As I have been spending the past few weeks gradually working on ways to tune and tweak my blog to improve page load times, I ran across a simple but free online stress test tool from Load Impact. This software for running performance monitoring will run a 10, 20, 30 and 40 concurrent user load test against your website and show you the performance results under the load.
My blog had an average pageload time of 12 seconds when 1-20 simultaneous users were hitting my blog but rapidly decreased performance and was as high as 40 second load times during the 40 simultaneous user load test.
Now wordpress blogs on shared hosting tend to be slower than standard html pages, and the more plug-ins, widgets, scripts, badges and affiliate code you slap onto your site, the slower your page is going to load.
This quick free test will see if your blog can handle concurrent user loads of up to 40 users and you will find that this test alone may “bring down” your site if you are using a shared hosting plan and your blog has performance issues. It is a good benchmark to baseline you blog before you start doing tweaks, you can tweak and re-run the load test to see if your tuning has had any effect on performance.
For the casual blogger who has limited budget a free online stress test should be more than sufficient to help you find your performance and page load times and assist you with benchmarks for when you tune your blog. Obviously for companies and large corporations that host their own web servers they have specialized software for running performance monitoring and many sites can handle in the “thousands” of concurrent users per minute with dedicated hardware and load balanced web servers.
If you haven’t attempted to stress test your blog yet, I would recommend you perform a Load Impact Free Stress Test and see what numbers you come back with.