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Have you ever scrolled through your social media feed and, through the magic of big data, been shown the perfect ad at the perfect time only to be sent to a website that chugs or fails to load? It’s just the nature of the industry that we’ve all had to face the incredibly frustrating experience of slow performing sites. And whether its bloated ads or videos that don’t load, the likelihood we stay around to wait for the content is pretty slim. We the consumer demand a user-friendly experience, and our loyalties are fickle – we pledge allegiance to the fastest sites with the richest content.

And statistics show that we’re getting even more impatient. For example, a page that took just six seconds to load in 2010 suffered a 40% conversion loss, whereas today that same page would take a 50% hit. So why spend tons of time and money driving end users to your site using advertising and search engine optimization only for them to leave when they’re not satisfied with their experience?

Automate to Help Scale Expertise

In the competitive world of technology, we know that resources (read: money and people) can be tight. It makes sense, therefore, to find ways to stretch the resources you have to produce what you need – and to deliver the results that your stakeholders demand. Maybe you’re thinking that your team is already stretched thin like that sad rubber band in the bottom of your desk drawer. Whether you’re a team of one or 100, performance monitoring and optimization is possible – the key is scaling your expertise through automation.

You most likely already automating some of your development processes with a continuous integration and deployment server. If you are using Jenkins to automate your testing, you can replicate some of this automation for site analysis through a plugin to Rigor Optimization. Simply set up a discrete step in your testing rules to set off a Rigor Optimization scan each time your developers check in code. Fail your Jenkins builds based on performance thresholds that you set, and expand what you know about creating optimized sites by testing against Rigor’s hundreds of custom-curated performance rules.

Find the idea of hundreds of rules a little daunting? Rigor can help you triage defects so you aren’t overwhelmed and can achieve the biggest performance wins.. Remember that when it comes to web performance, one size definitely does not fit all. Ask questions about what areas are most important, and use the questions you come up with to help define the performance best practices that best fit your business needs and the way you’ll be using your site. Begin by asking just a few questions and you can always expand your list of best practices as you go.

Additionally, consider putting together a team of different stakeholders in your organization to help determine how your best practices can fully align with and support your business needs. Get perspectives from different areas of your organization, including development, operations, and line of business. Work together to define your KPI list and to decide the thresholds for those “mission critical” issues compared to those that cause acceptable losses in performance.

Become a Team of Performance Engineers

Your software development lifecycle (SDLC) probably looks a bit like the diagram below with distinct steps such as design, development, integration/testing, and implementation. These steps are often guided by discrete groups, including architects, developers, release managers, and operations. Historically, the operations team has had ownership over optimization and performance, and this fact has often caused friction between operations and development, as teams work against different sets of expectations and key performance indicators.

 (Source: Paul S Bruce)

Given the known effects of performance on your bottom line through lost sales and conversions, you must make the paradigm shift to view your entire team – architects, developers, and operations – as performance engineers. Site performance and optimization can no longer be regarded as an afterthought (i.e., something to do once the site is in production). Performance defects must be treated with the same priority as functionality defects and must be analyzed at several critical points along the development path.

Rigor’s built-in delegation features makes the shift in your development workflow easy. Moving beyond the automated testing plugin for Jenkins, Rigor’s advanced scripted testing enables you to customize JavaScript tests to analyze content within a specific user flow. For example, analyze content only available to users after navigating through a common user flow on your site such as a shopping cart.

Moreover, Rigor Optimization can quickly prioritize any identified issues ranked by effort and severity. Rigor also enables you to automatically assign defects by department or job role, helping to ensure that the right person gets the right issue and that high priority issues are dealt with first. Rigor helps take all the guesswork out of performance testing and optimization.

Not a Performance Expert? We’re Here to Help.

Your web monitoring solution is pretty useless if it doesn’t integrate with your current processes in a meaningful way. With this in mind, Rigor has developed tools to help quickly and easily integrate performance monitoring and optimization into your existing SDLC workflow:

Explore the Knowledge Base. Knowledge without action is useless. This is why developers love the Rigor Knowledge Base. Recall that Rigor Optimization scans for nearly 300 custom-curated performance defects. The Rigor Optimization Knowledge Base then defines each identified defect, along with technical details, instructions to resolve the issue, and pertinent external links to additional information.

Integrate with Issue Tracking. Cut down on wasted time and effort by seamlessly integrating optimization testing with your issue tracking system. With built-in integration features, Rigor Optimization easily allows you to export defects to your instance of JIRA. After setting up access to JIRA, simply click on a drop-down menu from any performance snapshot to quickly export the issue, along with a summary of what defect was identified and the severity.

Takeaways

Being proactive about optimizing your site means that you’ll need to move optimization earlier in your development workflow by considering performance defects alongside functionality issues. Whether resources are stretched thin or not, automating these optimizations is crucial in getting the most bang for your buck.

Rigor Optimization can help foster the transition of site performance analysis into your SDLC through built-in features, such as the Jenkins plugin, scripted tests, automated delegation tools, an extensive Knowledge Base, and direct integration with JIRA. These features, along with Rigor Monitoring, can help ensure that performance defects are detected immediately – before they affect your bottom line.

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