Measuring Site Performance— Part 1

BACKGROUND

Let me lay the foundation by saying — “Most websites and their users suffer from the slowness resulting from poor performance engineering or rather lack of focus on building sites that perform”. Traditional thinking is that we now have more powerful computers & servers with a lot of storage, memory, and CPU power — hence the website must perform better. But, consider the fact that the websites and applications have become more complex on the server side as well as extremely RICH on client-side — which screams for our attention as performance engineers to build sites that perform and not assume that it will perform.

Time-spent on Frontend vs. Backend (Statistical view)
Performance 101

TOOLS

I love the quote that says “What you can measure, you can optimize”. So, the key here is to move some of the eggs in the basket that will help you measure the performance of the pages.

  1. Synthetic monitoring & alerting (e.g. Alertsite, Catchpoint)
  2. Real-User Monitoring (RUM) (e.g. Dynatrace, NewRelic)
  3. Client-side (browser-based) Performance Measurement (e.g. Google Chrome Dev Tools)
  4. Measure, monitor, alert and generate actionable insights (e.g. Sitespeed.io, Chrome Dev Tools)
  5. Browser add-ons (e.g. Firefox add-ons and Chrome extensions)

NEED FOR SPEED

We will briefly discuss the need for speed by highlighting the key factors playing an important role here. Let us assume you use Google Analytics or Adobe SiteCatalyst type of tools to measure the effectiveness of the desktop & mobile web traffic, the marketing campaigns, sales, revenues, and the whole 10 yards of from where the customers are originating to their exit routes, drop-offs, bounce rates, productivity of employees, etc…

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