Robert Beerworth Team : Web Strategy Tags : Web Design Web Strategy

Good Load Testing Tools

Robert Beerworth Team : Web Strategy Tags : Web Design Web Strategy

Building websites that are designed to handle and transact significant numbers of (concurrent) users is a completely different things to your everyday, law firm website. A feature on say Today Tonight can literally have 30,000 users trawling your website within minutes looking for bargains and specials, whereas your everyday law firm website would have nothing like that number of users in a year.

It would simply fail.

Not only do databases require special optimisation and architectures need solid planning, you’re effectively taking what is likely to be a dynamic website, and serving it as if it were a static website.

For very large websites, even serving the static website out of memory isn’t good enough. You need to somehow melt your entire, dynamic website down to static files on an Apache server, even when your .NET website runs in Microsoft IIS!

Over-and-above the website, there are other factors at play such as the infrastructure, third party feeds and even the performance of your Facebook plugins as the load increases.

Anyway, even the best considered and build architecture should be tested for performance: what is commonly known as load testing.

We use a variety of tools for load testing depending on the website.

Some are particularly light and generalist, and only to give a ‘state-of-the-nation’ as it were.

Others are complex, sophisticated and expensive, and provide high network and packet visibility.

It really is horses-for-courses.

I’m often asked to recommend entry level load testing tools; those that provide a good starting point.

Personally, I really like Load Impact because it’s simple, inexpensive and quick to use.  I’ve used it on a few websites and it quickly tells you whether things are going right or wrong.

Otherwise, have a look at this load testing tools list for breakdown of some of the better know tools.