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Apica´s Performance Blog is your source for tips, trends and tools for optimizing your web performance. Track current web performance metrics and brenchmarks and new technology in web performance testing.

How to Prevent Success from Breeding Failure

A business with a growing web presence is on the road to success, right? True, but making sure your website will stand up to the increased volume of hits when your latest advertising campaign goes viral or your product wins an industry award after years of design efforts is just as important as watching your traffic rise. If you don’t test your site’s fitness, it could vanish just as demand for your content peaks. Website crashes due to system overload are not only lost chances to gain the eyes of new customers and clients; they can lose existing business, too.

Several ‘stress tests’ can evaluate how prepared you are for spikes in web traffic and measure performance under various conditions – without inflicting any stress on your actual site. For a website, one measure of stress is capacity to handle volume. Why should you stress-test a site that is working well now?

1. Planning ahead keeps your success moving forward, rather than stalling.

Jumps in traffic can be predictable, such as during holiday sales periods, but other spikes are not as easy to anticipate. Mentions or feature in popular media –  even a photograph of a celebrity with your brand – could be a major driver of new visitors to your site. Know exactly how much stress your current site will be able to handle before an unexpected boost in hites causes a crash. If your business is performing well, your site is going to be challenged to work harder.

2. The best stress tests reveal information simpler ones do not. Your site might not be as healthy as it seems.

Research in medicine shows a more accurate assessment of a patient’s heart health comes from more than one factor. The type of stress test performed is not the only one. The expertise of the doctors who are interpreting a system’s results. You can increase your own expertise as a manager of your website using Apica’s self-service load tests or Apica’s full service load tests are performed by teams of industry leading experts around the world.

3. Be better by knowing how you’ll do when you change.

Diversifying the content on your site is one common tip to increase traffic. But as you add popular features such as videos and music, your site might slow down. A stress test simulates the experience of a visitor to make sure that waiting to watch a video doesn’t take so long a customer navigates away before it loads – and that it plays seamlessly. Apica’s tests can measure the performance of these features for your current site or a site you have not yet launched.

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