Tuesday, November 14th, 2006

OctaGate SiteTimer: Time your page loads

Category: Showcase, Utility

OctaGate SiteTimer is a service hosted in Stockholm (Sweden) that performs page loads, and gives you detailed results.

There are currenly one SiteTimer server, located in Stockholm (Sweden) that performs the actual page downloads. This means that if you’re for instance in the US, the measurements you’re seeing are based on a user located in Europe, not a user in the US. The flow works as follows;

  1. As the user clicks the “Start Monitor” button, an AJAX request is sent to the SiteTimer server, requesting a new monitor. The SiteTimer server replies, asynchronously, with a monitor code.
    The Web Monitor then starts to “browse” the page
  2. Once this page has access to the monitor code, it sends an AJAX requests for a progress report. The SiteTimer server sends a list of the rows that have changed. If it were to send the entire list each time, the download times would be prohibitive. Instead, with small tight update lists SiteTimer can remain responsive. You’ll be able to see the download process as it occurs!
  3. With each update, the SiteTimer server also specifies if the monitor process is completed. If it’s not completed, the page makes another request for an update, repeating step 2. If it is completed, the page continous on to the next step.
  4. Once the process is completed, the page makes a request for an image that describes the process (try it out to see for yourself). This request is not run as an AJAX request, instead, it simply updates the source of an image. This method is also asynchronous, though technically not AJAX.

OctaGate SiteTimer

Posted by Dion Almaer at 7:50 am

3.8 rating from 18 votes


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Does not work in Firefox, but very cool in IE!

Comment by Josh — November 14, 2006

yes it does

Comment by Gilles — November 14, 2006

Gilles, what version are you using? I’m on 2.0; it sends the initial GET JSON request, but the browser seems to hang. Haha, maybe I’m crazy!

Comment by Josh — November 14, 2006

I can’t get it to work in Firefox either… But tried it in IE and it seems very cool/useful!

Comment by Jacob — November 14, 2006

With Firefox, when I click on start, I get an exception in the error console and nothing happens (well, the stop button is disabled and the text under the url field disapears)

Comment by Mortimer — November 14, 2006

Hmm.. still needs some work.. It doesn’t seem to process the CSS so some things (like CSS backgrounds) aren’t included. Bummer.

(Still a cool tool though..)

Comment by Jacob — November 14, 2006

People still make IE only sites? Shocking :-P

Comment by James Hughes — November 14, 2006

[…] Interesante herramienta para medir la velocidad de tus páginas. Además de revisar la página principal comprueba la velocidad de cada link que encuentra en la misma.Via. […]

Pingback by Mide la velocidad de tu web con Ajax - aNieto2K — November 14, 2006

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Pingback by Blog de Dr. Max Glaser » Blog Archive » Controla los tiempos de respuesta de tu servidor — November 14, 2006

Great tool and works well in FF2 but I get quite a wide range of results for the same page done a number of times…

Comment by Gideon — November 14, 2006

Not getting anything on FF2, not even Google Ads. Works fine on the major browser, but what good is that?

Comment by Dale — November 14, 2006

As mentioned by other readers, it would be worthwhile to update this post to mention that this service does not work with Firefox. Great service though!


Comment by Alessandro Vernet (XForms) — November 14, 2006

Interesting, but it looks like their agent itself is very simplistic. Doesn’t process CSS, doesn’t process JavaScript. Funny that a site that is so Ajax aware would front an agent that is totally not ;-)

Comment by Ryan Breen — November 14, 2006

(I’m one of the two developers of SiteTimer, you can reach me at mattias@octagate.com .)

Josh; I exclusively use Firefox and for me SiteTimer has worked very well with both FF 1.5 and FF 2.0. If there’s an error message, I’d very much like to know what it is.
Mortimer; could you send me the error message that appears?
Jacob; our download method has been hand coded using a reg-ex expression that separates out page items that should also be downloaded, if we’ve omitting any items, I’d very much like to know which, an example page would be great!
Gideon; the reason you’re getting so varied results is that the server is fairly heavily loaded due to the Ajaxian impact. All requests travel to an ADSL server, and then the pages are downloaded from that account and the results are reported back. As the ADSL line gets saturated, the page download process will be slowed down also.
Ryan Breen; Processing CSS is something we’ll definitely add, but as for processing JavaScript, that would require a totally different approach. Without actually executing the JavaScript, it’s impossible to know what items will actually be executed as part of a page load. Thus, timing AJAX pages will be very difficult.
Now, we could use IE (for instance, there are probably better browsers out there…) as a download agent, and hook into the IE item download events – that would allow us to process AJAX pages. But it would also mean that our server would quickly fill up with every IE virus known to man…

Comment by Mattias Fagerlund — November 14, 2006

Ahh I get it now.. Part of the site is blocked if you use one of the common ad blocking extensions for Firefox.
For those having issues, whitelist the site or the blocked components.

Comment by Jacob — November 14, 2006

好站: 網頁頁面下載的時間分析(Site Timer)

網頁 Page 中, 到底哪個地方是讓頁面卡住的, 會造成使用者頁面出不來, 或速度特別慢的, 此分析器一掃就很清楚囉~ :)
頁面分析器: OctaGate SiteTimer
詳細介紹說明(原文): OctaGate SiteTimer: Time your pa…

Trackback by Tsung's Blog — November 14, 2006

[…] SiteTimer [Found via the Ajaxian Blog] […]

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Pingback by Ajax Performance » A cool Ajax-based performance tool: OctaGate SiteTimer — November 15, 2006

Really nice use of JS, but if you are interested in page’s speeds, probably you will be more interested in a FF plugin called “Tamper Data”.

Conceptually is quite the same, but with 2 adventadges:

a) Speed calculated from the site to your machine (wherever it is), so you can evaluate speeds in different contexts (for example, different ISPs).
b) Much more detailed information.

Comment by NetAsceta — November 15, 2006

NetAsceta: Tamper Data is barely comparable to OctaGate.

a) Speeds on the local network aren’t very useful to a large number of web developers. The fact that this site uses a normal ADSL connection (as opposed to being on my LAN or using my ultra-high speed work connection) is very appealing to me.

b) The detailed information is useless to most web developers. I don’t care about what headers are being sent or what method is being used. Tamper Data also doesn’t have a visual interface to let you SEE how long it takes to load items. It also uses your browsers cache so you have to do a full refresh if you want accurate first-page-load results.

Comment by Jacob — November 15, 2006

FF2 … doesn’t show anything …
IE7 … doesn’t show anything …

Opera 9 … something is happening … oops, doesn’t show anything one more time …

Sorry guys but what kind of browser I should use to see this interesting application ?

Comment by Andrea Giammarchi — November 15, 2006

Das Internet selbst durchsuchen

Trackback by functional bytes blog — November 15, 2006

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Pingback by OctaGate SiteTimer muestra el tiempo de carga detallado de tu web » La brujula verde — November 16, 2006

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