According to a report by Google, mobile users abandon webpages if the load time is more than three seconds. In other words, even a fractionally slower website will lead to a bad user experience and increased bounce rates. Today’s users are more demanding and expect near-instantaneous load times and seamless experiences. If you can’t meet their expectations, they’ll find other websites or applications capable of providing a better experience.
Website visitors are often spread across geographic locations, and they use various browsers, devices, and platforms. This means your website must perform as expected in a multitude of circumstances, even amid the increased complexity of maintaining performance and a seamless user experience. Even if you test extensively during the development phase, some issues may only surface in a live environment. For example, a performance issue might only be pertinent to a browser version or a geographic location, or it might only occur for a specific period of time. However, you can gain real-time insights into performance and availability with the help of real user monitoring (RUM).
This article discusses how RUM can help you monitor and maintain the performance of your website and applications to provide the best user experience and achieve business objectives.
How Does RUM Software Help?
RUM software helps you track user behavior on your website and applications in real time. You can track page load times experienced by users, how they’re navigating your website, and the locations from which they’re accessing your site. This means you’ll have better visibility and the insight necessary to find and fix issues as soon as possible.
Additionally, RUM software provides data visualization via bar graphs, line graphs, and pie charts to help you understand the comprehensive data. With some RUM solutions, you can customize and filter how you view the data to find insights and help you do the following:
- Find common patterns in performance issues, such as issues only affecting a specific platform or geographic location or occurring only during particular time periods
- Prioritize performance fixes based on severity and impact
- Improve the availability of top-visited pages and contextualize the webpages for better user engagement
- Compare performance metrics with historical data to measure the effectiveness of performance fixes and improvements over time
Real user monitoring also helps you identify commonalities in usage patterns among your highly valued users, and you can use these to enhance performance and experience for everyone. In addition, real user monitoring complements synthetic monitoring. For example, you can discover the most important pages visited from real user monitoring and make sure you’re proactively monitoring their availability and performance with synthetic monitoring so you’re the first to know when they’re unavailable.
SolarWinds® Pingdom® is a software as a service (SaaS)-based, scalable real user monitoring solution offering a comprehensive feature set, including live geographic mapping, advanced data filtering, user behavior metrics, and user experience monitoring. Additionally, the tool’s intuitive interface makes it suitable for technical and nontechnical professionals in your organization. With Pingdom RUM, you can set acceptable performance levels to ensure your website is delivering visitor experience as expected. Pingdom also allows you to measure user satisfaction with the Apdex score, an industry standard. You can share Pingdom reports with key stakeholders or clients to help them understand how performance improvements are enhancing user experience over time.
Pingdom also offers synthetic monitoring features such as uptime monitoring, page speed monitoring, and transaction monitoring. These features allow you to proactively monitor for performance issues and reduce mean time to resolution, adding to your digital experience monitoring capabilities.
Real user monitoring is indispensable when it comes to improving the end-user experience on your website and applications. Though various RUM solutions deliver similar features, they differ in the way they provide data visualization, advanced filtering, scalability, and data retention. Most of the RUM solutions offer a free trial to help you evaluate and decide. In our view, Pingdom RUM is one of the most comprehensive real user monitoring solutions, and it’s capable of scaling from small business websites up to monitoring for enterprise web applications with millions of users.