Getting Started with the Uptime.com Page Speed Check

A slow-loading site can affect SEO and customer experience, so it is important to ensure that your website is optimized to handle existing and new traffic.

Uptime.com offers both a Page Speed Free Tool and Page Speed Check, utilizing Google Lighthouse. Both features can help pinpoint and correct problems related to site loading time and performance. This article will guide you on how to use the Page Speed tests and understand its results.

For more information on the Page Speed Check, see our Reading the Page Speed Report or Definitions and Terminology documentation.

Table of Contents

Page Speed Check At A Glance

  • Get in depth performance metrics in an easily readable format.

  • Break down load times of each process using the Request Waterfall.

  • View historical data on your website's performance over a set time period.

Setup

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There are two ways to access the Uptime.com Page Speed Test:

  • In the Resources section of the Uptime.com website. (Go to Resources > Page Speed Test)

  • From your Uptime.com account (Go to Monitoring > Page Speed)

This section will focus on the Page Speed Check. For information on the Free Tool version, see our comparison below.

Page Speed Check Setup

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From your Uptime.com account, go to Monitoring > Checks, and click “Add New”. From the check creation window, select “Page Speed” from the drop down. Alternatively, you can use the filtered view in Monitoring > Page Speed to create one easier and see any existing Page Speed checks (as seen below).

Add new Page Speed.png

Page Speed checks have a number of required fields, highlighted below. The last required field is the Check Step, where the desired domain or web page is specified.

Page Speed Check page.png

By default, the Page Speed Check will run on a daily basis (every 24 hours). However, depending on the plan you have, you may have the option to set your check interval from a minimum of 1 hour and up to 7 days.

Unlike most other checks, the Page Speed Check only runs from a single location. The Page Speed check produces a Performance Report based on a number of factors, including routing and distance from the client web server, so for consistency and historical trends this report runs from the same location each time.

Given this configuration, we recommend that you duplicate your check and configure additional Locations if further geographical performance data is needed.

Check Steps

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Page Speed Check steps are very similar to Transaction Check steps when it comes to both Commands and Validations. However, PageSpeed Steps are what allows the check to perform its audits on the webpage.

The Page Speed Steps includes the following:

  • Navigate and Analyze: If your page does not require any basic authentication and you would like to simply begin creating a report for your webpage, this is the best option for you.
  • Take Snapshot - This option runs a number of audits on your webpage to produce a report. However, please keep in mind that these snapshots are instantaneous. Any navigation related audits will not be run at this step.
  • Start/end navigation - Starting and ending a navigation captures the load times/speeds of any navigation initiated by an action on the relevant webpage. For example, clicking a button or submitting a form could be an action for this report.
  • Start/end timespan - Timespan here refers to the entire user interaction with the webpage captured over a period of time.

To capture desired metrics and produce an accurate Page Speed report, it is important to use a combination of Commands, Validations, and PageSpeed steps. For more information on Commands and Validators, see our article here.

Optional Settings

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Page Speed Optional.png

For additional functionality and customization, the  following optional settings can be implemented:

  • Username/Password: Add your basic authentication (encoded, but not encrypted) credentials here to view the performance of such protected websites.
  • HTTP Headers: Pass headers to send with your HTTP request such as authorization, content-type, and more.
  • Block URLs: Prevent resources from being loaded based on their URL. Regular expressions are supported.
  • Emulate Device: Choose which device you would like to perform this check with. This is useful if you would like to test out the mobile version of a webpage vs the desktop version.
  • Connection Throttling: Choose which network you would like to perform this test with. Using this option allows for performance testing over different networks to determine how your webpage will load.
  • Uptime Grade Threshold: If enabled, any contacts listed on this check will be alerted if your webpage performance goes below a specific grade.

Please note: The Uptime Grade will not appear on your Status Page, should you choose to display your Page Speed Check as a component. Adding your check to the status page will provide you with its UP or DOWN state similar to other checks.

Run Test

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Page Speed Check offers the option to “Run Test”. This feature should be used to ensure the check is properly configured, and  not  for generating instant reports for your webpage.

 

It is important to note that the “Run Test”  creates a temporary Performance Report on your webpage, as seen in the image above, but with less overall functionality than the typical report. Here are the key differences to be aware of:

  1. This report is not saved. The report generated with the “Run Test” is not saved and will not be accessible after leaving the report.
  2. No ability to download the report. This report is View Only, from within the UI.
  3. No Historical data. This temporary report will not affect the check’s historical data in the History tab.

Reading a Page Speed Report

For a more in-depth look at the Page Speed Report, what it has to offer, and the metrics displayed, please see our Reading a Page Speed Report and Definitions and Terminology documentation.

Page Speed: Free Tools Version

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A version of the Page Speed Test is available for free on Uptime.com’s main site.

 

Page Speed.png

Running a new test from the Uptime.com website is simple: type in the domain of the desired website and select “Test Your Site”.

Please note: if you are logged in to your Uptime.com account and access the Page Speed Tool from the Uptime.com website, you will redirect into your account.

Advanced Options

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Though starting your test is as simple as entering your domain, there are a few additional options that can be taken advantage of such as Location, Device, and Throttling. Use these options to refine your test to take into account specific parameters.

Page Speed Check vs Free Tool

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While the free tool version of the Page Speed Test provides extensive metrics and data points to show you exactly how the performance of your website fairs, there are numerous benefits with the paid Page Speed Check version.

The following section will outline these major differences in functionality and reporting.

Daily Checks

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The Page Speed Check will run every 24 hours providing you with daily feedback on how your website is performing. Additionally, with a paid plan comes the ability to set your check interval to run on an hourly basis.

You can select a location from our large list of Probe Servers to perform this check with. This can be a location close to home or in another area of the world. Please keep in mind that each Page Speed Check can only utilize a single probe server at a time.

The Page Speed Test, however, is run manually.

Optional Settings

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Optional settings provide a deeper usage and customization of the Page Speed Check. With options such as username and password for basic authentication, sending HTTP headers, preventing specific URLs from loading, and setting your Uptime Grade, you can adjust the check to be more specific for your use case.

Uptime Grade Threshold

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Within the optional settings for your Page Speed Check is your Uptime Grade Threshold. If this setting is enabled, you can specify exactly what the minimum Uptime grade should be in order for the check to continue to be considered as UP. Enabling this setting will allow for more specific alerting to configured Contacts.

Alerting

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By adding a contact from your Uptime.com account, you can have automatic alerts sent to the contact method specified for that contact. This includes your Uptime Grade Threshold.

Escalations can also be added to your Page Speed Check allowing alerting to others after the check is considered DOWN for a specified amount of time.

History

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Use the Page Speed Check’s History tab to track your website’s performance data over a set period of time, to tell whether or not your website is performing adequately and meeting your expectations.

Page Speed Reports are kept for up to 30 days to allow you to compare your results over the course of the last month, while your metrics data/graphs are stored for up to 13 months for comparative data analysis.

Use Cases

The Page Speed Report is a valuable asset for any website. As one example, e-commerce websites can ensure that their customers can not only navigate the page and add an item to their cart utilizing the Transaction Check Commands and Validations, but also ensure that the load times due to user interaction are within an acceptable range.

Additionally, combining data from Page Speed reports with Real User Monitoring (RUM) aggregated metrics can show deeper correlations around your website’s performance and provide invaluable insights on how your customers interact with your site.

Page Speed is a crucial and dynamic monitoring system, and will slot in well to any existing website monitoring paradigm.

Final Thoughts

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The Page Speed Test allows for more transparency into the performance of your website. Whether you’re looking for your website’s overall performance or if it's a specific aspect of your website that you need, the Page Speed Test can provide it for you no matter the use case.

For any questions or assistance in getting your Page Speed Check configured and running, please contact support@uptime.com.

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