- Load and performance tests are an essential part of any serious development for websites and web applications. A platform like ours at LoadView makes load testing easy so you can integrate it into your development strategy.
- Websites and web applications that are not properly and regularly tested are likely to experience performance issues and even downtime. Load testing empowers development teams to make measurable improvements to websites and applications to prepare them for sudden surges in traffic, and prevent downtime.
Why You Need Regular Load & Performance Testing
An effective load testing plan can not only boost your revenue through more consistent sales and leads from a high performing website, but it can also reduce the negative consequences of a website or that doesn’t perform under stress, including performance degradation and downtime.
Performance tests can help development teams make measurable improvements to low performing websites and web applications. Properly tested websites and applications will stand apart from the competition through better performance across devices and locations as well as more consistent uptime, even under serious stress.
Heavy, unanticipated loads on websites and applications can cause serious issues that directly impact your business’ reputation and bottom line, as users leave for the competition as they find themselves unable to properly navigate your site. Proper, effective load testing helps you avoid these issues and needs to be implement strategically by development teams with the big picture in mind.
There are dozens of load testing companies on the market, all offering different services with varying features. Our own LoadView stands apart as a truly comprehensive, easy-to-use load testing platform that offers browser based, real user testing, industry-leading support, and an all-in-one platform so you and your team can accomplish your load testing program in one place. The ability to run a variety of load tests is key.
No one load testing type is better than the other, and each has its own unique capabilities appropriate to different testing goals and situations. Once you have an idea of the type of load testing you require for your business, you can then strategize and develop a plan that incorporates the use of these regularly at various stages of development – not only after a disaster like downtime occurs. Let’s look further.
Why Performance Tests Are Important
The goal of any performance test is to gather information about how a given website or web application performs under varying loads. Based on information gathered, developers can begin to make direct improvements and better prepare your websites and applications for both existing traffic and unexpected surges.
You never know when a sudden spike in visitors might occur. Performance testing helps you understand how your site will perform under such stress. Think about it like this: the only way to know your website or application will crash at a certain point, without performance testing in a development environment, is to wait for it to happen in a production environment. This, of course, is far from ideal.
Types of Load & Performance Tests
Let’s look at some of the common types of performance tests and when they should be used.
Stress tests increase the workload on a system until it’s pushed past its normal operating limits or crashes. The goal of stress testing is to find the breaking point. It’s possible that a load test inadvertently becomes a stress test, but typically we recommend configuring load tests in order to better understand performance at peak traffic levels, which should not bring the application or website down. In contrast, a stress test takes a website or web application to its breaking point in order to discover it and gather information.
A spike test is an evaluation of how a website performs if it’s loaded with users suddenly. A well-performing website will display no signs of change, whereas a website that has issues will likely start to break down and give error messages. This type of test is not to check whether a website will perform under stress in the long run, but during times when the load becomes high because of a certain cause, such as a blogpost going viral or a sudden media event.
Not every business will benefit from spike testing. Some websites expect their userbase to be consistent across time. This type of test is mainly useful for those who expect a sudden increase in traffic coming to their website in light of a sale like Black Friday or a major media event. That said, any websites can experience a sudden surge in traffic, so it never hurts to run this test as a precaution to see how your site will handle a sudden, massive surge in traffic.
Volume testing (also referred to as flood testing) is used to test a software application against large sets of data to see how it responds, ergo “volume” or “flood.” The crucial element of a volume test is being able to test a website when data exceeds a certain limit–most websites will fail under heavy data sets.
Prolonged stress on a website can create issues including slow response times and even downtime. Soak testing “soaks” or stresses your website for a protracted period of time. Unlike stress tests and spike tests that test your website for only a short period of time, soak tests generally take hours or even days.
The easiest way to soak test a website is to put a generic amount of stress on it and to leave it as it is for many hours. A system that is not wired to perform under extended periods of stress will deteriorate. Soak tests are helpful for those who expect heavy traffic to their websites over a long period of time.
Scalability tests give you a way to see how your application or system scales, both up and down, at different numbers of users. This type of test helps to ensure your system’s resources are utilized correctly and serve to give your users a stable experience across devices, browsers and various locations.
This type of test is helpful when you anticipate growth over a period of time and would like to get ahead of potential performance issues with your websites or web applications.
LoadView Will Help You Achieve Your Load Testing Goals
Proper and effective load testing does not need to be a challenge. Simply leverage our comprehensive load testing platform at LoadView, and you’ll immediately begin to integrate load testing into your development process. With a wide variety of performance testing options, you’ll have the power to observe your website and web application from all angles, so you and your development team can improve your users’ experience.
Whether you want to ensure your website runs well under stress or you want to check for its upper limits in terms of concurrent users, our platform and LoadView will help you get the most out of your websites and web applications. Start load testing today with a free trial or book a demo with one of our experts. We’ll be glad to hear from you.