It has been long in the planning and development, and it is finally here! Real User Monitoring (RUM) is now available in beta. Experience it for yourself with a free trial.
Many of you have asked for RUM, some of you have never heard of it, and some of you want to understand how RUM works and how it will benefit your brand and your users. In this article, we cover the basics about how Uptrends’ RUM works, answer some of your questions, and tell you how you can try RUM for free.
What is RUM?
Well you can’t drink it with a twist of lime or bake it into a cake, but what you can do is measure your real users’ experiences on your website. RUM is real performance data from real users in real time. This is how it works:
- You add a small script file to each page that you want to track.
- Your visitors access the page triggering the script file.
- The script file sends encrypted data to the cloud about the user’s location, device, and operating system along with key website performance metrics experienced by that user.
- Uptrends takes that information and aggregates it with all your other users’ data as the data comes in.
- You access and arrange your user data in customizable dashboards to get real insight into how your actual users experience your website.
Uptrends starts collecting data right away after the script goes live on your pages, and you can view that data immediately in your Uptrends account. You can sort your RUM data based on:
- Page view
- Browser type and version
- Device type
- Operating system type and version
You can quickly compare how those factors affect key metrics like:
- Network redirect, DNS, and connect duration
- Backend send and receive duration
- Frontend DOM and render duration
- Time to first byte
- Page ready time
- Load time
- Download time
Does RUM replace my Google Analytics?
In short, no; RUM is not an analytics tool. Sure, you do get some very basic analytics data, but RUM is about the aggregated user experience data. We don’t display data on a user-by-user basis. Instead, you organize your data to see how location, browser type, operating system, and device type affects your users. With this data, you can optimize your website to make sure every user receives the best experience possible.
Does RUM replace my Synthetic Monitoring?
RUM is another tool in your monitoring tool belt, but it does not replace Synthetic Monitoring. RUM is about performance as experienced by your users. Synthetic Monitoring is about identifying, fixing, and preventing problems. Synthetic Monitoring does many things that RUM can’t do:
- Alert you about service outages or any other issue
- Alert you about SSL, DNS, FTP(S), API, database, and email problems
- Web application issues such as failing login forms and shopping carts
- Performance on an element-by-element basis
- Network infrastructure issues
With Synthetic Monitoring you can do all of the above to help you stay ahead of problems before they affect your users. RUM is measuring the actual user experience, and RUM helps guide your Synthetic Monitoring strategies. Placing your synthetic and RUM data side by side in your dashboards allows you to see exactly how changes in your system affect your users.
I have concerns about protecting user data and complying with privacy policies
RUM sends encrypted data to the cloud. That data includes the IP address for location purposes, the browser, device, and operating system used, and performance measurements only. We do not gather any other user data or input. If our receiving IP addresses violates your privacy policies, we can strip the identifying portion of the IP addresses before we process the data. Removing this data does have an impact on the granularity of your location data, but it also prevents anyone from ever seeing or accessing identifying user data. You can learn more about this in our Knowledge Base, or if you have additional concerns, please reach out to our support team.
Beta, you say?
Oh yes, beta. Don’t let this term fool you though; this is a completely stable and mature release. We worked tons of hours on shaping this new product, and RUM just got out of its private beta phase. Now we’re releasing RUM to the public at large, and we are here awaiting your feedback as we proceed working on optimizations and new functionality. Read all about the beta conditions right here.
How can I get a free trial of RUM?
Just log in to your account and click the big “Start my RUM trial” button at the top of your screen. From here, we’ll guide you through setting up your first RUM website in your account. Please note that RUM is completely free during the beta phase.
We’re super excited, since we believe this new product will add a completely different layer to your web performance analysis tools. We hope you are excited too! Every bit of feedback is welcome, please send us your thoughts, questions, or comments via our contact form.