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Cloudflare announces website testing tool Observatory

Cloudflare announces website testing tool Observatory

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 tool utilizes a JavaScript code known as a beacon to collect performance measurements. This is something companies embed in the websites they wish to monitor. When users visit a website with the beacon enabled, Cloudflare collects data on the speed at which content is downloaded onto their browsers.

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.

Expanded capabilities

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.

Beyond identifying performance issues, Observatory provides suggestions for improvement. For example, it can flag unused JavaScript code that should be removed to reduce users’ bandwidth requirements. The tool also highlights features of Cloudflare’s platform that can enhance website speed.

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.

Also read: Cloudflare: connectivity will become worse in EU if big tech has to pay telcos