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Even if you have put a lot of effort in a beautifully designed website, with relevant content, offering great products or services, all of this won't matter at all if your website speed is not optimized.

Why is website speed important:

  • User stickiness - your visitors will leave your site if it's not optimized for loading speed
  • SEO - Google favors websites that are loading fast, this was proven time and again
  • Conversions = more revenue - for every second of improvement you can expect more revenue from your existing traffic

On this page we provide you with FREE website speed test conducted by our experts, with detailed explanation what you should improve. Besides that, we cover all of the aspects of website speed testing and optimizations.

START YOUR FREE WEBSITE SPEED TEST

WHAT IS WEBSITE AND PAGE SPEED TEST

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Website and page speed tests are used to determine the speed of a particular page or an entire website. 

Page speed measures the time it takes the content on a URL to load. Site speed, on the other hand, represents how your site is performing overall. It’s scored by services like Google PageSpeed Insights which look at various load times on your site in aggregate.

Both paid and organic search engine channels will also penalize a slow loading site.

With paid search, slow landing pages lower your Google AdWords Quality Score—which means a higher cost-per-click.

Search engine optimization (SEO) experts will also tell you that slow pages hurt organic rankings. Google made it official in their latest “Speed Update.” As of July 2018, page speed is now a ranking factor for mobile searches, too.

Website speed is also a crucial factor for good user experience.This is important for every organization, but especially for eCommerce websites and big brands with international presence. Such companies simply can't afford slow websites. 

Website speed directly impacts sales and revenue. Consider the patience of your customers. The majority of Americans are said to wait in line (in a real shop) for no longer than 15 minutes. However, on the web, 1 out of 4 customers will abandon a webpage that takes more than 4 seconds to load.

A one-second delay in page load time yields:

  • 11% fewer page views
  • 16% decrease in customer satisfaction
  • 7% loss in conversions

If an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1 second page delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year.

That's why it's crucial to speed up your website. But before you can do that, you need to know how well (or badly) your website is performing. In order to do that, you need to perform a speed test.

A website speed test gives you information about the overall speed of your website.

The term page speed essentially refers to the length of time at which web pages or media content is downloaded from website hosting servers and displayed onto the requesting web browser. Page load time is the duration between clicking the link and displaying the entire content from the web page on the requesting browser.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT

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In ecommerce, the number of sales is directly connected to the speed at which website content is being delivered.

Akamai, currently the world’s largest CDN services provider, ran a research in 2017 that went on to show that:

  • A 100 millisecond slower webpage loading speed can result with a 7% drop in sales
  • A 2 seconds slower webpage loading speed can almost double the number of visitors who end up abandoning their carts
  • 53% of users who use smartphones to visit web stores won’t make the sale if the webpage takes more than 3 seconds to fully load
  • The optimal loading time that ensures the highest number of sales is between 1.8 and 2.7 seconds.
  • 28% of users won’t return to the same web store if they think it takes too long to load
  • The webpages that lead to the highest number of sales loaded 26% faster than other webpages
  • A 250 millisecond faster loading time proved to keep users from visiting a competitor web store


Performance has a direct impact on your website revenue, metrics that influence brand perception, loyalty and visitor engagement.

Like we've said before, to properly optimize your website speed, you first have to measure it. Website speed tests are the easiest way to test that speed.

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LIST OF WEBSITE SPEED TOOLS

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Website speed test tools let you analyze your website and improve its performance. Here are some ways website speed tools are used:

  • Pinpointing scripts, fonts, and plugins causing load time issues (HTML, Javascript, CSS)
  • Checking minification of your scripts
  • Finding large images resulting in bottlenecks
  • Determining if you have render-blocking JavaScript or CSS
  • Testing Time to First Byte (TTFB)
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  • Analyzing total load times, page sizes, and # of requests
  • Checking performance from different geographical locations
  • Checking rendering speed in different browsers
  • Measuring performance of your Content Delivery Network
  • Verifying that assets are loading correctly from your CDN

Pingdom

Pingdom is a market-leading website monitoring service, best known for its free website speed testing tool. The speed testing tool displays all of your site’s requests in a waterfall view. You can filter by load order, file size, and load times, giving you different perspectives for identifying potential improvements – it also lists total requests, load time, and page size.

You can check out the tool here.

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Google PageSpeed Insights

Google PageSpeed Insights grades your website on a scale of 1 – 100. The higher the number the better optimized your site is. Anything above an 85 indicates that your website is performing well. PageSpeed gives you reports for both the desktop and mobile versions of your site. It also recommends what improvements you should make next.

You can check out the tool here.

If you want to learn Google speed optimization best practices you can take a look at our article series about it here:

Google's Web Performance Best Practices: Caching

Google’s Web Performance Best Practices #2: Minimize Round Trip Times

Google's Web Performance Best Practices #3: Minimize Request Overhead

Google's Web Performance Best Practices #4: Minimize Payload Size

Google's Web Performance Best Practices #5: Optimize Browser Rendering

Google's Web Performance Best Practices #6: Optimize for Mobile

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GTmetrix

GTmetrix goes into great detail as it checks both Page Speed and YSlow metrics, assigning your site a grade from F to A. It’s reports are divided into five different sections including PageSpeed, YSlow, waterfall breakdown, video, and history. It’s free to register and you can test your web from 7 different geographical locations. Video playbacks are available – they help you analyze where your bottleneck is occurring. And you can run Adblock plus on it to see how much ads affect your loading.

You can check out the tool here.

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Chrome DevTools

Another great free tool from Google. It’s extremely simple to use and you can launch it anytime in your Chrome browser. They’ve recently added an aggregated details panel into the waterfall timeline. This allows you to more easily see what is costing you the most time, and you can then break it down by domains, sub-domains, etc. We recommend this for beginners because it’s so easy to use and it gets the job done.

You can check out the tool here.

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WebPageTest

WebPageTest is great tool but it has one distinctive advantage – it has over 40 locations to choose from and over 25 browsers (including mobile). If you click on “Page Speed” after running a test you’ll find an overall grade as well as a checklist of some suggested changes (in order of importance) for increasing your website’s speed. It assigns you a grade from F to A based on different performance tests. Its report is divided into six sections which include a summary, details, performance review, content breakdown, and screenshots.

You can check out the tool here.

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YSlow

This free open-source project and speed test tool analyzes a site’s performance based on Yahoo!’s 23 of 34 rules for high-performance websites. It comes in the form of plugins for web browsers and command line scripts for Node.js server and PhantomJS.

You can check out the tool here.

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KeyCDN Website Speed Test

With the option to conduct a speed test from 14 different locations, KeyCDN online check-ups serve as a practical speed test tool on-the-go.

Aside from full-page speed test and geolocation check, the tool can also perform an SSL FREAK attack tester to ensure the security of your website’s SSL/TLS.

You can check out the tool here.

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Dareboost

Dareboost’s speed test tool is capable of conducting performance monitoring from 13 test locations and seven devices. The latter includes various types of mobile devices.

This tool’s key features include the ability to simulate a speed test with and without adblocking and block specific domains to discover the culprit of poor web performance.

The test produces a thorough report along with recommendations divided into several categories. The clusters make it easier to prioritize the needed improvements.

You can check out the tool here.

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Website Speed Test (Image Analysis Tool)

Modern websites are image-heavy. And with so many people using high definition displays and retina screens, it’s really difficult to get away with low-resolution pictures.

That’s why image compression has become ubiquitous. And to test those images, we recommend the Website Speed Test Image Analysis Tool, powered by Cloudinary.

You can check out the tool here.

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Load Impact

Load Impact is one of the best tools out there for testing how scalable your website is. They offer a free website performance test (5 reports per month), analyzing the consequences of having 25 concurrent users on your website and the impact this modest traffic has on-site speed.

You can check out the tool here.

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HOW TO READ WEBSITE SPEED TEST RESULTS

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In order to understand website speed test results properly we need to understand what elements the tests analyze.

It’s essential to make sure that the test’s results are accurate and relevant. After all, a precise result will help you make an informed decision on what will help improve your site’s speed.

To improve the accuracy of the test, you should pay attention to these factors:

  • The number of tests – it’s not enough to do a one-time test since the results might change based on the amount of traffic. Try repeating the test at different times.
  • Test locations – if you have a local audience, you might want to set the location of the test to the one nearest to your visitors. Whereas if you target global audiences, you should do the test with multiple regions around the globe.
  • Test subjects – test multiple posts and pages for a better analysis. This will help find out which need to be optimized.

Almost every speed test tool allows you to choose from different testing locations around the globe, and this matters quite a bit. The reason is that this is all relative to the data center where your website is hosted. TTFB, network latency, all come into play.

So it’s important to speed test your site both from a location that is close to your data center and one that is far away. This will also help you see how much of an impact the CDN has on your site. You can also disable your CDN temporarily and re-test again without to really see the difference.

Let's take a look at  some the elements of website speed test results:

  • Time to first byte (TTFB) — Amount of time it takes for a browser to receive the first information from the site.
  • Time to first draf (TTFD) or first paint — The moment the screen is no longer blank. For example, a background color change counts as first paint.
  • First contentful paint — When the first content appears. Might be part of the navigation, header image or any other element.
  • First meaningful paint — Here, users are able to see the primary content so that they can understand what the page is about.
  • Time to interactive — The duration until the page is usable and you can interact with it.

Different website page speed test tools will give you different reports, but most will include metrics shown above, as well as other metrics related to website speed and recommendations on how to improve it. They will also provide you with other information, such as information  about content size by content type and the requests by content type. Each of these is useful to quickly see what is taking up the most resources on your web page. According to HTTP Archive, images generally make up for 43% of an average web page’s total size.

The content size and requests by domain information is a good way to quickly see which external services and scripts on your website, and some of the tools provide you with a waterfall chart which you can use to  analyze each request to see what is causing delays and performance issues on your site.

HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR WEBSITE SPEED TEST RESULTS

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Modern sites are incredibly complex and clearing up that mess can make a big difference already. You can start by fixing your site structure, cleaning up old and outdated posts and fixing the redirects.

The bigger your site is, the more impact of speed optimizations will have. These don't just impact user experience and conversion rates but also affects crawl budget and crawl rate. If your servers are fast, Googlebot can come around more often and get more done.

Focus on these ares if you want to improve your website  speed test results;

Minimize time to first byte (TTFB)

In addition to the amount of time it takes for your page to fully load, you’ll also want to take a look at the amount of time it takes to start loading.

Time to first byte, or TTFB, is the amount of time a browser has to wait before getting its first byte of data from the server. Google recommends a TTFB of less than 200 ms.

Unlike a lot of the front-end performance factors most site owners focus on, this is a server-side concern.

When a user visits your site, their browser sends an HTTP request to the server that hosts it. There are three steps that need to happen between that initial request and the first byte of data:

  • DNS lookup
  • Server processing
  • Response

In general, most issues with slow TTFB are caused by either network issues, dynamic content creation, web server configuration, and traffic, so you should work on optimizing those.

Optimize images

According to HTTP Archive, as of December 2017, images make up on average 66% of a total webpage’s weight.

Images can be large, and make your website slow to load. That’s why you need to reduce the file size of your photos that you use on your blog posts and other content, logo files, graphics etc. The good thing is that you can significantly reduce image size without compromising quality.

 

Minimize HTTP requests

HTTP requests are how browsers ask to view your pages. When your web page loads in a browser, the browser sends an HTTP request to the web server for the page in the URL. Then, as the HTML is delivered, the browser parses it and looks for additional requests for images, scripts, CSS, and so on.

Every time it sees a request for a new element, it sends another HTTP request to the server. The more images, scripts, CSS etc. that your page has the more requests will be made and the slower your pages will load.

There are several ways you can reduce the number of HTTP requests:

  • Combine Files – Using external style sheets and scripts is important to keep them from bogging down your page load times, but don’t have more than one CSS and one script file.
  • Use CSS Sprites – When you combine most or all of your images into a sprite, you turn multiple images requests into just one. Then you just use the background-image CSS property to display the section of the image you need.
  • Image Maps – Image maps are not as popular as they once were, but when you have contiguous images they can reduce multiple HTTP image requests down to just one.

 

Minify HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code

CSS, HTML, and JavaScript can contain a lot of extra, redundant, or completely useless code. Similarly to images, that data can slow your page.

You can reduce this number by minifying and combining your files. This reduces the size of each file, as well as the total number of files.

Minifying a file involves removing unnecessary formatting, whitespace, and code. Since every unnecessary piece of code adds to the size of your page, it’s important that you eliminate extra spaces, line breaks, and indentation. This ensures that your pages are as lean as possible.

Accelerate your mobile speed

One channel you can’t afford to ignore is mobile. That’s because more people use mobile devices than desktops. It’s also a key channel for researching products and services.

In 2018, 60% of Google searches were done on mobile devices. Along with rewarding mobile-optimized sites in its search result rankings, Google will also give you a higher page speed score -- and possibly a higher ranking -- if your mobile site loads quickly.

Leverage a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a globally distributed network of web servers whose purpose is to provide faster delivery, and highly available content. The content is replicated throughout the CDN so it exists in many places all at once. A client accesses a copy of the data near to the client, as opposed to all clients accessing the same central server, in order to avoid bottlenecks near that server.

To put it more simply, the purpose of a CDN is to improve user experience and provide it with a more efficient network resource utilization. Content providers such as media companies and e-commerce vendors pay CDN operators to deliver their content to their end-users.

Given the increasingly international nature of ecommerce, leveraging a CDN — or multi-CDNs — is a non-negotiable ingredient your platform should provide and optimize regularly.

Cache content

Caching is a mechanism for the temporary storage of web pages in order to reduce bandwidth and improve performance. When a visitor arrives at your website the cached version will be served up unless it has changed since the last cache. This saves server time and makes things altogether faster.

HOW WEBSITE SPEED INFLUENCES SEO AND CONVERSIONS

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Google confirmed that website speed influences some 1% of the search queries, but given the big competitiveness for specific keywords and other ranking factors, when all else is similar or equal, website speed should come as a factor in rankings. Furthermore, website speed influences bounce rates of your visitors, alongside with other website metrics (time on site, average pageviews, exit rates) so it may influence other "soft" ranking factors that Google doesn't eagerly promote (like links, relevancy, domain authority).

And research has shown that Google might be specifically measuring time to first byte as when it considers page speed. In addition, a slow page speed means that search engines can crawl fewer pages using their allocated crawl budget, and this could negatively affect your indexation.

In 2011, on SEOMoz we saw this post where yet another calculation of speed is done by Geoff Kenyon where he reverse engineered the equation:

y = 122.32e-0.31x

In this equation, x is the time it takes your page to load (in seconds) and the result, y is approximately the percent of pages that your page is faster than.

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How website speed influences conversion rates

Whether your customers are there for a pretty interface, clear privacy policies, for the best bargain, or simply because they have found exactly what they were looking for, they had to get there in the first place, and quickly. If you could cut that path to your website even shorter, and this is a matter of milliseconds, you could convert more visits to actual orders.

An advantage of 250 milliseconds of a page load time, according to recent research, is what keeps your customer from going to your competitor. Have you done research to compare your page load time with competitors?

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Take an example of Walmart. When they found out they were not the fastest retail site on the internet, compared to EBay, Amazon etc., they have decided to overhaul their site speed. As a result:

  • For every 1 second of improvement they experienced up to a 2% increase in conversions
  • For every 100 ms of improvement, they grew incremental revenue by up to 1%

To learn more about how website speed affects conversion rates, read this article.

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RUM AND SYNTHETIC TESTS

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There are two main technologies used to measure application performance: synthetic testing or monitoring and real user monitoring.

Real User Monitoring (RUM) is a great improvement for business’ understanding of application performance. The data gathered shows the full timing, based on real pages being loaded, from real browsers, in real locations around the world. The technology applies to desktop, mobile, and tablet browsers equally well.

Synthetic testing, also known as synthetic monitoring, uses browser emulation to simulate common paths end users would follow when visiting your web site.

The basic idea behind synthetic monitoring is to ensure that your Web properties and key user transactions are always performing properly — even when there is no real user traffic coming through the given site or application.

While synthetic testing simulates users, and is repeatable and often reliable, it does not provide data on actual end-user experiences.

Real User Monitoring (RUM) provides performance monitoring of web pages based on data collected from real end users.

The biggest advantage of measuring actual data is that there’s no need to pre-define the important use cases. As each user goes through the application, RUM captures everything, so no matter what pages they see, there will be performance data available, making it practical for large sites or complex apps.

Synthetic testing (monitoring)

Laboratory-like testing

Low variability, controlled

Ad hoc tests

Provides important, structured perspective of the website experience

Easy to identify any performance flaws

 

 

RUM

Measures performance of real users

High variability, unrestricted

Continuous data collection

Provides clear understanding of web performance

Enables targeted action and removes performance inhibitors

The next question that arises is: Should I use Synthetic testing or RUM to test my website?

The answer is: use both! Both types of monitoring provide data on your site performance, but it really variates between the size of the page that's being monitored and the traffic it generates. The best practice is to combine the core of RUM with the data collected from Synthetic monitoring to gain the best performance feedback on the page at hand. Correlating data from both of these approaches offers the ability to drill down into specific application issues and circumvent the intrinsic shortcomings in order to provide the organization with full visibility of their customer experience—both real and potential.

To learn more about Synthetic testing and Real User Monitoring, take a look at this article

 

DO I NEED CDN TO IMPROVE WEBSITE SPEED TEST?

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A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a globally distributed network of web servers whose purpose is to provide faster delivery, and highly available content. The content is replicated throughout the CDN so it exists in many places all at once. A client accesses a copy of the data near to the client, as opposed to all clients accessing the same central server, in order to avoid bottlenecks near that server.

To put it more simply, the purpose of a CDN is to improve user experience and provide it with a more efficient network resource utilization. Content providers such as media companies and e-commerce vendors pay CDN operators to deliver their content to their end-users.

Given the increasingly international nature of ecommerce, leveraging a CDN — or multi-CDNs — is a non-negotiable ingredient your platform should provide and optimize regularly.

A CDN caches your content on geographically distributed servers—closer to your end-users, resulting in faster delivery. The benefits of using a CDN to serve your content, include:

  • Less bandwidth consumption. Offloading your servers helps decrease hosting costs.
  • Ability to handle more traffic. e.g. Scalability for ‘burst’ events, such as high-traffic launches, or seasonal promotions.
  • Gzip compression, which reduces file sizes ‘on the fly’, to optimize transfer over the Internet and save additionally on bandwidth costs.
  • Enhanced UX, which helps increase conversions and sales.
  • Increase in performance rankings on Google’s SERP.

 

 

DO I NEED BETTER DNS TO IMPROVE LATENCY?

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Domain Name System (DNS) is critical to the performance and reliability of your internet applications and cloud services. A cloud-based DNS can deliver even better results than regular DNS infrastructure.

DNS is mission-critical to all organizations that rely on the Internet for conducting business. DNS failure or poor performance leads to applications, data and content becoming unavailable, causing user frustration, lost sales and business reputation damage.

Every user’s frst interaction with your website begins with a series of DNS queries. Poor DNS performance can lead to slow page loads, dissatisfied customers, and lost business. Cloud-based DNS services extend DNS performance, resiliency, and scalability helping you ensure superior user experiences across the globe.

Your online applications and digital content may be scattered across the internet. Some assets might reside in your corporate data center, some might be distributed across a CDN and some might reside in the cloud. DNS is responsible for steering users to the correct source.

DNS performance and availability are central to the user experience. A contemporary webpage can involve dozens of DNS lookups. For complex webpages, DNS resolution canž comprise as much as 29% of initial page load time.

If DNS query responses are slow because of internet congestion or latency the user experience will be impaired (and users may abandon your site). Worse still, if your DNS infrastructure is unreachable because of equipment problems, network outages or a DDoS attack, users may not be able to access the data and content on your site—regardless of where it resides.

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Pairing a managed DNS solution with your CDN provides your website with extra performance, reliability, and flexibility.

As your business grows, your DNS follows your steps. Managed DNS allows you to add services and features and it’s simple to update. Managed DNS services can help you boost revenues, reduce website abandonment, and improve customer satisfaction by quickly connecting users to the resources they need. A good first impression starts with DNS.

These are the key advantages of a paired DNS/CDN solution:

  • Performance – the distribution of traffic across multiple CDN’s and endpoints optimizes the performance and levels CDN outages.
  • Reliability – even if a CDN goes down the provider’s network often supports CDN’s with automated failover, giving the content availability at all time.
  • Availability – independent DNS service lets you pick CDN providers based on geography, price, features and such. There’s always the option of swapping CDN providers without disrupting the service.

 

HOW CAN GLOBALDOTS HELP WITH WEBSITE SPEED

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GlobalDots gives businesses complete control over how they serve content as well as access to real-time performance analytics. The setup can be built for speed with the use of multiple, powerful servers that have a lot of RAM and plenty of SSD storage capacity if needed.

Regardless of where your customers are, we can reach them in the most efficient way possible. We have found a set of next-gen CDNs that accelerate your web and mobile applications. We push your content to the edge for an optimal end-user experience. Globally distributed network of data centers delivers full site acceleration through intelligent caching, content and network optimization

Through partnering with different service providers, we can offer a robust CDNs that leverages a global network of strategically positioned servers that shorten your content`s round trip time (RTT) by bringing it forever closer to your website visitors.

We can minify your files and compress them ensuring that most commonly accessed files are prioritized and fetched directly to the users browser.

We eliminate the exposure of your files to vulnerability all across the globe and the globe is moving applications to the cloud. We ensure that all your website resources are dynamically profiled within multiple points of presence.

Even with the most complex and sophisticated setups, GlobalDots can provide you with the technology stack that ensures that the most important aspects of your site are always up&running: deliverability, speed, availability, failover and web security (including web application protection, bot protection, DDoS protection and mitigation). Customers like Lufthansa, Bayer, Avast, Playtika and other leading brands and small-medium enterprises rely on GlobalDots services to keep their sites and applications fast & secure.

Contact us today to help you out with your performance and security needs.



WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING

Payoneer-logo-stars-1

“GlobalDots has helped us a lot in monitoring without human intervention.

The anomaly detection basically discovered 80% of the bugs we have, and 100% of the downtime we had.

It has by far surpassed anything we thought it will achieve in a way the alerts become almost irrelevant.”

Shmulik Ahituv, Payoneer
DevOps Team Leader

BioCatch-logo-stars-1

“This platform is nothing short of amazing!

On the first day (and without any customization whatsoever) we already got new insight that we were not able to see before.

A week in and our ops teams across the board were already able to get so much more out of our logs. It's a game changer.”

Dekel Shavit,
Biocatch
CISO

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"I approached GlobalDots because I was looking for a great cloud-based WAF and DDoS protection provider for our customers that would not hinder performance. GlobalDots helped me by discussing the options on the market and helping us choose the best fit for us. The result was a great product at a great price. It was an easy and informative experience and I would recommend GlobalDots to anyone that is in the market for IT performance and security technologies."

Eric Joyce, KalioCommerce
Director, Hosting and Security