If you have a website or application that keeps your business running and generates significant revenue, you need to employ performance testing to make sure that it doesn’t break down with your growth. Performance testing for website/application determines your website’s speed, scalability, and stability when it goes under a certain amount of workload. Performance testing provides useful data to all the stakeholders involved in analyzing business-critical transactions and user-experience before launching the product and features. It is a best practice to test your website/application performance in the software development life cycle (SDLC), before deployment, and in the production environment. Load testing is one of the primary and fundamental performance testing that ensures website stability and user experience under peak traffic conditions and enhances website/application performance. This article will talk in-depth about the load testing objectives and how to do it successfully.
What is Performance Testing?
Performance testing is a process of testing key performance metrics of software to identify bottleneck and stability issues under different workload scenarios. Performance testing reports help to identify speed, scalability, and stability issues and provide meaningful insights for resolving such issues. It verifies and validates the performance metrics to meet business and end user expectations before going to market. Performance tests typically have test cases designed for the following aspects of websites/applications:
- Speed. To determine the response time of website/application, business-critical transactions & third-party APIs.
- Scalability. To check the maximum load sustained by the website/application without a breakdown or unexpected behavior.
- Stability. To check the website/application performance under different traffic conditions and user load.
Types of Performance Testing
For designing good test cases and scenarios, let’s breakdown different performance testing types and their specific purpose.
Load testing is done to determine the website/application behavior under the expected workload and identify performance issues for resolution. It helps measure the overall performance of user flows, business-critical transactions, resource utilization, etc.
It is done to determine the breaking point of a website/application by simulating an extreme user load. It helps identify the utilization of computing resources and transactions’ health under extreme conditions.
Endurance testing is used to determine the application behavior under a particular workload for a longer period of time. It helps identify stagnation issues and bottlenecks that can occur from continuous significant system workload for hours.
Spike testing checks website/application behavior under a sudden spike of user load. It helps determine the reliability and accessibility of the website/application under special circumstances like flash sales and other critical events.
Volume testing is carried out to check website/application performance when subjected to a high volume of data. It can be done by populating the database or storage with varying volumes and determining data processing behavior under a heavy workload.
Scalability testing is done to determine the website/application’s effectiveness from a scalability point of view by simulating an increasing amount of workload. It helps in capacity planning for scaling up the website/application infrastructure and feature enhancements.
Depending upon the specific needs and requirements, you can either set up performance testing infrastructure on-premises or use cloud-based tools such as LoadView. The advantage of cloud-based tools is that you don’t have to put your time and resources into managing and running the testing infrastructure along with cost-effectiveness.
Load Testing Objectives
Load Testing is one of the most important and highly advised types of performance testing that should be incorporated into your testing strategy as early as possible. Under high traffic conditions, you need to have your website work perfectly; otherwise, it can lead to performance bottlenecks, poor user experience, and, most importantly, business loss. Let’s understand the key objectives of load testing and its benefits.
Measuring Server Response Time for End Users
Under high load conditions, the server response time can be very high, impacting user transactions and experience. By measuring end user response time with detailed reporting, you can identify and eliminate potential causes to ensure your website/application has an optimal response time.
It is important to identify different bottlenecks that can bog down your server under a high user load. Load Testing gives you the ability to effectively identify and eliminate performance bottlenecks to ensure speed, reliability, and stability of the website/application.
Establishing Optimal Hardware and Software Configuration
Different hardware and software configurations can affect website performance significantly under high loads. You can perform Load Testing for different configurations and check CPU Speed, Memory Utilization, Cache Policy, Network Resources, Software Configurations, etc. for establishing an optimal hardware and software configuration for your website/application.
Measuring System Capacity and Planning Scalability
Measuring system capacity for handling workload is crucial for different scenarios, such as special events and maintaining the best user experience. Also, planning for scalability when your organization and user base grow is an important activity. Load Testing helps you measure resource utilization for capacity and scalability planning effectively.
You can run your load tests using LoadView, which is a cloud-based fully-managed load testing tool. It simulates the most realistic user load by using real browsers and devices and generates extensive reports with key matrices that help you identify bottlenecks quickly.
Key to Success: Test Scenarios
For any performance test, its success depends on the process of defining, designing, and executing correct test scenarios. Test scenarios should capture all business-critical transactions, and user flows, to identify all bottlenecks and performance issues effectively. While you can run well-defined test cases, ad hoc test scenarios are also important to identify overlooked issues. Following are some best practices for load testing test scenarios.
- Make sure you run your load test on real browsers and devices to simulate the most realistic end user load.
- Run your test cases from different geo-locations for a real-world test scenario.
- Adjust your load in real-time to see how your website/applications behave with the fluctuating workload.
- Include third-party web services and APIs in your test scenario.
- Run load tests for individual web pages that play an important role in user flow like checkout, online payments, etc.
With LoadView you can easily create test cases and scenarios with the EveryStep Web Recorder with simple pointing and clicking, requiring no programming experience. LoadView uses real browsers and devices from different geographic locations to generate the most realistic user load.
Conclusion: Load Testing Objectives
Load testing is vital for testing your website/application’s performance to ensure speed, stability, and scalability. Test scenarios for load testing should be defined, designed, and performed with the most realistic conditions such as real browsers, devices, and multiple geo-locations. With LoadView, creating test cases and scenarios is very easy with its point and click feature that can capture virtually any user transaction. It is a best practice to start with the Load testing as early as possible in the software development life cycle to ensure that your website/application is regularly checked for performance under heavy user load.