Like conventional websites and web applications, progressive web apps or installable web applications are also developed with latest web technologies. But the progressive web apps, unlike conventional web applications, keep users engaged by loading quickly regardless of the network state, responding to user interactions smoothly, and offering immersive full screen experience. Google helps web developers to assess and improve quality of progressive web apps by providing open source auditing tool – Google Lighthouse. The web developers can use Google Lighthouse to assess the accessibility and performance without putting extra time and effort. They can even use the automated auditing tool to assess quality of various websites based on the guidelines and standards set by Google.

What Web Developers Must Know about Google Lighthouse?

Can be used in a Number of Ways

Google allows developers to use Lighthouse in two distinct ways. A web developer can use the open source auditing tools as a Chrome extension. As a Chrome extension, Lighthouse enables developers to assess the quality of a web page simply by navigating to the web page in the browser and the click on the “Generate Report” button. At the same time, the web developer also has option to run Lighthouse through the Node CLI. After installing the latest version of Node, he can install the auditing tool and assess quality of web pages by executing specific commands.

Tests Various Aspects of a Web Application

A web developer can use Lighthouse to measure various aspects of a website – accessibility, performance, and security. The automated auditing tool checks if the website is loading despite no internet connectivity or poor network conditions and being served from a secure origin. It even helps users to check if the website is relatively fast. At the same time, Lighthouse assesses the website’s accessibility based on certain best practices recommended by Google.

Gives Actionable Performance Advice

In addition to running multiple audits against a web page, Lighthouse further generates an elaborate report in a user-friendly format. The report further provides a variety of information that helps web developers to make the website deliver richer user experience. The metrics and actionable information make it easier for web developers to identify and repair the performance bottlenecks during development process. For instance, the report helps users to measure how quickly a specific web page is visibly populated through speedline.

Also, it highlights the images which are not served in Google’s new image format – WebP. Also, web developer can refer to the report generated by Lighthouse to find out the internal resources that are not being served securely over HTTP/, the critical resources that must be downloaded before page rendering, the time required to render web page content within the browser, and the point at which a user can interact with the web page while it is being loaded.

Third-Party Tools and Packages

As noted earlier, Google has launched Lighthouse as an open source auditing tool for websites. Hence, the web developers can extend Lighthouse by availing choosing from a large repository of packages and tools. For instance, the developers can use Lighthouse Viewer as an npm package to view elaborate reports simply by pasting its JSON or Gist URL. Some of these third-party packages even help users to overcome some of the major shortcomings of Lighthouse. At present, Lighthouse lacks the capability to evaluate multiple URLs at a time. But the web developers can use Lighthouse Batch Reporter to audit multiple sites in sequence and generate a summary report.

On the whole, Google Lighthouse enables web developers to make progressive web apps deliver richer user experience by measuring and improving its performance, accessibility, and security. The web developers should always try to increase website traffic. The actionable information provided the open source auditing tool further help developers to improve the quality of web pages without putting extra time and effort.