How do you know if your site will withstand the load onslaught?

loader

Business websites need to make sure they don’t go down if they get a sudden influx of visitors.  But how do you know how many visitors you can handle?

Well, you use a load tester.  And though there are many ways of load testing I use Loader. Loader is a free load testing site that will test a number of users/clients hitting your site within one minute. And I’ve tested up to 10,000 clients for free. It will give you a readout like this:

loader graph
If Loader gets too many errors, it will end the test early. Which is kind of nice as it is an immediate notification that something is wrong.

Setup is easy, you will have to upload a file or change a DNS entry (your choice) to verify you own the site. But that is a smart security feature so people don’t use it as a DDoS attacker.

loader setup

All you have to do is enter a test name, enter a number of clients (the starting value they enter is 250, but it can go to 10k), select the host you have verified and a path if you want. Then click run test. What follows next will look like the graph above, but it will be updated in real-time.

You can, of course, tweak the settings even more. Though some features require a pro plan, such as increasing the duration from 1 minute.  But for most cases, the free load tester is perfect for the job.

Give it a try!

Have you ever had your site swarmed (either with good or bad traffic) and go down? What services have you tried?

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