Load Testing a WooCommerce WordPress Shop

With Black Friday coming up, almost every retailer is expecting increased traffic.  Many shops have special sales and need to ensure the extra marketing spend around this season is optimized.

The best way to prepare for increased traffic is to make sure that you load test your application in advance of the sale.  Though load testing would ideally be initiated many months before Black Friday, it is never too late to get in some last minute load testing in preparation for the holiday rush.

BuiltWith reports than more than 42% of Ecommerce stores use WooCommerce as their e-commerce engine.  With more than 2 million sites using WooCommerce today, we figured there was no better use case to outline for Black Friday testing than a website running WooCommerce on top of WordPress.

What is Flood Element?

Flood Element is a browser based testing tool. Browser level load testing is different to protocol-level in that it simulates real users using real browsers. As we have outlined in previous posts, browser level testing provides a lot of benefits over traditional protocol level load testing including:

  1. Easier creation of scripts than complicated protocol level correlation
  2. More realistic load than protocol based simulation
  3. Measurement of true user experience rather than API performance

Ecommerce research shows millisecond changes in response time can impact revenue by full percentage points: https://medium.com/@vikigreen/impact-of-slow-page-load-time-on-website-performance-40d5c9ce568a .  Flood Element will provide a quick way to test real user response time metrics and the simplified scripting means you can get up and running in under a day.

How to Load Test WooCommerce with Flood Element

Load testing WooCommerce with Flood Element is easy and can be accomplished by anyone with understanding of javascript/typescript or open source testing tools like Selenium.  We’ve broken down the process into a simple 4-5 step process outlined in our tutorial here:

  1. Install Flood Element into your local environment: we’ve simplified the process of download and installing our packages for scripting and local debugging on your machine
  2. Download our sample test we have written for WooCommerce here: we’ve written a basic test that load tests our own WooCommerce site on WordPress.
  3. Run our sample test locally in your own environment: this test should walk through the complete process of a customer transaction, from adding an item to the cart to completing the transaction
  4. Tweak our test case to meet your testing needs or build from scratch: you can use the steps here and modify it to test against your site, or you can build your own script from the ground up when you feel confident
  5. Upload your test case to Flood to test with increased load: once the test is running successfully in your local environment, you can upload it to Flood.  Signing up for a free trial allows you to run with up to 250 users in Flood Element for up to 1 hour, which will be a great start in preparation for Black Friday.

Conclusion

Now you know why we believe Flood Element is the best tool for testing your website, and Flood is the platform for running distributed load tests. With Black Friday around the corner, we urge you to get your load testing underway as soon as possible.

Go forth and test.

Resources listed

Flood Element microsite

Flood

Tutorial

WordPress Sample Website for Load Testing


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