A smooth, fast user experience is not only enjoyable, it's also crucial to the success of a website or application, and to a company's good reputation.
That's where Web performance testing comes in.
In this article, we explore the importance of web performance and how to set up a web performance testing tool to ensure that a website or application runs smoothly in a variety of circumstances.
What is Web performance testing?
Web performance tests allow you to evaluate the stability and responsiveness of websites and web applications.
The aim is to ensure that everything loads quickly enough, that the system doesn't crash and that its performance doesn't adversely affect the user experience.
Web performance tests are usually carried out at critical moments, such as the introduction of a new feature, the launch of a new version or application, and before major events and promotions.
Performance test metrics
- CPU utilization: The load on a computer's main processing unit.
- Memory usage: how much memory is used by the system during loading.
- Bandwidth: How much data can be moved across the network infrastructure in one second.
- Latency (response time): How long it takes before a user request triggers a system response.
- Throughput: How much information can be processed in a given time.
- Requests/seconds: How many requests are processed by the system.
Functional Reliability Metrics
- Failure rate per campaign: the number of failed user paths in relation to the total number of paths tested, often expressed as a percentage.
- Average test scenario time: How long on average it takes to run a single test scenario.
Metrics for UX and conversion (Web Core Vitals)
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): Measures loading performance.
- First Input Delay (FID): Measures interactivity and reactivity.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Measures visual stability.
- First Contentful Paint (FCP): Measures perceived loading speed
- Average load time: The average time required to load a page.
Types of performance tests
Load testing is one of the most common types of performance testing.
It determines what the system is capable of under normal load. There is also a sub-type of load test called "endurance test", which is used to check long-term system performance and the effects of load.
Scalability tests are used to determine the extent to which the system will evolve, and to detect any performance bottlenecks that could adversely affect growth.
Stress tests are load tests carried out to assess the maximum capacity of a system, by subjecting it to stress until maximum capacity is reached.
Spike Tests reveal how your system handles sudden peaks in traffic.
Configuration tests show how a specific change in configuration affects system performance.
The importance of performance testing
Making informed decisions
Measuring performance speed, accuracy and stability enables developers to make informed decisions about changes to be made, and to measure performance against internal requirements.
Proactive problem solving
Performance testing creates an ecosystem in which more time is devoted to improving technology than to tackling pre-existing problems that could have been avoided.
Problems tend to grow exponentially, and are also more costly when the software has already been made public.
Performance has a direct impact on several key aspects
A website or application that works as intended in a variety of circumstances has a number of beneficial side effects, including on:
User Experience (UX)
Visitors are more likely to leave a slow site, which can lead to a higher bounce rate.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engines like Google take site speed into account as a ranking factor. A faster site ranks higher.
Research has shown that almost half of all users expect web and mobile applications to load in 2 seconds.
It's a short time to make a good impression.
Fast sites tend to have higher conversion rates, as users are more inclined to make purchases or commit.
A slow site can damage your company's reputation, while a fast site can improve brand perception.
Web performance testing: best practices
Use a Web performance testing tool
Of course, a web performance testing tool is an essential element in performance testing. This tool simulates real-life conditions by measuring site responsiveness and stability in the face of a simulated traffic load, enabling the detection of bottlenecks and potential performance problems.
Web performancetesting tools also provide detailed metrics and analysis such as page load times, server response times, and ability to handle heavy traffic, enabling developers and system administrators to easily target areas for improvement.
Select realistic test scenarios
Create test scenarios that reflect real user behavior on your site.
This may include page navigation, interaction with forms, or online purchases, for example.
Monitor server infrastructures
Make sure your servers and network infrastructure are properly configured and sized to handle the expected traffic load.
This can involve optimizing the database, using efficient caching, and distributing the load over several servers.
Perform Web performance tests regularly
Your site's performance may vary over time as a result of software updates, increased traffic, etc.
Therefore, carry out performance tests on a regular basis to ensure that your site remains responsive and functions correctly over time.
Mr Suricate | Web performance test tool
The automated testing tool Mr Suricate helps you identify potential performance issues to ensure a flawless customer experience under a variety of conditions.
Our no-code SaaS solution covers a wide range of automated tests to give your users the best possible e-commerce experience.
Take control of your applications and detect bugs in real time on your websites, applications and APIs by reproducing your user journeys at regular intervals.