ratio to resize images or videos. This ratio mainly works for height and width. In addition, the aspect ratio will help the user calculate the needed space to display the picture.
Moreover, this will also minimize the risk of layout shifts. But if you are using responsive pictures or images, you should use the srcset attribute method. And so, this approach will assist you in setting numerous pictures sizes and the browser to show the most suitable size.
What about the wrong implementation of dynamically injected content
Web developers know that dynamically injected content will never display above the previously loaded content. However, there can be one exception, only when there is a change in user interaction. Moreover, this type of activity may not impact the CLS score if it is loaded within 0.5 seconds.
Can you Optimize CLS score?
In comparison to different Core Web Vitals, the CLS is perhaps less instinctive. But by sticking to new guiding principles, you can optimize CLS score effectively.
Some tricks to optimize CLS score
- Do not insert content above the already loaded content, except in reply to visitor interaction
- Reserve the essential space for pictures and videos
- Always include size attributes in your visuals
- Use transform animations to animations of properties to trigger layout shifts.
However, it is easy to optimize CLS score, but if you experience any issue, you can read more about it. Besides this, you can contact our market experts to get detailed information about it.
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