The HTTP Archive Core Web Vitals (CWV) report shows that the performance benchmarks of the top seven CMS have all improved in 2023. Of the top performers, one CMS in particular stands out with unexpectedly strong CWV scores.
All seven content management systems improved their CWV scores, which means that all seven have something to be proud of.
The comparison used in this article are the Core Web Vitals scores of the seven top content management systems from January 2023 to July 2023, which is the latest available data in September 2023.
Statistics quoted on the percentage of websites that use a given CMS are sourced from W3Techs Technology Report, methodology used here.
Core Web Vitals Technology Report
The Core Web Vitals (CWV) report is produced by HTTP Archive with data sourced from the Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX) dataset which consists of CWV scores from actual users on Chrome.
Additional data is supplied by HTTPArchive related to technology detection, which together allow comparison of technologies used to build websites and the user experience.
A monthly report is generated that compares various metrics, including CWV, loading speed, page weight, the state of images and other metrics related to user experience.
The Core Web Vitals report is scored as a percentage of users that experienced a passing CWV score.
A score of 40% for CMS Example means that forty percent of users had a good CWV experience.
The higher the percentage the better the CMS performs for CWV.
#7 WordPress 32.52%
At the lower end of CWV performance is WordPress, the number one most popular CMS in the world.
While WordPress is ranked at the bottom of the list for CMS, it continues to improve.
WordPress started the year with a score of 30.39% and ended the summer with a score of 32.52%, an improvement of 2.13%.
Those scores, while at the bottom of this comparison are actually a dramatic improvement from the 2022 scores where WordPress started that year with a score of 25.39%.
That represents an improvement of 7.13% when compared from January 2022.
WordPress has turned a corner in performance over the past two years with the creation of the WordPress Performance Team that works to add more best practices with every version release.
Improving the Core Web Vitals of a popular open source CMS is difficult because it’s comprised of a huge ecosystem of plugins and themes that are outside of the core CMS itself.
A 2.13% improvement seems modest. But viewed from a longer perspective, the 7.13% improvement can only be seen as the result of the hard work by the WordPress Performance Team, a substantial accomplishment that deserves to be recognized.
#6 Squarespace 39.12%
Squarespace, the fourth most popular CMS is ranked almost seven percentage points above WordPress, with a final score of 39.12%.
It started the year at 34.69%, an increase of 4.43%, a respectable performance increase.
Looking at it with a long range lens, the 39.12% score in July 2023 represents a nearly 10% improvement from the January 2022 score of 29.54%.
So, while Squarespace is the second from the bottom of the pack, it’s improvement continues in a dramatic upward direction.
#5 Joomla 41.76%
Joomla, the fifth most popular CMS is also ranked the fifth best CWV performer out of the seven top content management systems.
While scoring fifth out of seven may seem not that great, it’s actually not that far behind the next group of high performers.
The score of 41.76% is actually very good, especially considering that it’s a free open source CMS.
#4 Drupal 51.38%
Drupal, the sixth most used CMS, turned in the fourth best Core Web Vitals performance.
The CWV score of 51.38% is only a few percentage points behind the third and second top ranked content management systems.
What makes that score impressive is that Drupal, like WordPress and Joomla, is a free open source CMS.
Very exciting to see an open source project rank so well.
#3 Wix 55.07%
Past performance champ continues to set the pace in Core Web Vitals performance.
It started out the year with a score of 49.27% and improved their score by nearly 6%.
Looking at it from longer range perspective, Wix started 2022 with a score of 28.24% and so far this year has nearly doubled their Core Web Vitals scores.
A nearly 50% improvement in Core Web Vitals scores is a remarkable achievement for the one of the most popular content management systems in the world.
#2 Shopify 56.17%
Shopify just barely managed to squeak past Wix, virtually neck and neck at this point of the year.
Shopify is a closed-source ecommerce platform, which makes their second place win this month notable because ecommerce sites are notoriously poor Core Web Vitals performers.
All the features, scripts, analytics that are important to ecommerce sites tend to make them the worst CWV performers out of all the different kinds of sites.
The fact that Shopify, an ecommerce platform, managed a second place win makes their achievement notable because of the inherent difficulty of making ecommerce sites perform well.
#1 Duda 73.76%
The number one ranked CMS by Core Web Vitals performance is Duda.
They’ve set the benchmark for Core Web Vitals performance for the entire year and continue their remarkable performance scores.
It bears reminding that these are real-world performance scores that cannot be manipulated or gamed in any way, thus serving as a reliable performance indicator.
Duda started out the year with a CWV rank of 70.69% and managed to improve their scores by an additional 3.07%.
Core Web Vitals Performance
All seven content management systems improved year over year, with Wix achieving a nearly 50% performance improvement.
WordPress continues to rank at the bottom of the top seven CMS however it also continues a steady pace of performance.
The fact that all seven CMS scored higher at this point of the year over the beginning of the year shows how important performance is to all of content management systems in this comparison.
Given that all seven improved their scores the ultimate Core Web Vitals winner are the millions of publishers and online merchants.
View the current Core Web Vitals Technology Report
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