What is Lighthouse?

Lighthouse is an automated open-source auditing tool developed by Google that is designed to help developers and website administrators improve the quality of their web pages. It provides a comprehensive approach to assessing webpage quality by evaluating performance, accessibility, progressive web apps, SEO, and more.

How Does Lighthouse Work?

Lighthouse runs audits on a web page based on a set of predefined rules, also known as audits. These audits fit into five categories:

  • Performance: Evaluates the speed and overall efficiency of your website.
  • Progressive Web App: Assesses whether your site meets the standard of a Progressive Web App.
  • Best Practices: Checks for everything from HTTPS usage to correct image aspect ratios.
  • Accessibility: Determines how accessible your site is to all users, including those with disabilities.
  • SEO: Measures how optimized your site is for search engines.

After running these audits, Lighthouse then generates a report for each category with a score between 0 and 100.

How to Use Lighthouse?

Lighthouse can be run in several ways, including:

  • From the Chrome devtools panel
  • From the command line
  • As a Node module

For instance, to run a Lighthouse report from the Chrome devtools panel:

  1. Open the devtools panel (right-click on your webpage and select Inspect).
  2. Select the Lighthouse tab.
  3. Choose the categories you want to audit.
  4. Click on “Generate report”.

Interpreting Lighthouse Scores

Each audit’s score is color-coded:

  • 0 to 49 (red): Poor
  • 50 to 89 (orange): Needs Improvement
  • 90 to 100 (green): Good

A detailed guide is provided for each failed audit to assist in problem resolution.

Why Use Lighthouse?

Lighthouse is a crucial tool for web developers and administrators for several reasons. It helps to identify performance issues, verify accessibility, and validate SEO practices. It’s also useful in ensuring that your website is optimized for progressive web apps. This comprehensive assessment helps to enhance user experience and improve search engine ranking.

By using Lighthouse, you can effectively boost the quality and performance of your web pages, making them more appealing and accessible to users.

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