Meet Lighthouse: An Open-Source Automated Tool for Improving the Quality of Web Pages

Meet Lighthouse: An Open-Source Automated Tool for Improving the Quality of Web Pages

In the era of the digital revolution, having an appealing website plays a very important role in building a strong online reputation. Website auditing is one critical aspect that identifies the problems and suggests solutions that help enhance the user experience, increase the conversion rate, and improve the quality of content. Lighthouse is one such automated tool that enhances the quality of web pages by running a number of audits against the same.

Users can use the tool from Chrome DevTools, the command line, or as a Node module. When given a URL to audit, it generates an audit report, which the users can use to improve their page. Each audit also consists of a reference doc explaining the importance of the audit and how to fix the issue.

Source: https://developer.chrome.com/docs/lighthouse/overview
  • To use Lighthouse, simply open any URL in Google Chrome.
  • Open the Chrome Dev Tools by using the command Ctrl + Shift + C or Cmd + Option + C in Windows and Mac, respectively. 
  • Click on the Lighthouse tab.
  • Click on the Analyze page load option and then click on Run Audit to start the audit. After a few moments, the tool will provide a report on the web page.

Lighthouse can be run through the command line as well.

  • Install the current Long-Term Support version of Node.
  • Install the tool by running the npm install -g lighthouse command.
  • To run an audit, use the command lighthouse <url>

Benefits of Lighthouse

  • It is an open-source and automated tool which is easy to use.
  • With just a few clicks, users can audit any web page and analyze factors like SEO, performance, and best practices. 
  • Lighthouse provides recommendations on removing unused CSS, efficiently encoding images, reducing server response times, and many others.
  • The tool also tests how the web page performs on mobile devices.
  • Lighthouse also provides plugins that allow experts to extend the tool's functionality to meet their specific needs.

Drawbacks of Lighthouse

  • Lighthouse is less robust than other tools like Axe Extension, which runs around 70 tests in total.
  • Some of its results are not reliable at times. For example, it is possible to get a 100% accessibility rating on a site that is largely not accessible. 

In conclusion, Lighthouse is an open-source and automated website auditing tool that analyzes any URL, identifies the problems, and suggests solutions to make the site more user-friendly. It is very easy to use, and users can get started with just a few clicks. Although some users have reported that its results are not always fully accurate, it still provides a promising preliminary examination, using which users can identify the bottlenecks with their web page.

About the author
Manya Goyal

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