What you need to know about stress testing in WordPress

What people do not tell you when you start a blog or a business site is that your website might have reached its limit one day. What happens if your webshop suddenly gets a lot of visitors during the holidays? Or when one of your products or services comes in the news? Is your WordPress site prepared for so much stress? In this article we will tell you everything you need to know about stress testing in WordPress!

What do we mean by stress testing?

Stress testing is an activity that involves applying a certain amount of stress to a software program, technical system or website to test how well it performs. Stress testing is done under different conditions. For example, you want to see how your website loads and responds to “normal” web traffic. These results then compare you with very and even very little web traffic. The purpose of stress testing is to anticipate an unprecedented amount of web traffic.

Simply put, stress testing involves simulating your site suddenly getting a lot of visitors. That way, you’re sure that your website is well-prepared if you’re really successful.
Evaluating your current performance

To find out how your website performs with many web traffic, you must first know how your website is performing. We recommend visiting the websites below, entering your URL, and checking if there are any issues at the front end:

  • Pingdom
  • GTMetrix
  • PageSpeed ​​Insights

The above sites evaluate your website on various factors. They also offer solutions to any problems encountered. Sometimes you can easily solve it yourself, sometimes not. A caching problem, for example, can often easily be solved with a caching plugin. But combining external CSS and JavaScript may require the knowledge of an experienced programmer.

Furthermore, the tools provide insight into how quickly your webpages load without much web traffic. This gives you a nice starting point for the actual stress tests.
Eliminating plugin problems

You will undoubtedly have some plugins installed on your WordPress site. Also, these can sometimes cause problems with an increase in your web traffic.

In this article, we discussed all the impact that plugins may have on your site. At that time, we recommended the Plugin Performance Profiler (P3), but since this plugin has not been updated for two years, you can better use an alternative such as the Query Monitor plugin. You can, of course, also deactivate your plugins and re-enable again one to one to find out which plugin causes problems.
The actual stress tests

Once you have finished the preparations, you can perform the actual stress tests. It is advisable to use a staging site for this purpose, but keep in mind that this should be an exact copy of your live site! A good tool for stress testing is the Load Impact platform. Load Impact tests everything, from apps to WordPress websites, and uses realistic simulations to get an idea of ​​what people are doing on your website. This is very important; Finally, some users require more from your site than others. There are both free and premium subscriptions available, so Load Impact is highly recommended for all. If you prefer to test from the cloud, Blitz is a good tool. For mobile performance, Blazemeter is a good option.

Finally

How often you need to perform a stress test depends entirely on how safe you want to be. It is advisable to test each website at least once for the live show. Then, depending on how fast your company or blog grows, you can perform a stress test annually or biennially. This way you always know exactly how much your website can handle.