Using real browsers to measure website speed.
Your site may load perfectly and swiftly from the office, and from other locations in your area. But, how about other cities or other countries? If your site attracts more than a regional community of users, you should care.
As an example, here’s how The New York Times website loads from London:
The actual performance of your website — as your visitors experience it — is affected by:
- Third-party content (Google ads, Facebook applets, Twitter feeds, Discus forums, widgets, etc.)
- Effective use of a content distribution network
- The (network) distance between your site and your visitors, e.g., the UK, France, and Germany are close, but Australia and Brazil may be far away.
Your own content may be optimized locally, but are all of your other components optimal too? And, how does this work out for international visitors you wish to reach?
Our advice: along with regular monitoring, monitor full page load times with a real browser on an ongoing basis, and from all the regions and countries where your (potential) customers may reside.
Mark Pors is CTO and co-founder of WatchMouse, which monitors websites and services 24×7 from over 50 locations worldwide and delivers detailed insight about their performance, uptime, and functionality. The page load times in various countries is a recurring customer topic, so WatchMouse launched Real Browser Monitoring (RBM). Companies like Zappos, Twitter, Wikimedia, and many more use RBM to have continuous insight into the load times of their website worldwide.