Website Load Testing – Why and How to Do It
The article explains the necessity of doing website load testing. It also provides detailed information on kinds of website performance tests and website load testing in particular. The second part of the article is a how-to section which can help you choose your website load testing software to protect your website and your business.
Whenever a program is written, it requires testing to make sure that it can work properly and is bug-free. And while it is a common practice to test software, website load testing is something web developers and website owners often neglect. Meanwhile website load testing can help you prevent potential problems with your website, and ultimately with your business.
Ask yourself a question, how much will the server downtime cost me? What will happen if your website is offline because the server could not process all the requests sent to it, or because it could not handle an increased amount of concurrent users. Oh sorry, not users, but potential customers! When your website goes offline, so does your business. And being offline is not the best way to make money.
Website load testing is a part of performance tests that every web application should undergo every once in a while to make sure it delivers maximum quality operation. The website performance tests include benchmark tests which check your website performance under minimum loads, stress tests which test your web application behavior in extreme load conditions and load tests whose goal is to check your website performance under loads which are significantly above average.
The process of website load testing is done by putting an unusually high load on your system in order to see which part of it fails. These tests can help you find bottlenecks in your website performance and eliminate them before they compromise you and your business.
However, to approach the task of website load testing professionally, you need to make sure you use the right software such as the one that allows you to simulate real load conditions including a real number of requests sent, and a real number of concurrent users. Thus the simulation should be based on a real user activity.
Before doing the test, the software should allow the user to specify some initial website testing parameters, such as the duration of the test, the number of overall hits, and the number of hits per second. When you have specified the load parameters, you can start testing.
If you use good website testing software, it also allows performing tests based on real human activity and not the machine generated tests. This means that it should be you or another human user who clicks hyperlinks, downloads website pages, fills in forms, submits information and does all other actions that your website supports. Thus you will get a more realistic picture of your website performance.
The actions that you perform on your website are called ‘testing scenario’. After the testing scenario has been elaborated, good website load testing software allows the user to add some dynamic data to it. And then only, when all the parameters are specified, and the testing scenario is in place, it performs a final test.
Tests results must be presented in the most clear and comprehensive manner with graphs and reports covering every aspect of the website performance with a thorough analysis of its bottlenecks, errors and other relevant information.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alexander Golishev is a copywriter for Novosoft LLC, software developer, who writes about information technologies.