Although often used interchangeably, performance testing and load testing are not exactly the same. Performance testing is the more general practice of testing an application’s responsiveness and stability under real-life scenarios.
Load testing is a specific subset of performance testing that is meant to determine the application’s quality of service when being used by a specific number of users simultaneously. Load testing software simulates numerous simultaneous uses throughout the application, allowing you to identify bottlenecks caused by throughfare or by massive concurrency.
Load testing may seem like an obvious practice but it can be overlooked. When you test your own application each day, it is easy to forget that what you see and what your users see may be very different. Any client-server application needs load testing in order to determine its limits and improve user experience.
Testing in a staging environment is key to performance testing of all stripes. Having one gives you a buffer between your development environment and the client’s production environment. This allows you to catch errors and slowdowns before you push to production, thus keeping your clients happy. There are many online tools that can help your team set up a staging environment for your site, including SiteGround and Vagrant. Use these software suites to create a staging environment that closely resembles real-use cases.
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