Before setting server to work or to load it at its full capacity, it’s necessary to check the maximum load it can withstand. It is made in order to prevent such problems as: long loading, freezing (hanging), errors.
There can be testing of already running web-site or before site release. Websites load testing is used as one of the methods of work optimization and problem areas detection.
Before one starts to work, the plan is created, which is followed during the testing process. It’s necessary to measure server’s options by tracking, and also load options which it’s necessary to measure.
At first following options are defined:
- Purpose of testing. It depends on customer’s expectations concerning the results of work.
- Link quantity that will be checked during testing (it can be a single URL address, as well as several of them, if for example “ab” is used).
- The quantity of users that will be emulated, in case if automated testing is chosen.
- Number of site testing stages and also whether there would be intervals (breaks) during testing.
There are a lot of ways to check the website load that it is able to withstand. Test can be conducted with the help of programs as well as by means of usability (for such testing real users are invited).
Automated testing can be conducted at various levels. Some systems check the site for a single query; others pass all stages of site usage: authorization, registration on the sit and work with HTTPS. Also some of the systems imitate a standard user work session.
There are many programs that can test the site with the creation of the load. They differ in principles of operation, load degree on the host, from which testing is conducted, and availability, as one needs to pay for full usage of some programs.
The majority of such programs require manually created scenarios, others need list of URL. There is also report type difference, as some programs provide graphical progress report.