Blog Post - Nick Gee, Oct 30 2013

5 tips for website performance testing

5 tips for website performance testing

As we approach the busiest trading period for retailers, I caught up with two of our performance specialists and asked them for some tips for eCommerce website owners embarking on performance testing.

1. Start measuring your site's performance

If you're not already doing this then start measuring your website performance. You can't fix what you can't quantify, so this is an important first step. The ideal is to understand what real-life site visitors are experiencing, rather than some approximation of this, so we're interested to see the development of real user monitoring tools which attempt to measure this.

2. Test mobile and tablet performance

For 2013, look especially closely at site performance on mobile and tablets. Make sure that your testing includes the full range of components used by these devices, for example, embedded web browser engines and APIs that link to back-end or third-party services.

3. Test based on business scenarios

Its important to test and tune a website based on this year's likely business scenarios, not last year's. While some of the cloud-based performance testing services may be attractively priced, double-check that they will test likely scenarios and not just the Home Page. eCommerce sites are complex, so the testing needs to reflect this. Develop scenarios that aim to mirror real customer behaviour and are based on your marketing plans and technology trends. For example, are you running any new promotions that will cause a hot-spot on a particular page, category or product ?

4. Test new functionality

What new features, functionality, integration points or services have been added since last peak? Make sure these are covered in your test scenarios.

5. Think end-to-end

Test end-to-end to check that all systems involved in the customer journey are able to cope with the likely volumes and patterns of usage, not just the actual website.

For more details on how to ensure tip-top website performance during this year's holiday and Christmas season, check out Top tips for website performance.

If you’d like to find out how Salmon can help get your website in tip-top shape for peak season 2013 and beyond, there’s more information on our Performance Optimisation Services here or you can Contact Us.