Web Performance is a Journey, Not a Destination

Mehdi Daoudi

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Web Performance Implodes as Leicester City Wins Premier League

For those of you who don’t follow football (the real one), Leicester City won the 2015/16 Premier League title in one of the most remarkable underdog triumphs in sporting history. This was the club’s first championship in their 132-year history.

In fact, Leicester City were 5,000/1 to win the Premier League last August.

That was 10 times more unlikely than finding the Loch Ness Monster, and almost thrice as unlikely to find flying pigs.

Leicester Betfred

As expected, Twitter exploded after the win.

Leicester Tweet

This had a ripple effect on the entire internet’s performance in the UK. On average, sites took twice as long to load during this period of mayhem.

Leicester Ecommerce


Leicester UK News and Media sites

The gambling sites, apart from losing money on the incredible odds, also lost big on performance; webpage response times jumped by almost 25 seconds on some cases.

Leicester Gambling Sites Performance

Analyzing this bloodbath led us to the usual suspects: third-party content, specifically Twitter.

We haven’t been shy about discussing the impact of inappropriately placed third party content like marketing tags and third party cloud providers. Yet, no one seems to pay heed.

Below is the general snapshot of the performance of most Twitter URLs on webpages.

Leicester Website Performance

Hence every website that had Twitter integrated and loading it before Document Complete saw a spike in their Document Complete times by almost three times, some increasing even up to five times. Contrasting that with websites loading Twitter after Document Complete, the impact of Twitter on these websites is clear.

Leicester Twitter Before

Leicester Twitter After

A consolidated scatterplot of the above drives home our point further: Loading third-party content before Document Complete is asking for trouble.

Leicester Third Parties

Social network integrations are essential to interact with users and drive marketing campaigns; but, integrating these components before your Document Complete is equivalent to placing your website’s remote control in your neighboring site. You could have the fanciest 4K television set, but without the remote control, you have no way to control it. Marketing tags are beneficial to your brand, but if your website doesn’t load, there’s nothing to promote.

Having said that, congratulations to Leicester City FC on winning the Premier League—even if they did finish 15th in our Web Performance Premier League.

The post Web Performance Implodes as Leicester City Wins Premier League appeared first on Catchpoint's Blog.

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Catchpoint radically transforms the way businesses manage, monitor, and test the performance of online applications. Truly understand and improve user experience with clear visibility into complex, distributed online systems.

Founded in 2008 by four DoubleClick / Google executives with a passion for speed, reliability and overall better online experiences, Catchpoint has now become the most innovative provider of web performance testing and monitoring solutions. We are a team with expertise in designing, building, operating, scaling and monitoring highly transactional Internet services used by thousands of companies and impacting the experience of millions of users. Catchpoint is funded by top-tier venture capital firm, Battery Ventures, which has invested in category leaders such as Akamai, Omniture (Adobe Systems), Optimizely, Tealium, BazaarVoice, Marketo and many more.