|By Tim Hinds||
|April 21, 2014 09:25 AM EDT||
Poorly performing websites, like Twitter's recent fiasco with Ellen's selfie, are a constant source of irritation for users. At first you think it's your computer, or maybe someone on your block is downloading the entire "Game of Thrones" series. But, when nothing changes after refreshing the page once or twice, you give up, mutter under your breath, and move on.
Whatever the reason for a website crashing or slowing down, it's bad for business and for your online reputation. According to a survey conducted by Consumer Affairs, a dissatisfied customer will tell between 9-15 people about their experience. And, if your website can't load fast enough (in 400 milliseconds), then most of your customers will search for another website.
Understanding how your website performs under pressure is extremely important for any company. But, it can be daunting trying to figure out what website performance indicators you should monitor.
We have compiled a list of the top seven website performance indicators we believe to be important. Make sure to track each of these to guarantee a great customer experience.
Top Seven Website Performance Indicators
Monitoring the availability of your website is without a doubt the single most important part of website monitoring. Ideally, you should constantly check the uptime of your key pages from different locations around the world. Measure how many minutes your site is down over a period of two weeks or a month, and then express that as a percentage.
2. Initial Page Speed
Consumers' behavior and tolerance thresholds have changed. Now, people who browse a website expect it to load in a blink of an eye. If it doesn't load quickly, they will leave and turn to a competitor's site. You can check your website's speed using Ping requests (measuring the time it takes from your location until the website starts loading) and loading time measurements, for example, measuring the time it takes to download the source code of a web page. Note that this measurement reflects the time it takes for the raw page to load, but that isn't the complete user experience. For that, you must measure...
3. Full Page Load Time including images, videos, etc.
This performance indicator is usually called End User Experience testing. It's the amount of time it takes for all the images, videos, dynamically-loaded (AJAX) content, and everything else seen by the user to pop up on the their screen. This is different than the time it takes for the raw file to download to the device it's going to display on (as indicated above).
Both full page load time and page speed are important to measure because you can employ different strategies to optimize for both of them. Images, videos, and other static content can be cached on separate, dedicated systems or content delivery networks (CDNs), while dynamic content might need dedicated servers and fast databases. Knowing how your website behaves as it scales will help you put the right infrastructure in place.
4. Geographic Performance
If you are a globally active company or if you have consumers from different parts of the world, understanding your geographical performance - which is your website's speed and availability in different locations - is extremely important. Your ultimate goal is to make sure your website is easily accessible to all visitors regardless of their location to give them an excellent customer experience.
Many companies ignore this factor, only testing performance in familiar geographies. At a minimum, use your website analytics as a guide to put testing in place that shadows the locations from which your visitors are accessing your site.
5. Website Load Tolerance
Do you know how many visitors it takes to considerably slow down your website? It's an important indicator to understand because if you are running aggressive marketing campaigns or are picked up by the press you might be in a situation where your website is flooded with visitors in a matter of minutes.
Regularly run stress tests and compare the results to your visitor numbers at peak times. Once you understand how much load your website can handle then you can adjust your infrastructure to meet the demand. Look for those "tipping points" so you won't be caught by surprised when traffic spikes.
6. Web Server CPU Load
CPU usage is a common culprit in website failures. Too much processing bogs down absolutely everything on the server without much indication as to where the problem lies. You can prevent web server failures by monitoring CPU usage regularly. If you cannot install monitoring software on your web servers due to hosting arrangements or other constraints, consider running a script that publishes the values from available disk space and CPU load to a very simple html page.
7. Website Database Performance
Your database can be one of the most problematic parts of your website. A poorly optimized query, for example, can be the difference between a zippy site and an unusable one. It's important to monitor your database logs closely. Create alerts if the results contain certain error messages, or deliver results outside of expected norms. Use the built-in capabilities of the database to see which queries are taking the most time, and identify ways to optimize those through indices and other techniques. Most importantly, monitor the overall performance of the database to make sure it's not a bottleneck.
No Downtime = Happy Customers
If you can monitor all seven of these metrics, you should have a good idea of how your website performs and what needs to change when it doesn't perform well. Minimizing website downtime will keep your customers happy. If you have any questions on these metrics or load testing let me know.
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
Feb. 7, 2016 12:00 PM EST Reads: 330
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
Feb. 7, 2016 11:30 AM EST Reads: 332
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
Feb. 7, 2016 10:15 AM EST
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
Feb. 7, 2016 07:00 AM EST Reads: 105
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
Feb. 6, 2016 03:30 PM EST Reads: 710
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
Feb. 6, 2016 02:30 PM EST Reads: 356
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
Feb. 6, 2016 01:30 PM EST Reads: 346
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
Feb. 6, 2016 01:00 PM EST Reads: 542
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
Feb. 6, 2016 11:00 AM EST Reads: 127
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
Feb. 6, 2016 09:00 AM EST
Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...
Feb. 5, 2016 09:00 PM EST Reads: 776
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
Feb. 2, 2016 02:00 PM EST Reads: 407
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Feb. 2, 2016 04:30 AM EST Reads: 841
Learn how IoT, cloud, social networks and last but not least, humans, can be integrated into a seamless integration of cooperative organisms both cybernetic and biological. This has been enabled by recent advances in IoT device capabilities, messaging frameworks, presence and collaboration services, where devices can share information and make independent and human assisted decisions based upon social status from other entities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Heydt, founder of Seamless...
Feb. 1, 2016 05:00 AM EST Reads: 924
The IoT's basic concept of collecting data from as many sources possible to drive better decision making, create process innovation and realize additional revenue has been in use at large enterprises with deep pockets for decades. So what has changed? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Prasanna Sivaramakrishnan, Solutions Architect at Red Hat, discussed the impact commodity hardware, ubiquitous connectivity, and innovations in open source software are having on the connected universe of people, thi...
Jan. 31, 2016 09:00 PM EST Reads: 718
WebRTC: together these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Cary Bran, VP of Innovation and New Ventures at Plantronics and PLT Labs, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it may enable, complement or entirely transform.
Jan. 31, 2016 07:15 PM EST Reads: 1,137
There are so many tools and techniques for data analytics that even for a data scientist the choices, possible systems, and even the types of data can be daunting. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Harrold, Global CTO for Big Data Solutions for EMC Corporation, showed how to perform a simple, but meaningful analysis of social sentiment data using freely available tools that take only minutes to download and install. Participants received the download information, scripts, and complete end-t...
Jan. 31, 2016 10:00 AM EST Reads: 1,203
For manufacturers, the Internet of Things (IoT) represents a jumping-off point for innovation, jobs, and revenue creation. But to adequately seize the opportunity, manufacturers must design devices that are interconnected, can continually sense their environment and process huge amounts of data. As a first step, manufacturers must embrace a new product development ecosystem in order to support these products.
Jan. 31, 2016 10:00 AM EST Reads: 799
Manufacturing connected IoT versions of traditional products requires more than multiple deep technology skills. It also requires a shift in mindset, to realize that connected, sensor-enabled “things” act more like services than what we usually think of as products. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David Friedman, CEO and co-founder of Ayla Networks, discussed how when sensors start generating detailed real-world data about products and how they’re being used, smart manufacturers can use the dat...
Jan. 30, 2016 07:45 PM EST Reads: 776
When it comes to IoT in the enterprise, namely the commercial building and hospitality markets, a benefit not getting the attention it deserves is energy efficiency, and IoT’s direct impact on a cleaner, greener environment when installed in smart buildings. Until now clean technology was offered piecemeal and led with point solutions that require significant systems integration to orchestrate and deploy. There didn't exist a 'top down' approach that can manage and monitor the way a Smart Buildi...
Jan. 30, 2016 03:45 PM EST Reads: 1,260