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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Monitoring Web Pages & 3rd Party Content

If you are the owner of the Web site, there are at least two ways to improve overall site performance. One is to optimize the Web site itself for each widget so that those widgets running on the page will be more efficient, a method that is not cost-efficient. The other, more cost-effective option is to use continuous and focused performance monitoring of your Web site. Breaking down performance by time and by component category allows you to pinpoint the components that adversely impact Web site performance.

The benefits of web page monitoing and third-party components are significant indeed. First, operations can target these issues quickly and efficiently, which can reduce potential downtime and loss of revenue. This metric, known as Mean Time to Identification, can be tracked. Second, business unit managers can track the performance of all content, both internal and external, which can establish SLA accountability with the third-party vendors, saving money on lost downtime or the cost of rebates. Another benefit is the accountability that can also be established internally on components and content that has been developed on your site. Third, development and QA teams can save money by tracking these issues in real time. Modifications to code on the Web site or to the widget have been known to adversely affect a previously well-performing Web site, and monitoring can nip these issues in the bud, saving time and therefore money. Finally, the user experience can suffer due to bad website performance. This can cause a loss of viewers, both because of direct experience and by word of mouth. This impact can be potentially devastating to the bottom line.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Web Performance Varies by Geography and Network

Unlike Web content downloads to desktops, mobile downloads can vary dramatically based on time of day, network operator used, and geographic location. For example, a mobile Website can take twice as long to download in San Francisco as compared to another operator in New York, London, or Tokyo. If a content-monitoring strategy does not include monitoring web content from various geographic locations, it is impossible to know what the end users are experiencing.

In the Web world, both the user interface and the delivery mechanism have been standardized for years, keeping mobile browser compatibility in mind. However, mobile content must be routed to the user through an operator network, and additional operator specific content may be added during the download. Also, different devices render content differently, so when the Web server detects a specific device type it may choose to send a variant of the generic content to the requesting device.

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