How To Perform A Simple Load Test On Your WordPress Site

Last updated June 14th, 2024 11:57

Probably every website owner sooner or later becomes interested in how much load their shared hosting or own server can handle. Especially with increasing traffic, this is a more than relevant question. Therefore, in this article, I would like to look at a service that is not only free at its core but also provides you with precise answers on how many users per minute your website or server can handle. If you are interested in how to perform a load test on your WordPress, you can rest assured that it is really simple.

How to Perform a Load Test on Your WordPress

I decided to perform the website load test using the online tool loader.io. It is free at its core and the tests can be gradually scaled. This way, you will always have accurate measurement results. If you have your own server, you can simultaneously monitor the load on the server using your own software solution with graphs. For example, I use Netdata.

Sign Up on loader.io

On the website loader.io, you need to register first. You can do this by clicking on the “Sign Up Now” button. In the next step, choose a plan. For basic measurements, the Free plan, which is completely free, will be more than sufficient.

Jak provést zátěžový test Vašeho WordPressu
Jak provést zátěžový test Vašeho WordPressu

Once you complete the registration, which you need to confirm via a notification link sent to your email address, you can comfortably proceed to the first tests. The tests will simulate high website traffic for one minute.

Your First Load Test of WordPress

I recommend starting the first tests with reasonable numbers. I began with 1000 users per minute, and as expected, the test was stopped shortly afterward because the server’s CPU couldn’t handle the requests.

First, add a target in the admin panel where you will perform the tests. You can do this by clicking on “Target Hosts“, then on “+ New Host“. In the free plan, you have access to only one target host. You test the target host using its domain name. Therefore, to perform a load test, you need to have your domain pointed to your website using DNS records.

Jak provést zátěžový test Vašeho WordPressu

Target Verification

To verify that you are the owner of the web hosting and the domain you will be testing, you must complete two methods, and it’s up to you which one you choose. The first method involves uploading a generated text file to FTP so that it is accessible at the URL https://test_domain/verification_file.txt. The second method, which takes significantly longer, involves adding a TXT record to the DNS domain. Target verification is primarily to prevent the tool from being misused, for example, for DDOS attacks. Therefore, you can only test your own websites, and the service cannot be used for targeted attacks.

First Test

Have you verified the domain you will be testing? If yes, you can start testing in the admin panel of loader.io by clicking “+ New Test“. Here, you can choose the test description, method, number of users for load, and URL address. You can run the test immediately, save it for later, or schedule it to start at a specific time.

Jak provést zátěžový test Vašeho WordPressu
Jak provést zátěžový test Vašeho WordPressu

By clicking “Run test“, you will initiate the test immediately. In the subsequent screen, you will then see real-time results of the ongoing test. If you have your own server and a monitoring service installed on it (e.g., the mentioned Netdata), you can monitor the server load in another window.

Jak provést zátěžový test Vašeho WordPressu
netdata

As I mentioned, test cautiously and gradually. Start with small numbers. For a beginning, try 50 users per minute and gradually increase after reviewing the results until you reach the limit. If you exceed the capacity and the server stops responding to requests due to high load, the test will automatically stop itself before reaching the limit.

How to Perform a Load Test on Your WordPress

Conclusion

The service loader.io is a perfect tool for easy entry into load testing of web hosting (not just on WordPress). With this service, you can comfortably and simply test how much load and traffic your server and website can handle. This is beneficial for performance planning in case your website traffic starts to increase. Because being prepared prevents surprises, and there is nothing worse than building up solid traffic over time only to find out that your website or server performance is no longer sufficient.

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