Yottaa launches their web performance testing tool at WebsiteTest.com

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Yottaa announced yesterday, in their newsletter, that they have launched their open website performance testing platform at WebsiteTest.com.

Yottaa is a Boston-based startup focusing on delivering website performance testing and optimization services. With the new website, which they claim to be the ‘first of its kind’, they are opening up web performance testing to us all. At a first glance, it looks like a lead generation website, no harm done there, because the tool is very functional and useful to anyone looking to optimize their website’s performance.

First Of Its Kind

Just to clarify… there are more websites out there that allow for performance testing, the one at the top of my mind being WebPageTest.org. So take it with a little grain of salt… call it an attempt at effective marketing.

Back to business…

WebsiteTest.com’s Goals

Along with generating leads for the sales team, WebsiteTest.com come with a nice collection of functionalities, reports and insights to help anyone get started learn more about what is slowing their website down.

By simply entering the URL you want examined, you start the test. It takes a few seconds, up to a few minutes depending on the settings of the test. WebsiteTest.com allows for various different types of test. The main ones beings:

  • Single browser, location and connection type (one browser, one location and one connectivity  for testing)
  • Multi browser webpage (Compare webpage in IE, Firefox and Chrome browsers)
  • Multi location webpage (Compare webpage from different locations)
  • Multi connectivity webpage (Compare webpage from different last mile networks)

So in other words… test one page with fixed settings, or test one page with different connectivity, location and browser settings. This should offer some rich data. Easily compare performance from different locations (US, Europe, Asia, South America offered), different browsers (IE9, FF3.6 and Chrome) and connections (56K, DSL, Cable and FIOS). There is no news on future options, but I am sure that they will expand this list for all 3 items over time.

Yottaa WebsiteTest - Browser Options

Browser Test Options

Yottaa WebsiteTest - Location Options

Location Test Options

Yottaa WebsiteTest - Connection Options

Connection Test Options

With several advanced options you can decide to run an X amount of tests as quickly as possible or within a certain timeframe. The advanced options will also allow you to determine load types, first visits always (dump cache on every run) or first and repeat visits.

Yottaa WebsiteTest - Advanced Options

Advanced Test Options

All in all a nice set of options. What does the data tell us though?

The Reports

Alright… I seriously need to do something with the insights I got when I ran a test against this blog. The page load times were horrible :(

Reports are broken down into the following parts:

Summary Score

The summary score gives you a run down of the test you just performed. Connection, location, browser, date time… nothing too exciting. And the Yottaa Score. Not sure how serious I need to take this. There is no further information on the page to tell me exactly what this means to me.

Yottaa WebsiteTest - Summary Score

Summary Data

Summary Data is broken down into 3 parts:

Yottaa WebsiteTest - Summary Data

The Front-end User Experience gives you a quick summary on items such as Time to Title, Start Render and Display. The last one is one that I find the most intriguing. How soon will a visitor actually start seeing content… 10 seconds in my case *feeling ashamed*.

The Back-end User Experience… yes, of course it is the opposite of the Front-end… again another list of times. Time To First Byte is a critical metric to look at. This is basically the time it take for your server to respond to a request and actually start transmitting data to the visitor’s browser.

Content Complexity… read more further down in this blog post.

Page Loading Screenshots

Since I am very visually inclined, I love this part of the report. The screenshots will show you a timeline of the loading of the page. The screenshots seem to be taken at an undetermined, maybe random or at certain predefined events, moments during the test. This way you get a clear view of what a visitor will actually see (or don’t see) while they are waiting for the page to load.

Yottaa WebsiteTest - Page Loading Screenshots

Visualizations

The last part of the default report will offer you 3 visualization options for the data. At this point in the report, you will also find a link to the HTTP archive log (HAR file) for those of you who want to view the data offline.

Content Complexity

The Content Complexity is nothing more than a breakdown of the different types of elements on your page, aggregated per type. An additional chart will show you the combined weight of the elements.

Yottaa WebsiteTest - Visualizations Content Complexity

Waterfall Chart

The Waterfall Chart is one that should be common by now. It is in this chart that individual page elements are shown, and the place/time in which they were loaded in the browser. The data is linked to the earlier mentioned Front-end and Back-end User Experience information. One added extra metric is the Time to Interactivity. It’s the red line, all the way to the right… I know, I know… soooo slow. 20+ seconds. Sorry dear visitor :(

Yottaa WebsiteTest - Visualizations Waterfall Chart

HTTP Timeline

The HTTP Timeline is a basic overview of the Request and Response Headers. Use the Tabs to navigate through the different data sets.

Yottaa WebsiteTest - Visualizations HTTP Timeline

Conclusion

Yottaa’s WebsiteTest.com seems to be a formidable candidate compared to the already present alternatives. There are a few features that I am missing, when comparing to the latter, the main one being the option to compare several URL’s at the same time (such as a list of competitors) and having the tool creature a video of the recorded screenshots, comparing all the URL’s in a single view.

Nevertheless, WebsiteTest.com will give you enough insights to get started, or at least for you to present to stakeholders. It is not a problem solver, but more of a problem finder. It will be up to you (and me in the case of the presented data here) what you do with the information…

One things that I would like Yottaa to do, is publicize a list of IP addresses of their test servers so that I can exclude them from my Web Analytics tools, because they will spike your visits. Other than that… I would say, go out there and test your website or your comeptitors’ website yourself. Have fun and let me know what you think!

[button color=green url=http://www.websitetest.com]Visit WebsiteTest.com[/button]

If you want to view the data from my test, click here.

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About Matthew Niederberger

Matthew works as Conversion Optimisation Manager at Ziggo BV. In his free time he enjoys family life as well as digging into online user research material whilst frequently generating some of his own, which he freely shares here on actualinsights.com.

Comments

  1. George says:

    Funny how their PR is spinning it as ‘first of its kind’ when they know well that http://www.webpagetest.org has offered the same capabilities years before Yottaa was founded….

  2. Thanks for the great overview of our WebSiteTest.com site. We are pretty excited about what you can do with it. The recommendations in your conclusion are very interesting and we will be reviewing this internally. 

    Regarding filtering the hits in your analytics package, if it allows you to filter out based on browser type, create the filter to look for the YottaaMonitor browser. That’s what I have done in Google Analytics and it works great.

    WebPageTest.org serves a great need and it’s true that there is a bit of overlap between the two resources. But the big feature that we offer which isn’t in WebPageTest is referred to as multivariate testing. What this means is that you can set up a test one time and have it run with several different settings. This is why we can legitimately say its the first of its kind.

    So I tell it to run from several locations in a single test, or using several different browsers, or several different connectivity options. With WebPageTest, you can do that, but you will need to create a test for each option. To test from 12 locations I need to create 12 tests. I definitely appreciate the time savings I get with WebSiteTest.com.

    If you have any further comments or suggestions, let me know. I see you are based in Amsterdam. Until I make the final move to Boston soon, I am also living there. Perhaps we can meet up at some point.

  3. Thanks for the clarification Matt. The multivariate part does seem to be unique in the sense that you can do it all in one single test instead of several manual set up tests.

    The part with filtering is, is that not every package allows for filtering on browser type. In my case, Clicky, I can only filter out on network and IP address. I can understand that filtering on IP can be dangerous if your using CDN networks.

    I would love to catch up some time in Amsterdam. When are you headed out to Boston?

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