Monitoring Your Website Performance And Optimizing Accordingly

Gary Green
Gary Green
November 26, 2023

It is fair to say that the performance of your website is one of the best measures of the technical health and stability of your site. How quickly your website loads as well as its accessibility are two key metrics that need to be monitored on a regular basis. 

Monitoring your website's performance involves deliberately tracking key performance metrics together with metrics that are less obvious. When carried out correctly, you’ll find that monitoring allows you to spot any issues that are affecting your website’s performance rapidly so that you can optimise accordingly and get it back on track. 

How Do I Monitor My Website Performance?

Usually, dedicated monitoring tools are used for scanning a website and analysing its performance. The best tools examine metrics like loading times, CDN use, server health and site downtime. While it’s possible to, in theory, run only one-off checks to spot items that require optimising or repair, in practise, you’ll find it far better to monitor your website via a tool that is constantly running in the background and keeping track of how your site is functioning. 

Why Use Performance Monitoring Tools? 

Poor site performance can cause some significant damage to your business, but utilising performance monitoring tools can really turn things around. 

It can reduce the cost associated with downtime, bearing in mind that each time your website goes down, you’re running the risk of alienating an existing customer or losing a possible one. Keeping your site functioning and online constantly is the best way to achieve your business goals. The best monitoring tools will alert you if your website goes down so you can take rapid action to minimise reputational and financial damage. 

User experience is also crucial. If your website loads very slowly, this could cost your business money. The slower your site loads, the higher your bounce rate, the lower your conversions and the worse your business reputation becomes. People have a very short attention span these days, so if your website fails to load sufficiently quickly, they will simply click away and go to one of your competitors instead. 

It's vital to remember that the Google Algorithm actively takes site performance metrics into account when ranking websites. Sites that perform poorly are likely to rank far below the coveted first page, thus negatively affecting your business. 

Which Factors Negatively Impact Website Performance?

Some of the factors that you should monitor when it comes to website performance include: 

  • Your images and page size – light pages with lots of images load far more slowly. You should optimise the visual elements you use to ensure your page loads quickly while ensuring an interesting user experience. 
  • Server and its location – a low quality server will respond more slowly to requests and may make it more susceptible to downtime. Also, if your server is a long distance from your customers, it will be slower too. 
  • Scripts – heavy scripts, just like large images, slow your website down. 
  • JavaScript and CSS – while JavaScript and CSS determine how good your website looks and its interactive elements, they must be properly optimised to avoid a negative impact on loading times. 
  • 3rd party assets – if resources are fetched from third-party sites, your users will struggle to have a positive user experience even if your own site is optimised if the third-party site is low quality. 

What Does Google Determine To Be A Good Performance For Web Pages?

Page performance can be effectively measured and monitored by a variety of third-party tools however the score calculations and metrics that they use can differ slightly. In general, though, you should try to keep your page loading time as short as possible, and preferably at one second. Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to achieve this goal in practice. Therefore, a good target to aim for is three seconds for page loading on both desktop and mobile devices. Google recommends that you aim for under two seconds whenever possible for the best possible ranking for your site. 

How Do I Monitor My Website’s Performance?

When you’re aware of the different performance metrics of your website that you need to consider, monitor, and optimise when necessary, you need to know who can track them all. 

The first thing you need to monitor is the loading time of your website. Don’t focus your monitoring on only one type of device. Remember that your users will be browsing using a variety of devices including tablets and smartphones. It’s crucial that you check that your website loads rapidly and looks good regardless of which device your users are browsing on. Remember that your website may load rapidly for people using a desktop computer, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have issues that stop it from promptly or properly loading on a mobile device. 

You should also monitor your server location since this is a key speed factor. Check whether the assets of your website are being served, as if your server isn’t close to your users’ location you could experience slow loading. It may be possible to mitigate this problem by utilising a CDN that can deliver content from a location close to your users. 

Keep tabs, too, on the possible impact of any third-party content used by your website on your site loading time. If you’re relying heavily on scripts, plugins, and external APIs to serve your content, it’s crucial to determine that they aren’t negatively impacting your website speed. You can use session recordings in order to assess your users’ average loading speed. After all, numbers, while helpful, may be abstract and open to interpretation. 

Session recordings allow you to experience how your users are experiencing your website, capturing visual displays of how the website loads for specific users and specific devices. You can view these recordings in order to pinpoint any performance issues, and once you have that first-hand user experience, you can then identify areas that require improvement and focus on optimising those specific areas. 

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