How to check website performance using Google Lighthouse
The Lighthouse framework is already integrated into other Google performance analysis tools, such as PageSpeed Insights analysis and browser-based audits via Chrome’s developer tools.
What is Lighthouse Google?
Lighthouse enables site performance auditing. Lighthouse 1.0 was first developed as an audit tool for Progressive Web Applications (PWAs). Version 2.0 also includes performance analysis and search engine optimization for regular websites. The third version, Lighthouse Version 3.0, was released in early 2018, and introduced a new layout and direct integration into the developer tools for Google Chrome. Lighthouse remains an open source analysis framework that works at the URL level.
Performance recommendations from Lighthouse are as follows:
- Reduce display blocking resources
- Image service in next generation formats
- Activate text compression
- Defer unused CSS
- Make sure the text remains visible while loading the web font
- Use effective cache policy on static assets
- Critical rendering path (CRP) optimization
- Avoid large images
- Delayed loading of off-screen images
- minify/compress CSS
- Photo Enhancement
- Activate pre-connection to the server
- Keep server response times low (Time To First Byte, TTFB)
- Avoid redirects
- Preload key requests
- Use video formats for animated content
- Reduce the total byte weight
- Avoid increasing the size of the DOM
- Measuring performance with user timemarks and metrics
- Reduce main thread load
How can I access Google Lighthouse?
- PageSpeed Insights: Google’s PageSpeed Insights is used to only return one score, but this tool now relies on Lighthouse’s analysis functions. Any URL can be tested to analyze six performance values and the results of several additional audits and recommendations. Overall speed scores are also aggregated from the six performance measures. You can access PageSpeed Insights over here.
- Chrome Developer Tools: Since April 2018, Google Lighthouse has also been made available via the Developer Tools in Google’s Chrome browser. Here, users can select any of the five main categories they wish to perform audits in. There are also hardware options, with users being able to choose mobile or desktop, and a range of simulated internet speeds to use for analysis. Here’s how to find Lighthouse audits in Chrome DevTools.
- Chrome plugin: Full Lighthouse audits can also be run using the Chrome Plugin. You can find Lighthouse Chrome Plugin over here (If you are using Chrome browser).
- Lighthouse performance audits can also be run via Google’s web.dev portal. over here You can find the most important audits with all the findings and recommendations.
How do I audit an entire site?
Lighthouse is a powerful tool for analyzing the performance of websites and PWAs. However, the tool has one major drawback – it can only be run at the URL level.
Through Lighthouse audits, Searchmetrics has developed a method for analyzing entire domains and related online markets, to determine the level of improvement for the industry and the performance of the domain compared to its competitors.