I've been a fan of web optimization ever since installing the first YSlow plugin for Firebug around 2005. I worked those Cache-Control headers, built image maps, minified CSS and JS for years to get a grade A.
The web is a very different place today than it was back then, but the need for optimizing for speed has only gone up. Ironically, even more so today, because as devices and networks get faster, the websites we visit get heavier and slower.
A bit of history
In May 2020, amidst the global pandemic, Google announced something called Core Web Vitals. It was a set of metrics telling something about a website's loading speed, responsiveness to user input and visual stability. The kicker was that optimizing for these metrics would give you an opportunity to rank better (or worse) on Google's search result pages.
That sure got everybody's attention! 👀
Google released a set of free and open-source tools to help measure the metrics - PageSpeed Insights and Lighthouse as a part of Chrome DevTools. This was great and sparked a frenzy to score 100s across the board (not something we recommend).
Put Lighthouse on auto-pilot
Having to run the reports manually has a significant drawback, however. When you're done optimizing, you tend to get back to your regular work, but the problem is that web performance degrades over time if nobody watches it. Maybe the marketing team adds a slow loading contact form or popup. Maybe your cookie consent provider doubles the footprint of their widget over night.
This was the reason PageVitals was built. With PageVitals you can run automated Lighthouse tests every day, see performance trends over time, and get notified the moment something's off. You can set performance budgets that you want to stay within.
PageVitals lets you view your Lighthouse reports in a UI that we believe gives a better overview than Google's own Lighthouse report viewer. We let you compare and chart your metrics so you never miss a beat.
Fast is green 🌿
Today, a fast website isn't just a nice to have feature - it's a basic necessity. A slow and heavy website gets you de-ranked on Google, kills your conversion rates (especially among mobile users), but has another lesser-known side effect: sending heavy images across the wire and running huge scripts on users' devices wastes power and therefore increases your website's carbon emissions.
PageVitals was created to empower web performance teams, to help build a performance culture across the whole organization, and to democratize web performance. We believe every company with a website should get in the game.
We'd be thrilled if you want to take PageVitals for a spin and tell us what you think.
Lasse Schou, PageVitals founder, february 2023