Introduction To Load Testing WordPress

WordPress is the most popular blogging platform used in 2016. It was released in 2003 and became very popular due to its easy installation and configuration. Another factor that led to its popularity is plugins. Developers can create plugins that assist a novice blogger accomplish technical tasks such as displaying Google ads, statistics, analytics, search engine optimization and integration with social media. Despite its popularity WordPress is known to have suboptimal performance. Performance degradation is known to happen when there is large number of concurrent users. Plugins are known to cause performance issues. The best way to remedy performance issues is to load test the website, identify the bottlenecks and then tune the WordPress settings.

If you want to load test your WordPress site, you need a midrange PC client and a Linux server that runs WordPress on Apache and MySQL. Next you should choose a tool for performing your load tests. You can use open source tools such as Tsung, Gatlin and JMeter or you can opt for cloud options from vendors such as BlazeMeter, Dotcom-Monitor, and LoadImpact. The cloud option would be best for non-technical users. After choosing your load testing platform you then need to establish a baseline for your WordPress server. The baseline will tell you the maximum possible throughput of your server. Creating a baseline is not as complicated as it sounds, you just need to create a php script that echoes 10 bytes of data back to the client or virtual user (you can learn more on the DCM official website). Load testing using this simple script will give you data on page load times and the performance of the Apache Server.

You should start with a small number of concurrent users such as 50 and increase it slowly to observe how the site is performing. The load times you get from the simple script are your baseline i.e., the best possible load time from your webserver. Next install WordPress on the server. After installing WordPress you first load test on one blog post and observe the performance metrics. You can also add more posts to the database and then observe the effect of more posts on the load times. Using this data you can determine the point at which performance on your WordPress site deteriorates significantly. You can then use this performance data to tweak your installation so as to boost performance.

Helpful resources:

http://www.webperformance.com/library/load_testing_guide/

dotcom-monitor.com/load-testing

https://www.visualstudio.com/en-us/docs/test/performance-testing/getting-started/getting-started-with-performance-testing

Performance Metrics To Look Out For

When load testing developers will encounter different metrics. It is easy for one to get overwhelmed and not know which metric to use. This leads to most developers using response time as a measure of system performance. This should not be the case. A developer should use different metrics when performance testing different parts of their system. This article will examine the various metrics that are used and when to use them.

Many web developers need to test the performance of their web sere be it IIS, Nginx or Apache. There are three key metrics that one should look at when testing their webserver: busy and idle threads, throughput and bandwidth requirements. If you have performance problems scaling your website you should look at the performance of threads in your webserver. Depending on the problem you identify you might want to increase the number of threads per webserver or even increase the number of webservers. If threads are busy for longer than average periods of time, you should look at hotspots in your application to remedy this.

Many modern websites and web applications are run on virtual machines. This presents a challenge for performance testing as one has to look at metrics for both the guest machine and the host. Developers should be keen about resource utilization on the host. Resources might be depleted on the host causing performance to degrade on the virtual machines.

Database performance is key to any web based application. If you are load testing your database, there are several metrics that you should look at. The most important factor is the number of SQL statements executed per user. If the number of statements executed per user is high, consider implementing a cache for the most common queries. Developers should also examine the slowest SQL statements on their database as they provide great room for improvement. Performance for slow statements can be increased by optimizing the statements and adding indices to the tables in the database.

The above are some of the performance metrics that developers should look out for. Depending on the complexity of the application being tested there are other variables such as pool utilization, load balancing time and acquisition time that should be looked at.

Optimizing Your Shared Web Hosting for Better Performance

Running a website is not entirely difficult, especially with the myriad of hosting services available to choose from today. However, as your website’s traffic grows, the need for additional hosting quickly becomes a pressing issue.

When you begin to notice your website slowing down, you may be using shared hosting that is not entirely optimized for your website alone. Upgrading to a dedicated server is one option available to provide additional bandwidth an ultimately better performance.

If your website is extremely popular and requires a large amount of data each day from your users, it is also possible to consider renting your own server to truly have total control over you website and its performance. Even if you do not have any knowledge of servers, it is possible to get assistance by renting a server from a larger company that manages themselves for a monthly fee based on the number of servers you require as well as the amount of data you are paying for and need to use to keep your website running as smoothly as possible.

When considering optimizing your website on the front end, there are a few ways to go about doing so without bogging down servers so your website does not run slow. Limiting the amount of media and videos along with JavaScript items on your website is one of the quickest way to optimize your website so your users are able to experience faster loading times without slowing them down or bogging down your website.

Shared hosting is a different animal when it comes to performance optimization, mainly because it can be somewhat touchy since there are a lot of people using one server. If you’re using one of the big name hosting companies like Bluehost and GoDaddy, you’re probably less likely to have problems. However, if you’re using a smaller-time hosting company, you might have more problems, at least that’s what Web Hosting Buddy says.

That said, big companies like GoDaddy usually do a good job of keeping people from running wild on their shared servers, so this shouldn’t be too big of a concern when it comes to dealing with resources that are being hogged by other users.

Coding your website into a new site altogether is not often a bad idea, especially if you are servicing thousands of even millions of users a day and want to pay less when renting and managing servers. If you are unfamiliar with managing a site on your own, consider hiring a web developer if you are doing a complete overhaul of your website. When you want help with managing your services, hiring a server administrator is also possible separate from working with companies who manage servers for optimization.