As we all know, naming things is hard.
Google's Core Web Vitals are an attempt to help folks new to web performance focus on three key metrics. Not all of these metrics are easy to understand based on their names alone:
Any time a new metric is introduced, it puts the burden on the rest of us to first unpack all the acronyms, and then explore and digest what concepts the words might refer to. This gets even trickier if the acronym stays the same, but the logic and algorithm behind the acronym changes.
In this post, we will dive deeper into Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) and how it has quietly evolved over the years. Because CLS has been around for a while, you may already have some idea of what it represents. Before we go any further, I have a simple question for you:
How do you think Cumulative Layout Shift is measured?
Hold your answer in your head as we explore the depths of CLS. I'm interested if your assumptions were correct, and there's a poll at the bottom of this post I'd love you to answer.
Demonstrating the impact of performance on your users – and on your business – is one of the best ways to get your company to care about the speed of your site.
Tracking goal-based metrics like conversion rate alongside performance data can give you richer and more compelling insights into how the performance of your site affects your users. This concept is not new by any means. In 2010, the Performance and Reliability team I was fortunate enough to lead at Walmartlabs shared our findings around the impact of front-end times on conversion rates. (This study and a number of other case studies tracked over the years can be found at WPOstats.)
Setting up conversion tracking in SpeedCurve RUM is fairly simple and definitely worthwhile. This post covers:
For more than ten years, I've been writing about page bloat, its impact on site speed, and ultimately how it affects your users and your business. You might think that this topic would be played out by now, but every year I learn new things – beyond the overarching fact that pages keep getting bigger and more complex, as you can see in this chart, using data from the HTTP Archive.
In this post, we'll cover:
You may also know that SpeedCurve lets you add synthetic scripts to your test settings, which lets you easily do things like simulate a repeat view or block a third party.
But did you also know that we've made it easy to simulate more complex use cases? These include:
Keep reading to learn how Recipes make it easy for you to test a variety of scenarios that can help you understand how your visitors are experiencing your site – and how to improve their experience!
Today at Google I/O 2023, it was announced that Interaction to Next Paint (INP) is no longer an experimental metric. INP will replace First Input Delay (FID) as a Core Web Vital in March of 2024.
It's been three years since the Core Web Vitals initiative was kicked off in May 2020. In that time, we've seen people's interest in performance dramatically increase, especially in the world of SEO. It's been hugely helpful to have a simple set of three metrics – focused on loading, interactivity, and responsiveness – that everyone can understand and focus on.
During this time, SpeedCurve has stayed objective when looking at the CWV metrics. When it comes to new performance metrics, it's easy to jump on hype-fuelled bandwagons. While we definitely get excited about emerging metrics, we also approach each new metric with an analytical eye. For example, back in November 2020, we took a closer look at one of the Core Web Vitals, First Input Delay, and found that it was sort of 'meh' overall when it came to meaningfully correlating with actual user behavior.
Now that INP has arrived to dethrone FID as the responsiveness metric for Core Web Vitals, we've turned our eye to scrutinizing its effectiveness.
In this post, we'll take a closer look and attempt to answer:
It's easier to make a fast website than it is to keep a website fast. If you've invested countless hours in speeding up your pages, but you're not using performance budgets to prevent regressions, you could be at risk of wasting all your efforts.
In this post we'll cover how to:
This bottom of this post also contains a collection of case studies from companies that are using performance budgets to stay fast.
Let's get started!
There is a lot of excitement in the world of web performance these days, and April has been no exception! At SpeedCurve, we've been focused on staying on top of the items that affect you the most.
Here is a look at what's new in SpeedCurve:
All of this work driven by the community is having a big impact in our collective goal to make performance accessible for everyone.
Read on to learn more about these exciting changes!
Things have been busy over here at SpeedCurve HQ! Coming off of the back of our latest RUM Compare dashboard release, we are super excited to launch four new dashboards to make your life better, your work easier, and your websites faster.
Let's take a look!
"I made my pages faster, but my business and user engagement metrics didn't change. WHY???"
"How do I know how fast my pages should be?"
"How can I demonstrate the business value of performance to people in my organization?"
If you've ever asked yourself any of these questions, then you could find the answers in identifying and understanding the performance plateau for your site.
The performance plateau is the point at which changes to your website’s rendering metrics (such as Start Render and Largest Contentful Paint) cease to matter because you’ve bottomed out in terms of business and user engagement metrics.
In other words, if your performance metrics are on the performance plateau, making them a couple of seconds faster probably won't help your business.
The concept of the performance plateau isn't new. I first encountered it more than ten years ago, when I was looking at data for a number of sites and noticed that – not only was there a correlation between performance metrics and business/engagement metrics – there was also a noticeable plateau in almost every correlation chart I looked at.
A few months ago someone asked me if I've done any recent investigation into the performance plateau, to see if the concept still holds true. When I realized how much time has passed since my initial research, I thought it would be fun to take a fresh look.
In this post, I'll show how to use your own data to find the plateau for your site, and then what to do with your new insights.
Every year feels like a big year, and 2022 has been no exception. Not only did we celebrate our ninth birthday (!!!) we also:
Keep reading for a full recap of the past year...