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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Challenges And Surprises With Web Load Testing

To gauge a Web site’s capacity and scalability, web load testing is one of the most effective ways. But the load tests need to simulate real scenarios. The huge numbers and ranges of variables involved in Web site load testing will always present challenges and surprises.

A load testing scenario can be made significantly more realistic by simulating the behavior of tolerant and
an intolerant user. Familiarity is a major factor in how quickly a simulated user navigates from one page to the next. As with latency tolerance, different people will behave in different ways: users that are very familiar with the Web site move more rapidly (therefore creating more load per unit of time) than users who are visiting the Web site for the first time and need to read and understand how the Web site is organized to go from one page to the next.

You can also run simple in-house experiments using employees and their friends and family to determine, for example, the page viewing time differences between new and returning users.

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