Optimal compares websites for quality across different content management systems, design systems and segments. It analyses sites on SEO, performance, accessibility, best practices and security.
Optimal is a showcase site, developed by Morpht, a full stack web development agency based in Sydney Australia. One day we need to know a bit more about the landscape of government websites in Australia. We wanted an automated means of determining the quality of sites across a number dimensions. This site is the result of us scratching an itch.
Dimensions of analysis
One of our primary aims was to discover whether the CMS is responsible for the quality of the sites hosted on it. You would expect so. Which CMSs were best in this regard. We specialise in Drupal and so it is interesting to see how the various CMS line up in this regard.
We also do a lot of work with differing design systems, which include Bootstrap, The Australian Government Design System and the NSW Design System. Each of these design systems are the result of many hours of hard work optimising accessibility and client side performance. What will the results be for those?
Finally we group the various sites into different “segments”. This allows us to pool sites together to see how they are performing as a group. We’re then able to compare one segment against a base comparison segment to see how it is performing. Segments cover a wide range of things and are created as we carry out research in to different areas.
How does the site work?
The main technology we have used to compare the sites is Lighthouse, which is an open source project produced by Google. It produces a wide range of data along with some handy summary statistics for performance, accessibility, SEO and best practices. Each site in the system is processed by Lighthouse and the results are stored away. The Lighthouse process is continually running and so results will be updated over time.
We also analyse the content and headers an the site in question to better match the CMS and calculate a security score. The ssecurity score is based around the use of HTTPS ad the presence of a number of security headers.
These five attributes (performance, accessibility, SEO, best practices and security) are then averged to produce a final score which determines the ranking of the site in he various categories it belongs.
Every 15 minutes an aggregation script is run across each of the categories. It produces average statistics which drive the rankings and chart data.
I'd like to see how my sites perform
The site has been an interesting experiment for us. It has been quite insightful for seeing how things shake out. We realise this might be helpful to other organisation which run a fleet of sites. Comparing them in this way could be helpful to see where the biggest gains can be made in terms of quality. Morpht is available for conulting work if you would like us to put in your sites and produce a report. Please get in touch if you would like to find out more.
We hope you enjoy using the site.