Website Load Testing – How To Test Website Performance At Scale

website-load-testing-loader-io

Ever wondered how much your $5/month Digital Ocean Droplet or VPS with UpCloud can handle? Well, in this guide – we’ll show you how to run website load tests with loader.io.

1 – Register For A Loader.io Account

The registration process is super simple, simply navigate over to loader.io and then click Sign Up Now on their homepage.

2 – Choose A Suitable Loader.io Plan

You’ll then be prompted to choose your preferred Loader.io plan. You’ll be pleased to hear that, for the purposes of this guide and initial testing, you can use their generous free plan:

3 – Enter Your Account Details

Once you’ve selected your plan of choice, all you need to do is create your account by enter your company name, email address and creating a password:

4 – Verify Your Email Address

And once you’ve created your account, before you’ll be able to run any tests, you’ll have to verify your email address.

Navigate to the email address used during the registration process and look for an email from Loader.io that looks like this one right here:

And simply click Verify me to verify your account & email address are valid.

Once verified, this is what you’ll see:

5 – Create A New Target Host For Your Load Test

Now, it’s time to start setting up your first test. To get started, you’ll first need to create a New Host. To do so, simply click + New Host as highlighted below:

6 – Enter The Domain Name of the Web Application You Wish To Test

A host is simply the domain that you wish to test as a part of this website load test. So, for example, if we’d be testing the scalability of the RunCloud Blog – we’d enter blog.runcloud.io here:

Note: This has to be a website that you actually own as otherwise, you will not be able to run a load test as the next step will require that you verify ownership of this domain.

7 – Verify Ownership of That Web Application/Domain

Next, you’ll need to verify that you’re the actual owner and operator of this domain name. This is simply to avoid anyone & everyone from being able to run load tests against websites they don’t actually own (which with some setups could result in taking sites offline).

If you’re on the free plan you’ll only be eligible to verify over HTTP which is super simple. Simply navigate to the web application in your RunCloud dashboard (or your server management dashboard of choice) and upload the file to the root folder of the site. In the case of WordPress sites, this is the same folder that contains the folders: wp-admin, wp-content, etc.

Once uploaded, hit the blue Verify button and you’ll see the following confirmation:

This means you can now start creating your first website load test for this target host.

8 – Create & Run Your Website Load Test

Once ready, proceed to the next step by clicking New Test.

This will then take you to the following test configuration settings page where you can adjust the type of requests you want to use in this load test as well as how many clients and what the duration of the test itself should be.

For the purposes of this demonstration, we recommend only setting a suitable test name and leaving the other settings unchanged. If you’re performing improvements or want to evaluate the difference between servers, be sure to perform tests both before & after changes are made so that you actually have data for comparison (again using suitable names so they are easy to refer back to but not changing other settings as this would otherwise create variance in the test data that would need to be accounted for).

Once you’re ready to run this test – click Run Test as shown below:

And that’s it, your website load test is now underway! 🎉

Once the test completes (i.e. for the standard settings after one minute), you’ll be able to review the results and see how your website performance (i.e. response time) was affected as the number of clients hitting your site/making requests to your server increased throughout the one minute period.

And that’s it – if you have any other questions about website load testing you’d like us to cover in this guide, feel free to leave a comment below & join the conversation. 💬

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