If you are not that tech savvy but you are running a website and you are interested in knowing how it’s performing, this one’s for you. A waterfall chart could help you with that. It’s a diagram that represents the data generated sequentially across a process.
You can see a series of actions which occur between the user and the server to view and understand how a user views your site or its pages.
Each page of your website is represented in a line on the charts. You will see a waterfall that presents the moment when each resource is called from the server to the moment the resource has been downloaded or rendered in the browser.
In simpler words, the waterfall chart helps you determine how long does it take for each action to load between the server and the user whenever the user assesses your website. This data can be really helpful for web administrators to understand how each element of a site is impacting its performance. This information can also be helpful for improving website performance and website optimization.
You can also see where the elements of your web pages are stuck. For instance, if images on your website are not loading properly, simply to go the image element and you will learn more about the issue. To diagnose the problem further, you can expand the element.
Here is the breakdown of some of the important pieces of the waterfall chart. The names might vary depending on the tool you are using:
It refers to the total time required for creating a TCP connection. It is used for creating a connection between the local client and the server. The TCP connection must be fast as it reduces the network latency time.
TTFB i.e. time to first byte refers to the amount of time required when a client makes an HTTP request for receiving the first byte of data from the web server. On average, a TTFB must be under 100ms.
There is a lot more you can see on the waterfall chart for improving your website. Generally, if the chart has fewer rows and shorter bars, that means your website is performing well. If not, then you will have to work on its SEO, website design, and website performance.