If you’re here visiting the Gatling blog you know load testing is important. You might have already started load testing, which is awesome! If you haven’t, and you’re wondering when, where and how to start the answers are all here for you: Now, with Gatling and Here. To help you get set up we’re going to give you a few tips and tricks to build your load testing strategy and make sure that you’re set for success. Ready to dive in? Read on!
The most important part of load testing is knowing your user but more specifically what you need to know are the answers to a few key questions.
How are your users using your site/application?
Most enterprises have an idea of how they’d like their users to use their site or products but for many how they’re actually using it and the journeys they take when they’re using it are a bit of a mystery. By using different tracking software such as Mixpanel or Amplitude though you can get a very detailed idea of what journeys your users are taking on your site and craft simulations to match and replicate this.
Crafting great user journeys is the first step in building a scenario. Understanding your traffic though will help you decide what kind of tests you need to create. By using tools like Google analytics, Google Search Console, SEM rush or just monitoring your server usage you should be able to get an idea of what kind of traffic you’re receiving and how you’re receiving it. Are you getting sudden surges of traffic? Run a stress test! Are you getting long durations of constant traffic? Run a soak test. For every traffic scenario you can run a battery of different tests to ensure that your website is resilient enough to withstand the traffic it’s receiving. To learn more about the different kinds of load tests you can run and get an idea about what might work best for you check out our post here.
You have your user journey and built your test, now it’s time to start running them to learn your limits. If you’re on a traditional server based hosting environment hitting your limits might mean that your website starts to suffer errors and issues when they’re reached. If your application is built on a cloud based hosting platform that can auto-scale you might be safe from errors but could incur huge costs by receiving traffic in excess of what your agreement with your provider is. Either way it’s important to know these limits and set up a system to help you know if they need to be increased or help you know which requests are causing you to surpass them.
You’ve built your tests and run them, you’re doing great! However, most websites and applications are constantly changing and upgrading. How can you be sure that the changes you’re making aren’t going to change the performance of your project? By introducing load testing into your CI/CD project. We recently wrote a detailed post on the benefit of using Gatling Enterprise Cloud to integrate load testing into your CI/CD process. Gatling’s Enterprise version allows you to integrate with almost any CI/CD software, whether you’re using one of our dedicated integrations or using our CI Script to create your own.
One of the great things about load testing is its ability to prepare you for any eventuality. You might not have thousands of users hitting your application today but by creating tests, and running them you can be sure that if it does happen you’re prepared. So when creating your testing strategy and examining your traffic it’s important not to just consider what is happening right now but also what could happen. What’s the worst/best case scenario? Are you prepared? Make sure by testing and you’ll know that whatever happens you’ll be ready.
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Hopefully this has given you a quick idea of what to think about when building your load testing strategy. If you’re ready to start, sign up for your free trial of Gatling Enterprise Cloud today and build a strategy that ensures you’re ready to scale when the time comes.