What is Performance test ?
We talked about how important the load times are for a website to show up for a business.Let’s discuss what is performance test?
Performance testing is method to identify the stability, scalability of system. Performance testing helps us identify if our site is responsive at normal and peak user loads. Usually a website when loads up for the first instance, takes some time to appear up and million thanks to our browsers they have the tendency to capture the cache which keeps them up and running next time it’s requested until the browser cache is cleared.
Unless the website or business is popular, users don’t search them often and site doesn’t get the required user-load or hits which could justify the behavior of responsiveness.
Search engines are smart they run on algorithms, website owners are the first ones who search for themselves in search engines compared to actual users. Whenever user makes a similar search item that gets recorded by the browse, the mac address gets copied in to algorithm and many other details along with it. Please don’t think that no one is watching you. Internet search, Internet police gets a lot of help from these search engines companies.
The context, I wanted to explain here is search engine algorithm if sees repeated search items then, it start populating those items at the top of the list to maintain their relevance as well as the algorithm understand that this user search specific search string all the time. For e.g. business owner search for his website in google to identify how they appear in search engines.
Take an example of Google, Gmail, bank sites – apps, retail site like Macy’s, JCP etc. Have we ever seen Google, Yahoo going down they are the top most search sites being used by users million times a day in the world and thousands of times concurrently at any given point and those sites give the response in milliseconds or even in microseconds. We are not going to discuss their server size and capacities. Indeed, that’s far our reach. But, that’s true they optimize their infrastructure to make it versatile. They all do the forecasting of their infrastructure using capacity optimization tools. It’s all about how important and popular the business is in the market.
Let’s discuss a simple website for a startup or small sized revenue generation business. They don’t afford the individual servers and buy their own infrastructure and maintain it. That’s why, all the providers like Godaddy, Hostgator, Hostmonster etc, are in business. Shared infrastructure gives user a space like a folder in the computer to keep the files and these providers take control of system and give read/write access to those folders/directories.
All these hosting sites run very simple checks to see how the site works and loads, if your site is content based and has a lot of content, it will take to more time to load and show up with single user hit. With concurrent user load chances are, it might break early then expected and they don’t cover it in their hosting plans. Finally, you are screwed
Performance testing is all about response time of the site with concurrent user load at a given point in the system. There are competitors and different tools available to identify the resource utilization. Few of the important tests are load test, stress test, and Stability test.
Load test – Identify system behavior under normal and peak load conditions with specific concurrent user load in the system at given-point in time
Stress test – To break the system with excessive user load beyond the peak load targets
Stability test – To identify how stable the system is under normal and peak load conditions, this is usually executed for longer duration to identify the memory bottlenecks.
So now, we know what are these basic performance tests that one can execute to identify issues in their own systems and website. We will talk further on how to drill down and execute tests on front end website