Cloudflare has announced Observatory. The company designed the tool to assist companies in measuring the loading speed of their websites more efficiently. Cloudflare has made it available for free. It replaces the previous Speed Tab feature, which was introduced in 2019 and offered similar functionality, but was a hassle to use.
Observatory simplifies the process of collecting and visualizing data on website loading times.
The power of simulations
Observatory can use synthetic data to gauge website performance by simulating user traffic and measuring response times.
Synthetic traffic is especially useful when real user data is unavailable. This may be the case during the testing phase of a new website feature in development.
To generate synthetic performance data, Observatory relies on an open-source tool called Lighthouse, developed by Google in 2021. Lighthouse assigns a score ranging from 0 to 100 to reflect a website’s speed, along with offering various detailed performance metrics.
Observatory’s core capabilities include regional testing, which addresses the significant variation in webpage loading speeds based on users’ geographic location. By simulating user traffic from different regions, the tool assists companies in identifying website slowdowns that may affect specific markets.
Observatory is accessible in both the free and paid tiers of Cloudflare’s platform. The paid plans offer the ability to conduct more synthetic user traffic tests per week.