Google Lighthouse and Pagespeed Insights may seem like very similar tools, they offer very different raw information, although the conclusions we can draw are complementary.
What is Google Lighthouse?
Google Lighthouse is a free, automated, open-source tool that runs your web pages through a series of audits and tests and helps you understand the quality improvements your web pages need. Lighthouse gives you a great overview of your site’s quality and performance on mobile and desktop devices, and helps you improve your site’s performance.
Lighthouse also identifies common problems that can affect the quality of its website and gives you suggestions on how to solve them.
There are different ways to use Google Lighthouse. The easiest ones are in Google Chrome DevTools or from the web user interface.
What audits can Google Lighthouse do?
When you do a Google Lighthouse audit, you get five points at the top of your audit report. These are:
- Performance: This test evaluates the speed at which web pages load and display on the user’s device to find opportunities to speed up page loading. For more information, see Google’s documentation on performance audits.
- Best practices: There is a certain standard in modern web development. A best practices assessment shows whether your site meets that standard. This audit provides recommendations on how to improve the overall code status of your website or web application. For more information, see the documentation on best practices audits.
- Accessibility: This test verifies that all users can access and navigate your website or web application effectively, regardless of disability or handicap. There are also recommendations on how to improve the accessibility of your site. For more information, see Google’s documentation on accessibility audits.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): SEO audits assess how well search engines can crawl your site and display it in search results. For more information, see Google’s official documentation on SEO audits
What is Google PageSpeed Insights, and how is it different from Google Lighthouse?
PageSpeed Insights is another tool created by Google. PageSpeed Insights is an online tool that evaluates website performance on mobile devices, tablets and desktops. It also offers practical suggestions on how to improve a website. PageSpeed Insights uses Lighthouse as its performance analysis engine.
An important difference between Google Lighthouse and Google PageSpeed Insights is the data they use. Lighthouse only uses lab data to measure its website performance, while PageSpeed Insights uses real data from Chrome’s user experience report and lab data. The lab data uses predefined device and network specifications, and the lab data is also collected in a controlled environment. The real data is collected from real Chrome users, which means you can see how your site loads for real users.
Another difference is that Google PageSpeed Insights only measures website performance, while Google Lighthouse goes beyond page speed metrics and measures other aspects of a website such as SEO aspects, accessibility, progressive web application, etc.
Use Google PageSpeed Insights to measure the performance of your website.
You can use Google PageSpeed Insights and Google Lighthouse, or even combine multiple tools to get the most accurate picture of your website performance.