Website Load Testing

Written by Linda Alexander
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Load testing determines whether your web servers can handle anticipated traffic as well as expanded and heavy traffic in the future. It simulates visitor activity and analyzes the effects of the demand on your servers. Testing can tell how your server will react when it is accessed by a large number of users at the same time and whether it will work as you expect it to. It will also reveal the limits of your hardware to see how much of a load it can handle at once and if you need to make any adjustments to your system.

Load testing, also called stress testing, also measures how your web visitors are affected when the load is increased. For example, will your pages load more slowly? Is the response time acceptable at current higher loads? It can also shed light on bandwidth problems, router or firewall problems, or performance problems.

Preventing Capacity Problems

Knowing these things before your website or other application is launched can potentially thwart any trouble that might occur when thousands of users try to access it. It also increases the uptime of your internet systems because it helps you spot restricted access or "traffic jams" system before they occur. It can predict scalability of your current system so you don't waste money on expensive resources.

Testing your applications and systems under stress this way generally takes about two weeks to complete. At the end of the test period, you will receive reports that explain the assessments that were made. The monitoring service you use will also make recommendations on improving your systems or increasing bandwidth.

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