We’ve long known that small incremental improvements in website speed pay dividends in terms of higher conversion rates. Traditionally however there has been something of a disconnect with website performance vendors focusing closely on developing improved speed functionality on the one hand, and website owners unsure of what (if any) speed issues they face on the other.

Website performance company Torbit has seen this disconnect and is today releasing Torbit Insight, a user management tool that delivers insights into actual loading times for the real world visitors to a customer’s website. It also closes the loop and delivers insights into how website speed directly relates to the conversion rates enjoyed by the site owner.

Insight takes advantage of browser advances that give them the ability to pull end user speed data and aggregate it back at the server end to deliver these insights. So what insights are being delivered? Torbit is giving website owners transparency over;

  • Real time data reporting and live map view
  • Histogram of user load times including key metrics like your median and top percentiles
  • Performance metrics on your best and worst performing pages with customized  suggestions on how to make them faster
  • See how performance varies across different browsers and geographies
  • Correlate your website speed to core business metrics like bounce rate, conversion rate and revenue

Torbit itself is a performance company that focuses on the front-end of websites where 80-90% of performance issues are on most websites. Torbit’s other product, Site Optimizer, offers Dynamic Content Optimization to automate the front-end optimizations that make websites fast. it’ a similar proposition to that offered by other vendors – in particular Aptimize, recently acquired by Riverbed, was playing in this space. However for vendors aiming to optimize the websites of small organizations, it is often difficult to prove the need and hence show the value of the optimization proposition – a service such as Insight is useful both as a standalone monitoring offering, but also as a business acquisition tool for the actual optimization product.

Insight is a simple Javascript snippet that site owners drop into their site code. This then delivers insights on the Torbit self service website. insight is free but has paid plans with additional features.

The website delivers up some graphical information about performance, but what really interested me was the integration with Google Analytics. The diagram below shows a composite graph of website speed with actual conversion rates – that’s a pretty compelling proposition for anyone who runs a website.


The website optimization space is busy and is largely made up of vendors looking to achieve a trade sale – in particular the CDN vendors are likely candidates to acquire these sorts of players as they look to build out extra functionality on top of the delivery network offerings.

Torbit is making a smart move with the new offering – it will be interesting to see how the business progresses over time.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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