Websites can be quite difficult to manage, and they would be more challenging to keep running when they have a lot of visitors or page viewers, which would then create too much traffic and cause the websites to crash. In order to prevent the crash and other unexpected errors from happening, a load test should be performed first to ensure the performance and reliability of the websites. The load test is offered by various providers, and one of them is Gatling.io, which is a professional load-testing tool used by many. What is a load test? And how do you do it? Let us find out as we take a look at the details of load testing and how it works.
What is Load Testing?
Load testing is a type of website performance testing that checks if a website is capable of handling heavy traffic that is caused by having hundreds or more users viewing the website simultaneously. In addition to websites, load testing is also done in web-based apps, which could be social media apps or web browsers. Despite its relatively simple function, load testing is actually a complex process that thoroughly inspects every nook and cranny of the brand’s site to ensure that it won’t crash.
In order for the load test to check out the performance of a website, it would send simulated traffic through HTTP to the website’s server. The simulated traffic would act like there are hundreds of unique viewers on your website, which would then allow the load test to see if the website can handle that much traffic.
Besides checking the performance of the website, the load test is also effective in checking different aspects of the site, such as:
- Checking for bottlenecks or pages that are slower to load compared to the others.
- Counting the errors and issues that the website encounters under heavy traffic.
- Analyzing how many viewers the website can manage without experiencing problems.
With loading testing, you will be sure that your website will always run well, especially on particular days or weeks when you will receive hundreds of viewers for the site. In terms of when you should perform a load test, it is advisable to do it on days when the website doesn’t receive traffic, but it would always be best to perform a load test first before launching a website or relaunching it with new features or pages.
If your brand or business has a web store, load testing is highly advantageous to perform before launching or organizing a sale on the website, as it is guaranteed that the number of viewers on the site will increase during the duration of the sale. If you don’t perform a load test, you might experience unexpected problems on the website that would cause it to crash, which would then prevent your customers or viewers from actually checking your website.
Because the viewers are prevented from viewing the website, then you will most likely lose potential profits from the website crash. So, it is always recommended to load-test the website before launching a new website or project to ensure that everything will go smoothly.
How to Load Test a Website
In the past years, load testing was often performed by a dedicated team within the IT department of a business. However, in recent years, load-testing software has been incredibly popular because of how easy it is to use and how fast it can actually perform load tests and other functions.
In terms of website systems, there are two kinds of models for you to choose from, and these are the open model and the closed model. Picking which model to use for your website, app, or project would entirely be based on your preferences, and the load testing you will perform would also depend on the model you pick. In order for you to choose which one is more suitable, you would need to understand the basics of each model. Here are some details about the open and close models of websites.
- Open Model – Viewers will be able to continuously access your website without any restrictions. So, if there are already thousands of viewers on the site, the system wouldn’t really control it and just let the number of users or viewers continuously increase.
- Closed Model – The type of website model wherein a certain number of users will only be allowed to access the website. Once one of those users leaves the website, a user that is on the queue or waiting list will now have the chance to enter the website.
After you have picked a suitable model for your website, web-based app, or web project, you can then choose the load-testing software you would want to use. There are plenty of providers when it comes to load-testing programs, but choose the ones that have good reviews and are trusted by many.
Different tests are performed by the load-testing software, and all of these tests will determine how well your website can handle heavy traffic no matter which model you choose. Here are some of the tests that the load-testing software does.
- Stress Test – This test checks the capacity of the website or application to handle a sudden spike in traffic. The test would then inspect the behavior of the website and see if it will crash due to the traffic spike.
- Capacity Test – This specific test is utilized to determine the number of viewers that the website can handle. The number of users or viewers on the website will gradually increase in this type of test so that the software can determine the point where degradation occurs.
- Soak Test – The test that checks how well the website can handle a lot of users that stay on the site for extended periods of time. Instead of increasing or decreasing in numbers, the number of simulated viewers on the website remains the same, although there are a lot of them.
Those are all the basic details that you need to know about load testing and how it is beneficial for your brand’s website. As evident in this article, load testing is important in order for brand or business owners to see how well their website can handle hundreds and even thousands of customers at the same time. Be sure to get a load-testing tool so that you can check out the performance and stability of your website.