Brands are getting quite dependent on high-quality and best-performing applications to connect with their customers. That has led to a strong focus on ensuring the apps deployed provide a seamless customer experience and are as per their expectations.
Businesses need to ensure that their applications that can overcome issues such as poor network conditions, heavy user loads, and limited bandwidth. That is only possible by testing the software or apps being deployed under different performance conditions.
Performance testing is also a must if you own e-commerce business. For days when the traffic is high, your website should be able to handle a vast number of concurrent users. However, this scalability gets affected when the increased traffic that marketing campaigns deliver catches them off-guard.
If you are a business owner, there is no mandate that you be well-versed in software development and testing, but basic knowledge always comes in handy when deciding what is vital for your business and what is not.
Software Testing can help your business in numerous ways, the most important being saved resources. Hiring a software tester is not difficult nowadays and you can even onboard one in less than 24 hours through Wishup.
So, let's begin with what performance testing is before we delve deeper into why it is crucial for your business.
What Is Performance Testing?
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Performance testing is one type of non-functional software testing that verifies an application's speed, responsiveness, scalability, and dependability. This load testing method determines whether the application runs smoothly across various networks, bandwidths, and user loads.
Runtime errors, optimization issues relating to speed, latency, response times, load balancing, and other application issues are some of the problems identified with this type of testing.
Performance testing identifies the readiness of a website, mobile app, web service, server, database, or network, whereas functional testing concentrates on the functions.
Regarding web applications, performance testing uses software tools to simulate how an application performs under a realistic workload and compares results with industry benchmarks and standards.
This type of testing is done in two different ways – Quantitative and Qualitative.
Quantitative performance testing examines metrics such as virtual user count, hits per second, errors per second, response time, latency, and bytes per second. On the contrary, scalability, stability, and interoperability are essential considerations in qualitative testing.
The goal is to prevent performance obstacles from causing problems for real-life users during a load surge.
During performance testing, software developers look for the following significant performance symptoms and issues:
Poor response time: The time between a user entering data and the application's output is the primary metric for load testing. It should, of course, be kept to a minimum.
When the system's response time begins to lengthen, it has reached its maximum operating or speed capacity. Therefore, there is most likely a problem if the peak response time is significantly longer than the app's average.
Long startup times: The time it takes for an application to start should be kept to a bare minimum. E-commerce websites should not take longer than 2 seconds.
Long waiting time/average latency: This metric measures how long a request sits in a queue before being processed or how long it takes to receive the first byte after sending a request.
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Bottlenecks: A bottleneck is a stumbling block in a system that occurs when incorrect code or hardware issues cause a reduction in throughput, which is the amount of bandwidth used during performance testing and measured in kilobytes per second.
A slowdown occurs when the data flow is interrupted or halted. For instance, this can happen if servers are not prepared to handle a sudden influx of traffic. CPU utilization, memory utilization, network utilization, disk usage, and operating system limitations are all common performance bottlenecks.
Poor scalability: Scalability refers to a system's ability to increase to handle growing loads, such as by automatically deploying additional resources.
Poor scalability can result in delayed results, a high error rate (the ratio of errors to requests), OS limitations, a bad network configuration, and disk and CPU utilization.
Issues with software configuration: Often, settings are not set to an optimum level to support the workload.
Inadequate hardware resources: Performance testing can reveal physical memory constraints or underperforming CPUs.
Performance tests can help developers identify performance issues, bugs, and errors, allowing them to determine what needs to be done to ensure the system performs well under the expected workload.
When online customers grow, there will likely be increased slowdowns, inconsistencies across different OS, and poor usability if you don't test thoroughly.
Now that you might be familiar with how Performance Testing works and what it entails let's jump to why it is such an integral part of your business.
Why Is Performance Testing Vital For Your Business?
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The ever-growing competition across the digital space and the need to be on top makes Performance Testing critical for enterprises.
It is critical to ensure that the application is fast, stable, dependable, and scalable. The application is designed to meet specific goals and deliver predetermined outcomes. For example, to provide the best experience, an online gaming application must display particular actions.
Application defects are not always visible during performance testing. However, it must ensure that the application runs smoothly regardless of network fluctuations, bandwidth availability, or traffic load.
It is essentially a subset of the larger picture of performance engineering, focusing on performance issues in software design and architecture. As a result, the design and execution of these tests are critical for ensuring the website's stability.
Most performance issues can be identified with the help of a good performance testing strategy. It could be a database, network, software, bandwidth, or hardware issue.
Performance testing ensures that an application behaves in a specific way by following industry-defined benchmarks. It is primarily responsible for the accuracy and thorough examination of test results.
There are several key reasons why enterprises and businesses should invest in performance testing.
Improves Website Speed To Engage Customers
A website that is slow and unreliable will never attract a large number of visitors. Instead, it will deter people from visiting the site. Teams can check the website's speed and performance using automation tools.
Through testing, users can load the site with basic connectivity and bandwidth access, which will maintain their interest and keep them engaged.
The faster a website loads, the more money it makes
Although this is true for nearly all websites, it is significant for businesses requiring direct customer interaction. Banking and e-commerce applications, for example, must provide customers with a simple and secure interface. As a result, the app has more traction and is visited more frequently.
Fixes Any Bugs Before Releasing The Product To The Public
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Performance Testing, as previously stated, is expected to ensure that the application performs as expected. Various types of Performance Tests assist you in achieving the desired outcomes and resolving risks that could compromise the application in a real-world scenario.
- Fail-over Tests verify redundancy mechanisms.
- Reliability Tests run high-level loads for more extended periods.
- Stress Tests determine the system/application's load capacity.
All these help fragment the application to uncover flaws necessary for making the app market-ready.
Boosts The Application's Sturdiness
Businesses must ensure that their applications remain stable even in the most challenging circumstances, such as network outages, cyber-attacks, or virtual threats.
Performance testing with various tests and tools ensures the application's sturdiness and ability to perform consistently in the marketplace.
Targeted Infrastructure Tests, for example, are isolated tests that look at each layer of an application to find performance issues that could cause hiccups while delivering the desired performance.
Favors Market Claims
Businesses must ensure that the application/software performs as expected. This is especially important for online gaming apps and software. It is expected to handle many concurrent gamers while maintaining the promised speed and performance.
During the execution of tests, various statistics are collected to ensure and meet performance goals, particularly Speed, Scalability, and Stability. This makes it easier to spot problems with performance.
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Due to the challenges in the digital space, businesses must develop scalable applications that can be upgraded in real-time. Performance testing exposes an application's vulnerabilities and identifies areas that need strengthening to accept upgrades and changes and become more scalable.
Analyzing test execution statistics can assist teams in identifying any potential issues or capabilities of an application.
Ensures That An Application Is Stable And Reliable
An application must be stable and deliver consistent results in all its forms, regardless of changes in its features. Teams can use specific performance tests to see if any recent changes or frequent releases are causing application behavior problems.
Examines Different Technology Stacks
As software applications become more complex, different technology stacks are being implemented. This is necessary to ensure that expected results and deliverables are met. Performance testing identifies the weak points in the technology stack used to create the application.
Enhances An Application's Responsiveness
Responsiveness is crucial for businesses to meet their objectives. Various free and paid tools are available to test the speed of websites and applications. In addition, both open-source and licensed tools can be used to ensure performance tests.
Most Performance Testing tools are browser-based, allowing for simultaneous testing to ensure that the application is compatible across multiple platforms and browsers.
Determines Issues With Databases And APIs
Today, data sourcing and ensuring the performance of your Application Program Interface (API) are crucial.
For example, load/stress tests help teams determine how the application behaves and whether the server responds to the user with data within a specified time frame. It also helps determine the API's behavior and performance under heavy load, which is essential.
Manages Framework Capacity
Before any new software is released to end-users, a performance test is run to see if any hardware or creation design needs to be improved. Estimating framework performance can be highly beneficial in dealing with organizational limits.
Approaching Performance Testing: Best Practices
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Because of clients' improved digital experience, performance testing has become an essential component of software application testing. As a result, testers have been pushed to use a multi-layered testing approach in addition to standard load and testing schedules.
The first and foremost step is to develop a comprehensive testing strategy. To succeed in the ever-evolving technology space, companies must devise a detailed testing strategy to determine the types of tests that must be performed to test the application.
It is best to look at the user demand and how the various components interact with the stressful situation. The testing strategy should closely resemble the real-life environment to achieve the best results.
It is also good to include think-time in testing, the amount of time it takes a typical user to view the information displayed on the screen. Users typically do this when they move from one section to another or use their intelligence to push through with their purchase plan.
This time lag usually occurs when customers double-check their credit card information or addresses. When creating test scripts, this time can be fixed between two consecutive requests or an ideal time between maximum and minimum values.
According to Experts, testing a system component by component is the best way to go about it. This eliminates the possibility of issues arising unexpectedly during testing.
It is always a good idea to learn from previous mistakes or enlist the help of experienced testers to deal with challenging test scenarios. Here, Baseline tests cannot be overstated. They assist in determining the error quickly and at a fundamental level.
Also, Load testing should be done regularly to ensure the best user experience. There are several 'good times' to test web application performance:
- When the product is nearly finished (all significant features have been implemented)
- Once the application has reached a state of functional stability
- Following a code update or the setup of new hardware or software
- To test the speed of interaction between microservices; for individual units or modules of the product
- When the website has grown by a certain amount
- Before events where you expect an increase in the number of online visitors
- Following a low-scoring customer sentiment survey or a negative user satisfaction test
- If you notice that the site is struggling in ways it never did
Load testing is performed by many organizations that follow the Waterfall methodology after the software development phase or when a version is released. Furthermore, stress tests should be performed regularly before significant events such as Black Friday, Thanksgiving, ticket sales for a well-known concert, or elections.
This will ensure that you know the system's endurance capabilities and are prepared for traffic spikes or performance issues. Furthermore, mission-critical applications, such as space launch programs or life-saving medical equipment, should be thoroughly tested to ensure that they operate without errors for an extended period.
As we advance…
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There are several reasons why you should test your application's performance. Some of the reasons are technical, but one of the most important is to ensure that your web application, website, and server are all performing as expected when under increased load.
Regular performance tests will ensure that your website is performing at its best, resulting in improved uptime, less maintenance, and increased user interaction while on the site.
While this investment takes time to develop, it can provide accurate, long-term benefits for your business, such as great user experiences that lead to repeat customers.
If you are an entrepreneur looking for a qualified team of software testers to enable better application development and testing, Wishup is just the place for you. So, stop investing your time and money in high-end, in-house teams. Instead, hire a Software Tester from Wishup.
If you are interested in scaling up your software deployments and saving time and money, while doing the same, we recommend a free consultation with the Wishup team.