A beginner's guide to understanding real user monitoring

Understand the basics of real user monitoring and monitor user experience using Site24x7 RUM.

Sign Up Now 30-day Free Trial

Introduction

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 RUM works

A small JavaScript code is injected into the website's header or footer. This in turn injects a script that helps in capturing all the performance data when the webpage loads. Metrics like redirection time; the number of JavaScript errors, AJAX calls, and user sessions; DNS lookup time; connection time; network time; backend time; and frontend time are captured. Global Uptime Monitoring

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.

Global Uptime Monitoring

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.

With Google Analytics, you can understand the navigation path from one page to another, as well as the page load time, bounce rate, and exit rate. With RUM, you can identify the page load time, time taken for individual resources to load, JavaScript errors, and AJAX calls. The information provided by RUM helps you identify issues as and when they happen, and enables you to optimize your front-end performance.

Global Uptime Monitoring

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.
  • Identify and eliminate JavaScript errors: Pinpoint the exact URL and line of code where a JavaScript error has occurred. You can also trace the user paths contributing to a specific error and analyze the possible triggers.
  • 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.
  • Track browser performance: Certain issues, like JavaScript errors, can be browser-specific. With RUM, you can identify and eliminate them as well.
Global Uptime Monitoring

Get Started

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.

Monitor from 100+ global locations.

Why wait? Start offering value to your customers right away.