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Load Testing Is Crucial For Optimum Performance of your Website

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Last updated March 5th, 2020 by Erna Clayton in Tools, Guides

Load Testing

For a comparatively better user experience and more quality online traffic, all that's required is a fast and lightweight website.

A lightweight and super fast website's contribution towards comparatively better user experience and engaging online traffic cannot be ignored. One of the most critical aspects that have always kept the user hooked, engaged, has converted, ensuring optimal performance and reliability of the website, is - load testing. Load testing services for a website help in SEO rankings and better indexing, which otherwise would make it move at a snail's pace. Although there are a lot of other factors, such as artificial intelligence, cloud testing, and server location, which thoroughly improve the performance of a website, in this article, we will dedicatedly talk about load testing and how it helps optimize the site's performance.

Common challenges

Online retailers often face the challenge of competing with their on-ground counterparts, i.e., the retail stores. Previously, it was tough to match the interactivity and engagement level with retail stores, but thanks to the highly advanced technology of machine learning, which performs at par when clubbed with augmented reality. At the same time, these executions also require ongoing load testing to offer an unmatched shopping experience.

Balancing your website's performance with rich content, fonts, design, UI, and user experience could be a struggle. Moreover, backend processes such as payment processing, speed, page load time, inventory checking, etc., could also add to performance challenges. Apart from adding complexity, these things also add functionality to your website, which sometimes becomes difficult to control. Optimized load testing services understand the impact of all these elements and thus manage the website's overall impact.

Load testing or performance is often confused as a single task, which is not. It is a complex process where a series of tests are executed during the development cycle. These tests help in mitigating the issues.

Ensuring the reliability of a website

Considering software performance testing services as one of the best methods to deliver the best user experience from a website, the new age testers have excelled in all the details involved in the performance testing process. The results will only be better if this progressiveness continues and evolves with the technology evolution in this digital space.

To begin with, the testing team initiates the load testing session from the planning stage. It then proceeds to the developmental step to ensure that your website performs seamlessly and fulfills the desired requirements. A detailed performance testing session consists of:

Volume testing

Volume testing is also known as flood testing and is done on vast volumes of data. The high volumes can be of large database files, input files, and data records. It finds out the exact amount of data that your website can handle. The results evaluate the productivity of the app or website under a controlled environment of continuously increasing volumes of data.

Scalability testing

This non-functional testing method measures the application's capability regarding its capacity of scaling up or scaling down in case of flux in processing power and architecture. A challenge that engineers often face is, evaluating the system's capacity, which is resolved by right-sizing and following the best scalability testing practices. This testing also helps in ensuring maximum output and mitigating app breakdown during peak hours.

Performance testing

Engineers effectively leverage modern-day testing techniques to generate a virtual traffic load on the system to measure its performance. The primary objective of this test is to reduce the time taken by the application to process a command under a significant load increase.

Stress Testing

Stress testing checks the resilience of the platform, device, and network under extreme conditions, such as the overcapacity of users on a website during a sale, and how it can mitigate random system failures and crashes.

Soak Testing

AKA' endurance testing" is used to rectify memory leaks. The goal is to check the system's behavior under sustained load. Soak testing ensures that the response time of the website improves under a sustained load condition.

Spike Testing

Spike testing determines the application's behavior under sudden fluxes, such as an increase in the number of users, an increase in requests, etc. Apart from checking the website's performance under burst conditions, it also verifies whether the website can recover during the spike activity.

How load testing exactly helps in improving performance?

With a significant increase in the number of users accessing your website, the capacity of the utilized servers must also be increased to handle the increasing request counts. Once the primary server hits the threshold level, it stops taking additional requests. This means that your website will no longer handle the incoming traffic and will show severe performance issues. Load testing here helps rectify major performance issues such as slow load times, unidentified errors, and crashes.

Load testing helps identify the server's actual capacity and helps improve performance during the first influx of real online traffic. You can make necessary changes and adjustments based on the load testing results. By using load testing effectively for your website, your users get the performance as per their expectations, while you can enjoy increased traffic and higher engagements.

Choosing the appropriate performance testing tool

To check the reliability of a website, it is equally essential for the developer to choose the most appropriate website load-testing tool. The market is already full of open-source and premium tools. Hence it becomes crucial to select a tool that satiates your requirements.

Opting for an incorrect tool might end up crippling up your product under real-world load conditions. The performance testing team must pinpoint their exact business requirements to reduce their testing limitations.

Choosing a premium tool

Blazemeter — This is premium and self-sustaining, load-testing SaaS that offers a cross-enterprise automation framework during your website's entire development life cycle. The Blazemeter UI is leveraged for script creation required for setting up the test execution process. It collectively helps the QA team, developers, DevOps, and ops team execute on-request testing for applications for websites and mobile. Blazemeter also offers hybrid solutions to use, even with cloud services.

The tool is fully compatible with other popularly available tools in the market, such as Selenium & JMeter, and can be easily integrated with APM, CI & CD.

LoadRunner (LR) — LR provides a premium method of load testing of your website. It effectively emulates thousands of users to test the capacity of the website on all platforms and environments. LR specializes in applying consistent and end-to-end load in a controlled way, making it easy to monitor. It detects the potential scalability issues which can affect your users in real-world scenarios.

WebSitePulse — one of WebSitePulse's services is the Server & Network Monitoring, which checks your servers and network devices from multiple locations worldwide and alerts you when they are not accessible. It's a perfect service to help you minimize your network assets' downtime.

Choosing an open-source tool

Apache JMeter — One of the most popular performance testing tools widely used globally due to its quality and cost-effectiveness. JMeter also allows downloading the entire source code, which can later be worked upon and shared by developers to help fellow testers across. Being an open-source framework, it helps to develop and distribute its own set of customized plugins. Apart from ease of scripting language and vast learning opportunities, JMeter also gives several other features to its users, such as:

  • Testing different apps under different test conditions
  • Fully-featured test IDE
  • HTML reporting
  • Executes load test in a distributed manner
  • Java-based tool
  • Command-line mode for performance and load testing
  • Ability to extract data
  • Replaying test results and
  • Offline analysis

Gatling — offers seamless integration with real-time monitoring tools, which helps in complex execution monitoring. This technique gives an approximate test result idea to the testers even before completing the testing process.

Being an open-source performance testing tool, Gatling also gives a vast opportunity to develop and share customized plugins and frameworks. It is a highly advanced load generation tool that deals with several logic between requests. Gatling also keeps a track record of the users, including their own set of data and unique browsing path. It implements virtual users in the form of messages against other load-generation tools, which do this in the form of threads. Some of Gatling's advantages are:

  • Improved developer collaboration
  • Tracks historical changes
  • Allows writing of performance tests as source code
  • Tests storage under version control systems
  • Enhances developers' collaboration
  • Keeps clear historical changes
  • Mitigates loss of work


These tools and testing techniques should be restricted to the developmental phase and carried out during other stages. With the rise of Artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud testing, and significant data testing, companies need to rethink their current performance testing strategies to obtain lightning-fast and reliable performance under all conditions.

Erna Clayton

Erna Clayton is a technical blogger best known for writing in the field of science & technology, software testing to be specific. She loves photography and is a die-hard food lover. She loves to learn about the latest trends in technology and often writes for QA.

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