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Have you ever tried to buy something on an ecommerce site during a blowout sale and experienced the site crashing? If so, the ecommerce site may have benefited from load testing software to ensure it could handle a large volume of users.
Load testing is a type of performance testing for applications that enables developers to see how a site will perform. Load testing can measure things such as page load speed and lags when many customers try to use your app or site at the same time. It can also measure how the system performs with large data requests or data transfers.
In this guide, we’ll cover:
- What is load testing software?
- Common features of load testing software
- What type of buyer are you?
- Benefits and potential issues
- Pricing and purchasing options
- Market trends to understand
What is load testing software?
Load testing software enables you to perform load testing on your software applications to measure the system's behavior when handling different amounts of activity. Essentially, this type of software simulates an environment with a large number of users, and allows organizations to understand what applications are performing well under a real-time user load.
Common features of load testing software
|Load scenarios||Create scenarios that can be used to manage testing environments.|
|Performance testing||Check if your applications or web browsers are running as expected.|
|Testing scripts||Use pre-written scripts that simulate situations within each test.|
|API testing||Test specific APIs to determine if systems are properly functioning.|
|Bottleneck identification||Detect areas where test errors occur.|
|Mobile testing||Test the ability of mobile applications.|
|Reporting/analytics||View and track metrics.|
What type of buyer are you?
- SaaS companies: Load testing is most commonly used by software developers. Any company that develops or maintains an application would be advised to use load testing software, especially those that want to scale and grow their companies.
- Ecommerce companies: Ecommerce companies that expect a large volume of sales may also want to invest in load testing software to ensure they don’t suffer any downtime issues that could lead to poor customer experience and prevent repeat purchases.
Benefits and potential issues
There are three main benefits to using load testing software:
- Save money: One of the primary benefits of load testing software is that it can save your company a large amount of money. When customers experience downtime on your app, it can translate to thousands of dollars lost per minute. If you can identify where bottlenecks or breaks will occur before you launch your app, then shore up your software to anticipate this issue, it can save your company money.
- Protect your brand image: Load testing software helps protect against the poor customer experience and lost trust in your brand that can come from downtime. This perception might be difficult to quantify, but can severely harm your company’s success in the long run.
- Know what it takes to scale: If you know your software or website’s limits, it can also help you understand what it takes to scale if you want to grow your company over time.
Ultimately, load testing software allows you to test how your application performs with a large number of users by creating a simulation, without actually having to recruit that many real users to test your platform. This can be beneficial when you’re launching new software or getting ready to scale your company.
Pricing and purchasing options
Free versus paid load testing: You may be wondering which is right for you: a free vs. paid load testing software platform. Both tools have their pros and cons. Open source load testing tools exist for free, but they may not have all the functionality or features you need. It’s also possible to do load testing manually if you’re tech savvy and are testing a small number of users (say 1 to 10) but for anything where you want to flood your system to test bottlenecks, you’ll most likely need to invest in paid load testing software.
Market trends to understand
- More functionality means more load testing: As developers are able to create more solutions and better functionality through open source software and combining code from many different sources, they may not always know how this software will affect user experience in an app. It’s important to test how an app functions at the extreme end of the spectrum. It’s almost impossible to create this type of testing environment without cloud-based software that allows you to simulate a large amount of load.
- Emphasis on better user experience: Tech professionals are continuing to emphasize the importance of good user experience and its impact on improved product adoption and retention. Performance testing, and especially load testing, is one of the ways you can help ensure a positive user experience for your product.