How Did the E card Websites Perform Around Valentine’s Day?Every year around the 14th of February a lot of (secret) lovers send each other cards to let them know how much they care about each other. Nowadays there are a lot of websites which provide you the opportunity to send your Valentine cards digitally. These websites obviously attract several thousands of visitors especially around Valentine’s Day. This is a serious test for most of these websites and could potentially lead to performance problems.
Uptrends decided to monitor the loading times of some of the largest E-cards websites around Valentine’s Day. They did this using their Full Page Check + with Third party monitoring. The websites monitored: 123greetings.com, americangreetings.com, bluemountain.com, hallmark.com, justwink.com, shutterfly.com and hallmarkecards.com.
Four of the seven websites didn’t show any significant performance issues, however the other three seemed to have some problems with loading times around Valentine’s Day. They monitored the websites from 12-02-2014 to 16-02-2014.
The websites that experienced increased loading times
Below you can find the graphs displaying the loading times of all website elements of several 1st (all content hosted on your own domain) and 3rd party groups (e.g. CDN like Cloudflare, Akamai etc. , Social (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc.), Statistics (Google Analytics etc.), Ads (Doubleclick, Googleads, AdRoll etc.). For more information on this read their webpage about the Full Page Check +.
How Did the E card Websites Perform Around Valentine’s Day?
What we can see here is that these websites all experienced longer loading times around Valentine’s Day. Americangreetings.com and Justwink.com both experienced problems at the end of 13 February, which is probably due to a large amount of users creating their cards at the same time.
Americangreetings.com also had some problems with their 3rd party Social Media scripts, which means that the Social elements from external domains where also causing the website to slow down. Hallmark.com experienced longer loading times at Valentine’s Day itself.
A closer look on Justwink.com
If we have a closer look at the loading times of Justwink.com on the 13th of February we see that especially round 2 PM and 09:15 PM there were problems.
If we go even further into detail and look at our full page waterfall analysis reports, we see what actually happens. Here we will display the loading time charts of the 1st party content and the 3rd party content, and see how they were both influenced by the visitors peaks of Valentine’s Day.
1st party loading times
3rd party loading times
1st and 3rd party performance
What we see is that both the 1st and 3rd party elements showed loading time problems. This could mean that 2 PM and 10 PM were both peak moments on the day before Valentine’s Day. The nice thing about separating the 1st and 3rd party contents in measuring your loading times is that you get a more detailed view of which aspects you have to optimize (and whether you are able to). A lot of webmasters for instance don’t really know what the influence of Social Media scripts on their website is. Or, whether their CDN provider is really speeding their website up, or is actually slowing their website down.
To be able to optimize your website’s performance it is vital to get a more complete view about your website’s 3rd party elements performance.
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