Your website is the ultimate calling card for your business. Its ability to handle traffic and provide a seamless experience for your customers is the lifeblood of your company. While you may be pouring time and resources into getting your website to function correctly, are you doing enough? If your bottom line is not reflecting your investment, listen up! You may be lacking one thing. Performance testing. Here are the top tools for measuring website performance so you can know how your website stacks up.
Website Performance: More Than SEO
We know you know. SEO. SEO. SEO!
It’s the subject of countless websites, blog posts, podcasts, and (pricey!) services, and it’s the one thing everyone knows you need to optimize.
Sure, your backlink profile may be overflowing with digital inroads to all the major players in your field. Your metadata may be on point, your content engaging and relevant. All of which Google likey!
But pleasing the almighty Google algorithms might not be enough.
If your website can’t perform under pressure, your clients leave. They don’t download your program, place an order for your product, or sign up for your email list. They don’t give you their business!
Losing customers due to a poor-performing, albeit SEO-optimized, website is a waste of good time and money. If this sounds like you, its time to explore performance testing.
The Elements of Website Performance Testing
First thing’s first. A website performance test is less about fixing bugs and more about eliminating bottlenecks that slow down performance.
A performance test is a traffic stress test.
An existing company might analyze website performance if outcomes prove lagging. A startup might perform-test their website before bringing a product to market.
Whether you’re a young-and-hungry or an old-hand, performance testing optimizes your site by stressing essential functions like speed, scalability, and stability.
To understand how a performance test–also known as a website grader–improves on your website’s core functionalities, it helps to understand the different types of tests involved in this process.
1) Load Testing
Load testing stresses the website’s software while under a typical “load.” Based on real-world performance, this load stress mirrors the average amount of traffic you anticipate for your site.
When a planned average number of users interact with your site, does it perform according to expectations? Is any stored data lost during this moderate amount of use.
2) Volume Testing
Volume testing is like load testing but taken to an extreme. It’s a higher than usual–but still possible– amount of load stress. Vital data, like system response time throughput, and data loss, can get measured with volume testing.
Also, volume testing is an effective way to measure the point at which the system’s functionality starts to degrade.
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3) Endurance Testing
You have vital metrics about how your software performs with a load–even a heavy load–but what about a load over time?
Endurance testing is a prolonged load test. It’s not uncommon for an endurance test to last several months to over a year–as opposed to a few hours with load and volume tests.
With an endurance test, you’re still trying to answer the same question: at what point does the software’s performance start to lose functionality?
4) Scalability Testing
Scalability testing looks at a website’s continuous ability to handle more and more users throughout the years.
Scalability is crucial, especially for companies just starting out. No one knows what kind of traffic a new business will have in 3, 5, or ten years. If a website isn’t optimized for scalability, growth prospects can get severely hampered.
If a company is fortunate enough to experience a swell in traffic, a lack of scalability can eventually affect upload time. Vital, personal data from existing customers can get lost if the volume continues to increase beyond the site’s ability to handle it.
At ROI Amplified, we start with a long-term strategy in mind to make sure you are in a position to grow. When developing your company’s website, we factor in scalability from the beginning, so you don’t need to worry about hitting any technical walls as your numbers climb.
5) Spike Testing
A website may experience a sudden, exponential increase (a “spike”) in load. Spikes may be due to your product’s seasonal nature or because you want to prepare for a new product launch. Whatever the reason, a spike in traffic should not mean that your website crashes.
All of the subsets of a website performance test listed above are equally important. Whether you are a software company, a clothing line, or the New York Times, any website needs to prepare for upticks in traffic.
Planning is essential. You don’t want to wait until actual traffic slows down your site and drives away potential customers. Why not simulate this traffic ahead of time and optimize your website accordingly?
ROI Amplified can help you optimize your website on all fronts. From digital marketing to website performance to SEO, we work to remove all friction that comes in between you and your customers. When it comes to your site’s performance, instead of worrying about its capacity to handle traffic, you can focus on growing and expanding.
Top Website Performance Test Tools
What’s important to note about website performance tools is this:
They all do some version of what is listed above. Every performance tool takes into account the average load, volume load, spikes, etc.
What are your hardware and software requirements? What type of vendor and protocol support do you need? What are your budget constraints?
With dozens of tools to choose from, much of the difference lies in the needs you anticipate for your particular product.
So, without further ado. Here are some of the top-performing website graders out there.
1) Load Ninja
Writing testing scripts can take up valuable time. Load Ninja’s scriptless test creation allows you to focus on testing and gathering real-time, browser-based metrics.
This cloud-based website grader allows for scalable testing from so you can find and debug problems immediately. Test load, or expand and test for high volume and spike traffic as well.
Protocols include HTTP, HTTPS, SAP GUI Web, Web Socket, Java-based protocol, Google web toolkit, and Oracle forms.
A performance test that uses real browsers can resemble actual user activity, which can yield the most accurate load test results. LoadView’s fully-managed, cloud-based grader enables easily-built test scripts, allowing for some of the most hassle-free testing around.
Plus, you get the financial benefit of paying for only what you use. No contracts required.
Protocols include Flash, Silverlight, Java, HTML 5, Ruby, PHP, and many more.
3) LoadUI Pro
LoadUI NG Pro, with its graphical interface, is a good option for new and experienced users alike. Base your scripts on real user data via REST, SOAP, JMS, MQTT, as well as many other API formats LoadUI NG Pro supports.
This grader also allows you to create server performance data reports so your load tests can yield the most accurate data possible. Also, LoadUI will enable you to reuse existing functional tests, so you can save time by not having to recreate the tests every time.
Protocols include HTTP, HTTPS, API Blueprint, XML Schema, and MQTT
Comprised of different Micro Focus tools such as Virtual User Generator, Controller, Load Generator, and Analysis, Load Runner can double as a performance grader.
This program can create and handle several thousands of users at the same time, a particularly useful feature for high volume load and spike testing metrics.
If you want enterprise-level website testing with lower hardware and software costs, Load Runner is the way to go.
Load Runner supports all protocols.
For continuous, enterprise-level performance testing, NeoLoad shines bright. This grader provides automatic test design, and maintenance allows for 10x faster test creation times. Perfect for large scale volume load and endurance testing throughout an application’s life cycle.
To boot, NeoLoad supports a wide range of web and mobile applications–think SAP– so you can know that all of your testing needs are covered.
Protocols include HTTP, HTTPS, SOAP, REST, AJAX Push, and FLEX Push.
Using the widely familiar JMeter integration, SmartMeter.io provides some of the most advanced testing functions around. Its scriptless test creation tool means that no browser plugin or proxy is needed.
Auto-generated reports include graphical comparison tools and trend analysis, so you can get long-term information to help your business’s growth strategies.
SmartMeter.io shows strength when it comes to distributed testing, and its support for Vaadin apps is unparalleled.
Protocols include HTTP, JDBC, LDAP, SOAP, JMS, and FTP.
When it comes to extensive, sophisticated performance tests for enterprise-level organizations, it’s hard to beat WebLoad.
This grader’s ability to generate load either from the cloud or from machines on-premises means you can simulate the heaviest of user traffic, perfect for high volume, endurance, and spike testing.
WebLOAD’s precise analysis gives you all the data you need to root out bottlenecks and maximize performance. Integrations the likes of Selenium and Jenkins means your team can quickly and continuously test web protocols, software applications, as well as hundreds of other technologies.
Protocols include HTTP, HTTPS, XML, Enterprise applications, Network Technology, and Server Technologies.
8) Apache JMeter
Apache JMeter stands out as one of the only load testing tools that are open source. This Java platform tool helps you generate load as well as functional test plans, and can you can integrate it into a server network. Translation: you can analyze a tool’s performance under varying conditions.
Apache JMeter is known for its user-friendliness and does not require state-of-the-art infrastructure. It’s simple graphs and charts give you all the actionable detail you need to grade your website and make it perfect.
Protocols include HTTP, HTTPS, XML, SOAP, Java-based protocols, and FTP.
9) IBM’s Rational Performance Tester
If you want to build an error-free and potent cloud computing service, IBM has one of the most effective products on the market.
Its Rational Performance Tester can test web or server applications that involve input and output. Additionally, this program can identify and fix any leakage within the website in real-time. Stats allow for increased efficiency throughout the testing process.
Protocols include HTTP, SAP (GUI), Citrix, Socket, TN3270, and Service (SOA).
Short for “web application performance tool,” WAPT works best for applications, services, or other web-based interfaces.
The ability to test an application under different loads and conditions is critical to gaining an accurate view of its performance, and WPT allows you to do just that. Combined with detailed metrics about load users during testing creates a cost-effective way to test your internet app.
Additionally, WAPT can use your browser and operating system’s compatibility with the web app as a test criterion.
Protocols include Apache, IIS, MS, SQL, MYSQL, and Oracle servers.
As you can see, there are a plethora of website grader services out there. Business involves having to bootstrap many tasks, but website performance testing should not be one of them.
At ROI Amplified, performance testing is just one of the many responsibilities we take on when we build your business website. We guarantee our comprehensive service thanks to industry-certified professionals. Our track record includes:
- Bing Ads
As a proud Google Partner, ROI Amplified will collaborate with you on every level–from branding to graphic design to PPC Management–to make sure your business is ready to compete.
The website graders listed above are by no means the only ones on the market. There are programs for every budget and need. Here are a few others worth knowing about.
Web Page Analyzer is a good option for newbies to test their site’s speed and usability.
Loader is an ultra-simple, cloud-based tester that has a free version!
Test Studio tests mobile, web, and desktop applications.
GT Metrix is another low-cost, accessible grader you can try for free.
Apica will monitor your site 24/7.
Go the Extra Mile and Ensure Success
Contact us today to see how we can help you maximize your website’s effectiveness.
You’ve invested so much in your company’s website. Don’t sell your business short! Go the extra mile and invest in website performance for guaranteed success.