Monitoring to Optimize Your Page Speed

Chaos theory tells us that disruption strongly relates to time; and that the interval between chaos events either increases or decreases based on the amount of action. 

It sounds like a complex concept but the internet has managed to prove this theory and make it viral – not Rick Roll viral, more like DogeCoin viral – where profits are instantly influenced by volatile popularity.

Inside the internet, speed equals profit so it makes sense to monitor it…but what does that mean?  

There are two main equations to consider when it comes to your site and page speed:

  1. Increased Traffic = More Customers = More Money

AND

  1. Increased Traffic = Increased Risk for Slow Load = Greater Risk of Downtime

The success of the first depends on your ability to balance the second.

 

Free Tools are Great but Smart Tools are Better

Free speed tools can be useful for getting a snapshot of your webpage’s loading time, requests, performance, and overall usability. They can outline suggestions on how to optimize your site elements and code to reduce your page load times and manage your usability. Are your images in the best format? Is your text compressed? Have you reduced your unused CSS?

What most free tools can’t provide is speed monitoring at recurring intervals with in-depth response time data and analysis. Let’s discuss how to build that with Uptime.com checks.  

 

How to Build Monitoring for Speed

Page speed monitoring can be created using a combination of Uptime.com checks to paint a detailed portrait of data and analytics you can use to optimize your website and your user experience. The first element is the simplest: HTTP(S).

Our HTTP(S) check will confirm your site is returning 200 OK (that it’s up), and also provide response time graphs and time-based alerting through configuration of the timeout threshold for your checks. 

How does this help you improve your speed? HTTP(S) checks tell you how fast your server is responding, which is like the engine for your rocket ship. The data returned doesn’t tell you if every aspect of your site is up, but it does let you know that your site is accessible and provides an idea of how long it takes to serve the end user some data (think product imagery and clickable objects). 

Consider it the gateway check to speed data. If your site isn’t accessible it doesn’t matter if you’ve streamlined your media content.

 

Advanced Check Types for Page Speed

API checks allow you to monitor your API with multiple HTTP(s) requests and check for multiple response codes so you can get response time metrics on all of your endpoints.

Expand your data with synthetic monitoring through Transaction checks which give you a clear idea of how fast your site performs through response time graphs as well as response time data for each check step. Create checks to monitor your shopping carts, login pages, and subscription forms and receive browser console data and screenshots to help zero in on problematic elements should your check go down. 

Transaction checks dive deeper into monitoring response times and functionality of single processes so you’re not just monitoring your page for speed, but the individual site processes responsible for receiving payment, collecting user emails, and all of your important income generating actions.

The complement to synthetic monitoring, RUM checks collect the load time data of all site visitors and alerts if response time goes over a certain threshold. RUM reporting displays a lot of the data you’d expect to see from a typical page speed test; load times, visitors, etc. but in an elevated way, expressing visitor demographics, browser info, and device type.

 

Love at First Byte

First Byte is the time from request to receipt of the first meaningful byte of HTML data. So from first byte through total request time, you can trust Uptime.com for accuracy.

We wouldn’t be us if we didn’t woo you with metrics and data. The combination of response time metrics and RUM reports will let you achieve the same (or better) results as our free page speed tool, only with more control over customizable thresholds and step-by-step response time data.

But why stop there? Why limit your page speed reporting to the framework of our UI. Response time graph data is exportable (either PDF or XLS) so you can download and compile metrics to create as detailed of a picture as you desire.

We also integrate with many popular DevOps tools who support receiving metrics so you can transport your mission-critical data to the destination of your choice.

If you need more, we provide a REST API which can provide the metrics you need in a 1-min resolution. The details of the API may be found under Settings> API, simply review our documentation or try our Browsable API

 

From us to you: Here’s our endpoint for response time metrics. https://uptime.com/api/v1/checks/checks_response_time_list/.

 

The Fast Lane: Navigating Page Speed

The time it takes to establish a connection to your website is the first piece of data you need to collect. From there you navigate through a sea of parameters from DNS lookup speeds, to sending web requests, redirects, and the time it takes to negotiate a secure SSL/TLS connection.

You’ll also need to know your total load time, file size, and download speed to get a full representation of how quickly your server is able to retrieve files.

The final piece of the puzzle is location. Our free tool will give you the IP address of the server used for the page speed test, though custom monitoring lets you not only configure, but Run Test from all the locations available to your account, even any private locations you have configured. 

Regardless of whether you choose a free tool, or a more tailored solution, our Support team is available to help guide you through speed monitoring so you can keep your site up and your chaos events down. Don’t hesitate to reach out, or try our 100% free (no credit card required)  21-day free trial.

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Emily Blitstein is a technical content writer for Uptime.com. With a background in writing, editing, and global HR, Emily is committed to delivering informative and relatable content to the Uptime.com user community. Aside from travel, she enjoys making short stop-motion animations, and live music.

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