Lighthouse is Google's free, open source and automated monitoring tool. It can help e-commerce companies track site loading times, accessibility and search engine optimization.
The lighthouse is available in many forms, including through the current versions of the Google Chrome web browser.
An owner or an e-commerce manager simply opens Chrome's development tools by clicking anywhere on a webpage, selecting "Inspect", and then opening the "Audits" tab to find Lighthouse.
When an audit is performed, Lighthouse will repeatedly load the target website by collecting information about site structure, tags, and performance. Lighthouse does its best to emulate a smartphone, even limiting the network connection to something like 3G and testing the page offline.
Improve Your Site
Lighthouse aims to "help you identify and solve common problems that affect the performance, accessibility and user experience of your site," according to Google.
In other words, the world's largest search engine wants to use his vast experience to give advice to your company. Tracking intelligently, Lighthouse discoveries could help your online store to improve and, perhaps, become easier to find and use for customers.
A Phare audit will provide five comment categories, each with a rating from zero to 100.
- Performance. The speed of loading your site or the speed with which key elements become available to mobile users. This audit is based on several data points, including when the first elements are painted and when the page becomes interactive.
- Progressive appeal. Based on the basic checklist of the progressive Web application, Lighthouse searches the completeness level of your site. Google focuses on PWAs, which improve mobile performance and can boost search engine rankings.
- Accessibility. This score is a weighted average of about 35 traits of accessibility. Accessibility is one of the most important things that online marketers can monitor; it is very useful to incorporate it. Failure to provide an accessible site may be illegal.
- Good practices. Checks the use of current web development best practices, such as the use of HTTP / 2.
- Natural referencing . Audits nine basics of search engine optimization. This is significantly less thorough than some third party SEO audit tools or extensions, but it can still help your business get an idea of how it will work in Google and other search engines.
In many cases, Lighthouse provides details that a company can use to improve its site.
For example, a Walmart.com Lighthouse audit conducted on May 7, 2018 found some accessibility errors, including an iframe without a title attribute. Lighthouse points out that this missing title could make page comprehension relatively more difficult for buyers using a screen reader and shows the specific iframe tag in question.
Armed with this information, a Walmart developer could add the required title attribute and improve the site's accessibility.
Similarly, a Phare audit of Kohls.com on May 7, 2018 identified several unused CSS statements. The tool pointed to the specific style sheets in question and estimated the number of bytes of data that Kohl could record if he modified this CSS.
Use of the lighthouse
There are at least three ways that e-commerce companies can use Lighthouse to monitor and improve their sites.
First, use Lighthouse to test and improve your stores. Open the beacon in the Chrome browser. Go to your company's website Conduct a lighthouse audit, and work your way through the comments, improving each point one by one.
Second, use Lighthouse to manually audit updates to your ecommerce site. When new code is deployed on a test server, open the test page in Chrome and perform a Lighthouse audit to find out how changes to your site will impact your different Lighthouse scores before deploying the new code. on your production server.
Finally, an ecommerce company can automate Lighthouse audits. In addition to its inclusion in Chrome's development tools, Lighthouse is also available as a Node.js package. This means that it can be integrated into a continuous development workflow, so that whenever an update is made to your site's source code, Lighthouse can automatically test it for its impact on the performance of the site. The code that would make your site much slower could be rejected or forced to a revision.
As an example of lighthouse automation, Google developers Eric Bidelman and Brendan Kenny demonstrated to Google I / O 2017 how a company could use Lighthouse with GitHub and the tool Travis.
Audits can help make decisions. If your e-commerce business uses Lighthouse, you should always think about potential changes. Sometimes your best performance options might be entirely different from Lighthouse's suggestions. For example, instead of worrying about adding a title attribute to an iframe, you can completely remove the iframe.