What is Interaction to Next Paint (INP)?

In the realm of web development, user experience reigns supreme. Visitors are drawn to websites that are not only visually appealing but also responsive and engaging. One key metric that gauges a website’s responsiveness is Interaction to Next Paint (INP).

INP measures the time it takes for a web page to visually respond to a user interaction, such as a click or a tap. In simpler terms, it quantifies the delay between a user’s action and the resulting change on the screen.

Understanding Next Paint (INP)

Next Paint, a vital component of Core Web Vitals, measures the time it takes for a page to become visually interactive. In simpler terms, it gauges how quickly users can interact with the content once they land on a webpage. This metric is pivotal for delivering a seamless browsing experience, as slow INP can lead to frustration and bounce-offs.

interaction to next paint (INP)

Why Interaction to Next Paint (INP)Matters

A sluggish INP can have detrimental effects on user engagement. Imagine clicking a link only to find a webpage that takes ages to respond to your clicks or inputs. Such delays can lead to high bounce rates, lower conversion rates, and ultimately, a negative impact on your website’s reputation.

Strategies to Enhance INP

1. Optimize Critical Rendering Path

The Critical Rendering Path encompasses the steps a browser takes to render a webpage. By minimizing render-blocking resources and optimizing the order of loading, you can significantly reduce INP.

2. Prioritize Visible Content

Load essential content first, especially above-the-fold elements. This ensures users can start interacting with the page while the rest of the content loads in the background.

3. Minimize JavaScript Execution Time

Excessive JavaScript execution can lead to delays in interactivity. Consider code splitting, lazy loading, and removing unused scripts to streamline performance.

4. Leverage Browser Caching

Utilize proper caching headers to store resources on the user’s device, reducing the need for repeated downloads on subsequent visits.

5. Opt for Asynchronous Loading

Load non-essential resources asynchronously to prevent them from blocking the rendering process.

6. Efficient Resource Loading

Utilize modern image formats like WebP and implement responsive images to ensure efficient loading on various devices and screen sizes.

7. Monitor and Iterate

Regularly monitor your website’s performance using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or Lighthouse. Use the insights gained to make iterative improvements.

A lower INP indicates that the page is more responsive and feels faster to users. Google recommends that websites strive for an INP of 200 milliseconds or less.

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Code examples

Here are some examples of code that can impact INP:

  • Long tasks
function longTask() {
  for (let i = 0; i < 1000000; i++) {
    // Do something computationally expensive.
  }
}

longTask();
  • Input delay
document.addEventListener('click', () => {
  // Do something that takes a long time.
});

This code will delay the handling of the click event until the do something that takes a long time() function has completed.

  • Unnecessary layout shifts
document.querySelector('h1').style.fontSize = '20px';

In addition to its impact on user experience, INP is also a Core Web Vital. Core Web Vitals are a set of metrics that Google uses to measure the user experience of web pages. Websites with good Core Web Vitals are more likely to rank higher in search results.

Optimizing INP with code examples

  • Reducing long tasks
JavaScript
// Long task
function longTask() {
  for (let i = 0; i < 1000000; i++) {
    // Do something computationally expensive.
  }
}

// Optimized code
function splitTask() {
  setTimeout(() => {
    for (let i = 0; i < 500000; i++) {
      // Do something computationally expensive.
    }
    splitTask();
  }, 0);
}

splitTask();
  • Minimizing input delay
JavaScript
// Event handler with expensive work
document.addEventListener('click', () => {
  // Do something computationally expensive.
});

// Optimized code
document.addEventListener('click', () => {
  setTimeout(() => {
    // Do something computationally expensive.
  }, 0);
});
  • Utilizing browser features that enhance interactivity
JavaScript
// Requesting idle callbacks
requestIdleCallback(() => {
  // Do something that is not critical to the user experience.
});
Introducing INP to Core Web Vitals
Image Ref – https://web.dev/articles/optimize-inp

What constitutes a good INP score?

A good INP score is one that falls below 200 milliseconds. This indicates that the page is highly responsive and users are unlikely to experience any noticeable delays when interacting with it.

  • INP scores below 100 milliseconds are considered excellent and provide a virtually seamless user experience.
  • INP scores between 100 and 200 milliseconds are still considered good and provide a responsive user experience.
  • INP scores between 200 and 500 milliseconds are considered to need improvement. Users may start to notice delays when interacting with the page.
  • INP scores above 500 milliseconds are considered poor and can lead to a frustrating user experience.
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Why is INP important?

INP is a crucial metric for several reasons:

  • It directly impacts user experience. When a user interacts with a web page, they expect a prompt response. A high INP can lead to frustration and abandonment.
  • It is a Core Web Vital. Core Web Vitals are a set of metrics that Google uses to measure the user experience of web pages. Websites with good Core Web Vitals are more likely to rank higher in search results.
  • It is a predictor of conversion rates. Studies have shown that websites with lower INPs have higher conversion rates.

How to Optimize Interaction to Next Paint

Interaction to Next Paint (INP) is a metric that measures how quickly a web page responds to user input. It is calculated by measuring the time between a user interaction, such as clicking a button, and the time that the browser begins to paint the next frame.

A good INP score means that your web page is responsive and that users will not have to wait long for their interactions to register. A poor INP score can lead to a frustrating user experience and can even cause users to abandon your website.

There are a number of things that you can do to optimize INP, including:

  • Reduce the amount of JavaScript that is executed on the main thread. JavaScript is a single-threaded language, which means that it can only execute one task at a time. If you have too much JavaScript running on the main thread, it can block user interactions. To reduce the amount of JavaScript that is executed on the main thread, you can use techniques such as deferring non-critical JavaScript and using web workers.
  • Optimize your CSS. CSS can also block user interactions if it is not optimized. To optimize your CSS, you can use techniques such as minifying and compressing your CSS files, and using inline CSS for critical styles.
  • Use a content delivery network (CDN). A CDN can help to improve INP by delivering your static assets, such as images, CSS, and JavaScript files, from servers that are closer to your users.
  • Avoid long tasks. Long tasks are JavaScript tasks that take longer than 50 milliseconds to complete. Long tasks can block user interactions and can lead to a poor INP score. To avoid long tasks, you can break up large tasks into smaller chunks and use asynchronous programming techniques.
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You can use the following tools to measure the INP of your web pages:

  • Google Lighthouse is a tool that can be used to audit your web pages and identify areas for improvement. Lighthouse includes a metric called “First Input Delay” (FID), which is very similar to INP.
  • WebPageTest is another tool that can be used to measure the INP of your web pages. WebPageTest provides a detailed report of the INP metric, as well as other performance metrics such as first contentful paint (FCP) and time to interactive (TTI).

By following the tips above, you can optimize INP and improve the responsiveness of your web pages. A good INP score will lead to a better user experience and can even help to improve your website’s conversion rate.

Additional tips for optimizing INP:

  • Use lazy loading for off-screen images and videos.
  • Use preloading for critical resources.
  • Reduce the number of HTTP requests.
  • Use a caching plugin.
  • Keep your WordPress theme and plugins up to date.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your WordPress website is as responsive as possible and that your users have a positive experience.

Conclusion

By taking steps to improve your website’s INP, you can create a more responsive and engaging user experience. This can lead to improved rankings, higher conversion rates, and happier visitors.

In addition to the above, here are some other tips for improving INP:

  • Optimize your critical rendering path (CRP). The CRP is the set of resources that must be loaded and rendered before a user can see the main content of a web page. By optimizing the CRP, you can reduce the amount of time it takes for the page to become interactive.
  • Use code splitting. Code splitting is a technique that allows you to break up your JavaScript code into smaller chunks. This can help to reduce the amount of JavaScript that needs to be executed before a user can interact with the page.
  • Use lazy loading. Lazy loading is a technique that allows you to defer the loading of non-critical resources until they are needed. This can help to reduce the amount of time it takes for the page to become interactive.

By following these tips, you can significantly improve your website’s INP and create a more seamless user experience.

Ref –

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

https://www.theseoink.com/interaction-to-next-paint-inp-core-web-vitals/https://www.theseoink.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/speed-164063_1280-1024x682.webphttps://www.theseoink.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/speed-164063_1280-150x150.webpAarav AroraSEOTechnologyWhat is Interaction to Next Paint (INP)? In the realm of web development, user experience reigns supreme. Visitors are drawn to websites that are not only visually appealing but also responsive and engaging. One key metric that gauges a website's responsiveness is Interaction to Next Paint (INP). INP measures the time...Aarav AroraAarav Aroraraviprinter3@gmail.comEditorAarav Arora is a seasoned digital marketing expert with over a decade of experience in the dynamic world of online marketing. His journey began in the early days of the digital era, and since then, he has been at the forefront of innovative marketing strategies that have transformed businesses across industries.THE SEO INKSEO Blogs