Website Monitoring

Concepts

Website monitoring, often called End-User Monitoring (EUM) or Real-User Monitoring (RUM), is an important tool to understand digital user experience.

Instana supports website monitoring by analyzing actual browser request times and route loading times. This allows detailed insights into the web browsing experience of end-users, as well as deep visibility into application call paths. The Instana website monitoring solution works by means of a lightweight JavaScript agent which is embedded into the monitored website.

Website Monitoring Overview

Loaded asynchronously into the website, the agent will report its findings to Instana in the form of beacons which are then translated into Instana traces.

The following screenshot shows a complete trace, which combines an end-user’s browser activity and links to backend tracing:

Website Trace

Installation

The JavaScript agent is easy to install. Go to the Websites section within Instana to start tracking website performance data. The Instana UI will guide you through the installation process.

Instana UI guiding through the setup process

Wordpress Monitoring

If you want to use website monitoring with Wordpress, you can use our WP Instana EUM Plugin.

Single-Page Applications

Single Page Applications (SPAs) are a modern approach to building websites. They differ from more traditional multi-page applications in a way that the logic of fetching, loading, preparing and rendering of content and assets happens (mostly) on the client side.

To help measure the performance of SPA applications, Instana provides detailed metrics in transition times between routes, route views count and error rate while transitioning. This can be combined with the rest of the information we provide with website monitoring, like the initial page load time, rendering time, etc.

There are many different ways to build SPAs, and our solution can be used regardless of the chosen SPA framework. For more details and examples of framework-specific implementation, please read our SPA Instrumentation page.

Usage

Getting started with Instana website monitoring is as easy as entering your website name and copying over a JavaScript snippet. Check out the installation section if you haven’t yet.

Speed

The speed tab focuses on the throughput, latency, and metrics that describe page load times.

Website Monitoring Speed

Resources

Third-party resources (like scripts and images) are often responsible for slow page loads. With our new resource overview, you will find it much easier to identify slow resource providers.

Broken down by second-level domain, this table shows you all the resource providers that are actively used by your website. Clicking on the host will reveal more detailed information about the resource host including load time breakdowns and caching performance. Users can see changes in caching statistics over time and how this relates to loading times.

Website Monitoring Resources

Errors

Uncaught errors can have a large impact on a business. This is especially true for critical processes such as checkout of purchased items in an online storefront. Errors here can often cause dual purchases, resulting in dissatisfied customers who now have to deal with credit card refunds.

While seeing uncaught errors in traces is helpful, sometimes you don’t care about a single issue. When many teams are involved, or many errors occur, it is much more useful to get an overview of the situation. This is where the uncaught error breakdown is helpful. This breakdown is located in the website dashboard and helps you understand the following:

  • What types or errors are occurring, and how many are there?
  • In which browsers do they occur?
  • On what pages do they occur?

Uncaught Errors Breakdown

AJAX

Learn which of your AJAX endpoints are slow or problematic on the AJAX overview. Selecting a specific call target provides insight into throughput and latency, as well as error rates and latency breakdown.

AJAX Details

Pages

Often it’s important to isolate specific pages and analyze their performance. This view is also a great one to find your page with the most traffic, or the slowest response times.

After selecting a specific page, most of the metrics available across the entire website:

AJAX Details

Transitions

Transitions page list all SPA route transitions captured by the agent with details about how many times each route was viewed, how much time it took to transition to and number of errors that happened while loading it.

Click the plus icon to see detailed chart for all 3 metrics for each route:

SPA Transition Details

Dynamic Focus Keywords for Website Spans

With a large number of active users, there will be a situation where the unfiltered traces list is simply noisy. Where we previously only supported the span.content keyword to search for specific spans, we now support individual span searches. Specifically, we are starting with website monitoring specific search keywords such as span.website.geo.country:"United States".

Website monitoring keywords make it possible to apply the following criteria to the filter:

  • Browser and operating system;
  • Geo data like continent, country, latitude, and longitude;
  • Error details like the error message or stack trace;
  • Custom meta data;
  • Page name;
  • Resource URL and caching state;
  • Page loads with specific timings (e.g. slow SSL connection setups).