Monitor Response Time

05 Dec 2018

...new feature (beta)!

We've just rolled out a brand new feature: response time monitoring.

As well as monitoring websites for uptime and downtime we now monitor the time it takes for each website to respond.

The response times are logged and can be viewed in graphical format. Read on to see some pretty graphs of response times...

monitor response time for website


Why Monitor Response Time?

1) If a webpage is slow the experience for the visitor is usually bad. Many users simply leave a site if it doesn't respond within a few seconds.

2) When a site has a high response time it is usually an indication that the server is struggling. Slow response times are really common when servers are overloaded and the information can be used to identify server problems or to explain that there is a problem when contacting a web host.

3) Slow response times and high levels of downtime are linked. A site that has a high response time is more likely to suffer from downtime than a site that is running quickly.

What Is Response Time?

Don't confuse page load time with response time!

Page load time is "the time it takes to download and display the entire content of a web page in the browser window". This very much depends on the size of the webpage to be displayed - heavy pages with lots of large images or video will take longer than light pages with just text and a few optimised images. This is not a good value of response time.

Response time is sometimes defined as Time To First Byte, i.e. "the time taken to receive the first byte of data" from the server. However, this is not perfect because it is shorter than the time taken for the first byte of data to actually appear in the web browser.

We use Time To Receive Headers as response time because this most accurately reflects when website users see a response... headers are received immediately before the first content is loaded to the web browser.

You can find more technical detail on defining response time at the end of the post: When is a website considered down as opposed to just slow?

Logs & Stats

All users now have access to response time logs and stats. If you are already a Downtime Monkey user you don't need to do anything - all accounts have been upgraded automatically to include this new feature.

Free plan users can see individual response times (monitored every 3 minutes) for the last 24 hours and daily averages of response times for 90 days.

Pro Plan users can view individual response times (monitored every minute) for the last 24 hours, for the last 7 days and daily averages of response times for 2 years.

Graphs

Here are a some response time graphs taken from real websites. You can see the difference between a fast website and a site that has problems:


Fast website: response times every minute for 24 hours

This website was running well with responses mostly around 100ms. There were a couple of periods of slightly slower responses but no major problems.

Response Time (milliseconds) vs Time (UTC)


Overloaded website: response times every minute for 6 days

This website was running slowly and was frequently overloaded by comment spam bots. Even during better periods the response times were approximately 1-3 seconds and during periods of overloading they rose to more than 15 seconds. This site also experienced regular downtimes with only 82.139% uptime during 7 days!

Response Time (milliseconds) vs Time (UTC)

Response Times for Your Monitors

To view the response time graphs and stats simply login, navigate to your website monitors and click on 'view stats' for the website in question.

If you don't have an account yet, you can sign-up for a free account and begin monitoring your websites in seconds!

Note this feature is in a short period of beta testing and there may some changes as testing progresses.