5 Things Your Boss Needs to Know About Your Website

website loading time
You may think the answers are obvious, and the most obvious questions include:

  • How many people are hitting our website?
  • How many site visitors are converting?
  • Is the blog drawing traffic?
  • Which pages are receiving the most traffic?

These are not necessarily the most important metrics about your website, and all of these questions can easily be measured using analytic tracking tools such as Google Analytics.

Arguably more important than the analytic metrics are the answers to the following questions:

  • Can visitors get to our website?
  • Does our content load fast enough to retain visitors?
  • Are users bouncing from our site due to poorly formatted or missing elements?
  • What can we do to speed up our website?
  • How does our website perform at certain times of day, certain days of the week or under a heavy load?

Ask These Questions First

You need to ask these questions first because you won’t have any website visitors if users cannot reach the site, or you may have a much smaller number of visitors if your site is unavailable from certain geographic regions.

So how do you measure these metrics?

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Huge UltraDNS Outage takes down Netflix, Rackspace & Expedia!

UltraDNS Outage

Can your Customers Reach Your Website?

You may have been aware that a large DNS provider, Neustar UltraDNS experienced an extended outage on Thursday 10/16/2015 which caused many of the largest websites in the world to be unavailable for over an hour and a half.

Recent large scale internet outages affecting many of the top websites around the world raise many questions about who can access your websites at any given time.  If an event like what happened Thursday can take down sites like Netflix and Expedia, as well as hosting providers like Rackspace, how can you be certain that everyone that wants to access your site from different locations around the world is able to do so?

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Another Neustar UltraDNS Outage | UltraDNS Goes Down

Neustar UltraDNS outage

October 15: Neustar UltraDNS Outage

UltraDNS down

A Dotcom-Monitor client view of the UltraDNS outage
-click to enlarge-

October 15, 2015 – Neustar UltraDNS Down – Dotcom-Monitor is tracking a Neustar UltraDNS outage at this time. The UltraDNS outage appears to have started at approximately 4:00 pm CST.

The UltraDNS issue resulted in (as it should) error alerts to clients. Monitoring that does not cache DNS is detecting the UltraDNS outage. Clients themselves may not see the DNS issue unless they clear their DNS cache and attempt to connect to affected website and web applications.

UltraDNS is a DNS service provider owned by Neustar Corporation, which also owns associated companies including Webmetrics website monitoring and other services.

Dotcom-Monitor will continue to research the Neustar UltraDNS down issue and provide details as they become clear.

Dotcom-Monitor had captured a similar outage in January of 2013.

Check DNS propagation from nearly two dozen different root locations with our free DNS Trace Test Tool.

Some of our favorite tweets from the UltraDNS outage

ultradns down outage twitter

The End of Flash:  The RIA Revolution

Rise and Fall of Flash Infographic(Don’t worry, we are talking about the interactive media technology by Adobe, not the superhero “The Flash” or “Flash Gordon”)

Everyone has interacted with Flash on the internet in one form or other, from the dawn of Youtube videos to memories of arcade-like video
games, or digital greetings cards with dancing elves.  Most people probably didn’t even give a second thought as to how the media was delivered. At it’s peak, Flash was installed on over 95% of all computers, and was the interactive media delivery method of choice.  Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) have evolved from gimmicky games to full blown web based SaaS (Software as a Service) applications and advertisement delivery platforms.

Alas, Flash will soon be no more- at least that is what the major players on the internet are saying.  From business apps used to design porches, decks and patios, to educational games teaching children to read and count, and even jumpstarting the successful #1 video platform in the world- Youtube, – Flash has been at the core of our interactive web-based experiences for the better part of the last 15 years.

But, with all of the security flaws, mobile performance issues, and proprietary software and installation requirements, it seems Flash has reached the end of practical usefulness.  As Steve Jobs put it when addressing Apple’s decision not to allow flash on Apple products- “… the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards – all areas where Flash falls short.”

The Mobile Browser Changes Everything

As the number of smart phone users in the world is expected to surpass 2 billion in 2016, we have definitely entered the mobile era, and any standards or platforms used from here on out must fully support the vast array of mobile devices being released over the next few years.

Several platforms tried to oust Flash as the king of RIA including Microsoft Silverlight.  However, while adopted by some corporate developers, these platforms continued to suffer from many of the same problems as Flash.  Security issues, closed source, proprietary software, inability to run natively on multiple platforms without installing additional software and the reliance of developers on a third party to maintain the platform.  Thus, all of these platforms are also being eliminated from browsers, including Silverlight, java applets and anything else that relies on 3rd party browser installations like NPAPI (Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface), which has been completely removed from Chrome 45 as of September 2015.

So What’s Next?

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Test Whether Your Website Works Across IPv6 (Now That ARIN Has Allocated the last IPv4 Address in North America)

IPv4-6ARIN, the American Registry for Internet Numbers is the authority in charge of distributing IP addresses in North America.  ARIN received the IPv4 blocks for North America from the IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, which is responsible for distribution of IP addresses and maintaining DNS root zones as well as managing the database of top level domains.

Yesterday, on September 24th 2015, ARIN announced that they had issued the final IPv4 address available.  This has several implications to the internet at large:

  • First of all, this does not mean that all IPv4 addresses have been used up, simply that all IPv4 addresses allocated to North America have been distributed to organizations.  For example, the pool of addresses in Europe was depleted three years ago while the AFRINIC (The Internet Numbers Registry for Africa) still has an available pool of addresses.
  • This also does not mean that IPv4 addresses have all been used up in North America.  Organizations that would like to acquire an IPv4 address may still be able to do so through secondary methods. They might either be put on a waitlist for unmet IPv4 addresses or they may purchase the addresses through the IPv4 transfer market.
  • This does mean that any existing restrictions on IPv4 transfer from one organization to another have been lifted.

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