Performance Tools and Half of a Plumber
Needing a plumber is never fun, and always stressful. But when there’s a water or sewage problem, you want it fixed right away. When you call the plumber, you want three things:
- A prompt response, even at 3am on Christmas morning
- The plumber to figure out and tell you exactly what’s wrong
- The plumber to fix the problem good as new
Now imagine a plumber who shows up and just says, “well, there is a lot of water in this basement, something is wrong with your pipes”, and then promptly left without another word. He was polite and professional, but he really only did half of what you needed. He is only half of a plumber. And now he’s gone.
If you Google “web performance monitoring” you’ll get a plethora of great tools to help you monitor the health and performance of your website, whether that website is a one man show or an enterprise behemoth. You’ll quickly recognize major names with great products for keeping tabs on and reporting on the performance of your website and the software that runs on it. And one of the main features in just about all of the web performance monitoring tools is the dashboard of metrics. Metrics, Metrics, Metrics. What was the page load time? What was the TTFB? What is the uptime? When did page load time change? Having this data is super important because it helps you understand the current state of your systems.
The challenge is, once your know the state of your system, what do you do to improve it? Monitoring is only half the battle. You don’t just want a tool that only says “TTFB has increased 300ms on server A”. The tools tell you that you have a problem, and they tell you very clearly what that problem is. But they’re a lot like that plumber we talked about earlier. They are very prompt, very professional, very knowledgeable and courteous. But they don’t tell you how to fix the problem. And they don’t tell you whose domain the problem really falls into: development, design, or IT.
What you need to pair monitoring with is root-cause analysis. You need the other half of the plumber. “Your pipe burst because it wasn’t insulated properly over here. You need to replace the pipe, and you need to remove the inadaquent insulation and upgrade to something with a higher R value” are doing to replace the pipe.” This is exactly what Zoompf does. Zoompf checks your website constantly to find and identify more than 400 potential performance issues, and then tells you exactly how to fix each one. And in some cases, we just fix it for you. We’re like a plumber who’s always checking on your pipes all the time. And we have all the coolest tools.
Photo courtesy of Maegan Tintari.