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How-to 8 min read October 2, 2019

How to check the website resilience and performance: an overview of tools

Resilience is the ability of a website to remain available to a user in case of technical problems and overloads. To make the web resource as resilient as possible, you must first evaluate the potential load and ensure server performance.

The role of resilience in the website operation and optimization

High resilience is one of the indicators of the quality of the Internet resource. One cannot completely secure a website from crashes. However, it is quite possible to minimize errors and ensure uninterrupted access to a website.

Resilience can be measured in percentages. A 100% indicator shows that the resource was continuously available within a month. A lower value indicates a malfunction. The total time when a website was unavailable should normally not exceed two hours per month, and the resilience indicator should not be lower than 99%.
The impact of fault tolerance on site performance and server errors

User access to website data

The main goal of traffic acquisition to a website is to inform users about their company or brand, as well as useful actions that visitors can perform on a website.

If a potential customer came to a website for the first time, it is especially important to make a good impression. The appearance of errors on the screen and limited access to the page content leads to the fact that the user closes it and may not return to a website again.

SEO efficiency

If a server cannot cope with the load, this leads to a restriction of access to website data. Errors caused by server-side problems have a 5xx group in the server response code system. In this case, users see errors on the screen in the range of 500-599.

Typically, periodic malfunctions on a website are a normal option. However, the systematic accumulation of 5xx errors often leads to a decrease in the credibility of a web resource by a search engine.

Site indexing and the speed of the robot processing problematic pages may be at risk. In order not to lose the accumulated rating and visibility in the search, it is important to eliminate technical errors and provide the platform with sufficient resources.
Low resilience site leads to a drop in traffic

What determines the website performance

Website load and server capabilities

Any user interaction with a web resource is a collection of tasks that are different in their nature and scope. The load on a website, respectively, leads to the load on a server. If a server cannot cope with the number of requests, this leads to errors and restricted access to web pages.

Most site owners at least once received a notification from the hosting provider about the excess load on a website. To ensure high resilience, you need to take care of a sufficient number of server resources. The website load must be controlled. By reducing it, you will not have to switch to another tariff and overpay.

To ensure high website resilience, it is necessary to work with a server, software, create copies of data on several servers because if one server fails, a website continues to work at the expense of another website.

Reasons for reducing website resilience

1
Traffic increase.

If the resource's popularity increased, it has begun to be ranked higher in search results, many new external links to the site appeared or additional advertising channels were involved, an increase in the number of visitors could dramatically increase the server load. This often does not fit into the limit that is determined by your chosen tariff for hosting services.
2
Active website scanning by a robot.

A large volume of pages and their active processing by a search engine can significantly increase the load. To avoid this, you should carefully study which pages are open for indexing, and how appropriate this is. Using the robots.txt file, you should restrict access to pages and documents that should be better excluded from the index.
3
Incorrect operation of scripts.

For example, a piece of code is placed incorrectly, the script version is irrelevant, or it conflicts with other elements of a website.
4
DDoS attacks.

DoS or Denial of Service is a result of a hacker attack. Large streams of "junk" traffic" are generated on the website server which subsequently blocks its operation. On the modern Internet, such cyber attacks are usually carried out using several IP addresses or a botnet and are called DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service).

How to assess the website load

Load testing and provision of commensurate server resources will increase resilience. If the resource is still suspended, then for a very short period of time.

When working with a resilience indicator, it is necessary to evaluate server performance, that is, how long it takes to process requests and how much it meets the established criteria.

Load testing consists of creating an artificial load on a website and tracking how the system copes with the amount of work. One of the principles of website load testing is the creation of behavioral scripts and the use of virtual users who simultaneously perform these actions.

There are load testing verification services as well as special applications to determine the expected load on the system.

How to conduct load testing online

Free services for online testing allow you to quickly audit a website. In this case, there is no need to install the application. Just go to a website and enter the URL of your resource in the input field. These services include:

  • Onlinewebcheck.com
  • Alertra.com
  • Webpagetest.org
  • Pagescoring.com
  • Gtmetrix.com
  • Rapid.searchmetrics.com
  • Tools.pingdom.com
  • Site24x7.com
  • Builtwith.com
  • Webtoolhub.com

Load testing with Jmeter

One of the popular ways to determine the expected load on the system and the server's ability to handle it is through Jmeter load testing. Using this application, you can measure the performance of your web project, simulating the possible load on it, that is, the performance of certain tasks by a certain number of users. The results can be viewed in the form of tables, graphs, charts.
Website load testing with Jmeter

How to do load testing with Apache JMeter

This tool is free and does not require the installation of special software. It is enough to download the application on your computer, run the resulting file and proceed to load testing the website.

To obtain the most accurate results, you can conduct a test in several stages and display the average result.
Site load testing in Apache JMeter 5.1
Here are examples of other tools for website load testing:

Conclusion

Resilience is directly related to the website load and the server's ability to handle the task volume.

Website load testing and ensuring the appropriate server capacity are the basis for the smooth operation of the resource.

The absence of systematic errors caused by server-side problems is an important aspect of indexing and optimizing a web project.
This article is a part of Serpstat's "Site Audit" tool
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