A guide to load testing
April 3, 2024

What is Load Testing & How It Works

Performance Testing
Test Automation

Picture this: You and your team have spent considerable amounts of time and energy throughout the development of your application. You ensured that the proper boxes were checked, and the app’s design and functionality are working as intended. 

Yet as the date of release approaches, there is one crucial step remaining in the development process — load testing. 

This method of performance testing is vital for understanding the durability of your app so that when it gets in the hands of your users, you can rest assured that it will offer a seamless UX without glitches or crashes. 

In this blog, we will discuss what load testing is, why load testing is important, how to incorporate load testing into your testing strategy, and load testing best practices.

Back to top

What is Load Testing?

Load testing simulates a “load” or significant usage of an application to determine whether it can remain stable during use. By monitoring extended response times or unstable UX, load testing can indicate when your app has reached its maximum operating capacity.

A load test enables testing teams to measure throughput rates, response times, and the utilization levels of resources. It also identifies an application’s breaking point — when it can no longer handle additional traffic. Load testing can pinpoint where in the system there is lag, page load issues, or anything else that might deliver an unstable UX when multiple users access the app or inundate it with sudden traffic.  

Back to top

Why Load Testing is Important

Businesses and organizations depend greatly on their digital presence in the hands of their customers. For industries like banking and retail, it can be a make-or-break situation; a faulty app is one of the easiest ways to lose customers. 

According to a study, the average cost of downtime in the IT industry is roughly $9,000 per minute.  

That is why it is important to validate an app’s performance under realistic scenarios using load testing. Even if an application can pass a functional test, it does not mean that it can perform the same way under significant load or traffic. Finding the point when and where the app breaks enables teams to fix the issue or issues before production. 

The primary objective of using load testing tools is to reduce risk throughout the development cycle. That risk can come in multiple forms: 

  • Software functionality 

  • End-user experience 

  • Company bottom line 

How Streaming Service Organizations Prepare for Success WithBlazeMeter 

See how load testing is put into practical use. Download this eBook to learn how top video streaming services partnered with BlazeMeter to ensure they did not miss a beat when met with massive amounts of traffic.

 Download eBook 

Back to top

How to Get Started With Load Testing

Historically, load testing could require a large amount of time and skill to properly set up and run — depending on the tool you used. Luckily, load testing can be implemented relatively easily within your testing strategy thanks to easy-to-use performance testing tools like BlazeMeter. Below are four simple steps for outlining a load test from beginning to end: 

  1. Identify Requirements — Determine the most vital functionalities of your application that need load testing. Is it the login screen? Is it the geolocation function of an ATM finder? Establish what will shape the end-user experience. 

  1. Illustrate User Journeys — Understanding how your users will engage with your application is everything. This understanding will begin to paint the picture of when and where potential breaking points could occur. Use this stage to tap into your API monitoring for more detailed information. 

  1. Form a Baseline — A predetermined baseline lets you know what you are comparing your load tests against. This baseline should be considered your app’s “resting heartrate” — any test result that deviates from your baseline will tell you where there is an issue that needs to be addressed. 

  1. Rinse, Repeat, & Automate — Once you have established a successful load testing setup, now you can prioritize it within your broader strategy. The best part? You can easily automate load tests within BlazeMeter. 

Back to top

Load Testing Considerations

Now that you have a basic understanding of what load testing is and how to outline a load test within your testing strategy, here are a few key load testing best practices to keep in mind to get the most out of your efforts. 

Test Early & Often

A one-and-done approach to load testing simply will not cut it. To ensure your app can withstand anything that real-word scenarios will throw at it, you must frequently conduct load tests. This will result in increased feedback throughout development that will help you fix issues as they arise. 

Use Real-Word Data

You cannot hope to test against real-word scenarios without using real-world data. Use the data you have already collected from your app —user-driven information such as web browsers, devices, drop off points, and user pathways. Doing so will tailor your load tests to suit your app’s unique needs and make them more effective. 

Make Realistic Scenarios

Put yourself in the mind of your users. Knowing what is important to them will inform how you your load tests are set up. Realistic load tests help you better understand how your app will function in the hands of the user. Use varying combinations of browsers and devices in your scenarios for broader test coverage. 

Set Realistic Benchmarks 

Your load test should not start from zero — that is not a reflection of real-word scenarios. Realistically, your app will be under be under some degree of load before a sudden increase of traffic occurs. So, set your benchmarks to your app’s “cruising speed” and apply load from there. This will prevent you from getting false-positive test results. 

Analyze, Analyze, Analyze

Once your load tests are complete, take a step back and look at the results. Identify any issues or problem areas and adjust accordingly. This is also where the load testing tool you choose can play a direct role in the efficacy of your results. Do you have to spend significant time translating them? BlazeMeter’sadvanced reporting capabilities simplifies your test results with interactive graphs and multiple comparison reports. 

Back to top

Bottom Line

Your application is a direct reflection of your organization. Do you want it to glitch or break in the hands of your customers? 

By incorporating load testing into your testing strategy — and load testing often — you can fortify your app for real-world scenarios when it may come under sudden and significant traffic. You will be able to identify when your system is “maxed out” during the development process and smooth those wrinkles prior to release. 

BlazeMeter’s load testing capabilities are the industry leader for a reason. No other tool on the market can match its ease-of-use, accuracy, ability to scale, and seamless integration with the tools you already use. Ready to get started? Start load testing with BlazeMeter for FREE today! 

Back to top