Easy Agent Pro is committed to providing quality, performant real estate websites. Having a large customer base has allowed us to view web-speed from many different angles including: load speed, quality of interaction, lead capture resource management, and of course loading properties via IDX.
We have an amazing group of talented agents who are determined to capture leads online and grow their business. Our clients demand speed, quality, and progress – and we make sure we deliver on all three. Every so often, our support team is asked questions about speed and speed testing tools online. This post is designed to help you understand what’s important to know about speed testing, while also sharing our perspective on the engineering decisions we’ve made for LeadSites.
Google uses this to power all of their various tools online: LightHouse.
As you can see from that link, this performance monitoring tool is not for measuring typical websites.
It is a tool that is designed for “Auditing, performance metrics, and best practices for Progressive Web Apps”.
Progressive Web Apps are a new technology that Google has created as a possible web standard in the last few years. They are spending a lot of marketing money trying to popularize it and promote it to app developers. PWAs help Google’s core business model as it drives businesses away from developing native apps controlled by Apple and towards the web which drives their core search engine business.
That being said, PWAs include many good ideas and concepts for building a more scalable web:
Not only is Lighthouse an ineffective tool for testing websites, but it is still a work in progress.
Currently there are 420+ open GitHub issues regarding bugs for their tool.
As an example, here’s one bug that our team has identified:
At the time of writing this, there is currently a bug with the tool where scoring 100% is impossible.
If you implement their service worker tips as prescribed, you’ll catch an error in the HTTP/2.0 warning section for not delivering all content over HTTP/2.0.
Google is still experimenting with the metrics they track, how they track them, how they score them, and what the perfect balance looks like. As a result their scoring is changed monthly and prioritization of different PWA aspects can move the score dramatically depending on when you test your site.
LeadSites are very much a website and not a Progressive Web App.
While we’re looking forward to expanding into Progressive Web Apps, they are not widely supported just yet.
The core of support comes from Google’s own Desktop Chrome browser. That means Apple’s Safari, Facebook’s Mobile Browser and numerous other mobile devices do not currently support some of the core technology being pushed by Progressive Web Apps.
LeadSites are a real estate website with 20+ apps and tools built in to help real estate agents grow and manage their business. Measuring the performance of a LeadSite against a PWA simply is not realistic. Websites allow users to manage their own content, upload images and videos, as well as display IDX over the web. By their very nature, websites are less controlling and restrictive than PWAs, but sacrifice some speed features along the way.
Therefore, to compare apples to apples (websites to websites) a better tool to measure the performance of a LeadSite (or any website) is a tool like WebPageTest.org. This tool was also made by a Googler.
LeadSites typically score 4 A’s and 1 B on this test.
This is a very good score. This score is above average for most business websites, and real estate websites include far more than the average business website.
And that’s not mentioning that our sites include 20-30 IDX listings and images per page, as well as our 20+ apps that make it easier to manage your real estate business.
These tools can get dramatically different results.
For example, did you know adding or removing “https” from your url can have VERY different results?
Your site url is probably “https://yourwebsite.com”.
You will see a lower score if you put “yourwebsite.com” or “www.yourwebsite.com” into the tool.
This is because your site will go through a redirect until it’s at the correct endpoint.
Additionally, if this is the first time in 15 minutes your site has been loaded in that specific region of the country, it will take longer than consecutive loads.
As you can see, there are many inaccuracies that can arise from testing with incorrect conditions and/or tools.
While we are happy with where we are now, in late Spring of 2018, we started moving LeadSites toward a PWA.
We aren’t kidding when we say we think PWAs are a-mazing!
All new apps and features are designed with this in mind.
We expect to continue to push the boundaries of what is possible for a real estate website throughout 2019 and 2020.
Here’s a few features that you have on your site right now: