Seconds Matter: Why Monitoring Website Uptime Alone isn’t Enough

It takes 50 milliseconds for visitors to decide whether to bounce from your website, that’s .05 seconds, or about half the time it takes you to blink. In website monitoring we talk a lot about uptime, and while making sure your site returns 200 OK is important, if your load time isn’t instant you’ll lose traffic regardless.

There’s an old saying – it takes years to build a reputation and seconds to destroy it – in this case, milliseconds. On the internet, the more reputation you have, the longer people will wait (but it won’t stop them from complaining). Think about the major entertainment apps you use, or websites you visit like Amazon. If there’s a load time issue with Amazon customers are  likely to hang out over the refresh button while Amazon fixes the problem. But what if you’re not a multi-billion dollar company? There are a few steps you can take to monitor and test your load speed to ensure you’re not losing visitors.

 

Start with Real User Monitoring

Real User Monitoring (RUM) reports on how users interact with your website; first load time, browser and device type, and geographical information are compiled to give you a comprehensive view into your actual (not synthetic) user data. 

RUM data can be used to gauge your site’s user experience and review areas that can be improved to make user interactions better; maybe your code can be streamlined, or your media formats optimized, RUM gives you the metrics you need to make those decisions.

Setting up a RUM check with Uptime.com is easy. Simply paste an html code snippet into your page code and start receiving metrics. RUM can give you a baseline to improve from, and then provide continuous monitoring to help you keep your site running smoothly. 

 

Set Thresholds

Once you’ve optimized, we recommend adding checks to your uptime monitoring to keep an eye on timeout thresholds. You can do this through the advanced settings tab of most Uptime.com check types.

Tip: Adding a timeout threshold is a nice addition to an HTTP(S) check, verify Status 200 OK, and ensure the check completes within a certain response-time window.

 

 

Keep an Eye on Response Time

While RUM reports on real user activity, Transaction Checks can test synthetic pathways and give you valuable response time metrics per check step – whether your check is DOWN or not. 

 

Even UP checks can give you information.

 

Take Advantage of Testing

Uptime.com has a built-in Run Test feature that lets you test a check before activating it, or test a solution for an outage without having to cycle through several intervals. Using Run Test on a successful check gives you response time data in milliseconds per step. Use this tool to help optimize your page elements.

 

When a check fails, you’ll get a screenshot, browser console data, and alert analytics to help you drill down to root cause and solve the problem quickly. 

 

Control the Narrative

What’s the first thing you do when a site is slow and refresh isn’t solving the problem? We bet you do a quick search to see if any users have reported a problem because the first question you’ll ask yourself is, whether the problem is your connection or the site. When the problem is happening on your site, you want your Status Page at the top of any searches for your brand.

Easily enable search indexing for your customizable Uptime.com Status Page, and enable subscribers so you can get the message out about what’s happening before your users (or the press) create their own statements for you. 

 

Do a Quick Website Performance Test

There are a lot of ways that Uptime.com can help you identify slow-loading elements and optimize your page, and even more ways we can help you maintain healthy speed with monitoring. If you’re asking yourself if this is something you need, take a quick test with our free Website Speed Test and see how you stack up.

 

Get a detailed listing of all website content, including the type, where it’s located, its size, and at what time during the loading process it loads, as well as how long a content type takes to load…

 

 

And get targeted performance improvement recommendations to help boost your efficiency. 

Tip: If free tools won’t cut it, check out our in-depth suggestions to custom-tailored speed and performance monitoring. 

No matter how you get started, keeping an eye on your speed is critical for the success of your site and monitoring for load times and response times will only make your monitoring infrastructure more preventative. Speed is one indicator of a healthy site, but overall domain health doesn’t stop there. Have questions about your monitoring? Reach out to our team at support@uptime.com.

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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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