Website Performance Monitoring and Testing - Site Performance Services

What is Website Performance?

Doing business on the web is a race. Whether you’re selling a service or running an e-commerce site, if your website is faster than your competitor’s, you’re more likely to get the sale.

Website performance is all about speed. It’s about the amount of time it takes for your site to completely load, so that your visitor can use all of its functionality, in a completely seamless and efficient way. And it comes down not only to seconds—but to mere fractions of seconds. 

Today’s Performance Demands

The concept of “speed” sounds simple, but it’s much more complicated now than it used to be. 

In the good old days of the 1990s, you might code up a web page, throw some flashy text on top of that mottled gray background, and upload it to the server. Back then it was easy to figure out how long it took to serve a page. 

After all, a page was a page.

Today, things are a bit more nuanced:

  • As web apps have become more complex, your site’s content may be downloaded from multiple sources or rely on third party services. Each of these layers adds potential for delays.
  • Current trends in website design—hero images, full-width screens—mean that most websites are larger overall. Things like embedded video, sign-up forms, and affiliate codes add to the heft.
  • Each visitor’s experience can vary widely based on a number of factors. Your pages may be created dynamically in response to user requests. And if your servers are located in San Francisco, your customers in New York could have a much slower experience than those in Oregon.

So while internet speeds and users’ expectations have increased, today’s advanced websites are having trouble keeping up.

Why Website Speed Matters

Your site’s performance is important for a number of reasons, but they all point back to one main driver: Money. Cash. Moolah.

If your website is slower, your bank account suffers. It doesn’t matter if your business is a little local shop or a giant global corporation, there are plenty of studies out there that prove that even the slightest slow-down means lower conversion and fewer sales.

Even big names like Google and Amazon have found that a delay of even a fraction of a second lowers traffic, revenue, and conversion. If visitors skip out on those popular and highly trusted sites, why will they endure a spinning wheel to access yours?

Here are the main ways that poor website performance can affect your business:

Lower traffic: Sluggish load times mean that a visitor is more likely to just click over to the next tab in their browser to visit your competitor’s site. Ouch! And the growing legions of mobile users are even less patient. All of the SEO in the world doesn’t mean a thing if the visitor bounces as soon as they land. In fact, site speed can actually affect your search rankings.

Decreased revenue: Online shoppers have the world at their fingertips. Why wait the extra 2 seconds for your site to load when they can move along to a different provider? Maybe your visitor even selected items only to the abandon shopping cart due to a slow checkout process. Does that visitor know or care that the functionality is being delivered by a third party service? Nope. All they know is that they can have a better experience elsewhere.

Unhappy customers: It’s something we all know from personal experience, but often forget when it comes to our own websites: Unresponsive sites are very frustrating and stressful for users. They can even lead to angry customers who take to forums to vent about web experiences that are “abysmal,” “glacial,” or even—gasp!—“prehistoric.” Are these words you want associated with your brand?

Damaged credibility: Users expect professional businesses to have professional websites. And while your site may be gorgeous and your product or service may be top-notch, a slow site indicates that something about your brand is not quite up to snuff. It might be subconscious, but users infer that your company is not as reliable or secure as your competitors.

These dastardly problems are certainly not things you want to befall your website. So what to do?

How to Increase Website Performance

As G.I. Joe would say: “Knowing is half the battle.”

In other words, you can’t solve a problem you don’t know exists. That’s where monitoring comes in. And we’re not talking about pulling up your own website and timing it with a stopwatch. We’re not even talking about monitoring at the server level.

The only way you’ll understand your customer’s true experience is through a comprehensive website performance monitoring service like elkMonitor.

With elkMonitor, you see what your customer sees. By simulating the end-user’s experience from numerous points around the globe, you receive detailed insight into every aspect of your site. Then you can use this data to optimize your website performance for increased traffic, revenue, and customer satisfaction. 

You know, so you can dominate your competition.

We built elkMonitor back in 2007 to monitor the website for our own company. When we went looking for a monitoring service, we were unimpressed by what we found—high cost and low usability, with difficult set-up. So we decided to build our own, and have been improving on it ever since.

Here’s what you get with elkMonitor on your side:

Detailed Data: Our detailed waterfall charts provide a complete breakdown of the download times of various elements on each page of your website, helping you to detect content that may be slowing down the browsing experience.

Multiple Locations: You can’t be everywhere at once—but your customers are. Our multiple remote test agents assess the performance of your website from multiple locations. 

24/7 Monitoring: elkMonitor never goes on vacation. We monitor your website around the clock to alert you to any issues. How’s that for peace of mind?

Easy Set-Up: We’ve made our monitoring as self-service as possible. There’s no software to install, no infrastructure to manage, no up-front cost, and no long-term contract to commit to.

Customized Pricing: We offer a variety of monitoring intervals, as often as every minute, so you can choose a level of investment that’s affordable for your business. 

No Babysitting Required: There’s no hardware or infrastructure to manage, no patches to bother with. All updates are automatic, so you can spend your time working on other things.

Real Support from Real People: We don’t outsource our support. Every call you make comes directly to our dedicated team in North Carolina. You’ll also have access to support via forums, email, and online chat.

Internal Quality Control: Are you trusting an internal IT department to alert you to problems with your website? We can be your backup, as an unbiased and independent third party. The advanced data we provide also gives your IT folks the tools they need to make informed decisions.

Give It a Try

Set-up only takes a few minutes. And we don’t require any credit card information to get started. Sweet!

Sign up for a free 30-day trial.