The Advantages of Browser-Based Performance Testing

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As the owner or operator of a website, one of the most important tasks on your plate is maintaining the speed and stability of your site. Studies have shown that a slow or unresponsive website leads to a loss of users and loss of potential revenue. So clearly, it is in the best interest of your users and your business as a whole to have a quick, stable website.

That said, ensuring the speed and stability of your web application is easier said than done. It takes constant monitoring and there are many ways that you can proceed with performance testing of your website. Whether you are monitoring the website yourself or you are employing a team to help you with the task, it is imperative that you put in the time and effort for this task.

Ultimately, we recommend that you follow one course of action over another. We believe that you should prefer browser-based performance testing as compared to request/response testing. By embracing browser-based performance testing, you and your team will be better able to identify and fix issues that are plaguing the speed and stability of your website.

Browser-Based Performance Testing: What Is It?

Before we proceed to speak about the merits of browser-based performance testing, it is worth taking the time to discuss what it actually is. Browser-based performance testing is pretty self-explanatory. It is testing the speed and stability of your website in actual browsers. You are ultimately testing your website’s speed and performance by testing your site through actual browsers just like your users do.

By contrast, request/response testing is when a tester programmatically sends HTTP/S requests to a web server, the web server processes the requests, sends HTTP/S responses which you capture, and then analyze the responses.

You and your colleagues can easily conduct browser-based performance testing. There are a number of companies and web applications available to help you with this task. One which immediately comes to mind is LoadNinja by SmartBear. Whichever tool that you and your team choose to use, you can rest assured that there are a variety of options if you wish to leverage browser-based performance testing for your web application.

The Benefits of Browser-Based Performance Testing

That said, we haven’t yet addressed the key question. That question is: “Why should I prefer browser-based performance testing over request/response testing when testing my web application?” Answering this question can help you and your team efficiently test your web application while avoiding as many headaches as possible.

Ultimately, there are some significant benefits to using browser-based performance testing. Therefore, we highly recommend that you pursue this route over other options.

To start, this type of testing covers more of the spectrum of potential bottlenecks as compared to request/response testing. For example, browser-based performance testing can evaluate the processing that takes place in your client’s browsers.  It is possible to measure the time spent executing JavaScript for example.  All activity that takes place in the DOM is available to analyze. Browser-based performance testing grants you the freedom to obtain this important information.

Additionally, browser-based performance testing removes the need for manual correlations. In other words, the vast majority of scripts work right out of the gate. What does this mean for you? Most notably, it means that you can test the performance of your web application more quickly and efficiently than you would with request/response testing. If you have a large script that has many correlations, it can be difficult to quickly and efficiently navigate this issue before running tests. Browser-based performance testing helps you avoid some of these issues, meaning that you can more quickly arrive at quality test results that you can then use to improve the speed and stability of your website.

Embrace Browser-Based Performance Testing

No matter what, you are going to want to implement regular performance testing for your web application(s). Regular testing can help you quickly and easily identify issues that can hamper the performance of your website. Whether you are operating a small or large web application or have a large or small team, testing is a critical component of ultimately providing a positive experience for your users.

That said, when testing your website, you do have some options. While the freedom to test your website in different ways is certainly exciting and inspiring, there are pros and cons to these different approaches. Ultimately, you will want to experiment to see what works best for you.

But having said all of that, we hope to have made it clear above that browser-based performance testing is a more effective way to test and monitor your website. Browser-based performance testing allows you to complete quicker, more complete tests of your web application and can provide rapid feedback so that you can make upgrades as quickly as possible.

Ultimately, by embracing browser-based performance testing, you and your organization will be in a much better position to satisfy more users and to increase your bottom line. We encourage you to get started today.

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We are all about web application performance, and use this blog as a way to disseminate relevant information.

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