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NEW: Lighthouse v8 support!

Google Lighthouse logo

After Google's announcement about Lighthouse 8 this past month, we have updated our test agents. We've gotten a lot of questions about what has changed and the impact on your performance metrics, so here's a summary.

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Test agent updates: Lighthouse 8.0.0

We are rolling out an update to our test agents. Changes include:

  • Lighthouse has been updated from version 7.5.0 to 8.0.0

Test agent updates: Chrome 91, Lighthouse 7.5

Updated test agents are being rolled out to all regions today. They include updates to several pieces of core software, including:

  • Chrome has been updated from version 89 to 91
  • Lighthouse has been updated from version 7.3.0 to 7.5.0

Test agent updates: Chrome 89, Lighthouse 7.3

Updated test agents are being rolled out to all regions today. They include updates to several pieces of core software, including:

  • Chrome has been updated from version 88 to 89
  • Lighthouse has been updated from version 7.2.0 to 7.3.0

Please note that Chrome 89 includes minor changes to Cumulative Layout Shift and First Contentful Paint. These changes may affect the CLS and FCP values on your pages.

Test agent updates: Chrome 88, Firefox 85, Lighthouse 7.2

Updated test agents will be rolled on Monday 1 March (NZDT) to all regions. They include updates to several pieces of core software, including:

  • Chrome has been updated from version 84 to 88
  • Firefox has been updated from version 78 to 85
  • Lighthouse has been updated from version 6.1.1 to 7.2.0
  • SpeedCurve now uses Lighthouse's own simulated throttling to more closely match how Lighthouse runs in other environments. This should not have a noticeable impact on your Lighthouse scores.

There have been several changes in Chrome that may affect your metrics, including some general performance improvements as well as changes to some Web Vitals metrics. While we can't predict how these changes will affect your pages, in general, we have noticed the following trends:

  • Lighthouse performance scores are generally consistent, but are lower for some pages due to LCP and CLS changes mentioned below.
  • CPU scripting time and other CPU-bound metrics like First CPU Idle are slightly lower (JS execution is faster).
  • CPU layout time is lower (layouts are faster).
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) is slightly higher for some pages. This is more pronounced on mobile.
  • Largest Contentful Paint is higher for some pages.

Test agent updates: Lighthouse throttling bug fix, Chrome 84, Firefox 78, Lighthouse 6.1.1

Updated test agents will be rolled on Wednesday 29 July (NZDT) to all regions. They include updates to several pieces of core software, including:

  • A bug that caused Lighthouse tests for some mobile profiles to be double-throttled has been fixed
  • Chrome has been updated from version 83 to 84
  • Firefox has been updated from version 77 to 78
  • Lighthouse has been updated from version 6.1.0 to 6.1.1
  • Incremental updates to wptagent

NEW: Lighthouse v6 support!

Google Lighthouse logo

Lighthouse v6 has arrived! The much-anticipated update to Lighthouse is now available to SpeedCurvers as part of our latest test agent updates. Keep reading to find out what this means and how it may affect your performance metrics.

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Test agent updates: Chrome 83, Firefox 77, Lighthouse 6

Updated test agents are being rolled out to all regions today. They include updates to several pieces of core software, including:

  • Chrome has been updated from version 78.0 to 83.0.
  • Firefox has been updated from version 70.0 to 77.0.
  • Lighthouse has been updated from version 5.6.0 to 6.1.0.
  • Lighthouse test runs now use the official throttling settings for mobile and desktop.
  • Incremental updates to wptagent.

We have been testing these new agents in parallel with our existing agents. While we can't predict exactly how the updates will affect your metrics, here are a few observations we have made:

  • Lighthouse performance scores for mobile tests stay roughly the same.
  • Lighthouse performance scores for desktop tests should be much higher. This is due to changes in throttling. SpeedCurve used the default mobile throttling for all tests in Lighthouse v5.6. Desktop tests in Lighthouse v6.1 now use a much faster network connection.
  • Visual metrics like Start Render and Hero Element Render stay roughly the same. Improvements have been made to how Largest Contentful Paint is calculated that may change its value for some pages.
  • Total JS CPU time is reduced in almost all tests, with other CPU-related metrics like First CPU Idle being slightly reduced as well.

For more information about how SpeedCurve is running Lighthouse v6 and how it differs to v5.6, take a look at Cliff's video on this.

Test agent updates: Chrome 78, Firefox 70, Lighthouse 5.6.0

Today we're pushing updated test agents to all SpeedCurve regions. The major changes in this update are:

We are not expecting these updates to affect your metrics, but as usual please contact support@speedcurve.com if you have any issues.

Sporadic Lighthouse issues

The release of Chrome 74 on 23 April 2019 caused sporadic issues with Lighthouse tests. These issues appear to have been resolved with the release of Chrome 75, however you may see some missing Lighthouse data in your SpeedCurve dashboards during the month of May 2019.

Performance improvement checklist for your whole site

One of the longest-standing items on my performance monitoring tool wishlist is an automatically-generated performance improvement checklist, with the improvements ordered by the impact that they will have on the website. In a previous life, I spent countless hours writing performance reports and conducting A/B performance tests to figure out which change would have the biggest impact on a website's performance.

So I'm understandably very excited that today we're announcing the new Improve dashboard – a prioritised performance improvement checklist that aggregates Lighthouse and Google PageSpeed results across all the URLs in your site to identify the most impactful performance changes you can make.

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Lighthouse scores now available in your test results

In the year since Google rolled out Lighthouse, it's safe to say that "Will you be adding Lighthouse scoring?" is one the most common questions we've fielded here at SpeedCurve HQ. And since Google cranked up the pressure on sites to deliver better mobile performance (or suffer the SEO consequences) earlier this month, we've been getting that question even more often.

We take a rigorous approach to adding new metrics. We think the best solution is always to give you the right data, not just more data. So we're very happy to announce that after much analysis and consideration, we've added Lighthouse scores to SpeedCurve. Here's why – as well as how you can see your scores if you're already a SpeedCurve user.

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New metric: Lighthouse scores

We take a rigorous approach to adding new metrics. We think the best solution is always to give you the right data, not just more data. So we're very happy to announce that after much analysis and consideration, we've added Lighthouse scores to SpeedCurve.

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