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NEW: On-demand testing in SpeedCurve!

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On-demand testing has sparked a lot of discussion here at SpeedCurve over the past year. You've always had the ability to manually trigger a round of tests – based on the scheduled tests in your settings – using the 'Test Now' button. But there hasn't been a lot of flexibility to support nuanced use cases, such as...

"I just deployed changes to my site and want to check for any regressions."

"I saw a change to my RUM data and I want to see if I can replicate it with synthetic for further diagnostics."

"I have a paused site that I don't want to test regularly, but would like to test from time to time."

"Please just let me test any URL I want without setting up a site and scheduling testing."

"I need to quickly debug this script without kicking off tests for my entire site."

"I would like to get a first look at a page in order to troubleshoot regressions I saw in RUM."

Based on your feedback, we've just launched new capabilities for on-demand testing. We're pretty excited about these, and we hope you will be, too!

In this post, we'll:

  • Highlight the differences between on-demand and scheduled testing
  • Cover the various types of on-demand testing, including some of the more common use cases we've heard from SpeedCurve users
  • Step you through running an on-demand test

Let's goooooooo!

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2023 recap: This year was all about making performance easy (well, easier)

Every year feels like a big year here at SpeedCurve, and 2023 was no exception.

Among other things, we turned ten! Ten years is a lot of time to reflect, and over this past year our team has been thinking a lot about not just the "what" and "how" of web performance, but also the "why". Why should we – and you – care about delivering a fast, delightful experience to all your users? This "why" informs all the choices we make about the "what" and "how" of our tools.

Looking back over the past year, if I were to pick a word that defined our goals, that word would be "easier". It's no secret that the past couple of years have been challenging for the tech community. In the current landscape of smaller teams, aggressive goals, and an ever-increasing tech stack, how can we make it easier for you to create impact? 

Our biggest achievements this year have centred on making it easier for you to:

  • Fight regressions and keep your sites fast
  • Measure the impact of Core Web Vitals on actual user experience
  • See correlations between site speed and business metrics
  • Visualize your data
  • Leverage synthetic and real user monitoring
  • Focus on what matters
  • Get help when you need it

Keep reading to learn more...

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How to automatically test the performance of your GitHub pull requests

As highlighted in our December product update, we've been making a lot of improvements in the area of CI/CD. In addition to the new Deployments dashboards and Notes updates, we've launched a new GitHub integration. Our purpose in building this integration is to lower the barrier for getting web performance feedback for your code changes, directly in the environment you are working in.

Follow along below for an example of how you can use this integration in practice to fight web performance regressions and keep your pages fast.

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NEW! December product update

Holy cow, it's been a busy few months! SpeedCurve turned ten, we attended (and gave talks at) performance.now(), Firefox added support for Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), and oh yeah... we just shipped a ton of stuff! (We wanted to wait until the dust settled around Black Friday/Cyber Monday for all of our friends in retail, which led to a pretty monumental release.)

So get comfy and check out our holiday updates.

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SpeedCurve Recipes: Multi-step test scripting made easy!

You may already know that SpeedCurve lets you test multiple URLs for a site across a wide selection of browsers, devices, connection types, and geolocations.

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:

  • User journeys through your site
  • Checkout processes
  • Submit a login form
  • SPA and AJAX navigations
  • Set cookies

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!

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NEW! Lighthouse 10, Core Web Vitals updates, and Interaction to Next Paint

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:

  • Support for Lighthouse 10, including metric scoring changes as well as audits
  • Updated RUM Core Web Vitals, including the much-anticipated addition of Interaction to Next Paint (INP)

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! 

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NEW! Home, Site, Page and Tests dashboards

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.

  • Home - Well, now you have one. We needed a place for folks to land when they were jumping into all that SpeedCurve has to offer. The newly released Home page is a great starting place, pulling together views of both RUM and Synthetic data and directing you on where to dig in next.
  • Sites - We've rebuilt our Sites dashboard to give you a holistic look across all of the URLs you are monitoring. Start here to understand which areas of your site need the most attention and identify areas you can have the most impact.
  • Pages - This detailed view gives you trended information for all the metrics you know and love. Easily identify areas of opportunity and how things are performing over time for specific pages you are monitoring.
  • Tests - We've had a lot of requests for this, so we're happy to deliver it. You can now see a list of your latest synthetic tests and spot any failed tests. 

Let's take a look!

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2022 in review: New dashboards, Core Web Vitals enhancements, third-party tracking & more!

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...

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NEW! RUM Compare dashboard

Exploring real user (RUM) data can be a hugely enlightening process. It uncovers things about your users and their behavior that you never might have suspected. That said, it's not uncommon to spend precious time peeling back the layers of the onion, only to find false positives or uncertainty in all that data.

At SpeedCurve, we believe a big part of our job is making your job easier. This was a major driver behind the Synthetic Compare dashboard we released last year, which so many of you given us great feedback on.

As you may have guessed, since then we've been hard at work coming up with the right way to explore and compare your RUM datasets using a similar design pattern. Today, we are thrilled to announce your new RUM Compare dashboard!

With your RUM Compare dashboard, you can easily generate side-by-side comparisons for any two cohorts of data. Some of the many reasons you might want to do this include:

  • Improve Core Web Vitals by identifying the tradeoffs between pages that have different layout and construction
  • Triage a performance regression related to the latest change or deployment to your site by looking at a before/after comparison
  • Explore and compare different out-of-the-box cohorts, such as device types, geographies, page labels, and more
  • Analyze A/B tests or experiments to understand which had the most impact on user behavior, as well as performance 
  • Optimize your funnel by understanding differences between users that convert or bounce from your site and users who don't
  • Evaluate CDN performance by exploring the impact of time-of-day traffic patterns

Let's take a tour...

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Page labels: Why they are important and how to use them

Labeling your pages in your synthetic and real user monitoring (RUM) tools is a crucial step in your performance monitoring setup. We recently released some exciting new capabilities for labeling your RUM pages that we want to share with you. This is also a great opportunity to reiterate why page labels are important, and to show you how easy it is to apply labels to your pages.

Why should I care about page labels?

There are so many benefits to labeling your pages in both your synthetic and real user monitoring (RUM) tools. Page labels give you the ability to:

  • Compare and benchmark similar pages across different sites
  • Create more meaningful performance budgets in RUM
  • Correlate RUM data with synthetic diagnostics in the same charts (e.g., for Core Web Vitals that are measurable in synthetic and RUM)
  • Prioritize performance optimizations according to their projected impact on real users

Ready to learn more? Let's get to it!

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July 2022 product update: Web Vitals support, more synthetic test agents & performance heat maps

It's been another busy month here at SpeedCurve! Check out our latest product updates below.

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June 2022 product update: Performance recommendations on Vitals dashboard, RUM path filters & more

We've been busy here at SpeedCurve HQ! Here's a roundup of our recent product updates.

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NEW: RUM Live and Page Views dashboards

Shortly before the end of the year, we snuck in a couple of last-minute gifts for 2021. It was a great year for SpeedCurve with a lot of renewed focus on RUM. We couldn't think of a better way to finish out the year than to launch the new Live and Page Views dashboards. Let's take a look!

Animated RUM Live dashboard from SpeedCurve

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New and improved Support Hub!

One of the things I love about SpeedCurve is our commitment to writing help documents that actually help. Every time we release a new feature, we make sure to give you an accompanying support doc – often written by the same team member who led the feature development. Luckily, we have great writers on our team, so our docs are exceptionally clear, concise, and easy to follow (if I do say so). 

We just celebrated our eighth birthday – hooray! Eight years of building new features means eight years worth of support docs. That's a lot of docs! Earlier this year, we realized that we had well over a hundred articles in our support centre. Inevitably, some duplication had crept in and some dead wood had accumulated. So we decided to give our docs a complete overhaul. That meant editing, organizing, purging – we gave them the full KonMari treatment.

Our brand-new Support Hub is live! Here's a quick overview of what you can expect to find, including new goodies like our "Web Performance 101" guides, as well as recipes for completing common tasks and our improved and expanded API documentation.

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NEW: Exploring RUM sessions

If you want to understand how people actually experience your site, you need to monitor real users. The data we get from real user monitoring (RUM) is extremely useful when trying to get a grasp on performance. Not only does it serve as the source of truth for your most important budgets and KPIs, it help us understand that performance is a broad distribution that encompasses many different cohorts of users.

While real user monitoring gives us the opportunity for unparalleled insight into user experience, the biggest challenge with RUM data is that there's so much of it. Navigating through all this data has typically been done by peeling back one layer of information at a time, and it often proves difficult to identify the root cause when we see a change:

"What happened here?"
"Did the last release cause a drop in performance?"
"How can I drill down from here to see what's going on?"
"Is the issue confined to a specific region? Browser? Page?"

Today we're excited to release a new capability – your RUM Sessions dashboard – which allows you to drill into a dataset and explore those sessions that occurred within a given span of time.

SpeedCurve Sessions dashboard

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UPDATE: Bookmark and compare synthetic tests

One of the huge benefits of tracking web performance over time is the ability to see trends and compare metrics. Last year we added new functionality that makes it easy for you to bookmark and compare different synthetic tests in your test history. We recently added some additional enhancements to make comparing tests even easier.

With the 'Compare' feature, you can generate side-by-side comparisons that let you not only spot regressions, but easily identify what caused them:

  • Compare the same page at different points in time
  • Compare two versions of the same page – for example, one with ads and one without
  • Understand which metrics got better or worse
  • Identify which common requests got bigger/smaller or slower/faster
  • Spot any new or unique requests – such as JavaScript and images – and see their impact on performance

Along the way, we've also made it much more intuitive for you to drill down into your detailed synthetic test results. Let's take a look...

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