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PageSpeed Insights Gets a Makeover

Google has launched an improved version of their PageSpeed Insights tool, which is now powered by the highly regarded ‘Lighthouse’ analysis engine. The issue of page load speed and finding ways to improve this has long been a campaign by Google, but their multiple tools have used different engines with varying results, so this latest move aims to streamline this with a detailed set of results that are more consistent.

This change means that web developers can now get the same performance audits and recommendations everywhere, including on the web, from the command line, and in Chrome DevTools. This latest version of PageSpeed Insights (PSI) also incorporates field data provided by the Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX) and so all previous versions of the PSI tool will be deprecated over the next six months.

If you now analyse your site using the PageSpeed Insights online tool you can get the following information:

  • Lab Data. PSI fetches and analyzes the page using Lighthouse, which simulates how a mobile device loads a page. It computes a set of performance metrics for the page and summarises these metrics with a performance score from 0-100. Scores are categorised into three levels with 90 and up is considered to be a good score.
  • Field Data. PSI also displays real-world performance metrics for the page and its origin.  Note that not all sites may have field data available for display. The data set relies on a version of the Chrome User Experience Report that is updated daily and is aggregated over the previous 28 days. Keep in mind that the metrics here may be different from the ones in the Lab Data section as they capture a wide spectrum of real-world network conditions and devices used by Chrome users.
  • Opportunities. PSI provides suggestions on how to improve the page’s performance metrics. Each suggestion in this section estimates how much faster the page will load if the improvement is implemented.
  • Diagnostics. This section provides additional information about how a page adheres to best practices for web development.

You can access the updated PSI tool here, and it’s worth checking your site performance on a regular basis, and where issues are highlighted, discuss these with your website developer to try to improve the performance of your website.

For more information about this tool and the results it can show, please contact us.