Website performance audits and tools

Page metrics reports

Raw numbers SiteImp records as it tests your pages.

This is part 10 of An introduction to SiteImp Reports, an 11 part series about SiteImp audits, designed to help you learn more about your new SiteImp report. If you would like to follow along, you can download it here. (Note - it will open in a new tab.)

Last article

Last article, I wrote all about the page tasks report. Much like the page checklist, the tasks report is kind of like a canary in the coal mine.

If you get poor results on your page tasks report, it usually means that you’ll have equally poor results on your page composition report. You’re definitely downloading a lot of things and it takes the browser a relatively long time to work through it all. In practice, this usually means that your site has really deep problems and optimizing performance will be a long process. It’s often cheaper to start over and rebuild from scratch than to try to reform a page with extremely long total task times.

This article

This article, I’m going to conclude the tutorial with a look at page metrics and the page metrics report. It’s hard to gloss over the truth too much with this report, so I’m just going to be very blunt.

You can get all the same numbers, reported differently and in more elegant ways in the page scores report. You will learn just as much spending five minutes on your all pages report as you ever will from the page metrics report. If you just run one SiteImp report, the page metrics report will be absolutely useless for you.

However, if you get into a habit of running a report, making changes and then running another report, you will get incredible value out of this report. I’m currently working on a SAAS version of SiteImp where I generate really interesting graphs using this metrics data. I use it in my development process and it’s had incredible results. The one time I didn’t use it (for this site), I delivered a first version with a mid 80s average performance score and a 27 average cumulative layout shift in my most important form factor. The SAAS version is very powerful and I cannot wait to share it with you all.

You’ll get value out of this report because as you work through optimizing your sites, you will find that some changes help everything. Other, more dangerous changes help some areas but hurt other areas. Then you’ve got to make a decision. Do you want to keep optimizing that process to see if you can improve it? Or do you want to try something else entirely?

That said, I want to conclude this tutorial with a warning. Beware of over optimizing. The problem with website performance is that you can take it too far. If you try to get solid 100s across the report, you will run into areas that don’t really help. Or they will help some metrics while hurting others. Then you’ll do other things to prop up the metrics you just hurt and end up creating regressions in other metrics. It can become endless, all consuming and a complete fucking waste of time.

Use web performance to make your businesses better. Keep track of web performance to make sure that you’re always providing good value to your users. However, step back when it gets to be too much. Web performance can turn into a really bizarre form of procrastination where you are freakishly busy accomplishing absolutely nothing.

Do well, have fun, be safe and profit.

Greg Hluska

The end

You have reached the end of the tutorial on SiteImp reports. Please get in touch with any questions or to purchase your own report. You’ll truly discover the value when you run one and work through it with me.

I’m looking forward to meeting all of you.

Check out the rest of An introduction to SiteImp reports here: