Akinleye Oyinbayode Peters
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Auditing Your Websites And Web Applications

Auditing Your Websites And Web Applications

Akinleye Oyinbayode Peters's photo
Akinleye Oyinbayode Peters
ยทJul 11, 2022ยท

3 min read

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Table of contents

  • Metrics for auditing
  • Tools for web auditing
  • Auditing your web application
  • Conclusion
  • Further Reading

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines an audit as "a methodical examination and review". In web development, an audit is simply an examination (or inspection) carried out on websites (web apps) to ensure that they are well optimized and adhere to set best practices.

In this article, we will learn about some metrics on which web applications are audited, popular tools to audit our web applications, and how to audit our web applications.

Metrics for auditing

Performance

In condensed form, Web Performance measures the overall user experience (UX) and loading time of your application. These may include how fast it takes your application to be interactive, how long it takes to load media and file resources etc.

Accessibility

While building web applications, it is important to build with accessibility in mind. Web accessibility is a measure of how well web pages offer inclusivity to users with disabilities e.g. visual, hearing, and cognitive impairments. Examples of building with accessibility in view include;

  • Writing semantic HTML (HTML5 tags like main, section, aside etc.)
  • Transcription for audio contents and captions for video contents
  • Alternative texts for media contents
  • Total keyboard functionality (onPress tab key, move to next element)

Best Practices

Best Practices measure how much your application follows set guidelines. These may range from website security to good UX to avoiding obsolete technologies. Following best practices ensures that your application is more secure and less susceptible to web security attacks. Examples include;

  • Ensuring that no browser errors log to the console. (console.log() ๐Ÿ‘€)
  • Properly defining character set in HTML Heading tag
  • Ensuring that web pages are SSL Certified (HTTPS)

SEO

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the practice of improving the visibility of your web application when queried on search engines like Google, Bing, Duckduckgo, etc. In the context of web auditing, it is a measure of how well search engines understand your web applications. Some examples include;

  • Ensuring that HTML Document has a meta description
  • Links should have descriptive texts
  • robots.txt file should be valid to enable web crawling

Tools for web auditing

There are many tools out there for performing web audits. Examples are;

For the sake of convenience, I'd suggest you stick with Google Lighthouse as it is a chrome extension and enables you to perform web audits without leaving your application.

Auditing your web application

For the sake of this tutorial, we will be using Google Lighthouse to perform a simple audit on Reactjs.org N.B: If you are using chrome, it comes inbuilt to DevTools.

  1. Navigate to Reactjs.org and run Ctrl + Shift + i to open your DevTools
  2. Click on the Lighthouse tab LightHouse.png Leave the mode as default. You can also toggle between desktop and mobile view
  3. Click on the Analyze Page Load button and wait until the audit completes

LightHouse2.png Here, we have the audit's result and the least score being 92/100. The result implies that Reactjs.org is well optimized and conforms to best practices. You can scroll down to read more about the results and learn how further optimize your code for production.

Conclusion

We learned what a web audit is, metrics for auditing, tools for auditing, and how to audit our web applications. As we learned, it is of importance to ensure that our applications are as optimized as possible to reduce user friction and improve the UX of our applications.

I hope you learned something new and will be applying it to the next project you build.

Further Reading

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