Google (GSC) has flagged almost half of my content as taking longer than 2.5 seconds to LCP on mobile. I've spent several days trying to optimize my site to reduce the time it takes, but I can't get the time consistently to less than 2.6 seconds for mobile.

I'm running Wordpress, with a very lightweight theme, on a shared environment. I have less than 1000 users a day, so I don't think it's a hardware issue per se. I've tested turning off every single plugin leaving only a bare bones WP site and still can't get it to load faster.

Is it realistic to think that a WP site will ever load faster than 2.6 seconds on a shared hosting plan?

Edit Additional testing To eliminate the possibility of the DOM being too complicated, I've tested with a single paragraph block <p> with less than 20 words and a full width layout so we don't have extra columns. Even under these conditions, the fastest LCP time is 2.4-2.6 seconds.

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    Content paint has nothing to do with the speed of your server. Content paint is a metric about how long the browser takes to render your HTML. To get a faster content paint you have to serve simpler pages with less content and fewer HTML elements. Rather than turning off plugins you should look into making your theme even more lightweight. – Stephen Ostermiller Jun 22 at 14:18
  • @StephenOstermiller, thanks.Almost all of these pages are long form, evergreen content with 2,000-3,000 words. I do very little fancy html stuff other than a few optimized images.and a sidebar. The first LCP content served is usually just the page title. – Trebor Jun 22 at 17:21
  • @StephenOstermiller web.dev/optimize-lcp suggests a caching server. But when I look at my waterfall, the only content I see that isn't coming from Google or my CDN is the first request which takes 800 ms. I've minified and removed as much CSS/JS as I can short of editing the theme's CSS to strip it down, which I have considered. – Trebor Jun 22 at 18:00
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    I guess server does matter. I misunderstood. – Stephen Ostermiller Jun 22 at 18:05

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