The Pingdom Tools Full Page Test was on the front page of Digg yesterday. Even though we of course wanted the word out, this was a little more than we expected. It actually turned out to be a great stress test. We were getting more than 10,000 web page test requests per hour, which is quite a lot considering the application is currently running on just one server. This was baptism by fire.
So what is the purpose of the Full Page Test in Pingdom Tools? It loads websites including all their objects such as images, CSS files, and so on, but why?
- Finding bottlenecks. Which elements of a website load slowly?
- Finding errors. Broken links to images, etc.
- Testing a website from a different location than your own. Instead of asking your buddy over IM to check if a website works for him, just use this tool.
We figured this would be a very useful complement to our website monitoring tools.
The Digg thread is an interesting read, and we would like to reply to some of the questions raised in it.
Why are load times faster than in my own browser?
There are a few things to take into consideration here:
- The server doing the testing has a 100 mbit/s high-quality connection. This is a lot better than most people have in their homes.
- As some noted, we do open more simultaneous connections than a regular web browser. We do this to be able to handle more test requests per hour and give users a highly responsive application.
- Even though it’s (often) faster, you can examine the relative loading time for the different objects. This will still show you the bottlenecks.
I would like to test from more locations.
We built this application with this in mind from the start. For the time being we are running it on one server over at The Planet in Dallas, but we plan on adding more locations down the line.
It really should be noted that this is only the first version. We have a lot of really cool plans for it, so you can expect it to get even more and better features over time.
We are really happy to see the application discussed and examined like this, so thank you everyone for taking the time to comment.
Please feel free to email us at support [at] pingdom [dot] com if you have any questions or suggestions. We always welcome feedback, and our developers sure like hearing what you think.