Automated Tester

.science

This content shows Simple View

September 2016

Measuring Speed and Performance with Sitespeed.io

I recently came across a fantastic open source speed and performance tool called Sitespeed and was pretty amazed by both what it can do and how it presents the results to you.

It has its foundations in some other cool stuff you may have heard of like YSlow, PhantomJS and Bootstrap and makes good use of WebPageTest too. It seems to support pretty much every platform too, I’m a .Net/ windows guy so I’ll be working with that. Lets have a look:

Install

Install via node – if you don’t have NodeJs get it here.

$ npm install -g sitespeed.io

Configure and Run

So to get some metrics out of something, lets run a simple test. Open a command prompt and run the following:

sitespeed.io.cmd -u http://www.google.co.uk -d 0 -b chrome -v –viewPort 1920×1080 –name Google_Report

If you’re a windows user like me don’t forget the .cmd on the end of the sitespeed.io initialiser, it’s an easy mistake to make! Let Sitespeed.io do it’s thing, in this particular instance we are crawling google to a depth of 0 (so just it’s landing page, for brevity.) and doing this with chrome, viewport size is set to 1920×1080, -v for verbose stdout, name gives it a name.

Running sitespeed.io

Hey presto, a performance dashboard:

Sitespeed.io report

Full example report is here.

We’re not really measuring against anything here just getting something pretty to look at, sitespeed.io recommends we create a Performance Budget to measure against which sounds like good advice to me, if you don’t know much about it they even recommend a some great articles to broaden your mind and follow best practice, to quote their site:

“Have you heard of a performance budget? If not, please read the excellent posts by Tim Kadlec Setting a performance budget and Fast enough. Also read Daniel Malls How to make a performance budget. After that, continue setup sitespeed.io :)”

Add this into your parameters and your report will illustrate what is falling in and out of your budget. So what else can we do with sitespeed.io?

  • Add a list of URLs to test against
  • Add authentication if you need to login somewhere (–requestHeaders cookie.json for example)
  • Drill down and get HAR files, maybe even convert to jmx for stress testing
  • Get screenshots
  • Get results in different formats (HTML/ XML and such)
  • Do multiple passes for comparison
  • Compare multiple sites
  • Throttle connections
  • Supports Selenium for running with different browsers
  • Supports Google Page Speed Insights
  • Supports Docker

In fact, there is way too much to list out here – luckily sitespeed.io has some very good documentation on how to configure so it should be easy to fine tune it to your needs. Furthermore if you use some other cool stuff like Graphite you can output the results to there.

Summary

The benefits of this should be clear, we can hook up a command in a build step on a CI server to either output some funky looking graphite metrics or generate performance dashboards regularly to catch performance issues before they get released.

I don’t yet know if this tool can be incorporated into existing automation tests with Selenium… or really if you would even want to do that, I had been looking into using Jan Odvarko’s HAR Export Trigger to compare against YSlow scores but sitespeed.io seems to kill lots of birds with one stone.

My first impressions are that sitespeed.io is a very powerful, easy to configure, cross platform performance tool that displays data in such as way that is easy to understand.

Bootnote

Keep your eyes peeled for sitespeed.io 4.0 which will have even more cool stuff going on, due to be released in a few weeks time.




top