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What Is Google Lighthouse and How It Helps Your PWA

What Is Google Lighthouse and How It Helps Your PWA
Check out how Google Lighthouse, an automated website audit and review tool, helps you up your PWA game.
Akshay Kulkarni
Last Updated: Mar 2, 2019
Google Lighthouse
lighthouse
Lighthouse is an open-source, automated tool, developed and launched by Google in early 2018, for the purpose of improving the quality of web pages. In other words, Google Lighthouse is a website audit and review tool which provides an audit report with a set of improvising suggestions, after performing a thorough check on a particular website.

Lighthouse measures the potential of a website using five categories: Performance, Progressive Web App (PWA), Accessibility, Best Practices, and SEO. It reviews each of these categories separately and by providing a performance score between 0 and 100. 0 being the lowest possible score and 100 being the best. The color-coding for these scores is mapped as:
  • Red for 0 to 49
  • Orange for 50 to 89
  • Green for 90 to 100
You can run the Lighthouse against any public or authentication requiring web page:
  • In Chrome DevTools
  • From the command line
  • As a Node module
  • As a Chrome Extension
How Lighthouse Affects PWA?
apps
Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are the hybrid of mobile apps and web pages, they combine the best of both worlds. They make very less use of phone's storage space as there is no download process, a user can directly integrate them from the browser by clicking on a featured ‘Add to Home Screen’ button. PWAs boast of features like push notifications, full-screen loading, offline working, functioning in any and every network condition. They facilitate fast content loading and feel like a mobile app, giving the best browsing experience. PWAs are served via https that enables secure communication between the website and web user. The encrypted connection between browser and server does not affect the content.
As PWAs come under one of the five key categories which Lighthouse uses to measure the performance of a website, it yields expert insights and valuable feedback corresponding to them. It examines and evaluates a web app considering the following major factors: 
  • Speed
  • Security
  • Responsive design
  • Offline performance
  • Indexing
  • Push notifications
  • Caching
  • User experience

In its performance score report, Lighthouse presents a list of tests that your PWA has failed and solutions to fix these issues. Then, it shows remaining portions of the test your PWA has successfully passed. The Lighthouse audit reduces a lot of the guesswork out of the web app’s development and performance. With detailed reports, you get to know exactly which aspects of your PWA are working and which are not. Redesigning and updating your PWAs based on the results given by Lighthouse means improved speed, traffic, and user engagement. All of the insights and feedbacks by Lighthouse increase your chances of making the most out of your PWAs. With this profound tool, you can take a different and substantial approach towards developing exceptional PWAs.
If you’re yet to optimize your website with PWAs, you’re missing out a lot, in terms of traffic, revenue, and overall visibility. So, with Visual Stories make PWA a part of your website. It provides a no-code solution which means it’ll set up everything for you. All you have to do is book a domain name and point it to its servers. The Visual Stories team will setup a Progressive Web App (PWA) on your site and you'll have all the technical aspects setup for you in one go.