Google Launches New Web.Dev Site Audit Tool

I love to optimize my sites as much as I can, and I use tools like GTMetrix to test them to see where I can eek out more performance. Google launched a new site this week, Web.dev, but it looks at more than just performance.

Web.dev, a site launched this week, will audit your site for not only performance, but also SEO and accessibility. Other tools do not offer this comprehensive a look at your site.

Web.dev looks at five distinct areas of your site. First is performance. A fast site is a happy site, and your visitors appreciate things loading as quickly possible.

Second is PWA, or progressive web apps. This is a relatively new area of site development and I don’t think many sites will score high here. This site scored a 58, as you can see below. It’s good they are getting developers and site managers aware of PWAs.

Third is what Google calls “best practices.” This will review if your site is being served over HTTPS, if you are sizing your images correctly, and so on. It also looks if you’re serving over HTTP/2, which I am a big proponent of.

While not a comprehensive SEO audit, the service will give you guidance as to things you can address on your site in terms of search engines.

Finally, the tool checks for common accessibility issues. This is important, and something the vast majority of sites are not paying attention to.

What Web.Dev Reports Are Like

Here’s a look at the report for this site. I know I’d do well in performance and SEO, and I was right. Where I struggle is with best practices and accessibility. It’s an eye-opening report, to be sure.

Web.dev report for this page

After the initial scoreboard, Web.dev ranks, in order of importance, what issues to address in each of the areas. For me, the most critical are accessibility.

Ranked Issues to address from Web.dev report

What I like about this tool is you can log in with your Google account and track your progress over time for your sites. You can also download a report version that goes into more detail about  your progress across the areas.

For this site, it showed in detail what it’s testing against in each of the five areas. For accessibility, this is especially helpful so I know where I need to pay attention to.

Here is my full report, so you can see the level of detail the tool goes into. While not in the on-screen report, the downloadable version went as far as to tell me that the version of jQuery I’m running has potential security issues. That’s helpful!

Is the tool perfect? No, but it’s a work in progress. For example, the tool was reporting that several of my stylesheets on this site and the Gas Mark 8 site weren’t being served over HTTP/2 when I know they are, and Chrome’s inspector confirms they are.

I hope Google continues to support and develop this tool. I think it’s a nice complement to existing site testing services like GTMetrix and WebPageTest.

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