Website Stress Testing Helps You Prepare for Anything
A website is like any other piece of engineering. It needs to be put to the test before it can properly be launched, and when something changes, it should be tested again for anticipated surges in utilization and to ensure developments updates haven’t created unforeseen performance issues.
It is tempting at the end of a development process to think, “This website is done and we can launch it.” In fact, the conclusion of any development process (even after qualitative QA) should include a stress testing phase that leverages tools like those available through our LoadView platform.
A “stress testing mentality” will help you and your development team get ahead of potential issues and rigorously prepare your website for whatever surges in traffic might come, and to optimize your site in anticipation of major events well before they occur.
So what is stress testing exactly? And how can it benefit you and your business? Let’s find out.
The Purpose of Website Stress Testing
A website that hasn’t been stress tested is like a Formula 1 car that isn’t put through its paces before race day. Your website is a driving force for your business and how many people will first encounter or engage with your brand, so you need to be sure it’s going to perform under all possible circumstances.
If a website receives a significant and sudden amount of stress (that is, a large pool of users arrive at the same time) page load times may get delayed significantly, leaving your customers dissatisfied with the service and unimpressed with your brand and ability to maintain your business’ digital home. Your website can simply stop working under sudden stress, so it’s important to periodically audit it with stress testing tools like LoadView that will help you find the root cause behind any bottlenecks.
A high-performing website that loads consistently and with zero downtime build trust and user satisfaction. Over time, investing a small amount in website stress testing will pay dividends.
What Scenarios Call for Website Stress Testing?
Stress testing helps in a variety of situations. Perhaps you have a planned in-person event or webinar for which you anticipate a large influx of users. Or maybe your CEO is doing a media event you expect to be seen by thousands of people. In these cases, you might wonder, “Well, how do I know my website won’t crash under these circumstances?” The answer is website stress testing.
Let’s consider a couple other hypothetical events where a business might find a large number of users flocking to their website.
- The COVID pandemic offers a prime example. If you’re a medical service provider and you offer COVID-19 testing services at one of your centers, you can expect to have a large number of visitors come to your website to check their results. The situation can take a bad turn if your website can’t handle a large number of users at the same time. A surge of simultaneous visitors may cause your website to slow and even crash. The easiest solution to this is a stress testing tool like ours at LoadView that allows you to put load on your website until it reaches a breaking point. This way, you’ll know just how capable your website is. To put this into numbers, if your website is only able to handle 50 users at one moment, and 250 users attempt to access their results, your website could either lag significantly or crash entirely.
- Let’s say you run a popular blog or media outlet and a news article goes viral – a celebrity shares it on Twitter, for example. Is your website prepared for this surge of traffic? It can be very damaging to your reputation if a large number of users flock to your blog and see that the website doesn’t function very well or simply won’t load. Website stress testing will help you prepare for this so your site remains online even after an unanticipated social media event.
Stress testing regularly will help you prepare for events such as these and give you information about exactly what your website can presently handle so your developers can prepare for increased loads and improve performance.
What You Can Accomplish with Website Stress Testing
Let’s say your website has recently crashed. With stress testing, you’ll be able to reverse engineer the situation and determine exactly what causes the crash. From this data you can take measures to ensure your website doesn’t crash again. A tool like our LoadView load testing platform is designed to give you the data you need to prevent downtime. Here are a few things you can accomplish with stress testing:
- You can ensure your website is reliable and stable–this guarantees visitors will leave satisfied with their experience and be more likely to return again.
- You can develop your system to properly use resources, which may lead to cost savings.
- You’re able to plan ahead. Sometimes you may need to tweak a website to adjust to the load being put on it. With stress testing, you’ll have the ability to determine what resources you’ll need under various, specific levels of anticipated traffic.
Website Stress Testing Types You Need to Know
Here are some of the key website stress test types you need to know in order to make a load testing plan. Our experts at LoadView stand ready to help you understand each of these and how they may apply to your specific website or application.
Application Stress Test
An application stress test focuses on rooting out bottlenecks and network issues on an application so they can function optimally.
Systemic Stress Test
A systemic stress test runs across all the applications running on the same server–this helps identify where issues lie and where improvements can be made.
Transactional Stress Test
You might need to do a transactional stress test if you have two or more applications within the system that interact with each other. These interactions might be between internal applications or between an application and third-party software. Transactional stress testing will help improve the overall functioning of your system as a whole.
Distributed Stress Test
A distributed stress test is meant to look at specific client-servers. If a client faces an issue, a distributed stress test will be able to analyze exactly why and where the issue lies.
Exploratory Stress Test
In this type of stress test, you’re free to explore and experiment with your website. You may add a lot of load, increase the load incrementally, or switch between high and low loads over a brief time period. These situations might not occur in real life, but these abnormalities might give you a great view of your website’s behavior under varying conditions.
You don’t need to do a whole lot to stress test your website, especially when you leverage a cloud-based service like ours at LoadView, with point and click scripting and real user testing. We can assist you every step of the way. Let’s approach stress testing strategically by looking now at the steps you need to take to properly test your website.
Time to Stress Test
Now you know what stress testing is and some of the more common types, you can begin stress testing. Here are three general steps to guide the process.
Plan Your Stress Test
Here you need data about user pathways, system functions, and existing traffic patterns to prepare a scenario for testing. What are your traffic targets? How many users does your website serve now during a given day? A tool like Google Analytics will give you the data you need to begin to plan an effective stress test for your website.
With our EveryStep Web Recorder, you’ll be able to see what user pathways are and create a test script resembling or imitating that. No knowledge of programming is required. Simply record an interaction as you would in a real browser and let our tool do the rest.
Execute Your Stress Test
You set the load, you set the time. You can schedule a stress test to run after hours or immediately, and can schedule multiple tests to run concurrently.
Review Reports & Optimize
At LoadView, we are your professional load testing ally. Our platform generates readable reports and gives resourceful insights on your website’s performance, so you and your team can turn raw data into actionable steps for improving your site.
In Conclusion: LoadView Makes Stress Testing Easy
Your mission-critical website needs to perform 24/7, and your development process should include regular stress testing to ensure this. Our team at LoadView will help you see exactly what you need to do to optimize your website’s functions by giving you state-of-the-art technology to test, read reports, and analyze to achieve actionable insights for your development team.
Learn more about LoadView by signing up for a one-on-one demo with a load testing expert and register for a free LoadView trial today. We’ll be glad to hear from you and to support your website stress testing needs.