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What is Real-User Monitoring (RUM)

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Real-user monitoring, or RUM, is a web performance tool that helps website owners and developers gain insights into how their websites perform for actual users. With RUM, you can monitor the user experience in real time and detect potential issues with your website. Let’s take a closer look at what real-user monitoring is and how it can help you increase the performance of your website.


What Does Real-User Monitoring Do?

RUM lets you track and analyze user interactions with your website in real time so that you can identify any issues quickly. It also gives you insight into how different devices, browsers, locations, and even ISPs affect the performance of your website.

Real-user monitoring is especially beneficial for websites with many users accessing from multiple locations worldwide or mobile devices. You will be able to identify specific areas where performance should be enhanced, such as sluggish loading times or unresponsive features, with the help of RUM. You will also be able to identify any errors that may be occurring on your site due to coding issues or other problems.


How Does Real-User Monitoring Work?

Real-user monitoring collects data about user interactions with your site, including page loads, page views, clicks, and scrolling behavior, and analyzes it in real-time. This data is then presented in an easy to-read format so that you can quickly spot any potential problems or areas of improvement.  Additionally, RUM can alert you when certain events occur on your site so that you can act quickly to address them before they become an issue for visitors to the site. For example, if a page takes too long to load or a feature is not working correctly for certain users on certain devices, RUM will immediately let you know about it.  By providing these insights into user behavior on your website in real-time, RUM allows web developers and administrators to respond quickly to any potential problems before they become serious enough to cause major disruptions for visitors to the site.


Benefits of Real-User Monitoring

  • Understand User Experience

Real-user monitoring provides website owners with tangible data that reveals what users are experiencing on their sites. This data includes page load times, user interactions, requests made by browsers, and more. With RUM, website owners can understand what users are doing on their site and identify areas where they need to optimize performance to provide a better user experience.

  • Improve Performance

RUM also allows website owners to identify areas of improvement regarding performance. It can help identify slow-loading pages or unresponsive components so that website owners can make changes quickly to improve the site’s overall performance. This improved performance leads to improved user engagement and better search engine rankings, increasing traffic and conversions for the site.

  • Maximize Profitability

Finally, real-user monitoring helps website owners maximize profitability by improving efficiency and reducing costs associated with poor performance or usability issues. By understanding how users interact with your site, you can take steps towards improving overall efficiency, such as reducing page loading times or ensuring all interactive elements are functioning properly, leading to increased business profitability. Additionally, businesses can save money by identifying usability issues before they become major problems by avoiding costly repairs or redesigns.


Limitations of Real-User Monitoring

  • Difficulties Gathering Accurate Data

Real-user monitoring depends on accurate data being collected from each user interaction. If the data is incomplete or incorrect, it can lead to inaccurate conclusions about how people use your website. This means that if you are using RUM, you have to make sure your tracking code is properly implemented for it to be effective. This can be difficult if you cannot access the source code or rely on third-party services to collect this data.

  • Inability to Track User Intentions

RUM relies heavily on quantitative data such as page speed and load times, which can help identify issues with your site but does not necessarily reveal why they occurred in the first place.  It is impossible for RUM tools to accurately track what users thought when they interacted with your site.

  • Cost of Implementing RUM Tools

RUM tools often come at a cost and require significant resources to be implemented effectively. This includes costs associated with development time and infrastructure changes required for tracking users accurately across different devices and platforms. Additionally, since most RUM solutions are cloud-based, businesses have ongoing costs associated with using them over time and additional fees if they exceed certain usage thresholds.


Example of Real User Monitoring

In the real world, it is used to monitor websites and applications to spot issues other testing techniques miss. The several examples include:

  • Monitoring a blog continuously in the background to determine when and where page load times rise. A developer might observe that peak traffic periods increase timeouts, which leads to make consumers irate and poorer Google ranks.
  • It may be used by an end-user portal, such as a bank software system, to identify sporadic problems, such as login failures, that only take place in particular, infrequent circumstances.
  • Real-User Monitoring enables a Tech Lead to swiftly evaluate the condition of their application.
  • An app developer might use it to draw attention to issues on various platforms that go undetected during pre-deployment testing.
  • By using filters, a development team can use RUM to focus its surface search when troubleshooting deployment-related issues.
  • Dashboards offered by RUM tools allow product managers without a lot of coding experience to identify when high-priority pages are underperforming and then allocate resources effectively to address the issue.


Real User Monitoring vs. Synthetic Monitoring 

Monitoring the interactions between actual users and your application is a fundamental function of real-user monitoring solutions. Synthetic monitoring is helpful in testing environments for assessing the program’s performance by simulating user traffic.

But in order to get a true sense of how the application worked in the hands of actual users  where it counts the most RUM products are crucial. It is impossible to mimic every scenario because performance can vary depending on several external factors, including the user’s browser, device, operating system, and network connection. The lack of visibility into the consumer experience is filled in part through RUM. RUM and synthetic testing are thus complementary.


Future of RUM

The future of RUM is likely to be shaped by several key trends and developments:

  • Increased Adoption of Cloud Computing: With more and more businesses moving their applications and websites to the cloud, RUM solutions will need to evolve to support cloud-based environments. This will likely involve greater integration with cloud infrastructure management tools and APIs.
  • Greater Focus on User Experience: As businesses become more customer-focused, there will be a growing emphasis on using RUM data to understand and improve the user experience. This can entail using RUM data to help plan and build new features and find and fix performance issues.
  • Advancements in Artificial Intelligence: RUM solutions will increasingly incorporate Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms to automate the analysis of performance data. This will make identifying performance trends and issues easier and make data-driven decisions about improving the user experience.
  • Increased use of Mobile Devices: As more users access websites and applications, RUM solutions must adapt to track performance on these devices. This will likely involve the development of new metrics specifically designed to measure the performance of mobile websites and applications.



Real-user monitoring is an invaluable tool for web developers and administrators who need up-to-date information on their website’s performance to ensure they provide their users with the best possible experience. By tracking user interactions in real time and alerting webmasters when issues arise, RUM allows webmasters to ensure their sites run smoothly. A Real User Monitoring tool will allow you to monitor front-end performance and evaluate how your optimizations improve the user experience.

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