StubHub Improves Website Performance with AlertSite
Test and Monitor | Posted May 04, 2012

Maintaining a Speedy “Fan Experience” at StubHub

An interesting article in the just-published May issue of Internet Retailer examines the complexities of delivering speedy website performance for eCommerce companies. It spotlights one of our customers, StubHub, the world's largest online ticket marketplace where fans buy and sell tickets to popular sporting and music events.


Web and Mobile Site Challenges

What fans don’t see when visiting StubHub’s Web or mobile site is the sheer intricacy of each page. All they expect is for content to load fast and work well. This is an ever-complex challenge as today’s Web and mobile sites are pulling content from increasing volumes of third-party sources and making numerous API and Web services calls.

That’s why StubHub relies on AlertSite for Web and mobile monitoring.

“It's very crucial for us to monitor the performance of the user experience,” says StubHub’s Marc Escuro. In fact, with StubHub’s mobile sales expected to account for about 10 percent of total sales this year, monitoring the performance of both its Web and mobile sites is paramount. Ensuring that pages load fast and transactions process accurately is all part of delivering on the “fan experience,” explains Escuro.

Managing editor Paul Demery writes: “For every pull of web content, of course, there's a push of data from a web server. And with many web pages today pushing requests to and pulling content from what can be 10 or more external sources, the chance is good that some content on a page, or an entire page, won't load quickly, if at all.”

In fact, StubHub’s pages pull from between 15 to 20 sources, three times more than a year ago. With such complexity, it’s essential for StubHub to monitor how quickly all these parts come together in fans’ browsers so they can quickly identify which third-party object or API call might be causing a slowdown or an error, and work to fix it.

Beyond Technical Performance

But it’s not enough to just monitor technical performance. Understanding the user experience provides a more complete picture of the earliest point at which a Web page is responsive. As I explain in the article, if a Web page takes six seconds to load and doesn't start rendering content for three seconds, that delay could prompt a visitor to leave.

StubHub’s Escuro describes SmartBear AlertSite as its "first responder," providing minute-by-minute updates of any interruptions of site or app performance caused by software code glitches or other problems. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

The opportunity to improve website performance also lies in forging closer ties between development and operations, especially in creating efficiencies in testing and monitoring Web services calls both pre-and post-production. I’ll have more say on that topic in an upcoming blog post.

SmartBear Webinar Featuring Gartner, Inc.

For now, I invite you to register for our May 16 Webinar, “5 Ways to Ensure API Quality from Development through Deployment,” featuring guest speaker, Thomas Murphy, Research Director, Gartner, Inc.