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What is Web Performance testing?

Web performance testing has helped most of the well known websites to bullet-proof their performance against ever increasing volume of traffic. So web performance testing is a must for all websites, especially for complex e-commerce portals which deals with volumes of users. And e-commerce websites are built for handling large volume of customers and transactions.

Although web performance is measured on a regular basis for complex e-commerce sites, but it is very critical to monitor it on special days like Valentine’s Day (or any other). These special days are the actual scenarios where the sites are expected to perform as per expectation (with huge volume of traffic accessing the website concurrently). Because the e-commerce companies are investing on performance to attract consumers (as a minor delay in response could impact the revenue) and the users are spending money to purchase gifts. So the user experience should be critical for the success of the e-commerce business.

E-commerce companies should not miss the opportunity to monitor performance of their websites on these special days (like Valentine’s Day).

Let us try to analyze the factors which are having major impact on website performance.

Today’s e-commerce websites are very complex in nature and they reside in a distributed environment. This distributed environment is also complex in nature as the application components, databases and other layers are communicating with each other to serve the user request.

Apart from the distributed environment, most of the standard e-commerce websites contain the following components.

  • Downloadable assets
  • JavaScript and other scripting components
  • Third party widgets and integration
  • Communication with other websites/domains
  • Integration with social websites

All these components have a direct impact on performance. In today’s analytics world, there is always a demand for data analytics for e-commerce websites, which again increases complexity. In addition, there is a continuous demand for sophistication, better user interface, good user experience etc. All these are essential for e-commerce websites, but it should not be at the cost of performance. There are always ways to maintain a balance between performance and sophistication.

In most of the cases it has been observed that the CDN (content delivery network) and third party components are the main external factors for low performance. There are other factors as well but those are related to the application architecture and design.

Following are some of the suggestions to solve the performance issues.

  • Continuous monitoring: Websites should be monitored continuously. Proper timely insight will help to resolve the issues well in advance.
  • Application optimization: Website design and architecture should be optimized to minimize the response time.
  • Distributed CDN: Distributed content delivery network should be used to improve performance.
  • Load balancing: Proper load balancing techniques should be implemented to handle large volume of traffic
  • Performance monitoring tool: Companies should use the best performance monitoring tool to get better insight.

Now we know about the web performance issues and their probable solutions. But there are other issues as well which can vary from time to time OR from application to application.

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