If you’re reading this, chances are you have a decent computer with a better-than-average internet connection. The same cannot be said for your users. Devices vary wildly across the general populace, and users with older mobile phones are going experience your site differently than users with top-of-the-line M1 MacBook Pros.
It’s important to know who’s visiting your site - on which devices - to make accurate decisions about your site’s performance.
Learn more about Performance in our Definitive Guide to Web Performance
Mobile vs. Desktop
At the most basic level, it’s often desirable to know just what percentage of your users are mobile vs. those on laptops or desktops. Mobile internet reception can be spotty, older phones are underpowered, and someone out there is still running Android 4.x. Knowing the breakdown of mobile vs. desktop/laptop lets you focus on the right areas of performance.
Request Metrics will also show you the breakdown over time. Maybe you have more office workers on desktops during the day, more people on mobile in the evenings? Knowing the device type breakdown can help you understand why a performance regression occurred.
Not all browsers are created equal, so knowing the exact type of browser is a useful signal in whittling down performance problems. You can also make inferences from the browser. If someone is using IE or Android browser, it’s likely they’re on an older device - which could cause any number of issues.
Request Metrics displays the type of browsers visiting your site over time:
We also provide a treemap, summarizing the overall totals by browser:
Knowing the devices and browsers your users are visiting from can make the difference between fixing a problem or not. You’d be surprised just how many people are using Microsoft Edge!