Load testing and performance testing: How are they different? | Forte Group

Load testing and performance testing:

Key differences between two cornerstones of quality assurance

Quality assurance is an essential process to ensuring software’s seamless performance. As an integral part of QA, testing defines the quality of the product and helps improve it in the long run.

The two major processes of software testing we will focus on in this article are load testing and performance testing. They share some critical similarities yet are different in functionality.

What is load testing?

To ensure that a system can endure particular demands and respond to them, QA specialists employ the process of load testing when analyzing a website, mobile application, or other software solution. This part of QA operations has proven effective in advanced software testing, facilitating and optimizing QA processes, and enabling specialists to conduct quality control operations more accurately and optimally. 

In plain terms, load testing is performed by modeling the assumed usage of software by simulating a number of users who access the software simultaneously. One of the notable features of load testing is its ability to show measurable results. This type of testing is especially effective for multi-user systems. 

Load testing is often applied if the system or service is subject to a service-level agreement. Load testing is carried out to track the system’s behavior under normal and abnormal conditions. This type of testing estimates an application’s maximum operating capacity. During load testing, the load placed on the software can be increased to go beyond average — such an experimental approach is called stress testing

Read also: Why quality assurance is essential to any delivery team

Benefits of load testing 

Load testing improves your product thanks to its vast functionality. Now let’s delve into the outstanding benefits of load testing. 

  • Reducing the cost of failure

With the help of load testing, you can largely cut your expenditures on fixing system failure. For instance, let’s say that during load testing, you discover that your app fails to give users the required results like data or downloadable files when being loaded. Now that the bug has been detected by you and not by end-users, you can proceed to fix it. 

Professional testing will prevent your product from having any glitches or inconsistencies, keeping pace with the rising functionality expectations of customers.

  • Enhancing the scalability of software 

A software product can be scaled by adding resources to the system, which gives it more flexibility and provides customers with more opportunities to use it. 

  • Guaranteeing increased customer satisfaction 

Through load testing, QA experts can ensure that the system is consistent with the required standards. Thus, customers will develop more loyalty for the company producing the software.  

  • Helping spot poor code and hidden bugs

Due to its high precision, load testing unmistakably detects system imperfections. Based on the outcome of load testing procedures, specialists can discover load bottlenecks before deployment. 

Are you ready for test automation?

Five practical steps to guide test automation preparation within your QA strategy from Lee Barnes, an expert with 25+ years of QA experience

What is performance testing?

There are three main measurements of a product’s performance: speed, stability, and scalability. Speed shows how quick the application’s response is. Scalability is about finding out how many users can work with the app at the same time without losing in app’s general performance and ease of use. Stability is involved in checking whether or not the product can handle load differences. 

Software performance testing aims to assess all these measurements, helping QA specialists ensure that the product’s key characteristics are compliant with the required standards. 

To conduct performance testing effectively, testers need to be familiar with proven tools such as NeoLoad, WebLOAD, Jmeter, Gatling, and LoadRunner. These tools are considered to be some of the best programs for detecting system bottlenecks. The performance testing process includes elements such as a browser, a page, server request processing time, concurrent user volumes, and other data points. 

Performance testing collects the tests showing an application’s speed, sustainability, and how robust it is.

Benefits of Performance Testing 

  • Validating the software’s fundamental features

Your software must have a reliable foundation represented by speed, stability, and scalability – the three key quality criteria of sound software mentioned earlier. Having a durable foundation allows you to make critical decisions based on the software’s setup. Performance testing enables specialists to make sure these critical criteria are met.

  • Improved performance 

Arguably, this asset is a prerequisite to the benefit mentioned above. Customers become satisfied only on the condition they receive the product or service they want and receive it quickly. And this sort of performance can be achieved only through meticulous and professional testing.

  • User satisfaction

When you test your software, you ensure its quality and how responsive it is to users’ needs. Such testing is what, in turn, keeps your customers happy in the long run. Therefore, only rigid testing and strict quality assurance methods can guarantee the success of your product and meet the hopes and demands of your customers. 

  • Reduced risks and elimination of bottlenecks 

Performance testing lets you do away with all bugs and imperfections of your software before your users touch it. Moreover, testing your products acts as a tool for eradicating defects and as a process for modernizing and upgrading your product. 

The difference between load and performance testing, in a nutshell

Load testing and performance testing are the mainstays of optimized and seamless software performance. Load testing is centered around checking if the system can endure necessary load, while performance testing is concerned with evaluating whether or not the system’s main measurements are compliant with the required standards. These complex yet easy-to-conduct processes differ in some minor aspects, but are still similar in their purpose: they serve the uninterrupted performance of a product as well as excellent user experience. 

To sum up, let’s single out the main aspects in which load testing and performance testing differ.

Load testing:  

  • Smaller cost of failure
  • Detection of imperfect code and other bugs
  • Assurance of proper load endurance
  • Enhanced customer satisfaction 

Performance testing:

  • Assessment of the pivotal measurements of software’s quality: speed, stability, and scalability
  • Improved performance 
  • Broader evaluation of the system’s performance

Load testing and performance testing are two commonly used quality assurance practices that should be a broader part of your testing strategy. To get more help with QA strategy, you can check out our Insights blog or click on the link below to get in touch with one of our quality assurance strategists.


Is your quality assurance and testing strategy up to par?

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Anastasiia Ukrainets

by Anastasiia Ukrainets

Anastasiia Ukrainets is a content specialist at Forte Group. She works with Forte Group experts to share insights on innovative software solutions and software delivery.

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