Performance Testing. Part 1: What Tests Should I Run On My Site?


2 m read


Load & Performance Testing, Web Application Testing

When you deal with performance testing, understanding its various types is critical. Also, you should be aware of what these tests consist of and what benefits they provide for your web app. Much like a constructor needs the best tools to create a house, testers need the suitable tests to analyze web performance accurately.

Look at the following tests you need to run on your website to measure its performance:

  • Capacity Test

This test determines the number of users the app can manage before either stability or performance becomes unacceptable. When you know this number of users, you have better insight into events which may push your website beyond its limitations. Capacity tests are a good way to avoid possible future problems.

  • Component Test

If you want to test one discrete component in your app, go for a component test. You may test such components as a search function, a chat feature, a file upload, an email function, some third party component, etc.

  • Load Test

Web application load testing is about applying some load to the app and then measuring the results. This load may be both at the maximum app capacity and not. Web app load testing helps you determine your normal performance metrics. The iterative testing will let you find out whether some new code helped or just hurt the performance.

  • Performance Test

Any test measuring stability, scalability, performance or throughput of a web app is a performance test.

  • Smoke Test

This one suggests running a test under some very low load which merely shows an app works as it should. Originated from the electronics industry, the term refers to power’s application to some electronic component. When smoke is generated, it means the test fails so you need no more testing until the product passes the simplest test successfully. For instance, you may have some correlation issues with the script or scenario, so in this case if you run one user test successfully, your scenario is OK. Initiating one of such “verification” runs prior to running larger tests in order to make sure this test is valid is a common practice.

  • Soak Test

A lengthy test used to determine the app performance and stability over time is a soak test. Since a well-working app may start having issues over a few hours or so, these tests tests are very important, especially when tracking down the memory leaks and corruption.

  • Stress Test

This test pushes the app beyond its normal load conditions. Once you push the app to the extreme, it will be obvious which of its components fail first. By making these components more efficient and robust you’ll be able to then determine new thresholds.

Now that you are familiar with all these performance test types, it’s time to learn how to fit them all into your development cycle to make the most use of such testing. Check out our Part 2 article “Performance Testing. Part 2: When Should I Run All These Tests?” which is to appear in a few days!

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