Saturday, May 21st, 2022

How to Stress Test a Website on WordPress

Speed ​​is critical to the success of your site. To keep your visitors happy, you will want to make sure that your website performs well at all times and can handle large amounts of traffic. However, you might not Know how to stress test your website to determine this.

Fortunately, the process is quite simple. There are many tools you can use, and once you learn how to interpret the results, you can easily make the necessary changes to improve the performance of your WordPress site.

In this post, we will take a closer look at stress testing and why it is important. Then, we’ll show you how to stress test your website and fix common performance issues. let’s get started!

What is stress test?

Your website is designed to handle a certain amount of traffic. This is generally determined by the capacity of your hosting plan.

For example, if you have a limited number of server resources, a sudden increase in traffic can take your site down. That’s why advanced hosting solutions such as Virtual Private Servers (VPS) and dedicated hosting are usually ideal for large websites with high traffic.

However, your site’s performance is also affected by other factors, such as your themes and plugins. Heavy equipment, unoptimized images and redundant code can cause slow loading times, especially during peak hours.

A stress test Designed to help you determine your site’s performance in a variety of stressful situations. Using this technique, you can simulate a high amount of traffic to your site to see if it can handle it.

Depending on the tool you use, you may be able to test your site for low, medium, and high traffic, then compare the results. For example, you can check how long it takes for your site to load when there is a specific number of users visiting it at the same time. Then, you can use your findings to optimize your site for better performance.

How to stress test your WordPress website

There are many tools you can use to put pressure on your website. In this tutorial, we will use Loader.io to:

It is a freemium tool that enables you to easily test your website for different amounts of traffic. The free plan lets you test one target host (your website) and two URLs per trial. There is also a maximum of 10,000 customers (or visitors) per trial.

The free version may be sufficient for small websites. However, if you have a busy website and want to simulate a high amount of traffic, you can opt for a premium plan. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how to stress test your website with Loader.io. I

Step 1: Sign up for Loader.io and verify your domain

First, you’ll need to sign up for a free Loader.io account. This is a very straightforward process. Once you’ve verified your account, you can set up your target host (or domain):

Creating a New Host in Loader.io for a Stress Testing Website

However, you must also verify that you are the owner of the domain you are testing. Verification is important to avoid abuse (since sending so much traffic to someone else’s website could be seen as a DDoS attack).

To start, click on + new host and enter your domain on the following screen:

Adding a New Target Host to Loader.io on a Stress Testing Website

You will then be asked to verify your domain. If you’re using the free plan, you can only verify via HTTP. To do this, click on download Link to save the file to your computer:

Verifying domain on stress test website in loader.io

Then, you need to upload this saved file to the root folder of your site. This means that you will need to connect to your website through a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) client such as FileZilla.

Once connected, locate the root folder. it is usually called public_html, Then, upload the Loader.io file you just downloaded to this main folder:

Adding the loader file to the root folder of the site in FileZilla.

When you’re ready, return to Loader.io and click verify, You should then see a message confirming that your domain has been verified:

Validation message in loader.io

and that is all! Now you can click new test to begin.

Step 2: Configure your test tests

Loader.io comes with various settings to stress test you. For example, you can select the type of test you want to run:

Testing Settings in Loader.io for Stress Testing Website

There are three test options to choose from:

  • per test client.For example, you can see how your site performs when 600 users access it for a minute. In this scenario, customers will be distributed evenly throughout the test.
  • customers per second. It will test your site for a specified number of client requests per second.
  • Maintain client load. With this option, your site will be stress tested for a continuous load of users within a specified time frame.

Note that you can run more than one test. Actually, it would be wise to do so. This way, you have a comprehensive view of how your site will perform in different situations.

For this tutorial, we will be using maintain client load the option. It simulates a specified number of users who visit your site simultaneously over a certain amount of time, and remain active during that period. This will enable you to see the average loading time for these users.

Once you have selected this trial type, the next step is to specify the number of customers (or users) and the duration of the trial. For example, you might want to test the performance of your site when it receives 500 visits a minute.

if you click on advanced settingsYou can also set an error threshold:

Setting error limit in loader.io

This means that any request that takes longer than your set limit (for example, 15 seconds) will be returned as a failed request.

If you scroll down, you’ll also find some settings for client requests:

Settings for customer requests

Unless you have some specific requirements, you don’t need to make any adjustments here. For a typical stress test, the current settings will work. When you’re ready, click run test,

Step 3: Analyze your results

Once the test is completed, you will get a detailed description of the results. Let’s look at the most important metrics, starting with the graph:

graph for stress test

Here, we can see two sets of data. The green line represents the number of customers and the blue line represents the average response time. The graph shows that a total of 20 clients were added over a 30-second period.

As the graph clearly demonstrates, the higher the number of users, the higher the average response time. However, there was a sharp drop when the 20th client was added. This indicated that the response time for this user was about to exceed the error threshold we had set at 15 seconds. As a result the time ran out.

If we look at the information feedback matters In the section, we will find that there are 19 successful responses and one unsuccessful:

stress test results in loader

As you can see, the average response time for this test was 7210ms, which is 7.21 seconds. This indicates slow loading times when the site is being accessed by 20 users concurrently.

The fastest response time was 1.8 seconds, and the slowest was 15.2 seconds (our failed request). Considering these results, it is clear that the fastest loading times were recorded when the site had the minimum number of users.

After analyzing your results, you can edit the test settings to add more clients. Then, you can re-run the test to see if your site can handle the additional load. You can keep adding more clients gradually until your site is broken. This way, you can identify the maximum number of users that your site can handle simultaneously.

Solving site performance issues

If your stress test results show that your site loads slowly during high traffic, don’t worry, there are several ways to improve its performance. Let’s look at some effective strategies. I

  1. Set up a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
  2. use caching tools
  3. compress your images
  4. remove heavy plugins

1. Set up a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

A content delivery network (CDN) is a system of servers distributed at different locations. When you use a CDN, your users are provided with cached copies of your site from the server closest to their location. This way, your content has less distance to travel and therefore loads faster for visitors.

Additionally, a CDN can reduce the load on your hosting server. This can further improve your loading times, which in turn can help increase your Core Web vitals score.

2. Use Caching Tool

Page caching is the process of storing static versions of your website and serving them up to visitors. When you’re using caching, the browser won’t have to load heavy scripts when users access your site.

Therefore caching can improve the speed and performance of your site. You can use tools like WP Super Cache to provide static pages to your visitors:

3. Compress Your Images

Another contributing factor to poor performance is optimized files. If your site contains a lot of large files (such as images and videos), your pages are likely to take longer to load. This also means that your site may run slow when accessed by multiple people at the same time.

You can fix this problem by using an image optimization tool like Optimol:

This tool compresses your images without compromising on the quality of them. Plus, it serves your images via a CDN, which can help reduce loading times further.

4. Remove Heavy Plugins

You may also consider removing heavy plugins from your site. These add bloat to your WordPress website by loading unused scripts and hence can slow it down.

Alternatively, you can use tools like Autooptimize to minify your code, including CSS, JavaScript, and HTML. This plugin can also inline critical CSS and lazy load your images for a smoother user experience (UX).

Start stress testing your website today

Stress testing can help you determine the performance of your site during busy times. You can use a testing tool like Loader.io to simulate a high amount of traffic to your site within a specified time frame and see how it performs under those conditions.

For example, you can test the response time of your site when it receives 100 client requests in 30 seconds. You can then use the results to identify problems and improve your loading times. This may include compressing your images, using a CDN or caching tool, and removing bulky plugins.

Do you still have any questions on how to stress test a website? Let us know in the comments section below!

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