Improving Your Website Performance with Load Testing


With the ever changing online marketing landscape, an excellent website has become quite a powerful tool. However, your site has a short time to grab a visitor’s attention. So, how are you going to optimize your website to achieve better results? Optimization includes search engine optimization and usability testing. Therefore, when optimizing your site, it’s vital to monitor and test the site’s performance consistently. Performance testing encompasses load testing, endurance testing, stress testing and spike testing. Load testing is one of the simplest ways to pin point errors and mistakes concerning the behavior of the website when handling specific loads of users and recommend adjustments.

What is load testing?

By the time your site is up and running, there’s only one way to know if your application or server can handle the demands your army of visitors will soon be placing on it. It’s through load testing. Load testing is the process of putting anticipated demand on application, software or website to measure the response under various conditions. It’s about creating simulations and utilizing specialized testing tools to answer questions such as “Is the system delivering the required speed of need?” and “Is the system performing as expected under provided conditions?”

What is the role of load testing?

Load testing is about monitoring the system’s response time, resource utilization levels and throughput rates. Monitoring the simulations put in the system helps you identify breaking points and fix bottlenecks before they start causing problems. This type of testing can provide you with an informed report regarding your website’s behavior when multiple users bombard a system with sudden traffic or when multiple users access the site. Technically speaking, load testing should be performed when actual user engagement can be accurately simulated and tested. This will allow you as the site owner to see how your website system performs when live. 

Load testing methods

A load test is useful to the extent that it simulates live traffic. It is therefore vital to understand the behavior of the real-world user. This can be achieved through two methods, longevity and volume testing. Longevity testing, also referred to as endurance testing check the system’s ability to tackle a constant, average work load for a long time. On the other hand, volume testing evaluates a system’s ability to handle a heavy work load for a limited time. Both methods will allow you to identify bugs, bottlenecks and component limitations.

Load testing your website matters: Here’s why

Website load testing is a continual focus on ensuring that all aspects of your site are as good as they can be. There are several reasons why you should load test your website. Here are some of the benefits of load testing a website:

• Saves money 
One of the main advantages of load testing your site is that it will ultimately increase sale while helping you save money. Performing regular load tests helps you fine-tune your website and develop a plan that will help you avoid maxing out capacity. This will save you the hustles of making other investments in the future.

• Increased confidence
A load test will provide you with confidence when you know that your website can sustain moderate and heavy loads of traffic for a long time. Having confidence especially when you have an e-commerce site allows you to have peace of mind. Moreover, if there are any issues, a load test will quickly detect them providing you with ample time to make amendments. Visitors will also have confidence in your company’s brand.

• Saves time 
How time do you spend on manual tasks? The internet is continually evolving. To stay ahead of the competition, so should your website. Using a load test tool will undoubtedly free you from some laborious manual tasks allowing you to save time and work on innovative new ideas. 

• Insight 
For optimum website performance, you need to eliminate the element of surprise. Load testing allows you to know exactly what you need to know to ensure that your website performs well even when under high load. Insight into performance and functions of a site correlates to a better performing website and happy customers. 

Load testing tools

1. LoadView 
This is a paid fully managed load testing tool that allows easy load and stress testing. LoadView is different from many other load testing tools since it performs the testing process in real browsers. This enables it to provide closely emulate real-world users and provide extremely accurate data. It is also scalable, completely cloud-based and can be deployed within minutes. Features include global cloud-based infrastructure, real browser testing and point and click scripting. It has a free trial.

2. The Grinder 
This is a free Java-based load testing tool. It is available under a BSD-style open-source license. It consists of two main components. The Grinder Console which is a GUI application that controls several Grinder agents while monitoring results in real time. The second element is the Grinder Agent which is a headless load generator that has several workers to create the load. Features include support for multiple protocols, flexible parameterization, distributed testing and TCP proxy.

3. WebLOAD 
It allows the user to perform stress and lead testing on any internet application using Adobe Flex, Oracle Forms, HTML5, Ajax and other technologies. You can generate load from on-premises and the cloud. Features include DOM-based recording, JavaScript scripting language, and automatic correlation. This tool has the ability to support large-scale load testing characterized with complex scenarios and heavy user load and provide a precise analysis of performance and functionality. Also, it has a flexible pricing and licensing mechanism.

Other tools include:

4. LoadRunner


6. Loadstar

7. LoadImpact

8. NeoLoad

9. ApicaLoadTest

10. LoadUI NG pro

Load testing hacks

1. Make use of an outside source

2. Know the services your platform utilizes

3. Establish baseline performance metrics

In 2017, website load testing is a major priority. However, it is a challenging task, and that is why you need a load testing tool to be able to catch bugs at an early stage and dramatically improve user experience while reducing the effort and saving time and money.