Using Dotcom-Monitor website monitoring tool one can create and configure Lighthouse Report monitoring device (BrowserView Platform) to audit performance, SEO and other web site metrics automatically.
Google Lighthouse is an open-source, automated tool to audit website speed and performance. It audits loading time, accessibility, search engine optimization (SEO) of web pages, progressive web apps, and an extended list of best practices.
Lighthouse simulates loading a web page in a real browser under real-world conditions (lost packages, poor connection, etc.) and generates the report with scores reflecting audit metrics. In addition, the report contains suggestions on how to improve site speed and performance scores. Besides isolated tests, Lighthouse reports can be extremely useful in web development to compare changes in the results over a time.
However, when it comes to recurring web site testing, running Lighthouse manually on each test case doesn’t seem to be efficient. In this article we will discuss the way to execute audit automatically using Dotcom-Monitor.
How to Use Lighthouse Report More Effectively
Every time you improve a web page content to meet SEO requirements, you may need to track changes in SEO score before and after improvements. In the case of SEO, a one-time check won’t be meaningful. Quite the opposite is true. It’s necessary to monitor how SEO scores change over time and on a regular basis.
Let’s say you want to have insight on the impact of particular web page updates on performance metrics, without having to pull the reports manually on every version. Moreover, sometimes optimization of the website functionality may affect a particular performance metric. For example, if you’re working on shortening the amount of time it takes to load content on a web page. You need to focus on changes in First Contentful Paint or First Meaningful Paint scores and make sure the score does not drop.
Dotcom-Monitor can generate Lighthouse reports with the specified frequency to monitor changes in a specific web page metric. The key feature of the solution is monitoring a specific audit metric. You can select a metric and set an error threshold to receive alert notifications when a monitored score is out of the acceptable range. In addition, you can configure alerting on errors that occurred while running Lighthouse, specify an audit scheduler, and set up scheduled reporting on the monitoring results.
Once the monitoring device has been configured, you can pull Lighthouse reports from the Dotcom -Monitor Online Report.
Setting Up an Audit
Enter the URL that you wish to audit with Lighthouse. The address should be formed exactly as you would use it in a browser, such as http://www.example.com. You must include the http:// or https:// at the beginning of the address. You may include any GET parameters at the end of your URL.
Dotcom-Monitor enables monitoring and alerting for a particular web page audit metric. The system will monitor the selected metric scores in the Lighthouse report. If the Error Threshold for the metric score is specified and the Alert on Lighthouse errors option is selected, the device will be considered as failed in instances when the score of interest is beyond the allowable range. To receive alert notifications, configure alerts for the device on the Alerts tab of the device edit screen.
Also, you can configure scheduled reports that will aggregate the results of the selected metric monitoring based on daily, weekly, or monthly statistics.
Choose one audit metric from the following Lighthouse metrics to receive alerts and reports on.
Performance report metrics:
- Performance Overall Score. The weighted average of all the performance metrics. More heavily weighted metrics have a bigger effect on the Performance Overall Score.
- First Contentful Paint. Measures how long it takes the browser to render the first piece of DOM content after a user navigates to your page.
- Speed Index. Shows how quickly the contents of a page are visibly populated.
- Time to Interactive. Measures the time from when the page starts loading to when its main sub-resources have loaded, and it is capable of reliably responding to user input quickly.
- First Meaningful Paint. Measures when the primary content of a page is visible.
- First CPU Idle. First CPU idle marks the first time at which the page’s main thread is quiet enough to handle input.
- Max Potential First Input Delay. The maximum potential First Input Delay that your users could experience is the duration, in milliseconds, of the longest device execution.
Accessibility Overall Score. Checks highlight opportunities to improve the accessibility of your website.
Best Practices Overall Score. Ensures that your page is following the industry’s best practices.
SEO Overall Score. Ensures that your page is optimized for search engine results ranking.
Set an acceptable score range for a selected metric. If the score is beyond the range, the device will be marked as failed. To receive alerts based on the threshold you have set, select Yes in the Alert on Lighthouse errors field.
The DNS Options feature allows users to choose how domain name server (DNS) requests are conducted during a monitoring task.
To specify the mode of resolving hostnames, in the DNS Resolve Mode section, select one of the available modes. For more details on the feature configuration, see DNS Mode Options.
The Custom DNS Hosts section contains the mappings of IP addresses to hostnames.
To specify the mapping, enter the IP address and the host name in the corresponding fields.
See also: DNS Mode Options.
Additional Resources on Lighthouse Metrics
For more detailed descriptions of the Lighthouse metrics, see: