What Is Load Testing?

When it comes to maintaining a successful company, the primary focus in this day and age is on computers. With an emphasis on the internet, computers are the future, but that certainly does not stop them from being the here and now as well. The threat of failure hangs over every business, but by load testing software before putting it to use, a company can completely bypass the tumultuous struggles before them. Load testing is a way of measuring the web performance, among other such things, and it is the best way to determine the ins and outs of your own business.

How Does Load Testing Work with Web Performance?

Generally speaking, web performance is one specific type of client/server interaction that the concept of load testing was developed for, but it is also the single most prevalent. Web performance depicts the speed that web pages are able to be downloaded and subsequently displayed on the browser, which means that the load testing would be oriented to the optimal number of prospective clientele visiting the site at the same time. Load testing can determine the state of the browser, the image optimization, and the like, which is important in many facets.

How Does Load Testing Help?

Though it seems like the sort of preparatory work done by those who have the most to lose, load testing is actually necessary to showcase the success of a purported software system. Beyond that, it is capable of doing a great many things. The higher the speed of web page retention, the lower the environmental impact of usage. The website can lose some of its power consumption, which is due to the lack of the data being extorted, but this is not a bad thing. It is necessary for creating a small carbon footprint.

What Is The Function of Load Testing?

Load testing exists so that each individual had the capacity to determine any system’s behavior. Whether the system was completely at ease or whether the system was overworked to the point of exposing degradation, the entire process can inform one about the maximum operating capacity of any website. Using performance & load testing can also conclude what the precise problem is, enabling people to further create new and amazing software systems and websites that are both function and elegant. The load test analyzes the applicable implications of any software system or the like.

Improving Page Load Times in Safari

Safari is the web browser that is integrated into Mac OSX operating systems; this web browser is based upon Apple’s internal KHTML WebKit engine. While this web browser offers a decent browsing experience with other features, there are times when Safari can be slow. Typically, a slow down within Safari is due to corrupted cache files, add-ons, wrongly configured preference settings, or other issues. Luckily, there are some tips that Safari users may utilize to speed up the Safari web browser, and revert the browser back to default settings.

To begin with, the cache files, which are used to access recently visited sites easier, should be cleared. In order to do this, users may simply click on the Safari menu, and then hover over the option “Empty Cache.” Once this option has been selected, a dialog window will be presented to users explaining the process; at this point, they may go ahead and click on the OK option to clear the cache files from Safari. Furthermore, the Safari web browser may also be reset to clear the cache, erase cookies data, clear form data, and reset all other web browsing history as well. Users may reset Safari by clicking on the Safari menu, hovering over and clicking on the Reset Safari option. After clicking OK, the Safari web browser should successfully reset.

There are also other options that users may pursue to speed up the Safari web browser as well. For instance, browser add-ons, while beneficial, they can tend to consume vast amount of resources, which ultimately slows the Safari web browser down. In order to remove add-ons from Safari, users will need to open the Safari web browser, access the Help menu, and cursor over to and select the Installed Plug-Ins option. This will allow users to view the current add-ons on their system; once they have decided on the plug-in they’d like to remove, they can access: /Library/Internet Plug-Ins/ to find the specific add-on. Once found, users may simply remove the add-on to speed up Safari performance.

Last, but not least, returning the preference file to the default settings will also speed up browser web time, and possibly fix web page loading errors. For this to be accomplished, users may navigate to the Finder file manager in their Mac OSX operating system. Afterwards, they may then open the User folder, and navigate to /Library/Preferences/. Here, they will find a file labeled “com.apple.Safari.plist.” This file may be deleted to restore the preferences to default settings in the Safari web browser. Once these changes have been applied to Safari, users should notice an improvement in speed, and also usability of the Safari web browser.

Speed Testing in Mobile Browsers

Anyone who’s ever built a website for a mobile browser knows that it’s not always easy to optimize your site/application for speed across multiple mobile platforms, and one of the toughest issues is being able to test these platforms with a different number of browsers so that you can make the necessary changes.

A lot of developers actually blow these concerns off, which is evident from a number of support forums and pages where people complain about slow loading times and poor performance in mobile WordPress themes, and other mobile CMS systems. The thing at the forefront of most developer’s minds is optimizing their mobile sites to display correctly, but the developer community seems to be relatively aloof when it comes to keeping performance in mind as well.

Think about it for a second: it’s great if you have a mobile site that displays properly and has a creative menu structure/color scheme, but it’s not so great if you have a site that takes forever to load. It’s no secret that website visitors have shorter attention spans than ever before, so if you own a website with a mobile theme, you don’t have all the time in the world to make an impression; in fact, you have a very short amount of time to make an impression!

So what can you do? How do you test your mobile sites? Well, there are a few different options that the marketplace has to offer, both free and paid. If you’re looking for the “be all end all” tester of mobile platforms in terms of speed, CSS, and everything else, you probably want a paid service. One of the best in that arena is BrowserStack. They offer a pretty intuitive interface, and testing options galore. However, not everyone needs a full service suite just to perform a quick test. An honorable mention goes out to Dotcom-Monitor’s website speed test tool that has options for emulating iOS devices from the iPhone, iPod and even the iPad. While they don’t have any Android options on their tool, it’s quick and free if you need to troubleshoot a small problem.

At the end of the day, testing your speed and performance on mobile platforms is something that you shouldn’t overlook, with over 50% of today’s web traffic being from mobile devices! One thing that people do often overlook is the reliability of their web hosting company and how fast their servers are. If you’re wondering “who is the fastest host?” you’re not alone. There are a lot of different companies that claim to have speedy web servers but it’s hard to know which one is the fastest. The thing is, a speedy web server has a huge impact on the over all speed of your mobile site too, so that’s something to consider. Lastly, it’s easy to make sure that your CSS is correct and leave it at that, but you really need to do more than that if you want to captivate users and make sure that they have a good experience on your site.

Making Websites and Web Applications Compatible with iOS

How do you make compatible web content for iOS devices? Well, it’s not always an easy process. Web content can indeed be compatible with Safari on your desktop as well as on iOS, but it takes a little bit of work, and some care. If you are planning to target iOS, then the first step would be to get the desktop version working first, and then move on to mobile optimization.

The first thing you need to do is pay close attention to your content layout as well as what execution limits are tied to the iOS version of your content. By utilizing conditional CSS, which is recommended when optimizing web content, you can ensure that your content will display properly on iOS. When designing your webpage, keep in mind that mobile Safari is presented on iOS differently to the user than in a desktop version of Safari. Incorporating  gestures that include double-tap, pan or zoom, can also help make your web pages and and web applications mobile-compliant.

Here are some additional points that may help to make your site compatible with iOS:

• Adhere to Web Standards – This is the first design rule because if your web development is standards based, then this will help ensure consistent presentation and functionality. Both presentation and functionality need to be steady across all modern browsers, not just Safari. If the web site is well designed, there will be less refinements that need to be made in order to make it compatible with iOS.

• Utilize the Webkit Engine – the Webkit Engine is shared by Safari on the desktop and with iOS and supports all the latest web standards including AJAX Technologies, CSS3, DOM Level 2, ECMAScript 3 (Java), HTML5 and XHTML1.1.

• Stay on Top of Evolving Standards – both WebKit and Safari both are evolving as well so saying in touch with the evolving standards at the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG) or the World Wide Consortium (W3C) standards can help tremendously. Both sites are a good place to start.

• Review Safari Reference Documents – these include and Safari CSS Reference and Safari HTML Reference for specific platform availability.

• Employ Web-Design Practices – this is a must because if you follow the established rules of good web design, you’ll have less tweaking to do to when it comes time for mobile optimization.

• For your HTML files, add a DOCTYPE – Your HTML files should be prefaced with a DOCTYPE declaration. This action will help tell the browser about specifications for your webpage to be parsed against.

• Make separate your CSS, HTML and JavaScript files – web pages are more adaptable if the page content is separated into files for interaction, mark-up and presentation.

• Use a Validator – Validation can increase cross-platform compatibility, including fixing problems such as incorrect case, incorrect nesting, missing quotes and close tags.

• Remain Browser Independent – don’t use a “user agent string” on checking browsers.

If you take care and follow some of these best practices, you should find that optimizing your site for iOS and iOS-based web applications will be much easier. Additionally, if you have web app deployed, you may want to think about having some type of web application monitoring solution in place so that you know if your site goes down. Companies like Pingdom, CopperEgg, Dotcom-Monitor, New Relic and DotcomTools all provide good solutions for that.

No matter what you do, just make sure that you check that your web apps are compatible with iOS devices, or you may be unintentionally frustrating users and causing your support team trouble that could easily be avoided!

Developing an Awesome App: Things to Consider

Because of the various tools available for mobile app development, it’s no longer that difficult to get started. One of the major advantages of creating a mobile app is if it becomes successful in the app market, you could potentially earn a steady income off of your creation. However, despite how appealing that may be, there are also several important factors that should be taken into consideration before decide to call developing mobile apps your full time job.

One of the most important factors to take into consideration is the cost of mobile app development. Even the simplest and most basic apps can be more expensive than you think. If you’re competent enough to take on mobile app development entirely by yourself, this can save you a substantial amount of money, however, you’ll have to put in tremendous effort even if you’re creating a simple app. The more detailed the app, the more it will cost to make, and the harder it will be to create. You could always hire an app developer, in which case you’ll be billed by the hour. Some developers may finish the work for a nominal amount, while others may charge a substantial sum. Developing the app isn’t the only price you’ll have to pay, there are also costs that pertain to registering the app in app stores and app marketing costs.

Once the app has been developed and approved to be placed on the app market, you’ll then need to decide the price you’ll want to offer your app for. You can charge anywhere from between $0.99 to $1.99 (or more) or even make your app completely free. Offering a free ‘lite’ version of your app is a great way to get your app noticed if you plan to charge for the full version; this just gives potential app users the chance to try your app and see how they like it, which usually persuades customers into trying new apps since they don’t have to buy it right off the bat and risking their money if they end up not liking it.

In order for your app to reach its potential and get noticed, you’ll need to do some promoting to get the word out. You can do this in several ways; submit your app to various online sites that do app reviews, share it on social networking sites and sites like YouTube, and you can also create a press release to get media coverage on your app. During promotion, your main goal is to get as much attention for your app as possible, which might mean giving out the app for free (even if you planned on charging) so it can be reviewed and brought to other’s attention.

Going Dark: What Happens When Your Website is Down (Hint: You May Want to Look at Your SLA!)

One often overlooked and undervalued aspect of running a website is the idea of uptime monitoring. Whether you’re running small tech blog or a Fortune 500 company, if your site is down that means people can’t reach you; and that’s can spell trouble. If you’re selling something on your website, you’re losing money and customers when it’s down, and that’s not a good thing.

Even if you aren’t selling a product on your site, customers still aren’t able to reach you and that’s a bad thing for your brand, especially if you’re a tech company or you operate in the tech space. The good news is that there are a number of free and paid tools that you can use to get nearly immediate notification of when your site is down. We won’t cover those in this post, but instead will be breaking down an evaluating these services one-by-one at later time. At this point, all you need to know is that these options are available.

There are number of things that can cause your site to go down, and some of these aren’t always obvious. One of the most common problems is a server-side connectivity issue where there’s a problem with your web host. DNS problems are also another common cause of a website going dark. Less frequently, you might have an issue with the software on your site such as WordPress or whatever CMS system you’re using. In addition to these server-side and network problems, you might find that if your site gets hacked that the attack causes errors and puts your site down that way.

When a website is frequently down, you may want to consider taking a closer look at your Service Level Agreement, or SLA. This is what defines the relationship between your and your web host in terms of what they need to offer you for uptime. Typical numbers hover around 99%, but this can vary depending upon a number of factors. Once you know what your web host should be held to, you may want to invest in some type of SLA Management solution so you can track how often your site is up vs down. Lots of different companies have software that you can try out, and then usually use on a purchase a subscription to a service that you feel meets your needs.

The bottom line here is that no matter what happens, you need to know when these problems occur so that you can remedy them. Everyone tends to focus on the idea of hosting being the most important consideration, and yes, it is important, but the best hosting in the world isn’t going to do you much good if your site is down because of a DNS error or cyber attack. In fact, your site can even get attacked without anyone gaining access to it. In what’s called a denial of service attack (DDOS), a hacker can send a large amount of visitors to your site in a very short amount of time, effectively overloading and overwhelming your hosting provider, which causes the site to temporarily be taken down.

Many of these problems are unavoidable, and if you’ve been running a website for any length of time, you’ve probably encountered some of them already. What’s important is that when these problems DO happen, you’re aware of them and able to respond quickly and effectively.