Let's assume that you have a project that is already established on the market. The number of users grows, revenue goes up, and your ego is pleased.
For sure, you are not going to stop and this point and want to forge ahead, grow your product, add new features, and increase a number of users.
But how can you ensure that your platform will work fast when used by a large number of people and won't collapse at the most inappropriate moment?
That’s when load testing comes to help. A lot of business people underestimate its value or even don’t know about its purpose. But this is not about you. After reading this article you will learn why load testing is important and how it impacts your conversions.
What is the value of load testing?
A speed of your website is a killer factor that will make or break your business. According to the statistics by Kissmetrics, loading time is a main contributing factor to page abandonment.
Moreover, 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less. Loading time directly influences your customer lifetime value, user satisfaction metrics, and what is most important - conversion rates.
You definitely don’t want slow website performance to destroy your business. Load testing is a great way to avoid this.
Load testing is a type of performance testing that involves putting a simulated demand on a software application to determine its behavior in different conditions.
With load testing, you can predict how the system will perform under a particular load and whether it will handle a large number of users and operations. After this, it analyzes the results and metrics, identifies what element causes malfunction, and modifies the system accordingly.
Here is how this process looks like:
Let’s say you develop an online marketplace that should handle thousands of submissions, requests, as well as process various files, transactions, and invoices. How can you know that your website will perform fast and your users will not wait for a page to browse or products to load?
The difference of load testing compared to other types is that it tests your app for multiple users. The purpose of load testing is to ensure a smooth and fast performance of your website when thousands of users carry out different operations at a time.
Why is load testing required and what problems does it solve?
The main aim of load testing is to prevent the slow performance or even shutdown of the website during a high load. It helps to solve the following problems:
- Long load time
Load test tells you how long it takes the pages to load at different traffic levels. You will get metrics on website speed during normal, peak, pike, and overwhelming traffic load.
- Poor response time
Response time is a time a system takes to respond to user request. Load testing will help you to define what causes delays in response time and optimize your system accordingly.
- Poor scalability
Scalability is the capacity of the app to perform different tasks at the same time. As the number of your users grows, your app must be capable of processing a larger number of requests rapidly, without slowing down the overall performance. Load testing helps you determine whether your application scales when a load grows.
There are a lot of types of performance bottlenecks that occur during software development and maintenance. Here are the main reasons for their formation:
- CPU utilization
- Memory utilization
- Network utilization
- Software limitation
- Disk usage
- Hardware configuration of the system
Load testing allows configuring these bottlenecks before the end user will face them.
When to conduct load testing
- It's better to conduct load testing when a project is completed and has all the major features. In such a way load testing will be more сomplex and effective.
- Such testing may also be done for separate product components (e.g. when the system is divided into microservices and you need to test the speed of their interaction)
- It is recommended to do load testing, when you have already settled on the market, your project brings profit, and works efficiently under normal load. In this case, load testing will help you to ensure that it will perform flawlessly under a larger load as well.
Load testing metrics
To estimate every aspect of your app's performance and measure a success of load testing, the following metrics are used:
- Latency - an amount of time it takes to send information from one point to another
- Request per second - a number of requests, that are sent to the target server
- Throughput per second - bandwidth consumed during the test
- Errors - a percentage of problem requests compared to all requests
- CPU utilization - a percentage of power the system uses
- Memory utilization - memory size a system consumes
If these numbers are too big, QA specialists make an analysis and define what processes are the most resource-consuming. After this, they decide what to do: rewrite the functionality or increase the CPU and memory resources.
Advantages of load testing for your business
The value of performance testing for your online business is more than high. It reduces the risk of downtime and helps you put more qualitative and stable product in front of your end users.
With the help of load testing you can identify the weak spots in your system and get rid of them in the early stage, so it also saves your costs on maintenance.
If you have any questions about load testing, feel free to leave a comment below!