Documentation forPingdom

Real User Monitoring

Real User Monitoring (RUM) is a web analytics tool that allows you to view your website activity at any given time from a user's perspective. You can view the number of active sessions, load time, and bounce rates.

RUM provides valuable information about the visitors to your website. This includes geographical location, platform load times, network connection speeds, and web browser performance. This information provides you with a deeper understanding of your users, where they live, and the experience they have on your website.

After RUM collects the real user monitoring data, you can create and share a report of the data with management and selected users in your organization.

How RUM works

When you configure RUM, you apply JavaScript code to your website page. This script provides a communications link to Pingdom, allowing the application to display the web analytics in the Real User Monitoring site.

When a user visits a website that contains the JavaScript code, the script queries the web browser with the following questions:

  • How much time did the website take to load?

  • How much of that time was spent on network, frontend, and backend processes?

    How much time was spent on processing this information?

This information is sent to the Pingdom servers, and then sorted and presented in the RUM page as text and graphics. To maintain privacy, Pingdom does not save the user IP addresses.

Knowing how users experience your website allows you to identify issues that may not be identified using external monitoring.

Performance data collection methods

RUM collects the performance data using a JavaScript snippet that you add to the <head> tag in your HTML code. The script is loaded asynchronously, and does not impact your site performance. Add the snippet to all web pages you want to monitor.

JavaScript downloads additional scripts required to asynchronously gather performance data, but does not impact server performance.

The JavaScript collects the performance data using one of the following methods: 

  • Navigation Timing API — Used in supported web browsers, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 and later, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox 10 and later.

  • Episodes — Used for web browsers that do not support the Navigation Timing API.

Stored user data

RUM uses local storage to track visitors on your monitored website. This data includes:

  • Session IDs

  • Session start times

  • Session interaction steps

  • Returning visitors

  • Additional data to determine if RUM is enabled in the user's web browser.

The session ID is generated randomly, and is unique for the script loaded on the domain. As a result, Pingdom cannot track users if they use RUM to track multiple sites.

Pingdom tracks returning visitors by searching for an expired session. If a session is found, the returning visitor setting is set to 1. This setting expires after 30 days. If Pingdom cannot use local storage to track a visitor, a "pa" cookie is set in its place, which expires 30 days after being set in the visitor's web browser.

Pingdom does not collect personally identifiable information (PII) that may expose a user's identity. The application uses the IP address to determine country of origin, but does not store this information on your server. All collected data is provided by the supported web browser.

Navigation Notice: When the APM Integrated Experience is enabled, Pingdom shares a common navigation and enhanced feature set with other integrated experience products. How you navigate Pingdom and access its features may vary from these instructions.