DIY Synthetic: Private WebPagetest Magic

Web Performance, Grand Ballroom West
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Etsy has been using a hosted version of WebPagetest for a while, which allows us to send test data to logs and StatsD for long term trending and inclusion on our dashboards. We use it for monitoring our own pages as well as other sites of a similar profile, and can test a huge number of URLs for a very low cost. This is also the tool we use to monitor front-end performance for our quarterly performance reports. We wrote a wrapper to run the tests and to allow for easy configuration, which we plan on open sourcing during this talk. This wrapper allows for custom scripts, monitoring page flows, automatic integration of common operations into a test script (e.g. logging in), and much more – running against either your own instance or the public instance. It’s easy to extend to support future versions of WebPagetest as well since we didn’t modify the core WebPagetest code at all. We’ll cover the installation steps, talk about how easy it is to maintain, and provide some data on the problems we have encountered while running it.

Etsy tests over 300 URLs an hour with our private WebPagetest install and this client, and we have used this data to identify and correct performance regressions due to everything from an increase in HTTP requests to an increase in DOM Elements.

Takeways: The audience will walk away with a new piece of open source software that they can set up in minutes to start running tests against the public WPT instance or their own private one. We will also show how to easily integrate this with an existing StatsD/Graphite to get graphs of long term trends.

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Jonathan Klein

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Jonathan is a software engineer at Etsy, where he focuses on solving web performance and scalability challenges. Prior to working at Etsy he spent almost four years at Wayfair, where he led the team that converted the primary tech stack to PHP/Lighttpd/FreeBSD. He started and organizes the Boston Web Performance Meetup Group, and he contributes to a few open source projects, including the HTTPArchive and CSSLint. Jonathan blogs regularly at http://www.jonathanklein.net and can be found on Twitter at @jonathanklein.

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