We need performance testing make sure that our websites load as fast as possible. There are a few reasons why you need to test your website speed and make sure that your site is loading fast: Visitor Retention or Conversion Rate Your website visitors (who are mostly potential clients) will not stay around waiting for a website to load.
There are plenty of other fast-loading websites out there the serve up the same information, products and services. To make sure that your competition doesn’t capture your customers, make sure you don’t give them a reason to leave your website.
Google Loves A Fast-Loading Websites
Search engine optimization isn’t just about optimize everything on a page such as meta tags and image alt tags. You should also pay attention to the off-site elements such as site load time. Google does. Google actually factors in site speed in the ranking equation and, all things equal, if your competitor’s site loads faster…they will probably rank higher than you in the search engines.
Generate More Revenue
If you are selling products online, the difference in a sale on your website could simply be seconds in load time. An additional delay of seconds to page-load time caused a 20% drop in traffic. Think about 20% fewer customers and 20% fewer sales. It makes a difference.
Web Load testing
Web Load testing is the process of concurrent users accessing the application and measuring its response. Load testing is performed to determine an applications functional behavior under both normal and anticipated peak load conditions. It helps to identify the maximum concurrent users’ support of an application as well as any bottlenecks and determine which feature is slow.
Web application load testing is usually a type of non-functional testing although it can be used as a functional test to validate application behavior.
For example, a word processor or graphics editor can be forced to read an extremely large document; or a financial package can be forced to generate a report based on several years’ worth of data. The most accurate load testing simulates actual use, as opposed to testing using theoretical or analytical modeling.
Load testing lets you measure your website’s Quality of Service (QoS) performance based on actual customer behavior. Nearly all the load testing tools and frameworks follow the classical load testing paradigm: when customers visit your website, a script recorder records the communication and then creates related interaction scripts. A load generator tries to replay the recorded scripts, which could possibly be modified with different test parameters before replay. In the replay procedure, both the hardware and software statistics will be monitored and collected by the tool.
And at last, all these statistics will be analyzed and a load testing report will be generated. Load and performance testing analyzes software intended for a multi-user audience by subjecting the software to different numbers of virtual and live users while monitoring performance measurements under these different loads. Load and performance testing is usually conducted in a test environment identical to the production environment before the software system is permitted to go live.
As an example, a website with shopping cart capability is required to support 100 concurrent users broken out into following activities:
- 25 Virtual Users log in, browse through items and then log off
- 25 Virtual Users log in, add items to their shopping cart, check out and then log off
- 25 Virtual Users log in, return items previously purchased and then log off
- 25 Virtual Users just log in without any subsequent activity
A test analyst can use various load testing tools to create these Virtual Users and their activities. Once the test has started and reached a steady state, the application is being tested at the 100 Virtual User load as described above. The application’s performance can then be monitored and captured. The specifics of a load test plan or script will generally vary across organizations.
For example, in the bulleted list above, the first item could represent 25 Virtual Users browsing unique items, random items, or a selected set of items depending upon the test plan or script developed. However, all load test plans attempt to simulate system performance across a range of anticipated peak workflows and volumes.
The criteria for passing or failing a load test are generally different across organizations as well. There are no standards specifying acceptable load testing performance metrics. A common misconception is that load testing software provides record and playback capabilities like regression testing tools. Load testing tools analyze the entire OSI protocol stack whereas most regression testing tools focus on GUI performance.
For example, a regression testing tool will record and playback a mouse click on a button on a web browser, but a load testing tool will send out hypertext the web browser sends after the user clicks the button.
In a multiple-user environment, load testing tools can send out hypertext for multiple users with each user having a unique login ID, password, etc. The load testing tools also provide insight into the causes for slow performance. There are numerous possible causes for slow system performance, including, but not limited to, the following: Application server(s) or software Database server(s) Network – latency, congestion, etc.
Client-side processing Load balancing between multiple servers Load testing is especially important if the application, system or service will be subject to a service level agreement or SLA. User Experience Under Load test In the example above, while the device under test is under production load – 100 Virtual Users, run the target application. The performance of the target application here would be the User Experience Under Load.
Best tools to test your website's performance
Apache JMeter is a protocol level load testing tool. It can be used to test loading times for static and dynamic elements in a web application. A tester can simulate a heavy load on a server, group of servers, network or object to test their strengths.
It can be installed on any desktop with Windows, Mac or Linux. It has a user-friendly interface or can be used in a command line interface. It has the ability to extract data from popular response formats like HTML, JSON, XML or any textual format.
It will automatically put together plenty of performance-related statistics for you based on the test result. You can trace your performance history. See how fast a website loads with various geographical locations. It saves each test for you so you can review it later and also see how things change over time.
Testers can use CloudQA’s Smart Recorder for generating JMX scripts for JMeter. We added this feature because JMeter is too difficult for beginners, and even with skills the updation of the script is not easy.
The tool supports large-scale performance testing with heavy user load and complex scenarios and provides a clear analysis of the functionality and performance of the web application. This tool is generally best for large enterprises.
Web Load testing
This is an HP product. This can be bought as an HP product from its HP software division. It is useful in understanding and determining the performance and outcome of the system when there is an actual load. The LoadRunner comprises of different tools like Virtual User Generator, Controller, Load Generator and Analysis.
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Our last article on Load Testing mentioned about website crash happening due to high traffic. So how does the website owner know if the website has crashed? Thanks to different techniques of Application Performance Monitoring[APM] such issues could either be reported in Real-time or may not even surface because of Synthetic/Active monitoring. Our current post would talk about Why customers need Synthetic Monitoring and how our solution Site Monitoring @CloudQA could help our customers to measure and optimize website performance. Let’s get started-
What is Synthetic Monitoring
Synthetic monitoring is a technique that uses Web browser emulation to simulate real time environment and performs tests at a particular interval for response time, availability and functionality of the website.
Here are Top Six Reasons for using Synthetic Monitoring for your website-
- Testing of application from end user’s perspective
- Monitors application 24*7
- Know the Impact of third party components on your website performance
- It provides a comprehensive set of diagnostic data you need to debug problems anywhere
- Helps in providing accurate SLA thereby strengthening relations with the customer
- It provides a stable and consistent environment to measure performance at all hours of the day, over a period of weeks or months helping in benchmarking or baselining the metrics.
Concerned about the user experience? Start Monitoring today!
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How Synthetic Monitoring @CloudQA is Helping its Customers
CloudQA offers Site Monitoring solution that helps in testing the availability, response time and performance of your website in a safe and efficient manner. Our solution is easy-to-use and maintain and could be setup with just some clicks.
- Re-Use your automated functional test cases for synthetic monitoring without altering a single line of code
- No monitoring over simulated browsers but real time browsers as the end users [Chrome, Firefox, IE]
- Monitoring equipped with the latest standard WebDriver protocols, that generate requests from real-browsers.
- Selenium-based scripting of measurement workflows with form data submission and user actions to test business logic and performance
- Quantify and analyze real user experience, not some proxy metric with page performance load times from the browser timing and navigation APIs
This is not all!
To our global customers, we are gearing up to reduce the monitoring schedule from 15 minutes to 5 minutes, and very sure that we may soon see a requirement to reduce it further to every minute ping. And we promise to deliver with a smile 🙂
A happy customer is one who does not hit a blocker on your website. Our Synthetic monitoring tool will help you resolve issues before the real users encounter them. So, indeed it’s a win-win situation for you and your customer. Make your customer happy, won’t you?