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When it comes to running a website, you will often have a peculiar relationship with traffic. As a statistic, you want it to go up but, if it goes up too suddenly, it can cause problems.
All in all, it is a very intricate dance for most people because they can’t simply spend money on excess server capacity – most have to wait for enough interest to warrant the investment, increasing the site in smaller steps.
Speed is everywhere on today’s internet – in a world full of superfast broadband, streaming media and other instance entertainment, it is not much to expect the same for a website. Every minute wasted loading up can equally volumes of customers lost.
As such, your website should be fast and efficient. Web load testing can help accomplish this, giving you an exact idea of how quickly it takes. This is an easy goal to keep track of, as you’re continuing quest should be too keep this number down.
In other words, if you were to make an update or add a feature that slowed down this rate, would it be worth it? Remember, time is money and people get put off very easily by loading times, no matter how small.
Traffic and stress
Similar to speeds, how does your website cope under stress? There is a limit to how much one server can handle at a time and, as already stated, you likely don’t have the spare resources to throw into expanding this. As such, most people try to stay above the curve, with enough capacity to meet current traffic as well as small amounts of further growth.
However, to achieve this one must first know what can and cannot be handled. Stress testing does just this, testing high amounts of traffic trying to access one server and recording the results. This will show at what stages the website starts to slow down and become inaccessible, giving clear levels of where it can and cannot function as traffic increases.
Similar to access rates, this is a moving goal: your ever constant target should be to up the amount it can handle, always keeping above actual traffic volumes.