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Vitals dashboard walkthrough, web performance for PMs & more

May 1, 2021

Hi there,

Where I live, it's springtime – my favourite time of year. Longer days, warmer weather, and of course all that life-affirming renewal and rebirth stuff. ;) 

After the year we've all been through, it's probably safe to say that many of us are ready to feel renewed, recharged, and ready to re-emerge into the world. I'm not going to promise that this newsletter will deliver on all of that (that's a pretty big ask for a simple newsletter), but hopefully it'll offer you some tidbits that help you feel connected to the excellent #webperf community we're all part of.

Until next time,

Web performance for PMs

These days, especially with the advent of Core Web Vitals, I find myself talking to more and more product managers. PMs approach performance differently than devs and engineers, so this introduction to performance for product managers is an awesome and welcome new resource by Cliff Crocker (@cliffcrocker). Also note: this is a great intro for non-PMs, too. :)

NEW! URLs charts in your Sites dashboard

This is one of those "we can't believe we didn't think of it sooner!" features. At the top of your Sites dashboard, you can now see at a glance how all the URLs you're monitoring within a site compare across key metrics (backend, start render, LCP, and TTI). It's a great way to quickly spot performance anomalies.

Roundup: Core Web Vitals

Google recently announced that they've delayed the rollout of the "page experience" update to their search ranking algorithm to June. At SpeedCurve, we've been tracking Web Vitals for over a year, which has given us a lot of time for building out our tools and investigating the data. Here's a recap of what we've released and learned so far.

Do you have any unanswered questions or concerns about Web Vitals? Let me know.

NEW! 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've added the ability for you to regenerate your API key on demand in your Team settings:

  1. As an org admin, navigate to Admin-> Teams.
  2. Select the team you want to edit. 
  3. From there, you'll see the option 'Generate New API Key. Just click and confirm, and you're all set.

Test agent updates: Chrome 89 and Lighthouse 7.3

In case you missed it, we updated our test agents across all regions on March 23. This included updates to several pieces of core software, including:

  • Chrome was updated from version 88 to 89
  • Lighthouse was updated from version 7.2.0 to 7.3.0

Note: Chrome 89 includes minor changes to Cumulative Layout Shift and First Contentful Paint. These changes may affect your CLS and FCP results.

More good reads from the #webperf community...

  • In this episode of the Smashing podcast, Harry Roberts goes deep into the  current state of web performance. One of the many things I love about this episode is that Harry resurrects the issue of latency. Latency hasn't gone away, and it's a bigger issue than ever, but it seems like nobody talks explicitly about it any more.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) is one of Google's Core Web Vitals. Custom fonts are a common factor in poor CLS scores. ICYMI, Simon Hearne shares a tonne of great tips for optimizing custom fonts to reduce layout shifts.  
  • In this case study, Vodafone shared how they improved their Largest Contentful Paint time by 31%, resulting in an 8% increase in sales, a 15% increase in their lead to visit rate, and an 11% increase in their cart-to-visit rate.
  • In another case study, Yahoo! Japan News reduced their Cumulative Layout Shift score by 0.2. As a result, they saw a 15.1% increase in page views per session, 13.3% longer session durations and a 1.72 percentage point decrease in bounce rate.