Measuring web performance: Synthetic vs Real User Monitoring

There are two schools of thought to measure web performance: Synthetic Monitoring and Real User Monitoring (RUM). Even though they are often opposed, the two methods are complementary. This article reviews the two types of monitoring. What is it all about? What are they used for? How to use them effectively? What are the pitfalls to avoid?

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Third party tags: their impact on web performance

Webperf and third parties study

An increasing number of third party services are now being incorporated into today's web sites. In 2012, a typical web page contained an average of 13 third party scripts or "tags". Today, our Top 40 analysis of French e-commerce web sites shows that this number has risen to an average of 21 third party tags, an increase of 62%.

These third party services provide added value, with the promise of increased revenue (e.g. via advertising), higher conversion rates (through the use of retargeting tags) or a better understanding of user profiles (through embedded analytics).

But they also have a poor reputation when it comes to their impact on performance! A number of studies have attempted to prove this in the past (including studies such as those conducted by Instart Logic and NCC Group), and it forms a key part of the rationale behind ad blockers (a topic we will come back to in a future article).

We were keen to find out just how much of an impact these various third party widgets would have on the monthly web performance rankings published on JDN.

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[Installation guide] Webpagetest agent on windows server 2008

As you may know, Fasterize is an active partner of webpagetest and host the agents for Paris. Today, we explain in detail the official guide on https://sites.google.com/a/webpagetest.org/docs/private-instances.
The purpose of this guide is giving the maximum pieces of information to install an agent. Most steps are illustrated with pictures.

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