​When visiting a site or using an app, we expect a swift response to our button presses. Slow load pages, a click​ that leads nowhere, or having to endure the never-ending “loading” circle make tempers fray. All we want is a smooth experience that delivers satisfaction and doesn’t take an age.​ Performance testing tools can help us to achieve this.

Top performance testing tools

​On a normal day, your systems and software probably perform ​well, but abnormal days​ with unusually heavy loads and stresses can be a problem.

When heavy traffic puts your systems under stress​, ​you need to know where bottlenecks and breaking points will appear in advance. Performance testing tools designed specifically for load testing​ will help you with this​. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at our blog on performance testing.

Hopefully, your well-planned launch campaign is a big success, and your product is the talk of all the best blogs and communities. But can your site handle the extra attention coming its way? Or, as a growing e-commerce outlet, how will your software cope when the Sales start? Opportunities are lost each time a user meets a crashed site or a broken link. If you can’t give them what they want, they’ll shift their attention to one of your competitors without giving you a second thought.

To help you to prepare your system for whatever life will throw at it, we’ve pulled together a list of the market leaders and our own favorite performance testing tools for load testing. Most of these offer a free trial, so you can try it before choosing the best performance testing tool for your needs.

Essential Features to Consider in Performance Testing Tools

Click-based test run creation

Depending on your technical skill set, you may want to seek a load testing tool that allows you to record your test runs based on the clicks and actions you take. Ultimately, this saves you time by not having to program your test runs with code. 

Minimal hardware requirements

Hardware is expensive, but it’s often necessary to conduct performance testing against various pieces of hardware. Many performance testing tools offer workarounds for this, so you and your team won’t need to purchase, manage, or update hardware to conduct performance tests.

Analytics

You can’t improve what you can’t measure. Therefore, any testing tool should provide metrics and analytics to show you a high-level view of testing projects. A good performance testing tool will give you the data you need to make decisions and improve your product’s performance and overall quality.

Top Performance Testing Tools:

Further details:

k6

k6 load testing

k6, formerly called Load Impact, is a market leader in load performance testing tools. It is a simple-to-use open-source too favored for realistically creating simulated load conditions to test a site’s durability. 

This performance testing tool works by generating traffic over a confined period of time to replicate a maximum load scenario. A load can be generated from ten or more international locations, and automated testing scheduled to run overnight.

k6 offers a simple and intuitive user interface for organizing and managing performance and load testing projects. The performance overview dashboard includes vital metrics like the number of requests, HTTP failures, peak requests per second, and average response time. 

Key features: 

  • Scheduled automation
  • Geo-specific location-based testing
  • Performance overview metrics dashboard
  • Cloud-based

Website: k6.io

WebLOAD by RADVIEW

RadView analyzing load variations

Easy to use and powerful, WebLOAD from RADVIEW is capable of analyzing the demanding load variations of clients as co

Easy to use and powerful, WebLOAD from RADVIEW can analyze the demanding load variations of clients as complex as eBay. With more than 20 years of experience behind them, the app welcomes novices and the more experienced tester. 

WebLOAD can simulate traffic to represent hundreds of thousands of users with multi-protocol support. In addition, it provides a detailed analysis of how well the product performs under load.

The tool offers a flexible analytics engine where users can generate individual dashboards or use pre-defined dashboards to review performance data. Results from multiple sessions can be compared, and testers can drill into specific transaction events to see exactly where problems may be happening.

Key features:

  • Scheduled test runs
  • Pre-defined and customer built analytics dashboards
  • Share tests and test results with peers
  • Ability to upload tests
  • Self-hosted

Website: radview.com

Loader

Loader performance testing

A load tester for web apps & APIs, Loader is a basic tool that is free to use for tests up to one minute in length. There’s also the option to upgrade to a paid version that offers a more professional level of service that includes ten-minute tests instead of the standard one-minute. 

With Loader, testers can easily share graphs and metrics of test results. In addition, users can access the user interface to set up and manage tests or the API for programmatically managing tests.

Loader offers integrations with many developer tools so teams can connect it to the platforms they already leverage.

Key features:

  • Share graphs and statistics
  • Conduct tests through a GUI or API
  • Monitor the test in real-time
  • Integrations with New Relic, Jenkins, CircleCI, and more
  • Cloud-based

Website: loader.io

Loadster

Loadster load test simulations

Loadster prides itself on offering realistic test simulations with a large, concurrent user population. These can include multiple user flows with real-world situations like wait time variables and end-user bandwidth. 

With rugged, greasy garage styling, the message is heavy-duty and extensive load testing that can work on both sides of the firewall. Testers use this tool for testing their APIs, apps, and websites.

Loadster includes a robust analytics dashboard out-of-the-box so testers can do deep analysis on the performance of their product. In addition, geo-specific testing means users can test from 24 different cloud regions or test from their own self-hosted engines.

Key features: 

  • Analytics dashboard including data for throughput, response time, errors, and more
  • Rapid test script recording
  • Fully managed cloud app or self-hosted
  • Team collaboration
  • Self-hosted and cloud-based

Website: loadsterperformance.com

Apache JMeter

JMeter performance testing

JMeter by Apache is an open-source Java-built app that works at the level of protocols. It functions like multiple browsers and can replicate heavy loads on a network on one or more servers to assess how they perform under different types of demand.

As it is a self-hosted and 100% pure Java application, JMeter is best for those comfortable working with these types of tools. After setup, there is the option of testing using their out-of-the-box GUI or command line.

Key features: 

  • Fast test run recording
  • Dynamic HTML reports
  • Test from a GUI or command line
  • Self-hosted

Website: jmeter.apache.org

LoadNinja

LoadNinja load testing

LoadNinja uses real browsers for testing, and when it’s time to assess results through accessing the playback, their InstaPlay Recorder boasts a hefty 60% or more reduction of effort because of built-in AI.

Testers use LoadNinja to increase test coverage of websites, web apps, and APIs by quickly creating performance test runs without complexities. In addition, built-in analytics help the entire team identify problem areas, fix them, and build confidence.

Real-time debugging can be performed with the VU Debugger, where you can connect to the browser remotely and interact with the application under test using the Javascript console.

Key features:

  • Quick and easy test run creation through a recorder
  • Accurate load simulation with tens of thousands of browsers
  • Automation in any environment
  • Test from a local network
  • Cloud-based

Website: loadninja.com

BlazeMeter

BlazeMeter performance testing

BlazeMeter offers open source-based performance testing with a large capacity for scaling up to one million concurrent users using JMeter. Offering the fasted API testing, load tests can be set against all apps, from web and mobile to APIs and microservices, validating performance at every stage. 

BlazeMeter prides itself on helping to build testing into every phase of the software development lifecycle, and they have a particular focus on agile teams. With minimal setup, it performs real-world load from the Cloud or behind the firewall.

Testing teams use BlazeMeter for functional testing, API testing, performance testing, and more. In addition, the built-in analytics help testing teams identify bottlenecks early and track trends over time.

Key features:

  • Light-weight UI
  • Ability to create mock services to test against
  • Combine load and GUI testing
  • Single script for multiple tests
  • Cloud-based

Website: blazemeter.com

WAPT

Wapt distributed load testing

WAPT is available as a mobile app, a web service, or an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to test technologies of all sizes and specifications. It can handle apps that use AJAX calls and RIA technologies and offer remote, distributed, and cloud-based testing. 

Instead of writing code to run the test, users can record a session and use that sequence of events as the script, doing all test script creation through an intuitive GUI. It’s straightforward to use, requiring no prior knowledge of programming, and like most others tools, it is a free-to-use service with an optional upgrade for advanced users.

Key features:

  • Test creation using a browser or mobile app
  • Performance monitoring for servers and databases
  • Customizable test analytics
  • Instant test results at run time
  • Self-hosted and cloud-based

Website: loadtestingtool.com

dotcom-monitor

dotcom-monitor performance testing

Home to a range of performance testing tools, dotcom-monitor’s load testing app is fully cloud-based with no

Home to a range of performance testing tools, dotcom-monitor’s load testing app is fully cloud-based with no installation or setup. It offers both real-time website monitoring and performance testing solutions. 

There’s a creative pricing structure that starts with a 30-day free trial. You then can choose to pay a set monthly business fee with unlimited use or choose a customized volume pricing program aimed at enterprise and based on usage. With a name that shows its age, dotcom-monitor has been oiling web services’ wheels since 1998.

Key features:

  • Monitoring for web pages, web services, applications, and infrastructure
  • Point and click test script creation
  • Global, geographically distributed load testing
  • Ability to import Postman collections
  • Cloud-based

Website: dotcom-monitor.com

Conclusion

With so many performance testing tools to choose from when load testing, it’s essential that you try out more than one tool so you can compare strengths and variations with your budget. However, when you’ve made your selection, don’t stop there. Make sure you iterate your current build, then check it against all upgrades and rewrites, no matter how small. 

Products are available that can weatherproof the largest and most complex setups, right down to a personal phone app project. Crashed software is now unacceptable, so without having the excuse of blaming the system, make sure you perform your load tests regularly, so your application performs up to your users’ standards.