In this article, I am going to show you the definition of website performance monitoring and how it works.

In this digital age, websites have become very crucial for every business, whether a small online business or a big firm.

With a website, you will be able to make your business reach a wider audience who would have not been able to visit your physical location.

In essence, anyone who has an internet connection will be able to access your business. And this in the end will make it possible for you to increase the sales of your products and services.

But before you are able to do so, your website performance must leave a lasting impression on your prospects and even engaged customers.

Think of someone trying to buy a product or book a service on your website, but ends up with a long load page time or downtime.

Along with the kind of product or service your organization provides, features, and price, your website performance will leave a lasting impression on customers and potential customers.

In this article, therefore, I will help you to understand what is website performance monitoring as well as how it works.

Let’s begin by looking at the definition of website performance monitoring.

What is website performance monitoring?

Website performance monitoring is simply the art of measuring how a website is able to efficiently respond to the interactions of those who are using it.

In the end, the data that is gathered from this monitoring enables the website owner to know the improvements he has to make on his website. And this will help in reducing the website’s bounce rates which will lead to the retention and increase of users.

Why you must use Website Performance Monitoring.

The aim of using website performance monitoring is to ensure that your website or any other web service is both fast and impressive to your users.

The means of figuring out the fastness and impression of your website is through the increase in your leads and sales as well as your website visitors’ feedback.

It is a fact that a website will always be prone to errors. In fact, it is very rare to find a website without fault, which is why you must always seize the opportunity to use website performance monitoring to track how your website is doing.

Website performance monitoring will help you to identify where there are faults or errors in your website. And most importantly, it will show you the changes you need in order to improve the performance of your website.

What causes poor website performance?

There are so many factors that contribute to the poor performance of a website, and some of them are:

  1. The web hosting service you are using.
  2. The quantity and sizes of your file.
  3. The end users’ variables like where they are located, the devices, browser types, and operating systems they are using.
  4. Site changes.
  5. Inappropriate hardware.
  6. Content from third parties.

Identifying the above problems will never be easy unless you are using synthetic website performance monitoring.

How does Website Performance Monitoring work?

Website performance monitoring will work based on the type of service a company is opting for, and there are different types of such services.

Different solutions will offer different levels of monitoring reports which must go hand in hand with the two active types of monitoring which are:

  1. Synthetic performance monitoring and
  2. Real User Monitoring (RUM).

1. Synthetic Performance Monitoring.

In synthetic performance monitoring, a computer application is used to conduct performance checks based on routine.

This case of monitoring does not require any user interaction, and for this reason, the monitoring industry usually considers this type of monitoring as a very “active one.

Based on the timely settings, a checkpoint will measure the response times and generates a series of reports or alerts based on how the site is performing at the time of the test and with this data sends a request to the website or service.

Based on the intention of the monitoring, a website will have an option of choosing any of the following website performance monitoring.

  1. The basic.
  2. Mid-level
  3. Advanced website performance monitoring.

1. Basic Website Performance Monitoring.

Basic website monitoring also known as HTTP and HTTPS monitors or uptime monitoring involves using checkpoints that generate a request for the page recording how long it takes for the page to be downloaded.

A basic monitor will not process any content it returns, and for that reason, subsequent requests will never occur.

For instance, since basic monitors do not download images, speed issues that occur due to the size of an image will not be recorded.

As for back-end issues, tracking uptime, especially SLA tracking, and helping to identify performance trends, a basic performance monitor is a great catch.

This type of website synthetic performance monitoring is ideal for brochure sites and other non-critical pages.

2. Mid-level Website Performance Monitoring.

In mid-level performance monitoring, the problem of basic monitoring is solved because it uses real browsers like chrome for making the request, executing scripts, requesting and downloading additional content as well as loading the page.

In the same way, it will for an actual user, the content returned will load into the browser. This level of performance monitoring will give a more accurate account of how the site is responding as well as its load time, but will not provide the element-by-element results of advanced website performance monitoring.

Now since real browsers are capable of loading the page contents, if there are errors on the page, the monitor will generate a screenshot of the page if it is possible.

3. Advanced Website Performance Monitoring.

Every little data that is obtained from synthetic monitoring is provided by advanced website performance monitoring.

The request is initiated from a real browser like in mid-level monitoring and measures the resolve, connection from TCP, HTTPS, send, wait, and receive times from each element available on the page.

It will display the data in a chart and provide a visual account of how the page load is progressing.

It is easy to discover any poor performance, failed reports, slow down third-party content, as well as generate screenshots of errors.

2. Real User Monitoring and Performance.

Real User Monitoring (RUM) is considered passive in the monitoring circle because the monitoring is only accessed by a user through a page that is running a RUM script.

Detailed information about the user’s environment as well as the reports of the performance as experienced by the real user is gathered by the RUM script.

The reports generated by the Real User can be seen in the table below:

Load timeNetwork durationBackend durationFrontend durationDownload time.
Time of the first byteRedirect, DNS, and connect duration.Send and receive duration.ROM and render duration.
Page ready time

The performance data sorting options will include the page that is viewed, the user’s location, the type of browser, the operating system, and the type of device.

Anytime the website is available, Real User Monitoring will give a detailed insight into how a site is performing. However, its passive nature makes it a very unreliable tool for uptime reporting as well as other alerting needs.


The difference between synthetic monitoring and Real User Monitoring is that Synthetic monitoring is ideal for alerting a company about uptime and performance issues while Real User Monitoring will provide insight into the structuring of the synthetic options so as to get real insights into the experiences of the real users.

Last modified: April 16, 2023



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