What is Web Performance Testing?

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 11:07

Defining web performance testing sounds easy, but if you ask 100 web developers, you will probably get 100 different answers. The term is used in a variety of ways to cover what should probably be thought of as many types of testing; therefore, it is a broad name encompassing several definitions.

This is our best answer as it relates to web performance testing:

the deliberate action taken against a web system and the measurement of it's ability to function under specific circumstances. The situations presented to a web system can be normal or abnormal (e.g. heavy load, low bandwidth). The measurements can focus on front end (e.g. rendering time, response time) or on the back end (e.g. query time, throughput).

Examples from Tool Measurements

One way to explain a difficult concept is to show examples, so let's look at several websites that provide free performance monitoring that test for a wide array of measurements.

For example Yottaa.com focuses on page load times, complexity, and global reachability. They have beautiful charts and graphs to show a website owner how their site compares to all the other sites in the world. Yottaa's perspective of performance has nothing to do with stress testing because it is only analyzing one page at a time. It measures what one end-user will experience, and it checks from Washington DC, London, Singapore, Dublin, and San Francisco.

WebPageTest.org provides a similar free service. It focuses more on measuring the differences in performance based on what browser is being used. Like Yottaa, it looks at page speed from one end-user's point of view. Graphs show not only the time to render a page, but it also breaks down each component on the page such as images, Javascript files, and stylesheets. The waterfall graphs show measurements such as DNS Lookup Time, Initial Connection Time, Time to First Byte Received, Render Time, and Document Complete.

The most interesting part of measurement in this tool is to see how your page performs in IE7 versus IE9 or compared to Chrome. There is no Firefox or Opera options yet. Obviously, this performance testing is very client-side centric. It is useful for testing pages that have lots of complex Javascript or other Ajax-ish client processing. Many time the user will see slow action and get frustrated, but the server isn't actually replacing the page.

Load testing is sometimes used synonymously with performance testing, however there can be significant differences. It is probably safe to view load testing as a subset of performance testing. Load test tools such as LoadStorm.com can provide a service that focuses more on performance of a web application under heavy load conditions. Unlike Yottaa or WebPageTest, LoadStorm conducts testing against many pages and many virtual users at the same time. The goal is to simulate what real users would be doing and to see how fast the web system can operate while complying with user actions.

In this type of performance testing, the measurements are related to average response times across many types of requests or user behaviors. For example, logging into a blog site, posting a blog, and logging off would be one type of user behavior. Test plans are much more complex than with a website performance tool such as Yottaa because instead of analyzing one page in great detail, the tester must define test scripts to simulate the various types of user behavior. LoadStorm doesn't measure initial connection times or DNS lookups, but it provides more useful metrics pertaining to load performance (e.g. Throughput, Requests per Second, Error Rate).

Other Forms of Web Performance Testing

Some tools are designed to simulate virtual users at a normal load and for long duration. For example, some companies test their web applications with performance tools over a 72 hour period with a steady amount of traffic. This is referred to endurance testing or soak testing and is a subset of performance testing because it is measuring server-side data (e.g. memory consumption) to find problem such as memory leaks and heap overloads.

Other forms of performance testing include spike testing, configuration testing, and stress testing. According to Wikipedia, spike testing is "done by spiking the number of users and understanding the behavior of the application; whether performance will suffer, the application will fail, or it will be able to handle dramatic changes in load."

Configuration testing involves measuring the effects of configuration changes in the target web system. Examples include adjusting cache settings, increasing threadpool counts, and trying different load balancing setups.

Stress testing pushes a target web system to its limits. There are many ways to do this, but the most common is by applying extraordinary volumes of users - essentially load testing with traffic the site cannot handle. By creating more page hits than the application can withstand, a web developer can ascertain how many concurrent users can be supported and compare that to the goal set by the CIO or other executives.

Another form of stress testing is to intentionally disable a part of the infrastructure or application to determine the performance in a bad situation. For example, if a database server has a RAID array with 20 drives, hot swapping 5 of them while running a load test will show if the drive rebuilding process has a significant effect on response times, errors, or throughput.


Performance Testing Definitions is a page on this site that contains a dozen good definitions from various software quality assurance sources such as SearchSoftwareQuality.com and testingReflections.com. Other sources like Answers.com and Wikipedia are also quoted.

  1. Magento Developer on Thu, 04/04/2013 - 01:29

    I read this carefully really nice to read.. thanks for PSD to Magento

    • sadiaromi on Mon, 04/15/2013 - 05:35

      Really I impressed from this post. Post is a genius and knows how to keep the readers connected. thanks for sharing this with us.
      fashion essay

  2. Ben258 on Mon, 03/25/2013 - 11:06

    The best answer may have hidden elements but I would like to say that writer has creative memory of knowledge , if you think and like my suggestion then you may has a look over.

    • tom787 on Wed, 04/03/2013 - 11:42

      I am happy when reading your blog with updated information! thanks alot and hope that you will post more site that are related to this site.
      Unix Command

  3. hopar111 on Tue, 03/19/2013 - 06:22

    This is really a nice and informative, containing all information and also has a great impact on the new technology. Thanks for sharing it
    green coffee extract

  4. sjhon on Mon, 03/11/2013 - 11:53

    In Online Business, When A Developer Think A New Idea Or A New Function And Impose It On Website, Then Its Functionality Has To Check Before Uploading Or Make This Idea Live, Is Known As Web Performance Testing.You Can Get More Information By Sharing bitcart.com

  5. pooiyttre on Fri, 12/28/2012 - 00:56

    According to Wikipedia, spike testing is "done by spiking the number of users and understanding the behavior of the application,Configuration testing involves measuring the effects of configuration changes in the target web system. Examples include adjusting cache settings.
    web design Newport

    • Ellie Sant on Tue, 02/12/2013 - 04:31

      I agree with so interesting that it is completely possible to create the desired world within SL, despite the underlying topological choice,actually its a good subject to explore. banner design

    • Matthew Herry on Mon, 01/28/2013 - 01:06

      I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. Really its great article. Keep it up. essay agency

    • furqan on Sun, 01/27/2013 - 23:58

      I adore this website, following time I will likely visit this web journal. Spirit to make item more interesting!!!!. This informative data is engaging and of service to me, thank you for this qualified information. www.bestdeptofeducation.com

      • stylish home on Wed, 01/30/2013 - 23:35

        hanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic.

    • kavita12 on Thu, 01/24/2013 - 22:11

      book of ra download || spielothek || book of ra spielen
      While you choose unhindered connected bingo diversions then it might be amazingly supportive to you in expanding informative content and experience. The amusement is essentially all about thrill, suspense where the players truly sit tight for the announcement of the impending numbers. Previous, individuals utilize to meet one another at the neighborhood corridors and this is the manner by which they connected with different players. Unexpectedly, this made unpracticed players miss out the possibilities of winning the whole amusement.

    • sellyhixton on Fri, 01/11/2013 - 22:07

      Good to know about the 'spike testing'! It's very new to me so I'm delighted to get a plain concept about it through visiting the post. Thanks for it and waiting for more.
      developing magento

      • ahmad222 on Tue, 01/29/2013 - 00:39

        I think this happened because of technology is much cheaper. They should increase new technology. efoodsglobalfood.com , feedingnewborns.com , fotofinishtiming.com

        • abessagar4u on Mon, 02/04/2013 - 02:59

          A classic gaming experience with the laughing sun: Fancy a quick game to not so sunny days? ThenMercury Magnus might be just for you and you can quickly forget the rainy weather. A classically-held slot game presents you with the merkur online spielen .So with you the sun rises, the well-known symbol of good luck is also part again. Moments of happiness you'll certainly have, because there are big profits possible in this great retro style slot machines. Fortuna so it really kind to you, we'll tell you the rules of the game here. Over and over, then plunge to people who suspect, distinguish preferable alternatives and receive they have more sense than triple chance kostenlos spielen

    • Anantraj on Sat, 01/05/2013 - 05:01

      Inventure India is a management consulting firm has an unparalleled depth of knowledge and resources combined with functional and industry expertise for geographical reach. We help leaders make distinctive, lasting and substantial enhancement to the performance of their organizations.
      Franchise opportunities in india
      Franchise business in india
      Foreign companies in India
      Franchise research

  6. pooiyttre on Wed, 12/26/2012 - 03:18

    Test plans are much more complex than with a website performance tool such as Yottaa because instead of analyzing one page in great detail, the tester must define test scripts to simulate the various types of user behavior.,but it provides more useful metrics pertaining to load performance.
    media contacts

  7. pooiyttre on Sat, 12/15/2012 - 05:45

    Initial Connection Time, Time to First Byte Received, Render Time, and Document Complete. Test plans are much more complex than with a website performance tool such as Yottaa because instead of analyzing one page in great detail,LoadStorm doesn't measure initial connection times or DNS lookups.
    James spencer

    • james1122 on Tue, 12/18/2012 - 07:18

      Hi! Thanks for the great information you havr provided! You have touched on crucuial points!
      free credit reports from all 3 bureaus

  8. james1122 on Mon, 12/03/2012 - 06:34

    This was really an interesting topic and I kinda agree with what you have mentioned here!
    example here

    • tanghenton on Tue, 12/04/2012 - 23:02

      I would say your article has stated many points in this fields.This is a great inspiring article.ffxi gil I am pretty much pleased with your good work.You put really helpful information. Keep it up

  9. cherrin on Mon, 11/26/2012 - 00:21

    buy DaPeng i9877 MTK6577 6.0 inch Android v4.0 ICS Mini Phone Pad Dual Sim Standby 480*854pixels 6.0 inch Capacitive Screen GPS 3G First 6 inch Big ..
    Buy Q88 tablet Android 4.0 Boxchip A13 1.0GHz from best China Android Os Tablet wholesale,Paypal,credict card payment accepted, China ...

    • showbd on Sat, 12/01/2012 - 22:36

      Hi dude, really like this concept. I did not know much more about website performance testing statistics but the allocation you did here makes me knowable about this issue. Thanks dude.

  10. prince on Wed, 10/24/2012 - 05:22

    I high appreciate this post. It’s hard to find the good from the bad sometimes, but I think you’ve nailed it! would you mind updating your blog with more information?
    zuma deluxe

  11. flow-webdesign on Fri, 08/17/2012 - 04:31

    Web Performance Testing is essential for all the website owners. Without it, you can't desire to see your business frurish. It also give you freedom to fix the errors and for the better performance in the future.

    Betaalbare webdesign

    • Dernamasa on Mon, 10/22/2012 - 03:59

      Most of the performance tests depend on a set of predefined, documented, and agreed-upon performance objectives. Knowing the objectives from the beginning helps make the testing process more efficient. armanexpert

    • Dernamasa on Mon, 10/22/2012 - 03:55

      Performance testing is a voluntary process wholly dictated by the goals and objectives and to assess the application for different Workloads. boatbuys

    • nike on Sun, 09/23/2012 - 02:51

      Vauxhall (the Opel brand that sells in the UK, in case someone gets lost), is chevrolet for sale a supplier of police vehicles there. They Astra by selling units from the first generation in 1979, and Toyota Prius with the arrival of the new Astra have also created a specific version.

    • bratny811 on Tue, 09/18/2012 - 05:34

      The best absorbing allotment of 642-627 exam altitude in this apparatus is to see how your folio performs in IE7 against IE9 or compared to Chrome. killtest 642-627 There is no Firefox or Opera options yet. Obviously, this achievement testing is actual client-side centric. 642-627 practice tests It is advantageous for testing pages that accept lots of circuitous Javascript or added Ajax-ish applicant processing. Many time the user will see http://www.killtests.com/642-627.html apathetic activity and get frustrated, but the server isn't absolutely replacing the page. www.killtests.com/642-627.html

  12. sajdk on Wed, 07/18/2012 - 04:35

    I like your website and just want to appreciate you on this amazing webpost. The theme you picked is really amazing
    Honda Civic Hybrid|Used Honda Accord

    • jasmine on Fri, 08/03/2012 - 00:55

      Excellent post. I want to thank you for this informative read, I really appreciate sharing this great post. Keep up your work. Thanks for this very useful london-fashions-week

      • rondo on Mon, 08/06/2012 - 03:05

        Sorry to hear this, you better go for a free email searcher

  13. nobelboy on Thu, 07/12/2012 - 10:43

    I discovered your website very successful.I was very empowered all the sites content. It would be a fulfillment to fulfill a little methods for the place and understand and provides people what they liked about you.
    buy a college essay

  14. tom222 on Wed, 06/27/2012 - 06:17

    good information about web development users.software development

  15. julia101 on Sat, 06/23/2012 - 05:47

    hi , it is very good and informative site for IT users. thanx for sharing.
    content management system

  16. hema on Tue, 05/29/2012 - 01:13

    This is a good post. This post give truly quality information.I’m definitely going to look into it.Really very useful tips are provided here.thank you so much.Keep up the good works.
    internet casino reviews

  17. hema on Tue, 05/29/2012 - 00:57

    Just want to say I definitely see the content of this I tried to find today. This brief article is directly at the time. Thanks for your time to write and also to see him. This could be one of the best pieces I have had for a long time.
    afghan attorneys

  18. yuki on Tue, 05/22/2012 - 01:37

    You need to get the attitude & attitude right. It's difficult enough to awaken everyday and kick pacquiao vs bradley butt. And without getting the best attitude/attitude you will not do what must be done to proceed everyday. Obtain a number of CD's and books that you could pay attention to or read everyday. On welding schools subjects like confidence, self-empowerment, motivation etc.

  19. Rocky day on Thu, 07/14/2011 - 23:53

    Domains to jump start your online business or to enhance your existing web presence. Flexible funding for domain purchase",
    premium business domains,premium domains,generic domains,keyword domains,advertising domains,automobile domains to get online.

    • sumo 09 on Fri, 08/05/2011 - 23:14

      Static web pages
      Looking to have an easy and quick web presence? Well, a smartly designed dynamic Website Solution is your answer. Ac dynamic website is basically an online booklet that has linked pages by means of font or graphics-based logo, and comprising simple graphics. indusWebi is a Professional dynamic Web Solution Company based in New Delhi, India. Offering par excellence Web Design Services

      • hari123 on Thu, 12/15/2011 - 02:38

        I think testing is one of the most important phase in the web development process, it helps to check out weather the development is meeting requirement goals , it is fulfilling the user needs or not? It helps to make the changes before deliver to user.

        web development company

        • davinder01 on Thu, 01/12/2012 - 22:43

          We convert your photoshop designs to high quality cross browser compatible, W3C valid and SEO semantic HTML/CSS markup. With over 7 years in business and counting, we understand the intricacies of delivering the best to our customers within the committed turnaround time and at unrivaled quality. PSD to HTML :: Magento Ecommerce Development :: Wordpress Development :: CMS Design

          • dony on Thu, 02/09/2012 - 22:19

            I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read.I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out the new stuff you post.Thanks!

            postgresql cloud

            • talk on Tue, 04/03/2012 - 23:34

              Thanks for sharing this information. I really like your way of expressing the opinions and sharing the information. It is good to move as chance bring new things in life, paves the way for advancement, etc. But it is well known to everyone that moving to new location with bulk of goods is not an easy task to move or shift from one place to other place because I have experienced about that and I face the problem like that. There I go to village near to my city faced that problem there.

              • Ray Tango on Sat, 05/05/2012 - 00:21

                Managers and stakeholders need more than simply the results from various tests — they need conclusions based on those results, and consolidated data that supports those conclusions. Technical team members also need more than just results — they need analysis, comparisons, and details of how the results were obtained. Team members of all types get value from performance results being shared more frequently. In this chapter, you will learn how to satisfy the needs of all the consumers of performance test results and data by employing a variety of reporting and results-sharing techniques, and by learning exemplar scenarios where each technique tends be well received. magento integration

                • cherrin on Tue, 11/13/2012 - 01:32

                  The lowest price online $289.99 freeshipping buying the CHUWI V99 tablet pc 9.7 Inch Android 4.1 Retina Screen 16G RK3066 Silver
                  Buy CHUWI V99 android 4.1 Tablet PC with 9.7 inch Retina Screen Dual Core 1.6GHz 1GB RAM Bluetooth from China Android 4.1 Tablet PC Online Store, ...

                  • ash on Mon, 12/24/2012 - 01:04

                    Excting announcement for the developers! I think you’ve go a huge responses from the staffs within this time. We are wating for some innovative and brilliant outputs in future. Good luvck for all.entertainment
                    arts center
                    arts consult

                    • usman8 on Thu, 01/24/2013 - 03:54

                      Another excellent example of innovation, I am happy to locate it. There are so many developers working on this segment but this is one of the best innovative idea ever. Thanks for sharing it here. jobs 4 education

                      • nobelboy on Sat, 04/13/2013 - 23:26

                        Another excellent example of innovation, I am happy to locate it. There are so many developers working on this segment but this is one of the best innovative idea ever. Thanks for sharing it here. research papers on cloud computing

                      • Magento Developer on Wed, 03/06/2013 - 03:05

                        Thanks for sharing here, i like post and this comment also

                        Magento Developer