First Contentful Paint (FCP)

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First Contentful Paint (FCP) is an important, user-centric metric for measuring perceived load speed. It marks the first point in the page load timeline where the user can see anything on the screen. A fast FCP helps reassure the user that something is happening.

FCP measures the time from when the user first navigates to the page to when any part of the page's content is rendered on the screen. For this metric, "content" refers to text, images (including background images), <svg> elements, or non-white <canvas> elements.

FCP timeline from
In this load timeline, FCP happens in the second frame, because that's when the first text and image elements are rendered to the screen.

Not all the content renders when the first content element renders. This is an important distinction to make between FCP and Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), which measures when the page's main contents have finished loading.

What is a good FCP score?

To provide a good user experience, sites must have an FCP of 1.8 seconds or less. To ensure that you're hitting this target for most of your users, a good threshold to measure is the 75th percentile of page loads, segmented across mobile and desktop devices.

Good FCP values are 1.8 seconds or less, poor values are greater than 3.0 seconds, and anything in between needs improvement
Good FCP values are 1.8 seconds or less. Poor values are greater than 3.0 seconds.

How to measure FCP

FCP can be measured in the lab or in the field, and it's available in the following tools:

Field tools

Lab tools

Measure FCP in JavaScript

To measure FCP in JavaScript, use the Paint Timing API. The following example shows how to create a PerformanceObserver that listens for a paint entry with the name first-contentful-paint and logs it to the console.

new PerformanceObserver((entryList) => {
  for (const entry of entryList.getEntriesByName('first-contentful-paint')) {
    console.log('FCP candidate:', entry.startTime, entry);
}).observe({type: 'paint', buffered: true});

In this example, the logged first-contentful-paint entry tells you when the first contentful element was painted. However, in some cases this entry isn't valid for measuring FCP.

The following section lists the differences between what the API reports and how the metric is calculated.

Differences between the metric and the API

  • The API dispatches a first-contentful-paint entry for pages loaded in a background tab, but those pages should be ignored when calculating FCP. First paint timings are considered only if the page was in the foreground the entire time.
  • The API doesn't report first-contentful-paint entries when the page is restored from the back/forward cache, but FCP should be measured in these cases because users experience them as distinct page visits.
  • The API might not report paint timings from cross-origin iframes, but to properly measure FCP, you must consider all frames. Sub-frames can use the API to report their paint timings to the parent frame for aggregation.
  • The API measures FCP from navigation start, but for prerendered pages, FCP should be measured from activationStart because that corresponds to the FCP time as experienced by the user.

Instead of memorizing all these subtle differences, developers can use the web-vitals JavaScript library to measure FCP, which handles these differences for you where possible (except in iframes):

import {onFCP} from 'web-vitals';

// Measure and log FCP as soon as it's available.

Refer to the source code for onFCP() for a complete example of how to measure FCP in JavaScript.

How to improve FCP

To learn to improve FCP for a specific site, you can run a Lighthouse performance audit and pay attention to any specific opportunities or diagnostics the audit suggests.

To learn how to improve FCP in general (for any site), refer to the following performance guides:


Occasionally, bugs are discovered in the APIs used to measure metrics, and sometimes in the definitions of the metrics themselves. As a result, changes must sometimes be made, and these changes can show up as improvements or regressions in your internal reports and dashboards.

To help you manage this, all changes to either the implementation or definition of these metrics are surfaced in this Changelog.

If you have feedback for these metrics, provide it in the web-vitals-feedback Google group.