With the advent of mobile devices, it was crucial to have a tool to better validate if our web pages are compatible with mobile phones and tablets. This is where Google’s “Mobile Optimization Test” tool came into play. Indeed, for several years, web developers and businesses had access to this powerful tool to validate their websites. It could be used during the development process, during validation, and throughout the life of the website. And then… bad news arrived. For regular users, it can be seen on the website page: “This tool will be removed on November 30, 2023. To test the mobile ergonomics of a page, use Chrome Lighthouse.” In other words, users will no longer be able to use it. However, Google recommends using Lighthouse. In this article, we will briefly see how Google’s tool managed to help businesses. Then, we will see how to leverage Lighthouse to accomplish the same tasks.
What is the “Mobile Optimization Test” tool?
It is a tool that allows website owners to check if their web pages are optimized for a mobile experience. It analyzes a specific URL and provides information about the mobile friendliness of the page.
To use it, you can visit the Google Mobile-Friendly Test page, enter your site’s URL, and the tool will give you a report indicating whether your site is mobile-friendly or not. It also provides suggestions to improve mobile friendliness if needed.
Some results obtained via the “Mobile Optimization Test” tool
When you enter your website link in the form, the platform performs an analysis for a few seconds. Then, it displays a message on the screen to indicate whether your page is usable on mobile.
If your website is not usable, Google will give you some recommendations for improvement. You can also use the Google Search Console for more advanced features.
How can Lighthouse take over?
If you didn’t know, in your Chrome browser, you have access to a feature that allows you to perform some validations on the pages of your website. Indeed, through this tool, you will be able to scan the current page and have a much more detailed report with other aspects of your website. To access it, simply right-click and then select inspect. In the right screen menu, you will see developer options, among which is Lighthouse.
How to use Lighthouse?
As I briefly mentioned earlier, to use Lighthouse, you need to:
- Visit the page you want to analyze in your Chrome browser
- Select “Inspect” to access developer options
- In the right screen menu, you will see tabs at the top of the screen.
- Select Lighthouse
When you select Lighthouse, you will have data similar to this…
In the middle option, you can choose the “Mobile” option if you want to analyze the mobile version of your page. Alternatively, select “Desktop” if you want to analyze the desktop version.