Many companies start the year by planning new strategies and different tactics for increasing their customer base. Regardless how your business is planning on winning over new customers, it is critical that your company’s site is running well and capable of handling the increased traffic load before you start a new campaign. After all, the last thing that you want is for your website to crash when it is overloaded with viewers. Generally, customers are put off by struggling websites and are likely to go somewhere else.
Brainstorm Your Website’s Peak Load
Start by testing your website’s capacity to handle a high volume of users. You will want to make sure the site stands up to the anticipated peak load, and even going beyond that is testing to determine the breaking point. Testing breaking points will also allow you to determine how effectively it recovers from glitches. To determine an estimated peak load, use visitor and analytics figures compared to your growth and business plan.
Run a Simulation
Once your company has determined a load capacity number to use as a benchmark, testers who watch load, will build up scenarios based on those numbers. They have the ability to use software to act like users from different devices and locations who are following the same paths a customer would typically take through your site. This enables testers to try performance loads of each page and also allows them to see how your website performs under a range of conditions.
Run Real Tests
After the simulations are completed, the analytical load technicians should then run the site through tests in a real environment. With this testing, they should test everything at once. The test should range from replicating how others find your site, through submitting the confirmation email they receive for registering, to making a purchase.
Luckily, the testing process is completed quite quickly. Once it is complete, the load testers should share the information with everyone involved in website development; such as you, any website designers and service providers. When the information is shared between plenty of people, you are able to address problems that have been identified. You will soon discover that a lot of issues with load testing are due to insufficient infrastructure or bandwidth. The great news is that those are relatively easy fixes. Should there be a problem with the website’s code, you will have the opportunity to make changes before the marketing begins.
One of the biggest things you can learn when doing load testing, is to make the findings a part of your maintenance cycle. Any time that changes are made to the website that will affect traffic, you should consider doing more testing.
Like any other element of a successful business, a website should be running at tip top shape at all times. People do not tolerate websites who are slow to load, and with good reason. If you spend time and money investing into making your website efficient, you will see it pay dividends and your customers will increase. What tips do you think should be added to this list? Let us know in the comments!