So you have a newly redesigned website that you want to tell all your existing customers to come and visit, to top it all off you’ve also kicked off a high profile marketing campaign, this is going to be big!
Then the phone rings and your IT team notifies you with the news that the traffic volumes have brought the web server to its knees. Pages are timing out, responses are all of a sudden at a snails’ pace, it’s your worst nightmare come true, your customer experience is a disaster, how could this have happened?
In a nutshell, coconut sized, your website and its infrastructure were insufficiently planned and tested to handle the volume of traffic.
This is an all too common scenario, only as recently as Friday, November 24 2017 a number of large online and brick and mortar retailers experienced problems, resulting in lost sales and a negative customer experience.
Could these issues have been avoided? Yes absolutely, with more effective forecast planning and scaled infrastructure to meet demand.
So what do we need to do to prevent this from happening to your web site? Simply put, load testing needs to be conducted to review how your site and its underlying infrastructure will react under situations of large volumes, support high usage/volume, and spikes in visitor traffic.
Here are my top 10 reasons to load test your site:
1. Ensuring performance targets are met
When you are testing any site with just a few users there should be no issues, but what happens when 100, 1000, 10000 users are concurrently using your site?
2. Maintain a positive user experience
Under heavy load how does the user experience suffer, slow load times? Incomplete page loads?
3. Dynamically manage changing request/latency levels
Is the site responsive to user requests? Is there a high latency with pages, is the latency the result of one element or many?
4. Effective volume/load exception handling
If we know how your site is going to perform under heavy traffic, we can make enhancements so that it will handle the load and gracefully degrade rather than just crashing under the strain.
5. Monitor and proactively manage bottle necks
We’ll be able to see where any bottle necks are in the website and infrastructure such as the connection to the database, specific query(ies), images/assets and address before launching the site.
6. Ensure clear understanding of number of concurrent users supported
We can push the site to failure and determine if the site will support expectations.
7. Handle volume increases efficiently and effectively
Know what to expect if there is a sudden large volume of traffic resulting from a marketing campaign or new product launch.
8. Ensure changes with each release are not affecting performance
This is often overlooked and very easy to introduce a new feature that affects the performance of the site and load testing should be in any regression test planning.
9. Will your infrastructure support volumes?
All of the above is going to help us answer this question. With modern hosting it is easy to make changes to server hardware on the fly that require just a reboot, but if we can answer this question before your site is launched and before your visitors have a bad experience due to under spec’ed infrastructure you’re going to enjoy peace of mind.
10. Knowing the web site you’ve had commissioned will support your business!
It’s a great feeling when you know you build something great and it’s going to meet all expectations, and in the event of a spike not anticipated that it’s going to deliver a solid user experience while it is gracefully being stressed.
By performing a load test on your server, Wakefly can identify all the above and resolve issues before launching to give your users the best experience you can.
Partnering with experienced experts, applying industry and technology best practices in this complex and high paced environment ensures the right solution is in place to meet your business goals.