Checklist of Load Testing Best Practices
Test and Monitor | Posted March 03, 2020

User experience is rapidly overtaking price and product as the most important brand differentiator. It’s no wonder: poor user experience can devastate a brand’s reputation. Load testing can help ensure a consistent and positive user experience by identifying performance bottlenecks before they impact users – and you.

Most performance engineers are familiar with JMeter, the open-source load testing tool developed by the Apache Foundation. While JMeter is a powerful tool for load testing a wide range of applications, there are some blindspots that can only be addressed with real browser-based tests using tools like LoadNinja.

Read more about LoadNinja vs. JMeter: When to Use Each of Them.

Use this checklist of best practices to ensure that you’re realizing the benefits of your load testing suite.

  • Narrow Your Focus
    Focus on the most critical user workflows, such as the sign-in/up process or purchasing process before branching out to less common workflows.
     
  • Use Continuous Integration
    Build load testing into your continuous integration and deployment processes to ensure that they are run on a timely basis.
     
  • Populate Realistic Test Data
    Use dynamic test data in your load tests that is sourced from production data, although be sure to anonymize the data to protect user privacy.
     
  • Use Realistic Loads
    The goal of load testing is to ensure that a web application performs well under expected conditions — the goal isn’t to crash the server.
     
  • Factor in User Think Time
    Don’t forget to factor in user think time when building load tests in order to create the most realistic load conditions.

Setup an Isolated Environment
The test environment should be isolated from the production server, but it should reflect the production environment’s conditions.

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