Top 10 Website Load Testing Tips

Neustar Security Services Web Performance Management

Top 10 Things to Know About Load Testing
Load testing your website isn’t a simple matter of simulating traffic. You need to plan, execute properly and analyze your results. If you need the Cliff Notes version, check out these 10 best practices from Neustar Security Services' engineers. Learn the importance of setting load testing benchmarks. See why you need to use real browsers. Find out why you should record EVERYTHING and much, much more.

1. Set performance benchmarks
Make sure your goals are realistic. Tip: Look at your competition.

2. Review analytics data
Identify peak hours of traffic within the last year. Tip: Figure out the maximum using analytics then go 10-50% above that peak number in order to ensure you have needed bandwidth for potential spikes in traffic at any given time.

3. Identify what users are doing on your website
Review your most critical business scenarios. Tip: Evaluate site analytics to find out what users typically do while on the site.

4. Utilize real browsers
Real browsers provide more accurate measurements on end user response times. Tip: You can mix up real and virtual browsers to hit your goals.

5. Identify your testing team and collaboration opportunities
Make sure you have a complete testing team & assign tasks to each. If you have a full staff, use a self-service testing solution. If you are short-staffed, use a full-service solution so you can focus on your part of the application. Tip: Collaboration across departments provides you with the best results.

6. Detail execution requirements
Conduct your initial test and iterations at the same time to reduce outside variables. Tip: Test within a live production environment as much as possible.

7. Define your test iterations
The first will be used as a baseline for performance. The second is to baseline for performance. evaluate if you can increase performance. The third is used to tweak things & assure there are no issues.

8. Set your testing timeline
We suggest spacing the tests out and having a week in between each test. You don't want to have time constraints and by completing one test every two weeks, you have ample time to coordinate and react to the results.

9. Monitor and log, log, log.
It's crucial to keep a record of everything in order to quickly drill down into potential system or application bottlenecks and determine root causes. Tip: Don't forget to look at your infrastructure and database servers, as it will allow you to address any issues proactively.

10. Cross-correlate results
After testing make sure you review the results and align them to your timelines. it's important to analyze across all of the areas and make sure you don't look at the results in isolation.


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