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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.

Continue reading...

NEW: Bookmarks dashboard now includes RUM Sessions

We have released new functionality for bookmarking in SpeedCurve. This update includes two important new capabilities:

1. Access your bookmarks from the main navigation -> Bookmarks

2. Ability to bookmark RUM sessions

Check out the support article for more information about using bookmarks.

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

Continue reading...

New feature: Streamlined test comparison

A short while ago we introduced the ability to bookmark and compare synthetic tests. Today we've made comparing tests even easier by including an option to compare directly from the chart you are focused on. While the capability to bookmark tests remains, this enhancement streamlines the process for quick comparison. Happy sleuthing!

Test agent updates: Lighthouse 8.0.0

We are rolling out an update to our test agents. Changes include:

  • Lighthouse has been updated from version 7.5.0 to 8.0.0

LUX update: lux.js v216

We have released v216 of lux.js. This release contains bug fixes and other improvements:

  • Long tasks buffering (which was previously reverted in v214) has been reinstated, enabling LUX to instrument long tasks that occurred before the snippet.
  • JavaScript page labels are now evaluated quicker than before.
  • LUX can now use a simpler beacon mechanism with LUX.beaconMode = "simple". This sends a beacon by inserting an image into the page, rather than a <script> tag.

Test agent updates: Chrome 91, Lighthouse 7.5

Updated test agents are being rolled out to all regions today. They include updates to several pieces of core software, including:

  • Chrome has been updated from version 89 to 91
  • Lighthouse has been updated from version 7.3.0 to 7.5.0

New features: Chrome Beta and Canary support & LCP element highlighting

Today's release includes a some great new features:

  • Support for both Chrome beta and canary test agents
  • LCP element highlighting and new key rendering visuals

    For more information on these features, see our latest post.

  • LUX update: lux.js v214

    We have released v214 of lux.js. This is a hotfix release that reverts the long task buffering introduced in v213 due to a bug in the buffering implementation.

    LUX update: lux.js v213

    We have released v213 of lux.js. This release contains bug fixes and other improvements:

    • Long tasks are now buffered, enabling LUX to instrument long tasks that occurred before the snippet.
    • User interaction times in a SPA are now relative to the most recent LUX.init call, rather than relative to navigationStart.
    • Element identifiers for user interaction (click, keypress) have been improved. Buttons and links that don't have an id attribute will use their text content as the identifier.

    New feature: Regenerate your API key

    We know a lot of you are concerned about security and sometimes you want to make sure you have control over your API keys for SpeedCurve. We added the ability for you to regenerate your API key on demand in your Team settings. As an org admin, navigate to Admin-> Teams and select the team you want to edit. From there, you'll see the option 'GENERATE NEW API KEY'. Just click & confirm and you're all set!

    Test agent updates: Chrome 89, Lighthouse 7.3

    Updated test agents are being rolled out to all regions today. They include updates to several pieces of core software, including:

    • Chrome has been updated from version 88 to 89
    • Lighthouse has been updated from version 7.2.0 to 7.3.0

    Please note that Chrome 89 includes minor changes to Cumulative Layout Shift and First Contentful Paint. These changes may affect the CLS and FCP values on your pages.

    Test agent updates: Chrome 88, Firefox 85, Lighthouse 7.2

    Updated test agents will be rolled on Monday 1 March (NZDT) to all regions. They include updates to several pieces of core software, including:

    • Chrome has been updated from version 84 to 88
    • Firefox has been updated from version 78 to 85
    • Lighthouse has been updated from version 6.1.1 to 7.2.0
    • SpeedCurve now uses Lighthouse's own simulated throttling to more closely match how Lighthouse runs in other environments. This should not have a noticeable impact on your Lighthouse scores.

    There have been several changes in Chrome that may affect your metrics, including some general performance improvements as well as changes to some Web Vitals metrics. While we can't predict how these changes will affect your pages, in general, we have noticed the following trends:

    • Lighthouse performance scores are generally consistent, but are lower for some pages due to LCP and CLS changes mentioned below.
    • CPU scripting time and other CPU-bound metrics like First CPU Idle are slightly lower (JS execution is faster).
    • CPU layout time is lower (layouts are faster).
    • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) is slightly higher for some pages. This is more pronounced on mobile.
    • Largest Contentful Paint is higher for some pages.

    LUX update: lux.js v211

    We have released v211 of lux.js. This is a bug fix release:

    • Calling LUX.init() no longer causes all user timing marks & measures to be cleared.

    Unexpected changes in metrics

    You might have noticed some unexpected changes in your metrics around 9-10 December. We have not made any changes to our service. We believe the issue is due to changes in Amazon EC2. At this stage we believe the changes are permanent, however we're still in the process of investigating.

    If you have any questions, send them to us at support@speedcurve.com.

    LUX update: lux.js v210

    We have released a new version of lux.js. This release includes minor changes to the self-updating mechanism within lux.js.

    LUX update: lux.js v209

    We have released v209 of lux.js. This is a bug fix release:

    New feature: Vitals Dashboard!

    Everyone is buzzing about Core Web Vitals this year. Here at SpeedCurve, we've been focusing on helping you manage and optimize for these metrics (and others). We are super excited about this latest release, as we bring together the best of both worlds with RUM and Synthetic data. (Don't worry, if you don't have RUM enabled, the dashboards will fall back to all Synthetic data.) Take a look at Vitals in the nav bar on your <- left and let us know what you think!

    For more on this dashboard, see our latest post.

    LUX update: lux.js v208

    We have released v208 of lux.js. This is a bug fix release:

    • User timing marks in SPAs are now measured since the last LUX.init call. Previously they were measured since the beginning of the initial page load, causing user timing values in subsequent pages to be much higher than expected.
    • Fixed a bug where JavaScript page labels only work when the variable is defined before LUX is loaded.
    • Fixed a bug where SPAs that didn't set a page label would always use the initial document.title value as the page label. Now the page label is updated whenever document.title changes.

    Test agent updates: Lighthouse throttling bug fix, Chrome 84, Firefox 78, Lighthouse 6.1.1

    Updated test agents will be rolled on Wednesday 29 July (NZDT) to all regions. They include updates to several pieces of core software, including:

    • A bug that caused Lighthouse tests for some mobile profiles to be double-throttled has been fixed
    • Chrome has been updated from version 83 to 84
    • Firefox has been updated from version 77 to 78
    • Lighthouse has been updated from version 6.1.0 to 6.1.1
    • Incremental updates to wptagent
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