In an effort to continuously improve website performance and user experience, Google has recently unveiled an updated version of PageSpeed Insights. This update incorporates the latest version of Lighthouse, an open-source measurement tool that assists in identifying and resolving website performance issues. With the release of Lighthouse 11, Google aims to provide web developers and site owners with enhanced auditing capabilities, bug fixes, and improvements to scoring. In this article, we will delve into the key changes introduced in Lighthouse 11 and explore how they contribute to optimizing PageSpeed Insights.
Lighthouse 11: Empowering Website Performance Debugging
Lighthouse serves as a valuable tool for diagnosing and resolving performance-related challenges encountered by websites. It not only powers PageSpeed Insights but also facilitates the measurement of core web vitals, which are crucial for evaluating user experience. Google introduced Lighthouse 11 on August 28th, ushering in a range of updates and improvements to assist web developers in their quest for enhanced website performance.
Notable Changes in Lighthouse 11/PageSpeed Insights
Lighthouse 11 introduces several noteworthy changes and additions that contribute to its robustness and effectiveness. Let’s take a closer look at some of the key enhancements:
- New Accessibility Audits: Accessibility is an important aspect of website development, ensuring that websites are usable by individuals with disabilities. Lighthouse 11 introduces thirteen new accessibility audits, including assessments for aria-allowed-role, aria-dialog-name, aria-text, html-xml-lang-mismatch, image-redundant-alt, input-button-name, label-content-name-mismatch, link-in-text-block, select-name, skip-link, table-duplicate-name, table-fake-caption, and td-has-header. These audits empower developers to identify and rectify accessibility shortcomings, thus improving the user experience for a wider audience.
- Changes to Best Practices Scoring: Lighthouse 11 brings about changes in how best practices are scored. This modification ensures that websites are evaluated based on the latest industry standards and guidelines, enabling developers to align their websites with the most up-to-date best practices.
- Largest Contentful Paint Scoring Bug Fix: Lighthouse 11 addresses a bug introduced in Lighthouse 10.2.0, which affected the scoring of the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) metric. This bug caused erroneous diagnostic feedback, displaying an error message for all websites, including Google’s own site. With the bug fix, LCP scoring is now accurate, providing developers with reliable insights into their website’s performance.
- Updated Interaction to Next Paint (INP): Interaction to Next Paint (INP) is a metric that measures the interactivity of a webpage. Formerly an experimental metric, INP has now been refined and is on track to become an official Core Web Vital by 2024. Lighthouse 11 reflects this change by formally recognizing INP as a non-experimental metric, reaffirming its importance in evaluating and improving user experience.
- Miscellaneous Bug Fixes: Lighthouse 11 also includes multiple bug fixes, addressing various issues reported by users and enhancing the overall stability and reliability of the tool.
It is worth noting that Lighthouse 11 lays the foundation for future advancements and updates set to revolutionize PageSpeed Insights and website performance optimization.
Understanding Interaction to Next Paint (INP)
One of the significant changes introduced in Lighthouse 11 is the formal recognition of Interaction to Next Paint (INP) as a non-experimental metric. INP measures the interactivity of an entire webpage, offering insights into how quickly users can interact with the page and perform desired actions. Initially an experimental metric, INP has proven its value and is set to become a core component of assessing user experience in the digital landscape by 2024.
Resolving Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) Scoring Bug
Lighthouse 11 rectifies a scoring bug associated with the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) metric, which originated in Lighthouse 10.2.0. This bug caused erroneous diagnostic feedback, displaying an error message for all websites, including Google’s web.dev. The bug fix ensures that LCP scoring is accurate, enabling developers to gain meaningful insights into their website’s performance.
Empowering Accessibility with New Audits
While website accessibility may not currently be a ranking factor, it is undeniably a best practice that benefits both users and website owners. Lighthouse 11 introduces thirteen new accessibility audits, empowering developers to identify and address accessibility issues effectively. Let’s explore some of these audits in detail:
Aria-Allowed-Role: Enabling Assistive Technologies
The aria-allowed-role audit focuses on the proper implementation of ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) roles. ARIA roles assist users with disabilities in effectively interacting with web content using assistive technologies. Landmark roles, for example, enable users to navigate a webpage easily and aid in generating dynamic summaries of the page. By ensuring the correct usage of ARIA roles, developers can enhance the accessibility of their websites.
Image-Redundant-Alt: Enhancing Alternative Text
The image-redundant-alt audit identifies cases where alternative text (alt-text) for images is redundant due to the presence of adjacent text conveying the same information. For instance, if a button’s alt-text says “Click Here” and the same text appears beneath the button, screen readers will read the alt-text and the adjacent text, resulting in repetitive information. By addressing redundant alt-text, developers can improve the accessibility and usability of their websites for users relying on screen readers.
Looking Ahead: Further Enhancements in PageSpeed Insights
The release of Lighthouse 11 marks a significant step towards improving website performance and user experience. However, Google’s commitment to optimizing PageSpeed Insights does not stop here. The company has plans for even more substantial changes in 2024. To stay informed about the latest updates and announcements regarding PageSpeed Insights and Lighthouse, consider exploring the official resources provided by Google:
By regularly staying updated on the advancements in PageSpeed Insights, developers can ensure their websites are optimized for performance and deliver an exceptional user experience.
Google’s release of Lighthouse 11 and its integration into PageSpeed Insights represents a significant milestone in the pursuit of website performance optimization. With new accessibility audits, bug fixes, and improvements to scoring, Lighthouse 11 equips developers with powerful tools to enhance website accessibility, diagnose performance issues, and align with industry best practices. By leveraging the insights provided by Lighthouse 11, web developers can create websites that deliver exceptional user experiences and meet the evolving demands of the digital landscape. Stay informed about the latest updates and embrace the opportunities offered by PageSpeed Insights and Lighthouse 11 to unlock the full potential of your website’s performance.
See first source: Search Engine Journal
Q1: What is the purpose of Google’s updated version of PageSpeed Insights?
A: Google’s updated PageSpeed Insights aims to improve website performance and user experience by incorporating the latest version of Lighthouse, an open-source measurement tool that identifies and resolves website performance issues.
Q2: What is Lighthouse 11, and how does it contribute to website optimization?
A: Lighthouse 11 is the latest version of the open-source measurement tool. It provides web developers with enhanced auditing capabilities, bug fixes, and scoring improvements to diagnose and address performance challenges in websites.
Q3: What specific changes and additions have been introduced in Lighthouse 11?
A: Lighthouse 11 brings notable enhancements, including thirteen new accessibility audits, changes in best practices scoring, bug fixes, and recognition of Interaction to Next Paint (INP) as a non-experimental metric.
Q4: Why are the new accessibility audits in Lighthouse 11 significant?
A: The new accessibility audits empower developers to identify and rectify accessibility issues, ensuring websites are usable by individuals with disabilities and improving the user experience for a wider audience.
Q5: What is Interaction to Next Paint (INP), and why is its recognition important?
A: INP measures webpage interactivity and user actions. The formal recognition of INP as a non-experimental metric highlights its role in evaluating and enhancing user experience, ultimately contributing to website performance.
Q6: What was the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) scoring bug, and how has it been addressed?
A: Lighthouse 11 addresses a bug that affected LCP scoring in Lighthouse 10.2.0. This bug caused incorrect diagnostic feedback for LCP metric, and the fix ensures accurate insights into website performance.
Q7: How does Lighthouse 11 set the stage for future advancements?
A: Lighthouse 11 lays the groundwork for future updates that will revolutionize PageSpeed Insights and website performance optimization.
Q8: Why is website accessibility crucial, and how does Lighthouse 11 empower it?
A: While not a ranking factor, website accessibility benefits users and website owners. Lighthouse 11 introduces new accessibility audits, helping developers identify and address accessibility issues to enhance inclusivity.
Q9: How can developers stay informed about the latest updates and resources related to PageSpeed Insights and Lighthouse?
A: Developers can explore official Google resources, such as the “What’s new in Lighthouse 11” and Lighthouse 11 release notes, to stay updated on advancements and announcements.
Q10: What is the overall impact of Google’s Lighthouse 11 on website performance optimization?
A: Google’s release of Lighthouse 11 and its integration into PageSpeed Insights significantly improves website performance and user experience. With enhanced tools, developers can address issues, align with best practices, and ensure exceptional user experiences on their websites.
Featured Image Credit: Justin Morgan; Unsplash – Thank you!