WordPress-localized Lighthouse Audits

Lighthouse is an open-source, automated tool for improving the quality of web pages. You give Lighthouse a URLURL A specific web address of a website or web page on the Internet, such as a website’s URL www.wordpress.org to evaluate (public or requiring authentication), and it runs a series of audits against the page for performance, accessibilityAccessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility), progressive web app capabilities, and more. It then generates a report on how well the page did. Using the failing audits as guidance developers and site owners can get insights on how to improve their pages. Each audit has a reference doc explaining why the audit is important, as well as how to fix it.

However, when running a Lighthouse audit on a specific environment such as a WordPress site, the recommendations are often too generic to be applicable. For example, when Lighthouse asks you to concatenate resources, how could you actually go about it in a WordPress context? This becomes especially tricky because several of those assets are likely not under your control, but are introduced by a third-party extension.

We are considering the development of a project called WordPress-localized Advice Packs for Lighthouse, with the goal of providing WordPress-specific guidance using Lighthouse. With it, WordPress developers and site owners will get the results from Lighthouse audits tailored to the realities of the WordPress platform. 

This is a project to be maintained by the WordPress community, working together with input from the Chrome and Lighthouse teams at Google. As with WordPress coding standardsWordPress Coding Standards The Accessibility, PHP, JavaScript, CSS, HTML, etc. coding standards as published in the WordPress Coding Standards Handbook. May also refer to The collection of PHP_CodeSniffer rules (sniffs) used to format and validate PHP code developed for WordPress according to the PHP coding standards., the WordPress community is best positioned to make sure that the Lighthouse WordPress Localized Advice Pack is accurate, up to date, and satisfies the needs of the community as a whole.

We will be at WCUS Contributor’s Day in Nashville next week, and will discuss this proposal at the support table. If you are interested in learning more about this proposal and possibly contribute to the project, we would love you to join the conversation. Looking forward to it!