First, Collaborate & Identify Business Goals and Objectives
It’s helpful to gain insight into your organization’s goals before you set out to load test your website. Your marketing department, sales, leadership, developers, and quality assurance engineers can help determine specific goals for a comprehensive load testing program.
Different departments within your organization will give you different opinions and insights into the state of your websites and applications and their requirements. By collaborating across departments, you’ll get better information about what precisely you need to test for and how to satisfy internal stakeholders with your testing and development.
In short, this precursor stage before you undertake load testing will give you a baseline expectation from which you can build. Not only will this help to realign your development team with your business’ core values, but you will be a more informed load tester at the end of these efforts.
An aligned workforce will generate more accurate and dependable results. Synchronization across departments allows you to maintain a common vision with regards to load testing. Establishing trust and finding commonalities between different moving parts of your organization will bring unity to the team, and will further your efforts in load testing your website.
Determine the Metrics for Your Load Testing Program
Though it is a difficult question, knowing what to look for in the results of your load test will allow you to see with clarity the efficiencies of each function of your website or web application. Things to look out for include response times according to geographical location, memory utilization, CPU usage and the like.
When setting parameters for your load testing, you can put in your own numbers, your own behaviors, and your own patterns, and see how your website or web application responds. Our simple EveryStep Recorder’s point and click scripting makes it easy to load test complex interactions like logging in and checkout through an ecommerce website.
Because you have the ability to set parameters, you’ll be able to put in exactly the kind of behaviors you expect from the users. Imagine the dynamism of an actual human being interacting with your website. Basic load testing will not reflect that. LoadView, which features real browser testing and the powerful EveryStep tool, gives you the most accurate load testing results possible.
Design a Load Test
Assessing the sequence in which you will apply load to your website can lead to new possibilities. There are a variety of combinations possible, with different user types and kinds of behavior that you can use to test the capability of your websites and web applications. Analytics here will help inform the types of transactions you want to test with. Do many simultaneous users log in to your site? You’ll likely want to test this.
A synchronous process that aligns test parameters with historical data relevant to a given load test will align your results within the scope of real user behavior. This is the a crucial step in the design of a load test, because uninformed load test designs will deliver unusable results, or worse lead your developers in the wrong direction.
While it may be tempting to test the whole website in one go, it may be more advisable to set the parameters or user-generation in such a way as to put the entire load on critical functions first. This will allow you to home in on specific issues before going broad and testing more deeply across your entire website or application.
What Not to Do When Load Testing
Here are some things you should not do when load testing, with guidance and recommendations for how to get the best possible results.
Don’t Crash the Server (Unless You Intend To)
The intention of load testing generally is not to crash the server. Rather we want to test the performance of the website given various load scenarios. If you do want to test the limits of your websites and applications, this is also possible. Be sure you’ve got a clear idea of this as your goal as you proceed, and use a tool like our LoadView platform to accomplish it.
Don’t Browse While Testing
It may be tempting to open other browsers while the testing program does its thing. Don’t do that. This can interfere will the scope of the program and provide you with skewed results. To ensure the most accurate results, it’s important to make sure no other browsers are being run in a given testing scenario.
Don’t Deploy the Non-Thinking User
A human being will take some time to reflect upon and make decisions. It’s advisable you let the system generate some time for your simulated test users to think through their actions. At LoadView we can help you automate and understand this process and how it impacts the way you run load tests.
Don’t Go Into Overdrive
It’s best to take load testing slow and to see where issues occur at various steps. At a certain scale, every website will crash. It’s typically better to stagger your load testing in steps to find performance degradation and finally a breaking point, rather than rush directly to try and crash your site.
Load Testing Is an Ongoing Process
It’s important to think of load testing as an ongoing process, not a one-and-done step you take before launching a website or application. Load testing will help give you insight into your website’s ability to handle load as you and your development team iterate it, so you can be prepared for anything and know what steps to take to improve experience for your users and prepare for surges in traffic.
We recommend scheduling time for regular load testing and to build it into your development process, with regular checkpoints and a feedback process through which your development team reviews load testing results and discusses their impact. Accountability here is key, as load testing can otherwise be left to the last minute or forgotten entirely.
By building load testing into your development process at every stage, you’ll avoid unforeseen issues and help engender a culture of responsibility and collaboration among your development team. The results for your users will speak for themselves.
At LoadView our sole purpose is to help you achieve success with your load testing budget. Our team stands ready to assist you so you can rest assured your website or application will remain performative and online around the clock, globally.
The LoadView Solution to Load Testing Best Practices
Sign up for a free LoadView trial to see how LoadView can improve your website, web application, or API today. Our expert load testing team is ready to assist you and your team with all your load testing goals.