Web Monitoring

Web Site Monitoring and Performance Insights

Web Audience That Prefers To Watch Rather Than Read.

You can’t have a media site without video, and apparently, if a little video is good, a lot of video is better. It’s the heart and soul of entertainment sites. It’s de rigueur for the broadcast news networks.

And the Web has given traditional print journalism brands the opportunity to compete on broadcast journalism’s video turf. New technology has made it almost as easy to shoot, edit and post a video online as to prepare a written story with accompanying photos. Online media sites, with help from YouTube, have enabled a mass Web audience that prefers to watch rather than read.

There’s also no faster way to lose an audience than with a video stream that stutters and constantly stops to rebuffer. But again, monitoring streams from multiple servers or domains, and understanding actual end-user performance, is a significant test and measurement challenge.

 

Related Posts;

1. What can you do to make sure your site is ready

2. Website Media Availability Monitoring

3. Mobile Browser Compatibility

 

February 11, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

What can you do to make sure your site is mobile ready?

So what can you do to make sure your site is  ready?

  • Monitor your site regularly to determine fluctuations in performance. With regular monitoring you can identify key areas where your mobile site isn’t holding up in terms of speed and reliability.  You don’t know when a natural disaster will strike. If it happens and users aren’t sitting at their desk, chances are that they’ll be reaching for their smartphone. Under normal conditions it’s not uncommon to see increases in mobile traffic outside of traditional working hours.  During an emergency or big news story, that percentage can grow quite a bit.
  • Load test your site to make sure it can handle certain amounts of traffic, especially for uncertain conditions. Let’s say that your website is well-built, like a brick house (as opposed to straw or sticks), at some level of visitor traffic it will come down. It’s important that you know that breaking point so that you can be prepared for all but the unlikeliest of scenarios.  When a Category 5 storm hits, resulting in a flood of hits to your mobile website, don’t leave your visitors in the dark because your server can’t handle the load.

These are basic recommendations for any company with a website.  But for a company providing news and information to an increasingly mobile population, they should be standard practice.

 

Related Links

  1. Monitoring User Experience of the Cloud
  2. Enhance Web Performance with Best practices
  3. Website Performance: More Than Just Speed
  4. The impact of web load testing on performance

 

January 2, 2013 Posted by | Mobile Monitoring, site monitoring, Web Load Testing | , | Leave a comment

Why You Should Load Test.

“In early years an average web page was ~300K, 50 objects. Today 679K & 85 objects < Great answer for…Why you should load test.”

When a site is under load, the page size and number of objects is usually not the problem. We solved this delimna 10 years ago, and it’s called a content delivery network. Anyone can deliver static content.

The problem is application stability under load. Indeed, the cloud promises this but isn’t a solution for good architecture and the hard work designing a system without singular bottlenecks. The real reason we load test is to determine how well the application scales under a realistic load, modeled correctly.

How do you resolve the bottlenecks? Do you understand your system’s queuing behavior? These are the real questions that load testing answers.

Explore better options for Web Load Testing from the Internet cloud, whether you want to do it yourself or have someone do it for you.

 

Related Links

1.  Load Testing Your Way

2. Web load testing gives you peace of mind

3. Page Load Time and User Expectations

November 26, 2012 Posted by | Web Load Testing, Website Performance | , | Leave a comment

Why should you optimize your mobile site for the holidays?

A study from Comscore revealed that 4 out of 5 of the US’s ~86 million smartphone users accessed retail content on their smartphone during July 2012.

Many smartphone users check pricing and deals on their phones even while visiting a physical store. If your site is fast and responsive, you could win new customers or solidify relationships with current users. While mobile shoppers love apps, mobile web enables them to search new sites quickly and efficiently during sales.

Assuming you have a mobile-friendly site, here are few questions to ask to ensure a smooth holiday shopping experience:

1. What is weighing down your site?
2. Are you taking advantage of holiday opportunities?
3. Do you load test and monitor the site regularly?
4. The final question remains: Is your mobile site ready for the holidays?

Related Articles:

1. Improving Web Performance

2. The challenge of keeping up with customers on the go

3. Web Performance and Third Party Content

October 29, 2012 Posted by | Web Monitoring, web performance | , , , , , | Leave a comment

At what costs do mobile gaming sites stay competitive on performance?

The growth of mobile games is inevitable with the growth of mobile devices that enable them including  feature phones, smartphones, tablets and even e-Readers. Adverse to many websites, mobile is a main focus for mobile gaming companies like Rovio.

While their desktop load speed leaves something to be desired, Rovio is the fastest social gaming site on the iPad and second fastest on the iPhone (with a speed of seven seconds). Rovio improved their site by redirecting iPad and iPhone users to a lighter, mobile optimized site.

Papaya Mobile is another mobile gaming site, loading at a blazing 2.58 seconds on the iPhone, leveraging best practices and simply requiring a login screen as the first step to access the site. The login screen loads very quickly because of its simplicity, a great way to get your gamers on the site efficiently with minimal wait.

While most mobile gaming sites focus on their mobile speed and reliability to retain their loyal customers. Crowdsart ahs managed to integrate the best of mobile and desktop performance and reliability.

Although Rovio and Papaya charge forward for quick mobile speeds to target their main demographics, leveraging best practices and monitoring slight changes in website devlopment can give many developers the ability to optimize a better overall experience over all three screens.

The Keynote Systems’ Startup Shootout Index provides some insight into the three-screen challenge now facing anyone with a web presence. It shows a website’s weekly average web load time and download success rate (availability) on desktops, smartphones, and tablets. Let’s take a look at mobile gaming, but the lessons here apply to any sites optimizing – or not optimizing – for three screens.

August 14, 2012 Posted by | Mobile Monitoring, website monitoring | , , , | Leave a comment

Speed and Tenacity: the Apple iPad Outage

We’ve heard a lot recently about the importance of speed and performance when it comes to online retail. The New York Times highlighted research from Microsoft claiming that 250 milliseconds—a mere eye blink—could make the difference between a repeat visitor and a lost customer. And a popular infographic touts that Amazon would stand to lose $1.6 billion in sales per year from a 1 second web page delay. Our friends at Walmart.com have also shared some awesome research linking web performance to conversion.

These statistics are welcome news for the web performance community. But sometimes they don’t apply. With Apple, a lot of rules don’t apply.

This past weekend, Apple sold a record 3 million new iPad 3 tablets. That’s pretty phenomenal. Yet, it came on the back of a pretty bad outage only 10 days before.Apple-store-scatter

On March 7, Apple announced the new iPad 3. For effectively the entire day, the Apple Store was unavailable. That meant no one could check out the new iPad, nor purchase iPhones, MacBooks or anything else.

To Apple’s credit, the Apple store normally runs very quickly—averaging well less than 2 seconds for total User Experience Time and less a second for Time to First Paint. (The Apple Store is a member of the Keynote Retail Performance Index, measured with Keynote Transaction Perspective.)

We’ve written previously about the concept of tenacity. A website visitor’s tolerance for errors, or delays, is a major factor when balancing the cost and benefit of building capacity and engineering performance into Web applications. While Apple’s fanatic customer base is an extreme, it illustrates the point that there’s a continuum of performance expectations for users.

Apple-store-trend Your product/service is unique. And your customers are also unique. Keynote web load testing consultants dig into web analytics to model user behavior. They consider familiarity, tenacity, interaction speed and connection speed when developing virtual user profiles. It may be unrealistic for you to understand how different levels of performance impact your various customer types across all these variables. But if you can begin to understand them, you’ll be in a better position for setting ongoing performance goals and SLAs—especially around tolerances for outliers from your averages.

June 15, 2012 Posted by | cloud application monitoring, cloud monitoring, cloud performance monitoring, Mobile Monitoring, Mobile Quality, mobile testing, transaction monitoring, web application monitoring, Web Load Testing, Web Monitoring, website monitoring, website monitoring services, Website Performance, Website Performance Monitoring | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

External Monitoring on how each page element is performing

You can control the construction of the page itself — adhering to best practices for placement of JavaScript, ad calls, tags, etc. on the page, and  load testing to make sure everything is loading quickly and smoothly, and that no elements are causing hang-ups or delays. The goal is to make sure pages perform flawlessly before any outside content hits them.

Unfortunately, this is where many site owners stop. The site goes into production, and from behind the firewall, everything appears to be snappy. There’s no reason users should be anything short of delighted. But unless the site is monitored out on the Web with all third-party content being fed, using a real browser just as a user would, there’s no way to tell that everything is working and that pages are loading in an acceptable timeframe.

Business people love data, and as indicated earlier, the use of tracking tags on Web pages has simply exploded. Not surprisingly, more tags equals more performance management challenges, particularly since multiple vendors are usually involved, presenting multiple opportunities for glitches.

Multi-sourced content is here to stay — businesses need it, and users want the end result. Content can be tamed and made to perform well by consistently, continuously following these best practices:

  1. Be sure your site is architected properly so that third-party content will have minimal impact on page load times — four seconds is the magic number, beyond with users abandon your site in droves.
  2. Scrutinize every third-party component to be sure it’s absolutely necessary; pare down the elements to only those needed to satisfy your site’s business and revenue objectives.
  3. Monitor the performance of each page component continuously, from the field with real browsers just as users would experience your site; when web performance issues come up, invoke your SLAs, negotiate a fix with the vendor, or lose the problem component.
  4. Practice good site hygiene — clean up unused tags on a regular basis.

Source: http://www.keynote.com/benchmark/new_media/article_third_party_performance.shtml

April 4, 2012 Posted by | Web Load Testing, web performance | , , , | Leave a comment

How to gain actionable data to demand better performance?

Site owners are more pressured than ever to deliver the fast, flawless experiences users now demand, and can often find at a competitor’s site. Monitoring and measuring their web performance is no longer the simple task of measuring overall page load time. There’s really nothing a webmaster can do with the information that the site is running slow. Is it their own content? The CDN that’s pushing out their videos? The sister site that’s hosting their image library? The Flash banner promoting upcoming programming on their TV network? Or the ad network servers that supply the bulk of the site’s revenue? Web load testing can help but,  How does the site owner identify the bottlenecks, and gain actionable data to demand better performance from weak providers in the content chain?

New technology has made it almost as easy to shoot, edit and post a video online as to prepare a written story with accompanying photos. Online media sites, with help from YouTube, have enabled a mass Web audience that prefers to watch rather than read.

There’s also no faster way to lose an audience than with a video stream that stutters and constantly stops to rebuffer. But again, monitoring streams from multiple servers or domains, and understanding actual end-user performance, is a significant test and measurement challenge.

Read More

February 29, 2012 Posted by | website monitoring | , , , | Leave a comment

Web Performance, More than just Speed

In addition to evaluating customer experience on a subjective level, the Keynote research assessed seven factors related to the site’s service levels:

  1. High-Speed Response
  2. Dial-up Response
  3. Response Time Consistency
  4. Geographic Uniformity
  5. Load Handling
  6. Availability
  7. Outage Hours

Three Bottlenecks That Block Traffic

Too many technical elements on a page: From small non-visual images to java scripts to unnecessary encryption, too many individual elements on a page can stifle performance

Java overload: The ubiquitous coding language is an important tool for developers, but every Java script can act like a tiny speed bump for browsers.

Proliferation of third-party tags: The rising number of third-party tags – DoubleClick ads and calls to third-party analytics services – can also hinder performance.

Mobile internet is another high-potential area for this market. Although the ability to book a car wirelessly has been around since about 2000, it’s still very much gaining traction. Mobile, of course, presents a whole new set of challenges for rental companies in terms of maintaining a positive user experience. Operating on a tiny screen will demand even more technical efficiency and optimization. But the opportunity is a great one, particularly for capturing busy business travelers on the go.

February 1, 2012 Posted by | Mobile Monitoring, Mobile Quality | , , , , | Leave a comment

Proof is in the Performance

The app has been put through its paces, revised and retested over and over, and now every effort to break it simply fails. Break out the champagne, it’s ready for release — but don’t celebrate too long. Because no app is ever ready to be left all on its own.

With websites, apps, basically anything in the online world, things can and will go wrong. There could be overload issues (because your app is so popular!), server issues somewhere in your network, unexpected usage patterns. Any number of things can dull the sparkle of your shiny new app today, tomorrow or six months from now. Constant vigilance is the key to happy users and a successful app.

That solution is monitoring. Perhaps not surprisingly, some of the same best practices for testing also apply to monitoring performance and availability, most notably, using real devices in real-life scenarios. How and what you monitor, though, is somewhat different from what you tested in the development phase.

Monitoring offers a similar public/private cloud choice as described above for testing. Keynote, for example, has a well-established infrastructure with a broad array of devices on different carriers in multiple locations around the world. An app owner can use this network for ongoing scheduled monitoring. Or, if security is a concern or if volume justifies it, Keynote will build a private cloud network with the devices and in the markets that matter most to the app owner. And with a private cloud, you have the luxury of doing more troubleshooting than you could do in a shared public environment, because you own all of the time on the devices. You can pause the application and monitoring script and interact with the app to see exactly what the end user sees and find out exactly what’s causing a problem.

Public or private, the key to an effective monitoring program is to find out quickly about problems before they become crises.

Read More @ http://keynote.com/benchmark/mobile_wireless/article_mobile_app_performance.shtml

December 21, 2011 Posted by | Mobile Monitoring, Mobile Quality, mobile testing | , , , , | Leave a comment