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"Sorry, your test has been blocked. Please contact us if you have any questions"
03-17-2016, 12:52 AM
Post: #7
RE: "Sorry, your test has been blocked. Please contact us if you have any questio...
Testing multiple pages in sequence to warm up the cache is fine. I just think more than one or two warm-up pages is overkill.

Let's say the user journey is between pages A > B > C > X. The page you're trying to test is X, and users typically visit pages A, B, and C in that order before visiting page X. Page X contains resources a, b, c, and x that are only ever used once before on their respective pages. So the only way to replicate the cache state after an A > B > C > X flow is to perform the full journey. Otherwise, for example, if you just did C > X, resources a and b would not be cached.

I get that. You want to set up your tests to be as realistic as possible. Why bother testing C > X if the cache state is unrealistic? Well, I would argue that there's still a lot to learn from that test. At worst, you're testing a heavier site with resources a and b unnecessarily downloaded. But by optimizing that experience (C > X), the full version without the unnecessary downloads (A > B > C > X) will be all the faster for it. In other words, if you can make the first-view fast, the repeat-view can only be faster.

One could also argue that C is never an entry page so it's unrealistic to test from C to X. While that may be true, I think it's important to keep in mind that we're testing X and not C. The degree to which X is affected by not loading A and B first would only be significant in very narrowly defined and contrived scenarios. And the thing about synthetic testing is that you can only test one scenario at a time, so it makes the most sense to focus on the most popular use cases. I would guess that there are bigger fish to fry ahead of tackling a 4-page flow. If X is the last of 4 in a series of critical pages, for example a signup flow, I think you've got bigger UX issues (abandonment) than performance issues.

But what I've heard earlier in this thread is not just three warmup pages, but more than 20. We'd have to exhaust the entire alphabet just to denote each unique page and corresponding resource. I can't imagine a valid scenario where 20 or more pages are necessary before loading a test page. Surely you can cut most of those out and still get a reasonably accurate and representative test.
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RE: "Sorry, your test has been blocked. Please contact us if you have any questio... - rviscomi - 03-17-2016 12:52 AM

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