The Covid-19 pandemic led the whole world into a lockdown. As a result, millions of people went online for education, shopping, entertainment, appointments and more. Giants like Netflix and Amazon are expecting at least 10 percent increase in their revenue. Moreover, government authorities are asking people to stay back in home and do their daily activities online. As per recent statistics on internet usage, total internet hits have sky-rocketed as more people are working from home. Small to big organizations are checking for all possible options as they are trying to accommodate this huge increase in the traffic to their website/mobile apps.
Companies like Amazon and Netflix already spin up one thousand plus new servers worldwide to accommodate this surge of user activity. Also local players, like supermarkets, bakeries, hotels, and various local agencies across the world are preparing/starting their own website for their customers. All kinds of businesses worldwide have increased their websites and social media usage to share information and communicate with their customers. There is a huge demand for performance testers and performance tools since most of the businesses was not anticipating this surge and was not ready for this sudden increased traffic.
We can all agree that slow websites and applications can be a deal breaker for customers. Whether it’s your favorite streaming site or social media platform, website/app availability issues can be lead to loss of users/business. In this article, we are going to give you few tips which will help you to get ready and handle this increased traffic.
Perform Load and Stress Testing
Companies always worry about their website performance. But did you ever realize why performance has an important role in online business? Let me put this through an example. Let’s say you were eagerly waiting for a show or a movie to get released in an online streaming portal. You have even paid for a subscription after watching their captivating advertisements. Then it happens. On the day when you try to access the portal, you’re getting 500/503 errors even though you have tried multiple times with multiple browsers. In such an unlucky scenario, a user might have multiple questions in their mind, like “Why am I not able to load the site?” or “Have I lost my money?” This event can ultimately lead to the loss of customers. They would even go to a contemporary site to watch movies, as long as they didn’t have a similar experience. Such incidents can result in significant losses in revenue, so all companies nowadays are trying their best not to have an technical issues.
To add insult to injury, news about your website crashing can be easily shared through social media channels. I mean, how many times have you seen somebody share news about a perfectly working website? Not likely. Bad news attracts more clicks and gets more attention than good news, unfortunately.
If you put in the time, effort, and resources to perform load/stress, you significantly reduce the chances of losing a customer due to your website crashing and a negative impact to your organization. Load/stress tests are the best way to know whether your system have the capacity to support the expected load of hundreds or thousands of customers to your sites and applications. There are many techniques through which you can find the expected load of your site. If you have an experienced performance tester, you can very well ask to do the necessary checks. We should add a mandatory step to do the performance testing before we put the application into production, but sadly, most of the companies now a days are neglecting this steps and going forward with the production will end up in embarrassing incident which would often too late to fix.
Implement Cloud Auto-scaling
Auto scaling is the process of dynamically adding servers to matching performance requirements of your application. All the cloud service providers are offering this functionality. Also, it will be automatically removed from application when the additional resources are no longer needed. Netflix is using around 60K + cloud servers in their platform to provide their services and additionally they are utilizing auto scaling when they are releasing a new movie to a particular region. The good news is, this complete process is automated and nobody needs to monitor it. All most all the cloud-based systems support automatic horizontal scaling. If you are expecting large number of user traffic, migrating to a cloud-based system and testing it with a solution like LoadView could be a good idea.
Load Test Critical Business Flows
It’s very important to do the load testing to all the relevant scenarios which is frequently used by customers. For example, login process, search, add to cart, and payment in the case of an e-commerce website. The application must consistently perform what customers want to do. A good performance tester will never test all the flows in the application. Instead, they will try to understand the customer point of view and pick the relevant cases. If it is an existing application, Application Performance Management (APM) tools or server logs can help you find this information.
APM will help you to find out the performance bottlenecks and application availability. With help of right APM solution, you can find almost all the performance issues in a couple of clicks. Major APM tools, combined with a performance testing and monitoring solution, provide the following benefits:
- Monitor complete application activity
- Setup alerts to get real-time information about your application.
- Monitor your server health from single console, as well as set alerts for servers and DB.
- Real-time monitoring of business transactions.
- Monitor real-time errors and exceptions faced by users.
- Monitor vendor services
- Monitor website performance metrics.
High traffic accommodations will come up with high security issues, such as hacking and data loss. Even big players like Twitter get hacked. Ensure the below security checkpoints before your website go online.
- Always ensure that you have updated your patches in servers as well as plugins.
- Coordinate with your hosting partners for verifying security vulnerabilities
- Hire security analyst to do penetration/vulnerability testing.
- Follow OWASP’s recommendations for your website. Review with your security tester. If required change your security architecture.
- Subscribe to your hosting security package. Trust me it’s worth the money.
You may need to integrate third-party services, like payment or chatbots to your website. This could make a bigger impact on your performance than you think. On the contrary, some third-party vendors will offer services from a high-speed server, but they later they will change it to a slower one without your knowledge. Only way to find these kinds of issues is to implement a monitoring solution to give you more continuous data and knowledge as to the performance of any third-party services.
Getting Your Website Ready for Increase in Traffic: How LoadView Can Help
The LoadView platform provides an extensive model for load testing websites, web application, and APIs, connecting users to thousands of load injectors at the touch of a button. LoadView allows you to quickly and easily:
- Build test scripts that emulate user interactions with the help of the EveryStep Web Recorder.
- Select from multiple testing options that reflect real-world website traffic scenarios.
- Choose from multiple geographic regions to test from that reflect where your users or customers are located.
- Gain insights into performance metrics, session details, and bottlenecks through dashboards and reports.
Sign up for the LoadView free trial and get your performance testing in gear! You’ll get up to 5 free load tests to start!