Real User Monitoring or RUM data measures how actual visitors interact with your website and experience your page load times.
This is in contrast to synthetic measures such as WebPageTest that test website performance artificially and cannot predict the behavior of real users. Since RUM data comes directly from your visitors, it takes into account how your audience is accessing your website and how that impacts performance: For example, RUM data can tell you how your page load time differs across browsers, devices, and connection speeds.
For new users of Section or those wishing to collect baseline metrics for their website performance, this is a simple solution that provides in-depth information on how your website is currently performing. Once you have collected a baseline, RUM data provides information on how users are experiencing the performance improvements you make through caching and front end optimizations. RUM is also valuable as an ongoing measure that is largely unavailable through free tools such as Google Analytics, which only gives full page load time from a small sample of users.
Section’s RUM offering currently includes the following metrics:
- Back end load time
- Front end load time
- Full page load time
- Throughput (page views)
- Traffic by user agent (browser, device type)
These measures enable you to see where your website is performing well and where improvements could be made - for example, you may have a fast front end load time but a slow back end load time, something that can be improved with caching of dynamic content.