Perform complete Website Audit for Free using Lighthouse

While working on an assignment towards improving the SEO of a website, we came across an open source tool to help you perform complete Website Audit for free.

Yes, It is Lighthouse!

Introduction:

Lighthouse is a Free and Open source tool by Google developed to help Developers build quality web pages which confirms to latest standards of Web development. It is equipped to perform audit by emulating the user from both Mobile as well as Desktop devices.

Lighthouse can be accessed directly in Chrome without the need to install any additional extension. This tool can be used to do audit of live websites in production as well as the webpages in your local development environment. As long as the webpage can be accessed from your Chrome browser, you can easily audit it.


Google Lighthouse


Features Overview:

At the moment it helps you audit your webpages in the following categories:

  • Performance:
This score helps you access the performance of your webpage against the benchmark standards. The audit is based on various data points such as the time at which your first text or image is loaded or painted, time it takes for your website to become fully interactive, speed index, total blocking time, time taken by the largest text or image to be painted or loaded, etc. 

  • Accessibility:
It assesses your webpage against various accessibility checklist and provides you a weighted composite score. The various data points used to arrive this score include Navigation, ARIA attributes, Names and Labels, Contrast, Tables and Lists, Best practices, Audio and Video, Internationalization and Localization and some other checklist related to navigation controls and focus.

  • Best Practices
This score provides an assessment on the conformance of website code quality, website configurations, external requests and many other parameters against the industry best practices in web development.

  • SEO:
This metric helps to audit your web page to ensure you are following all the SEO best practices in order to optimize your webpage rankings in search engine results. This is by far the most important metric for a web developer. The better the SEO score, better are the chances that the website will appear in the first few results of the search engine. The boost in search rankings eventually lead to increased traffic ultimately leading to improvement in sales figures.

  • Progressive Web App:
The PWA score helps you assess your website against multiple aspects of a Progressive Web App. Some of the data points used to calculate this metrics are performance of your app, browser compatibility, responsiveness to multiple screen sizes, offline experience, conformance to accessibility standards, search engine discoverability, ability to use via any input device such as keyboard, touch, stylus, etc.


To access the the tool. Follow these steps:

  1. Open Google Chrome and navigate to the webpage which you would like to audit. 
  2. Now Right Click and select "Inspect" to open the developer tools in Chrome.
  3. At the end, you may find a pre-installed tab titled "Lighthouse". Click to navigate there.
  4. In Lighthouse window, you may select the categories for which you want to perform audit and then click on "Generate report" button.
  5. Within a few seconds depending on your internet connection as well as page load time. (usually less than 30 seconds though). You shall get an audit report displayed within the toolbar.
  6. Now you can go through each and every observation in detail and correct them in order to improve your Website Quality score.
  7. If you find a lot of observation which may take time to fix. Then you may download a PDF report and keep it for future analysis and fixes.

Lighthouse tool in Google Chrome Inspect Elements



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