As web application performance specialists, we're always interested in performance. So when we hear of a slow website, we like to check it out. Last week one of our contacts told us that the MCFC ticket website seemed slow when tickets for the League Cup Final went on sale.
We had a quick look at their website, and performance seemed acceptable when we checked. This is one of the problems of measuring the performance of a website and reporting on it in discrete terms. Poor performance observed by one user can be transient, and other users may not share the same experience. The best way to measure performance is to measure continually so that you can find answers to the two questions:
- What slows my site down?
- When does it slow down?
Only when you know the answers to these two initial questions, can you start to find some of the answers to your performance problems.
We decided to compare the performance of the two great Manchester rivals and saw some interesting results.
As the video above shows, it seems that United's poor performance this season isn't just restricted to the pitch....
In our test, the City website rendered the home page nearly three times faster than United's.
We repeated the test several times and found that the results were consistent and the following issues were causing the poor performance:
- Third party content - slow downloads of Java Script from google and other public libraries
- Third party content - delay in content received from FaceBook
- Slow download of shockwave flash contentThird party content is a common cause of poor performance
Third party content is a common cause of poor performance. We look forward to repeating this experiment in the run up to the Manchester Derby next month.