A new feature that is landing in Chrome will let you know about the performance of the websites you visit. Browsers often find themselves in the spotlight when it comes to analysing online performance, but frequently is it individual websites that can be to blame for slow speeds.
In an update to Chrome, Google is set to shine a light on this by using Core Web Vital metrics to show how good a performance a site offers – and why. The company will also use this information to determine how high sites appear in search listings.
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Starting with version 89 of the browser, Chrome will give users the option of monitoring key performance statistics for sites when browsing the web. While purely informational, the stats help to let you know when sites offer the best user experience.
For the time being, Chrome offers to monitor three specific metric -- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID) and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), and even if the numbers presented to you are meaningless, they help to offer some insight into the criteria Google uses to place sites in search results.
Give me the heads up
As is so often the case, although this is an experimental feature at the moment, it is still possible to try it out right away.
You'll need to be running the Canary build of Chrome (which can be installed in addition to the main release version if you would like to run both side by side). But even with this experimental pre-release version the browser installed, you will have to manually enable the new performance metric HUD using the following steps:
- Fire up Chrome and pay a visit to chrome://flags
- Search for Show performance metrics in HUD and then use the drop-down menu to select Enabled
- Restart Chrome
You will be able to see the new heads-up display as you browse the internet.
- Check out our guide to the best browsers
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Sofia is a tech journalist who's been writing about software, hardware and the web for nearly 25 years – but still looks as youthful as ever! After years writing for magazines, her life moved online and remains fueled by technology, music and nature.
Having written for websites and magazines since 2000, producing a wide range of reviews, guides, tutorials, brochures, newsletters and more, she continues to write for diverse audiences, from computing newbies to advanced users and business clients. Always willing to try something new, she loves sharing new discoveries with others.
Sofia lives and breathes Windows, Android, iOS, macOS and just about anything with a power button, but her particular areas of interest include security, tweaking and privacy. Her other loves include walking, music, her two Malamutes and, of course, her wife and daughter.