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Unlocking the Benefits of Google Lighthouse

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Unlocking the Benefits of Google Lighthouse

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Unlocking the Benefits of Google Lighthouse

Unlocking the Benefits of Google Lighthouse: Understanding the Test, Tool and Score

Google Lighthouse is a software tool that is open-source and freely available to developers. Its main purpose is to assist web developers in optimising the performance, accessibility and search engine optimization (SEO) of their web pages.

By running automated audits on web pages, Lighthouse tool generates reports that offer detailed insights into various aspects of web page performance including:

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  • Page Speed
  • Security
  • Accessibility
  • SEO.

One of the key features of Google Lighthouse is that it is built into Google Chrome, which means that it can be accessed and used directly from the browser. Additionally, the Lighthouse tool is available as a standalone tool that can be run from the command line or as a Node.js module.

When a web page is audited using Lighthouse, it uses a set of predefined audits and best practices to generate a report that includes a score for each category, along with suggestions for improvements.

What are the advantages of the Lighthouse tool?
Google Lighthouse provides web developers with an opportunity to benchmark their website’s performance against industry standards and competitors. By doing so, web developers can identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions on how to enhance the overall performance and user experience of their websites.

In this blog, you will get an overview of what is Google Lighthouse, how you can use the tool and its various benefits.

Do You Want to Know How Google Lighthouse Works?

Google Lighthouse operates by conducting audits across five main categories of website optimization.

  • Performance: In this audit, the Lighthouse tool measures the speed at which a website loads and how quickly users can access it. It reports on a range of five-speed metrics, each gauging some aspect of page speed
    • First Contentful Paint (FCP): Evaluates the time at which the first text or image becomes visible to users.
    • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): Determines the time a page requires to load its largest element for users
    • Total Blocking Time (TBT): This metric calculates the duration during which a webpage is unresponsive to user actions, like clicking a mouse button.
    • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Quantifies the layout shifts that occur as users navigate through a page
    • Speed Index (SI): Shows how rapidly the content of a page is loaded.

    Points To Remember: Based on how well a page performs across these metrics, Lighthouse assigns an overall performance score. The Google lighthouse score can range from 0 to 100.

    A score of 90 to 100 indicates that a page is highly optimized for user experience, while anything below 90 suggests that a significant number of resources on the page are impeding performance and negatively impacting the overall page experience.

  • Accessibility: Lighthouse’s accessibility test assesses the extent to which people who use assistive technologies can interact with your website. It scrutinises features like buttons and links to determine whether they are adequately described. Additionally, it examines images to verify whether alt text has been specified, enabling screen readers to convey the meaning of the image to users with limited or no vision.
    Points To Remember: Like the performance audit report, the accessibility report assigns a score out of 100, with higher scores reflecting greater accessibility.
  • Best practices: The best practices audit in Lighthouse evaluates whether your page adheres to current web development standards. It verifies whether resources are loaded from secure servers via HTTPS, images are displayed with appropriate aspect ratios and resolution, JavaScript libraries are secure and free of vulnerabilities and the page includes the HTML doctype. Additionally, Lighthouse checks whether the Content Security Policy (CSP) is effective in preventing cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks, whether the page is free of browser errors, and whether it is built using current frameworks and APIs.
    Points To Remember: The audit verifies whether the page has valid source maps, whether it is free of issues reported in the Chrome DevTools panel, and whether it sets character encoding with the meta charset tag.Moreover, it assesses whether the page enables users to paste passwords in password fields and creates a good user experience by blocking geolocation and notification permission requests on page load.

  • Search Engine Optimization: Google Lighthouse is a tool that helps developers optimize the performance, accessibility and SEO of their web pages. It runs automated audits on web pages and generates reports that provide detailed insights on various aspects of web page performance, including page speed, security, accessibility and SEO.
    Points To Remember: Google Lighthouse’s accessibility test analyses how well people who use assistive technologies can use your website. It looks at elements like buttons and links to see whether they’re described well and analyses images to see whether alt text is specified. The accessibility report gives you a score out of 100, with a higher score indicating better accessibility.
  • Progressive Web App: Lighthouse’s PWA audit assesses whether your web application utilises modern web capabilities to deliver an exceptional user experience. It evaluates if your web app:
    • Loads quickly and reliably on mobile networks and provides offline functionality
    • Can be installed on various device types and supports offline functionality and push notifications
    • Is optimised for PWAs by directing HTTP traffic to HTTPS, customising a splash screen, adjusting the page content to fit on mobile screens and implementing other best practices recommended by Lighthouse

    Points To Remember: If you run a PWA audit in Lighthouse, you will get a badge instead of a score of 100

What Are the Various Ways of Using Google Lighthouse?

  • To perform a Google Lighthouse audit using Chrome DevTools, follow the steps mentioned below:
    • Open the webpage you want to audit in your Chrome browserRight-click anywhere on the page and select “Inspect.” This will open the DevTools panel on the right side of the webpage
    • Select “Lighthouse” from the panel’s toolbar. If you can’t find the Lighthouse option, click on the two arrows at the end of the toolbar to locate it
    • Select one or more categories, depending on which aspects of your website you want to analyse and click “Analyse page load. The tool will generate a report.
    • Click on a specific category to learn more such as the “Performance” audit which measures your website’s speed metrics.
  • To use Lighthouse with the Chrome Extension, start by:
    • Install the Lighthouse Chrome extension on your browser. Once installed, navigate to the webpage you want to audit, and open the Chrome extension menu
    • Select “Lighthouse” from the menu, and then click on the cog icon. This will open the settings panel, where you can choose which categories you want to include in the report
    • After selecting your preferred categories, click on the “Generate Report” button to start the audit. Lighthouse will generate a report.
  • To use Lighthouse with Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool, start by:
    • Opening the tool and enter your page URL. Then click on the “Analyse” button
    • Page Speed Insights will run a Lighthouse audit and generate reports for all categories except PWA. Note that PageSpeed Insights doesn’t perform PWA audits. page speed insights

Understanding the Lighthouse tool

Developers can use the Lighthouse tool to gain valuable insights into the performance of their web pages. By conducting a series of audits, Lighthouse provides feedback on areas that need improvement. The tool can be accessed through the Chrome browser extension, the command-line tool or Chrome DevTools.

Lighthouse provides detailed information on various performance metrics such as:

  • Page load time
  • Time taken to the first byte

Benefits of Using Google Lighthouse

Google Lighthouse offers several benefits that can help improve website performance.

  • One of the primary benefits is that it provides detailed insights into the performance of web pages, which helps developers to identify areas that need improvement and make necessary changes to enhance the quality of their web pages.
  • Another significant benefit of using Google Lighthouse is that it helps improve the user experience of the web page. Optimising the performance of the web page can lead to faster loading times, resulting in a more pleasant experience for users. Offering a better user experience can help you engage with your target audience.

How to Use Google Lighthouse to Improve Website Performance?

Improving website performance using Google Lighthouse is a straightforward process.

What To Do?

Start by opening the web page in a Chrome browser and running the Lighthouse test. This will provide you with a comprehensive report on the performance of the web page, including areas that require improvement.

Once you have identified the areas that need improvement, you can start implementing the recommendations provided by Lighthouse. This may involve optimising images, compressing JavaScript and CSS files or utilising browser caching.

By making these changes, you can improve the performance of your web page, leading to a better user experience and potentially higher engagement and conversions.

Learn More: The Ultimate Guide to JavaScript SEO

Advanced Features of Google Lighthouse

Google Lighthouse comes with advanced features that can be used to optimize website performance even further. These features include:

  • Ability to run the test in a headless environment eliminates the need for a graphical user interface, making it ideal for continuous integration environments or test automation.
  • Customizing the test configuration allows developers to adjust the test to their specific needs by disabling certain categories or increasing the number of audits performed.
  • Generate reports in various formats for ease of access.


To sum up, Google Lighthouse is a valuable tool that helps developers enhance website performance. It provides an in-depth analysis of web pages and highlights areas that require improvement.

By implementing best practices and incorporating recommendations given by Lighthouse, developers can enhance the quality of their web pages and enhance user experience.

If you haven’t yet tried Google Lighthouse, it’s worth a shot. It’s a powerful tool that can help optimize website performance and improve user experience, resulting in increased engagement and conversions.

Do you want to incorporate the use of Google Lighthouse into your agency’s workflow? Traffic Radius believes that by leveraging the powerful insights provided by Lighthouse, you can optimize the performance of your web pages and improve the user experience, which will further lead to better engagement and conversion rates.


How Is Lighthouse Different from PageSpeed Insights?

Lighthouse and PageSpeed Insights (PSI) are two different tools created by Google to help developers optimize their web pages. Although they share some similarities, they differ in several ways.Lighthouse is a more comprehensive tool that performs a series of audits on the web page and provides developers with feedback on areas that need improvement. It provides a detailed breakdown of the performance, accessibility, best practices and SEO of the web page.

Lighthouse can be accessed through the Chrome browser extension, the command-line tool or as part of the Chrome DevTools. It allows developers to identify and resolve issues with their web pages before they become major problems for users.

On the other hand, PSI analyzes the performance of the web page from the user’s perspective. It uses real-world field data from the Chrome User Experience Report to provide insights into the performance of the web page. PSI provides optimization suggestions for the web page based on these insights to improve the user experience.

In summary, Lighthouse is a more developer-focused tool that provides in-depth insights into the performance of the web page, while PSI is more user-focused and provides insights into the real-world performance of the web page. Both tools are useful for optimizing website performance and improving the user experience.

Do Lighthouse Reports Include Core Web Vitals Metrics?

Yes, Lighthouse reports include Core Web Vitals metrics. Core Web Vitals is a set of user-centric metrics that Google uses to measure the loading speed, interactivity, and visual stability of web pages. Lighthouse includes these metrics in its performance section, along with other metrics like Time to First Byte (TTFB) and Total Blocking Time (TBT).By including Core Web Vitals metrics in its reports, Lighthouse provides developers with a comprehensive view of the performance of their web pages and helps them optimize their pages for a better user experience.

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