Building a successful ecommerce website can be a time-consuming and costly undertaking. With a wide range of elements needed to make navigation and transactions as seamless as possible, a site must work in harmony to ensure the smoothest customer journey. To that end, user interface, user experience and back-end management of the website are the focus during development, but in eagerness to get the final site live it can become tempting to skip adequate pre-launch testing.

The Role of Stress Load Testing

Making sure your customers have the experience you want them to have… first time… every time… regardless of traffic volume on your site, is key to its success. In order to be certain that things will go the way you planned, testing is essential.

Stress load testing is a way to identify how your website will perform under different scenarios when live. During the staging phase of development various ‘real’ situations can be replicated to ascertain how your site will respond to fluctuations, peaks and nuances of activity.

Ecommerce Websites

The Benefits

There are a wide range of different tests that can be carried out before your website goes live, each will determine how aspects will perform under different pressures.

  1. Ecommerce hosting requires sophisticated hardware in order for it to run efficiently and flexibly, scenarios which ensure you are making the most of this hardware will help to identify whether you need more or less capacity and memory.
  2. Website stability is a pivotal requirement when it comes to an ecommerce store, any downtime could result in a significant loss of revenue. Testing how stable your website is and identifying its limits in terms of endurance and throughput will provide vital information which can be used to reduce downtime and alleviate bottlenecks before the store is live.
  3. Any expected traffic to a website can be a huge test of bandwidth and process, and it’s one where many ecommerce websites fail. The ability to test the impact of heavy traffic on applications, pre-launch, is vital in understanding how the website will react, back-up and stave off a crash.
  4. Other potential weaknesses can be identified through pre-launch testing too, be it user-interface issues, slow load times or issues with the integration of third-party applications.

Of course, it is possible to run such testing on a site that is live, however there are many benefits in doing so pre-launch. The information provided by such testing gives businesses the ability to resolve problems and make improvements that are required before re-running the test. In theory this process could be repeated over a number of weeks, but what you will end up with is a website that gives complete confidence now and future-proofing once live.

As ecommerce sales grow and the online retail market becomes more competitive, stress load testing websites as a pre-launch task is becoming essential. Any weakness or downtime once you are live gives other businesses a competitive advantage and could have a significant impact on customer loyalty and revenue for you and your business.

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