Real user monitoring (RUM) refers to capturing users’ interactions with a website in real time. This helps you analyze how your end users perceive your website.
As businesses go digital and global, their websites are accessed from various devices and from multiple geographies. It’s important to provide a consistent user experience across all geographies and devices, but in reality, the user experience could be impacted by various external factors like network latency, operational hiccups, trouble retrieving requested resources, and slow ISPs. Also, what works in one browser may not work in another.
This is where RUM comes in handy. It helps you see why your website is slow in a particular region, identify if you’ve overlooked any issues with your page load time, find out where and why a user abandoned a page, etc. All of this information enables you to optimize your website performance.
How is RUM different from Synthetic Monitoring
Synthetic monitoring, also known as real browser monitoring (RBM), enables you to test your webpage workflows by simulating the page in various browsers from different locations; you can also play back the simulation periodically. RBM is helpful for assessing your website performance pre- and post-deployment.
However, it is not humanly possible to simulate all possible scenarios. As mentioned earlier, network latency or a slow ISP connection—which have nothing to do with your website performance—could hamper the end-user experience. Network latency can be monitored in real time using RUM.
It is to be noted that RBM and RUM aren’t alternate solutions to the same problem; rather, they complement each other for a holistic end-user experience.
How is RUM different from Google Analytics
While device, browser, and geography data is captured both in RUM and Google Analytics, the former is primarily intended to analyze the user experience and performance, while the latter focuses on user behavior.
RUM is used by people in various roles, including developers, DevOps, IT admins, and marketers.
DevOps teams are interested in how their infrastructure caters to end users of all sorts. RUM helps DevOps teams determine if a spike in response time can be attributed to expected factors (increase in traffic, poor performance in a particular geography) or to unexpected factors (issues with the ISP or CDN).
- IT admins:
RUM gives IT admins a holistic, granular view of front-end performance, including network latency, errors, and user sessions.
RUM helps marketers dig deep into performance by geography, identify busy hours, and analyze specific pages of importance.
Key Features of RUM
- Monitor the performance of single-page applications (SPAs): Static HTML pages are outdated, and SPAs are the rage these days. Tracking asynchronous calls in SPAs, a crucial task for organizations, can be achieved with RUM.
- Analyze user sessions: Monitor user journeys and analyze the reasons a user exited or abandoned a page.
- Analyze webpage performance: Identify response time and throughput for individual webpages, as well as load time for resources like images, CSS, and scripts, and optimize them accordingly.
So how do I begin with real user monitoring? Simple: Sign up for a Site24x7 account and get started with RUM. If you’re an existing user, you can simply integrate your websites with the RUM monitor and start monitoring.