Three reasons why traditional load testing is no longer enough

Date: 24th April 2017
Author: Louise Arnold

Essential performance testing features to protect your brand

Load testing is capable of delivering valuable data to inform your decisions and protect your customer experience when it matters most. But with the heightened complexity and sophistication of today’s websites, we look at why a traditional load testing approach is no longer up to the job.

traditional load testing - performance testing

1) It’s just too simple!

You need real facts for even the most complex site

When prioritising spend and making strategic decisions, you need to be in possession of the real facts. With most websites now incorporating complicated business logic, numerous third parties and complex features, load testing is much harder to get right.

More traditional load testing approaches along with DIY testing and record and playback methods simply aren’t sophisticated enough to manage new technology resulting in oversimplified testing that masks genuine issues.

To ensure your load testing results are rooted in realism you now need a dynamic approach that does exactly what your customers do, testing journeys across your site, making intelligent choices from page content, putting all complex functionality to the test and uncovering issues overlooked using other more simplistic techniques.

2) It’s not realistic enough

Gain crucial insights based on real behaviour and realistic data to evaluate performance accurately

Users don’t follow one idealised journey or add the same item to their basket time after time so why should your load testing? You need load test engineers to replicate a realistic traffic profile representative of genuine user behaviour you’d expect to see. This includes multi-step journeys, a realistic mix of customer journeys and drop-off ratios – all essential for accurate results.

Traditional load testing methodologies rely on measuring simplified metrics. This kind of binary data can provide misleading results and mask important customer impacting issues. Realistic testing provides irrefutable evidence of the customer experience and creates a ‘single point of truth’ for prioritising software and hardware decisions, allocating budgets and more effectively managing third parties. This means you’ll see any and all issues and cover more of your site – including potential bottlenecks – and have the data you need to fix them.

Calculating concurrent users is a case in point. It’s a metric often used to measure load but can throw out wildly inaccurate statistics as it doesn’t take into account what users are doing on your site.

3) It’s too time-consuming

Take advantage of expert analysis and free up your team

A third party that delivers data you can trust as part of a fully managed solution is a low-maintenance option for your tech team. We take clients’ analytics, define a realistic load test model, script journeys, schedule and monitor the testing. By outsourcing this specialist service to a trusted third party, you can gain unique insights into your website’s performance, while saving time, effort and in-house resources that can be more profitably deployed elsewhere. All this plus an external party can provide short lead times when you’re under pressure and greater testing capacity than available from your in-house team.

The SciVisum Approach

SciVisum’s fully managed load testing service takes your analytics and creates the most realistic load test model and scripts journeys based on the real behaviour of visitors to your site – which means you’ll have speedy access to data you can trust.

We script dynamic journeys that incorporate the realism needed to test the most complex of websites including multi-step journeys across a site looking into page content to make dynamic choices.

If you’d like tangible, actionable performance testing data, whilst at the same freeing up internal resources contact us to find out more.

Read more about our load testing service here or find out about managing a realistic load test programme in our eBook.

Further reading:

Free eBook: Best practice guide to realistic load testing for peak

The most common load testing mistakes and how to avoid them

Load test preparation – how to establish successful outcomes before testing

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