A website load test can be a powerful tool in marketplaces where the performance of your website is what distinguishes your brand from the competition. By simulating conditions of anticipated or heavy load on your website while collecting data on key performance metrics, web load testing helps you verify the speed, stability, and scalability of your website and locate bottlenecks in the web application architecture.
Implementing a website load test is one way of mitigating risk before the launch of a new site, site redesign, or online marketing campaign. When carried out effectively, a website load test allows you to proactively resolve performance issues and deliver a faster, more reliable web platform to demanding users.
A website load test involves three phases: planning, design, and execution. In order to maximize the effectiveness of each and every test, you’ll want to use your time as productively as possible in each phase—to focus your efforts on what matters most. With a solid web performance testing strategy and the right web load testing tools, you’ll be able to achieve better results with each website load test and accomplish more in less time.
First, you’ll want to assemble a diverse team of application stakeholders to participate in the testing process and define performance objectives for the website load test. This includes identifying the metrics that will be most useful for determining whether your performance goals are being met and for detecting critical bottlenecks in your web application or datacenter infrastructure. Next, in the design phase, you’ll need to develop web load test scripts that accurately simulate the behavior of your users. User monitoring or website performance monitoring tools can provide you with valuable insight to inform your script writing efforts.
For execution of the website load test, you should leverage a tool that allows you to generate enough load to validate the scalability of your server infrastructure and realistically test your website by driving load from various locations outside the firewall. A cloud-based testing solution makes it easy to spin up large numbers of virtual users and test from different Last Mile networks around the world. Finally, because web application delivery environments are complex and constantly evolving, you may want to consider extending the performance testing life cycle into your production environment with a synthetic monitoring solution.