Although Black Friday and the Christmas season are still months away, small businesses shouldn’t be waiting until them to prepare themselves for the mobs that come with the biggest shopping season of the year. Especially with the increase in e-commerce and mobile commerce, small businesses who allow customers to purchase products online ought to be prepare for virtual mobs as well as the actual ones.
Smallbiztechnology.com has sat down with Neustar to discuss the importance of website performance and testing. Neustar offers solutions in website performance and risk management, as well as other online and website services.
How does the testing work?
- Small businesses should load test their sites to understand their website’s breaking point. Load testing (using real or virtual browsers) is designed to let you know if your site can handle a certain amount of traffic – if you’re expecting 2,000 visitors for a special promotion or launching a new application, you can ensure your site has the capacity and performance to exceed expectations.
Why should a small business run a few tests?
- Load testing lets you see how your site will perform in a live environment, allowing you to identify any potential issues and ensure that your site won’t crash. Better performance keeps customers on your site and prevents them from clicking away to the competition or having a negative association with your brand.
How much does this cost?
- Anyone that is interested can run free, preliminary tests at BrowserMob.com. Depending on a business’ needs, more information about basic pricing for load testing can be found at https://browsermob.com/performance-testing.
What do they test?
- External load testing can quantify the customer experience in terms of wait time and error rate. Put simply, testing tools can assess server errors and the number of users that begin to slow your site to unacceptable levels of performance.
Are there any other options?
- The two main types of performance testing are internal and external. External load testing is the only way to gain real insight into customer experience. Internal testing analyzes only your Web application, and does not test the network and overall infrastructure that your customers could be using to access your site. This is why external load testing with real browsers is highly recommended for most sites. Those interested can also visit Webmetrics for a full service option.
Anything else we should note?
- Now that you’re aware of the various tools used to test Web performance, we thought it might also be useful for your audience to find out more by reading Neustar’s ongoing load testing blog series.