Web performance test: Definition, metrics, and tools

web-performance-test

Using a web performance test can help you improve the quality and performance of your software application.

And, today, performance and responsiveness are key aspects that consumers take into consideration when using a software application. In a highly competitive market where you have to be fast or even the first, with a high-performance software or web application, performance testing is essential.

The good news is that today there are different types of tools that you can use to improve the performance and responsiveness of your website.

appvizer answers all of your questions about performance testing and provides a list of the best tools you can use.

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What is a web performance test?

A web performance test is a diagnostic test that determines how a software application performs in terms of responsiveness and stability under specific circumstances. Its purpose is to provide metrics on the speed of the system.

A web performance test is used to find the main cause of a performance issue. It determines if every piece of code of a software application is delivering the experience and functionality it had intended. Moreover, it provides answers to questions such as: how many users could the system handle? What is the response time of the system under normal and peak loads?

Skipping this type of test could have an effect on your websites, applications, and APIs. And, in consequence, they could become too slow, have poor usability, and perhaps even lead to downtime in production.

Types of web performance tests

  • Load testing
  • Stress testing
  • Endurance testing
  • Capacity testing

Load testing

Load testing is used to monitor application behavior under normal and peak load conditions. This type of testing is used to see if your application can meet your desired objectives.

Load testing lets you measure response times, throughput rates, and resource-utilization levels to identify your application’s breaking point, assuming that the breaking point occurs below the peak load condition.

load-testing

© CliqQA

Stress testing

Stress testing is used to determine or validate an application’s behavior when it is pushed beyond normal or peak conditions. This type of testing is used to identify your application’s weak points as it reveals application bugs that only appear during high load conditions.

stress-testing

© ReQtest

Endurance testing

When using endurance testing, a software application is under load for a long duration to see how it degrades over time. This type of testing helps to understand and optimize response times during and after a long period of sustained activity. For example, an application may behave as expected when it’s in use for 3 hours, but after 6 hours, it might malfunction as it was not programmed to run that long.

endurance-testing

© ScienceSoft

Capacity testing

Capacity testing is used to determine how many users and/or transactions an application software will support and still meet performance goals. This type of testing helps you plan for future growth. For example, to accommodate future loads, it will let you know how many additional resources (such as processor capacity, memory usage, disk capacity, or network bandwidth) are necessary to support future usage levels.

capacity-testing

© ScienceSoft

What performance criteria are used for system testing?

Today, there are two main types of metrics that you can use in a web performance test, business metrics, and technical metrics.

Business metrics

The most common types of business metrics include:

  • the number of transactions,
  • the number of pages queried,
  • the response time of a feature or a page (registration, payment),
  • the most used feature,
  • the number of consecutive users,
  • the number of transactions per unit of time, etc.

Technical metrics

The most common types of technical metrics include:

  • CPU load: the processor load (% occupancy and/or loading time),
  • the average system activity (load average),
  • network activity (bandwidth consumed),
  • disk activity and occupancy,
  • memory occupancy (RAM usage),
  • amount of data transferred during the test (transaction rate or throughput),
  • database activity,
  • Cache.

Performance testing tools to check your website performance

Performance testing tools let you understand how your software is going to perform in production before you release your product on the market, this allows you to identify and fix issues releasing your product on the market.

When evaluating a performance testing tool, be sure to keep the following factors in mind:

  • Ease of Use - is it easy to create complex, realistic load tests?
  • Accuracy - is it adapted to different types of browsers?
  • Scalability - can you increase or decrease usage, users, instances?
  • Integrations - can you integrate it with the tools you use on a daily basis?

NeoLoad is a load and performance testing software that offers:

  • simulation of advanced user behavior,
  • reports to analyze test results
  • infrastructure monitoring,
  • APM integration,
  • pass/fail statuses based on your service levels,
  • code-less test design,
  • the possibility to reduce the build/test phases while guaranteeing quality.

Here is an example of what a NeoLoad dashboard looks like:

neoload-dashboard

© Neoload

Apache Jmeter is an open-source alternative. This load testing software was designed to load test functional behavior and measure performance. It can be used to simulate heavy loads on a server, group of servers or network to test an application's strength or to analyze overall performance under different load types.

apache_dashboard

© Apache

Discover more test management tools on our functional testing software page and our Application Monitoring page.

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