Wirehive Blog

How do you make web monitoring SEXY?

How do you make web monitoring SEXY?

October 18th, 2012 @ 5:30pm

You can’t…BUT we’ve got as close as we can by partnering up with New Relic to offer a new tool which is, put simply, awesome. Why, you ask? Let’s boil down to the basics.

Monitoring performance is vital.

It’s no secret that decent performance is a key factor in how successful a website is. Nowdays people are consuming the web using powerful connections and huge computers, as well as mobile – with more and more people primarily using phones rather than desktops or laptops to access sites. These people still expect the same performance, whether they’re browsing over a slow wireless connection or sluggish 3G (or even 4G – which won’t be fully functional until 2020 apparently!) 

We all know what it’s like to try and use a website which is suffering bad performance; frankly it’s like trying to push treacle up a hill. In this connected age, people are becoming less and less accepting of slow sites - we expect things to work seamlessly, and we expect it now. If your site is slow, people will hotfoot it off, probably to one of your competitors. In a nutshell bad web performance is bad for business all round. It will have your developers, marketers and CFO’s nursing headaches respectively. 

Developers, listen up.

In terms of what used to be, the average page size in 1995 was a mere 14.1k, mostly due to the fact that it typically contained just 2.3 objects. In 2010 this had surged to 498k with around 75 objects (everything from CSS, to images, to JavaScript). This meant 75 server round trips required to pull page resource to the user’s browser. Today? We can see an average of 648k with 83 objects, and with the advent of CSS3, HTML5 and increased expectations around impressively built websites for numerous platforms (mobile and tablet are becoming huge), this will only skyrocket within the next few years.  

All you marketers out there…

Let’s not forget how performance affects both search and reputation:

  • Site speed reflects how quickly a website responds to web requests. Therefore, Google’s ranking algorithms measure site speed, and use this to rank faster websites higher in search results.
  • A staggering 57% of users will abandon ship after waiting 3 seconds for a page to load. 80% of them will never return…and of these almost half will go on to tell others about their negative experience. Yup, bad. 
  • It gets worse, internet users actually have faulty perceptions of time. The average person perceives page load time as being about 15% slower than it really is. When they go on to badmouth you to their friends, they will actually recall that the page was 35% slower than it actually was! 

Bottom line?

All aspects of performance affect your P&L. Even down to the time developers currently spend on coding, then recoding and debugging when customer complaints come in. Not only this, the effect of performance on profit becomes really obvious when looking at an E-commerce example: Shopzilla undertook a year-long performance redesign, implementing a 5 second speed up (from ~7 seconds to ~2 seconds). This resulted in a 25% increase in page views, a 7-12% increase in revenue, and a 50% reduction in hardware.  So it’s a bit of a no-brainer. There are huge benefits to performance improvements – increased revenue and driven-down operating costs.

This is where New Relic comes in.

They’re kind of a big deal.

In fact we’re pretty damn chuffed to be the first exclusive UK partner of this managed service which allows you to monitor your back-end with pinpoint accuracy - right down to the line of code. The software plugs in to your applications and lets you view the health and availability of your production app so you can be sure it’s tuned, optimized and running at peak performance.

By doing this, developers are able to analyse how various things are performing, based on what your customers are doing. You can write code and gauge immediate feedback on how it’s performing, then repair and adjust as appropriate. 

Not only does New Relic offer app monitoring as standard, it also gives critical web server resource data in the context of real-time app performance, providing full visibility of what your server is doing. This allows you to see the bigger picture in terms of efficiency. 

From today, all of our customers will get New Relic Standard as part of their package and on top of that, a free 14 day trial of the Pro package through New Relic's exclusive partnership with us. This includes their Real User Monitoring on top of standard features, which allows you to track exactly what your customers are experiencing by:

  • Defining an SLA for response time and tracking how well you're meeting that target
  • Identifying poor browser performance patterns
  • Browser transaction tracing for individual instances
  • App Speed Index - Benchmarking your app with your industry peers

Pretty awesome we think! They have also just launched a shiny new UI, simplified and consolidated to make features like Browser Monitoring, Transaction Traces and Slow SQL more efficient and easier to use. You’ll be diagnosing and fixing app performance problems faster, with fewer steps than ever before. 

If you’re interested in finding out more about how we can set this up for you (for free of course) give us a bell on 01252 560 565. If you have any general or techie questions, ask away in the comments section below!

Holly Buckenham, PR & Marketing Manager.

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